Because of His Love and Faithfulness – Week of September 25, 2023
Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
“I did it! I did it!” One of the best sounds of an early childhood room is hearing a child shout for joy when they accomplished a task they struggled with. They worked and worked, and their diligence paid off. What a moment! They’re so proud, and we’re proud of them.
You and I have tasks that challenge us as well. I would imagine everyone reading this can name at least one item on their to do list that pushes their abilities. After a lot of effort, trial and error, you get it. You also might shout out just like that child, “I did it!” What a great feeling.
“Not to us, LORD, but to your name be the glory.” This verse was written at the time that the people of Israel celebrated Passover in the magnificent temple in Jerusalem. The Israelites had been freed from their captivity under Pharaoh. All of this could easily tempt them to say, “Look at us and what we’ve done! We are an amazing nation to be feared and respected.” When we look closer at their story, we know they did nothing to cause their freedom from Pharaoh. God made that happen. That temple in Jerusalem? God’s direction and blessings to them provided the temple in all its splendor. The Israelites are a story that reminds us over and over of God’s love and faithfulness. They struggled. He provided. They sinned. He forgave. They turned their backs on God. He drew them back.
Because of your love and faithfulness. Those words are meant for us as well. You and I approach each day with a prayer that God would bless our tasks and our activities. We know that every day brings joy and disappointment, successes and failures. Each day we struggle with our biggest battle-our sin. And every day God is faithful in his love for us, his forgiveness, his work in us and through us.
What does all this mean for us? We do make progress in learning and growing. We have difficult challenges that with perseverance, we overcome. Is it wrong to rejoice in our accomplishments? No. Be glad in those moments. But never lose sight of where that success comes from—it comes from God. He who with unending patience and love, faithfully provides for all our needs. He gifts us with the ability to think and question and persevere. He gives us opportunity to use those gifts to serve him and those around us. And greater than all of this, he gifts us with his forgiving grace that gives us peace in him.
“I did it!” A moment to celebrate wrapping it all in gratitude for God who is full of love and faithfulness for each of us and for all his dear children. “I did it! Thank you, God, and to you be the glory!”
Thank you, God. You created me and gave me just the set of gifts you thought were best for me. Every day it’s my prayer that I use those gifts faithfully. Every day there are some successes but every day I also sin. I’m so grateful for your forgiveness and humbled that you use me. Help me always to reflect you in all I say and in all I do. Use it all to point people to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
A Hymn to Consider:
For further reflection on the thoughts of today’s devotion:
CW21 582 Not unto Us