Devotion 303 – Thursday of Pentecost 8

Opening Prayer

God, teach us to use Your overwhelming riches.

Text: Second Corinthians 9:8–11

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness remains forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

Devotion

When the faithful Francke, founder of the orphanage in Halle, had begun to look after all kinds of poor children with physical and spiritual assistance, he sat one day, talking with his wife about how he could get what was needed. Perplexed, he got up and opened the Bible lying there, and his eyes fell on these words: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: ‘He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness remains forever’.” “Yes,” he said to himself: “God is able to do it and He will do it.” Shortly afterward, when a letter was brought to him, he thought: “It’s probably a contribution.” His heart was happy and opened the letter. But it was from a poor father who complained that he and his family were in dire need and on the verge of starvation. With heavy heart Francke laid the letter aside, and repeated the word of Scripture: “God is able to give you an abundance for every good work.” But the passage would not comfort him. Then he went into his room and reminded the Lord of His promise; he fought a Jacob’s battle with the Almighty and came out to his wife again beaming with joy. He knew what to do and it did not fail.

Let it be your concern that there is so much need in the world, but let it not be an idle concern so that nothing comes of it. Indeed. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.” It is “God” who will do it; He is “able” to do it. He is able to give us everything. And it is “grace” that your sin does not hinder Him. God is rich in His omnipotence, so that He never lacks the means; He is rich in His mercy, so that He never lacks the will. God is rich in His generosity, and He does not weary; so you always have enough for yourself and have “abundance for every good work.” Sow it diligently; no field is as fruitful as well-doing, and no seed so prolific as mercy. Already here, thoughts of thanks arise among givers and receivers; hearts are strengthened and gladdened and are joined together in love, and God’s blessing is upon them. But in the next world your acts of charity shall spring up into an eternal harvest of joy.

Closing Prayer

Thank God for His unspeakable gifts! You gave us Your Son, the Only-begotten, how then will You not also give us all things in Him (Rom 8:32)? We pray You: Pour out the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hymn

Now thank we all our God,
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother’s arms
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God,
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts,
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills,
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son and Him who reigns
With them in highest heaven;
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore!

Rinkart: L 76 ELH 63 tr. C. Winkworth;
tune: Nun danket alle Gott

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