"For the fruits of His creation, Thanks be to God. For His gifts to ev'ry nation, Thanks be to God. For the plowing, sowing, reaping, Silent growth while we are sleeping, Future needs in earth's safe-keeping, Thanks be to God.
"In the just reward of labor, God's will is done. In the help we give our neighbor, God's will is done. In our worldwide task of caring, For the hungry and despairing, In the harvests we are sharing, God's will is done."
With words like "plowing, sowing, reaping," this hymn is often sung at Thanksgiving, but these words have a place in our lives throughout the year because our Creator cares for His creation in every season. The fruits of His creation are given at all times for "ev'ry nation," as the apostle Paul writes, explaining that God did not "leave Himself without witness," but "did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17).
God did not create the heavens and the earth only to abandon His creation. His continuing, overflowing gifts are woven into the fabric of all that He has made. At creation He said, "'Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.' And it was so" (Genesis 1:11). Our Creator carefully placed our "future needs in earth's safe-keeping."
God's good creation was plunged into disaster when the people He created fled from Him in rebellion—a rebellious disobedience that we inherited and in which we now participate. Yet God loved the world and the people He created. He had decreed the penalty of death for His rebellious creatures, but then sent His Son to take that dreadful penalty onto Himself. In Christ Jesus His Son, "God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them" (2 Corinthians 5:19b). Through faith in Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we have the gift of eternal life. Now and for eternity, our needs are in Jesus' safe-keeping!
Through faith in Jesus, we live as God's holy people. In "our world-wide task of caring" we reflect our Creator's love and care, and "in the just reward of labor, God's will is done." "In the help we give our neighbor ... in the harvests we are sharing," God works in and through us. As we go about our daily work in a business, in a school, in a hospital or a home, God is at work in us, caring for His creation as people are fed and clothed, healed and encouraged.
Through the gift of His Son, God has provided for our eternal safe-keeping. Until the day our Lord returns and all creation is made new, God's care—and the plowing, sowing, and reaping—will continue. We have His promise: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).
THE PRAYER: Lord of creation, I praise You for all of Your gifts and especially for the gift of Your Son, my Savior. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "For the Fruits of His Creation," which is number 894 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. When man fouls up the environment somehow, is it important that he try to correct the issue?
2. What are some of the gifts God has given to the United States?
3. How is God's will done through the work we do?
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