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All Good

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Blessings, New Life, Presence, Trials

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.'”

(Psalm 16:1-2 ESV)

What is considered “good” in life? We might come up with a lengthy list, including life itself. Good health is, of course, good, along with family, friends, home, work, food, and possessions. Yet the psalmist prays, “Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.” If we have so much that is good in life, from what must we be preserved? Why do we need a place of safety, a place to hide?

We know, as surely as David the psalmist knew, that not everything in life is good. Health may be lost. Serious illness and death may separate family members or friends. Jobs can be lost and homes damaged or destroyed. To any list we must add, in repentant sorrow, the lengthy record of our own sins, our own disobedience and rebellion against God’s Word and ways. Concerning all of this earthly good—and earthly evil—the apostle Paul reminds us, “The present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:31b ESV). We know that the Day of Judgment will come, the Day when Jesus will return to bring an end to every earthly list.

In Jesus alone, we have lasting good that will not pass away. We have the eternal good of peace with God and forgiveness for our sins. Our eternal list of good expands to include victory over death and the grave through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have the lasting good of Jesus’ love and life in His presence forever. For this reason, we joyfully pray with the psalmist: “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.”

When the list of all that we consider good fades away, Jesus is our place of safety, our refuge. We have no good apart from Him. Jesus said, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 ESV). A living, fruit-bearing branch has no good apart from its source, its stem; it will die if separated from the main vine. We have no lasting good apart from Jesus. We have been joined to the true Vine in Baptism. We are united to Jesus and in Him we bear the fruit—good fruit!—of love and service to others in His Name. This good fruit flows from our true Vine, through us, into the world. Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8 ESV). For our list of blessings, both earthly and eternal, we praise and glorify our God and Savior. It is all good because He is good!

We pray: Lord, I give You praise and thanks for every blessing, both earthly and eternal. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on June 20, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved

Reflection Questions:
1. What’s your most prized possession?
2. How does being united to Jesus ease the pain of losing things in this world?
3. What’s an example of a Christian bearing fruit for God?

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