Psalm 104:10-24 (NRSV)
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
-- Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)
IN my daily walk, I pass a tanning salon with a sign that says, "Our Gift of the Sun." The sun is a gift, but not from a tanning salon! The sun, like all the good things we enjoy, is a gift from God, who gives us everything from which we benefit. James 1:17 says, "Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above."
From God comes the gift of mouth-watering strawberries, sweetened by the sun. From God comes the gift of bone-chilling frost that kills insects which could destroy the crops. God gives us the gift of mountain-moving faith, and by God's grace we have been saved through faith. The gift of faith is the gift of death-destroying forgiveness. When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven.
All of life's gifts have their source in God's endless love. Our gifts to our children flow from love; how much more does God give to us!
Prayer: Thank you, God, for all your gifts. Help us to use them to bless others. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
What has God given me today?
Gratitude for the good in my life
By Eugene F. Gerlitz, Oregon