Who Owns Them?

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.

(Psalm 24:1)

LORD Jesus we praise You, mighty God and Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in it. Thank You, precious LORD Jesus, for reaching out to us, for blessing us so abundantly. Thank You for making the seeds and for making them grow. You, O LORD, give the increase. Forgive us whenever we take this for granted and think of what “we” have accomplished by planting and watering the seeds. Remind us that everything was made by You and for You and that it is You who owns all of it. It is You who shares His Creation with us. Enable us to know, by Your Word, how to accept the gifts, how to handle them, and how to cheerfully give back and share all the good things that we have been blessed with. In Jesus’ wonderful name we pray. Amen.

Look at these apple trees! Look at all the apples — green ones, red ones, small ones, big ones — The Lord GOD has made them all.

God owns everything. Yet He so freely gives to us each and every day. Do we pick the apples? Or do we take them for granted? Are we satisfied with the kind and the amount and the way He has given them to us? Or do we long for greener pastures, easier work, different kind of apples, or perhaps apples that taste the way we would like them to taste?

The picture was taken years ago while we were still living in our apartment in Germany. During the month of September, whenever we went into the back garden of the apartment building, we would see that field across the fence. It was full of the most beautiful and tasty looking apples. There were so many of them. The apples were everywhere. How often have we thought, “Oh, if only we could climb over to pick some of them?”

We never found out who the field belonged to, but each year we lived there we were sad about the many, many apples that have fallen to the ground and wasted away…

Have you ever been envious of things (apples, or whatever God has given) others had but you did not? Why do they have so many of these apples and we don’t? Why do they neglect them and take them for granted? If only we would have them, we would be way more grateful for the things. Would we? Really?

Seek God’s perfect will for your life today.

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Bless the LORD, and Forget Not

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits

(Psalm 103:2)

We praise You, LORD Jesus, for You are God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in it. You have prepared Your Throne, Yours is the Kingdom, and You rule over all. Hallelujah! Show us and keep us on the path of life. Guide us daily in Your Word. In Jesus’ powerful name we pray. Amen.

Today’s verse is taken from one of my favorite psalms. According to our Bible Reading Plan, we get to read it at least twice throughout the year: on the 2nd of May we read the whole psalm in one go, and on the 1st and 2nd of November we read it in two parts.

Today’s verse is also very special to me because it always reminds me of my “Confirmation Day” — which happened in a Lutheran church in Germany back in 1982. Our pastor offered us a few selected verses and asked us which one we would make to become our “Confirmation Verse.” I chose this verse because, in German language, it immediately spoke to my heart:

Lobe den HERRN, meine Seele,
und vergiß nicht, was er dir Gutes getan hat.

(Luther Bibel 1912)

Bless the LORD, my Soul,
and forget not, what Good He has done for you.

Not until years later, though, after God has called me, all of the sudden the whole psalm became so clear and so special to me. It happened during the worship service. Our pastor went up to the pulpit and read Psalm 103 while raising his tone of voice to emphasize the Goodness of God. This was so powerful that the whole congregation, at the end of the psalm, shouted an Amen and Hallelujah.

Bless the LORD, and do not forget all His benefits today.

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Sanctified by Truth

Sanctify them by Your truth.
Your word is truth.

(John 17:17)

LORD Jesus, Son of God, we praise You for You are the Word and the Truth by which we will be made free. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we present any kind of excuse for not diligently being in the Word. Help us to abide in You. Guide us so that we will understand what the Spirit is saying to the Church — to God’s People, the Body of Christ — today. Enable us not only to be hearers but also to be doers of the Word. May all be done to Your glory. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

God promises us that we would find Him if we would seek Him with our whole heart. And what a day it has been when our eyes were opened and we have found the Savior. We were made free. Salvation had come to us — to our house. Hallelujah!

Ever since that time, how is our sanctification coming along? Today’s verse says that we are sanctified by God’s Truth and that His Word is Truth. Knowing this we must get into the Word on a daily basis.

And you shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.

(John 8:32)

Yes, the Truth — and nothing but the Truth — is able to make you free (salvation is of the LORD); but it is also the Truth — and nothing but the Truth — that is able to sanctify you. That’s why searching and studying the Scriptures is so important for us.

God calls us to be saved, but He also calls us to be holy.

Sanctification is important. God commands us in His Word to be holy (and this is not an Old Testament thing by the way),

because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

(1 Peter 1:16)

Study the Truth and abide in His Word today.

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