Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
A few years ago I visited a West African country. I was warned not to ask people how many cattle they owned. Such a question would be considered too personal, like walking up to people in my country and asking how much money they had in the bank.
God is up front about what he owns: Everything!
This month we will be thinking about riches and poverty, having plenty and being hungry, and being thankful through it all.
Psalm 50 helps us keep the right perspective on what we own. Everything in this world belongs to God. He created it all by the word of his mouth. There is nothing we can give him. Yet the Lord gives freely to us because he loves us. How, then, can we honor him? The last verses of our reading point us in the right direction.
First, God desires a thankful heart. Thankfulness that is sacrificial is something we put effort into because we truly acknowledge God as the Lord who has delivered us through Christ Jesus. True gratitude is expressed by an obedient will. We must fulfill our vows to the Lord by obeying the truths revealed in his Word. God also desires a prayerful spirit that always recognizes him as the true source of power.
Whether we live in Africa or America, China or Canada, this is a good starting point.
Lord God, you are our marvelous Creator. Thank you for your overflowing generosity revealed through Jesus Christ. May we joyfully serve you with all that we have. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!