"My soul, now praise your Maker! Let all within me bless His Name, Who makes you full partaker of mercies more than you dare claim. Forget Him not whose meekness still bears with all your sin, Who heals your ev'ry weakness, renews your life within; Whose grace and care are endless and saved you through the past; Who leaves no suff'rer friendless but rights the wronged at last."
In case we are feeling prideful—and often enough we do feel that way—our hymn puts us in our place right from the start. God is our Creator. We are created beings called to praise our Maker and bless His holy Name. He has shown more mercy to us than we dare claim because, as fallen, sinful creatures, we know it is not mercy we deserve, but death and eternal separation from God.
Although we deserve no mercy, our merciful God took on human flesh and was born among us to save us. In meekness, Jesus our Savior was born in Bethlehem. In meekness, He bore our sins in His body on the cross, humbly taking onto Himself the penalty of death for those sins. Raised up from death to reign in exalted majesty, our Lord still deals with us in meekness and patience. He bears with all our sins, knowing our fallen weakness. He "knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). Eager to heal and forgive, He calls us to repentance through the Word.
We are made new in Christ, but as created beings, our view of life is still limited. We know only past and present circumstances, even though we may be filled with dreams and plans for an unseen future. Our Maker's vision is without limit: past and future are eternally present to Him. He cared for us through the past, in ways we know and in ways that we, in this earthly life, may never recognize. His grace and care are endless, extending into a future that for us remains unseen.
For now, we see pain and suffering all around us. Countless brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted for their faith; they are wronged in so many ways. They may suffer exile, imprisonment, or death. We wonder at the apparent success of the wicked, who "are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind ... they say, 'How can God know?'" (Psalm 73:5, 11a). But God knows and, as our hymn reminds us, the day will come when all wrongs are put right. We do not often speak of it, perhaps for fear of appearing unforgiving or vengeful. But revenge is not our task. God cares for His own and when Jesus returns, all will be put right. Death will be destroyed and all sorrow and suffering will be banished forever. For all eternity we will praise our Maker and, in His presence, bless His holy Name.
THE PRAYER: My Lord and Maker, keep me in Your care, now and forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "My Soul, Now Praise Your Maker," which is number 820 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. How hard do you think it is for God to love us, knowing how we will sin in the future?
2. Why would God who made the stars, galaxies, and the planets be concerned with you and me?
3. Do you think we will notice the passing of time in eternity?
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