Though He be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being. – Acts 17:27-28.
Having in the beginning created the earth (to make mention of that only) and, above all, man, God does not withdraw His hand from creation, but continues to preserve His creation and work. He does this according to laws which He has made and laid down in nature, but always in absolutely free exercise of His will. He does this according to laws for our sake, for we are to cultivate the soil and make the earth, with all it contains, serve our purposes; and how could we do this if there were no laws of nature? He does this always according to His free and sovereign will, for, being the Lord, He is not subject to these laws, but superior to them. He says: “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself” (Genesis 1:11). And when He created the animals, He said: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22); and the very same words He spoke when He created man (Genesis 1:28). Sun, moon, and stars are to divide the day from the night, and to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (Genesis 1:14).
These are laws of nature given by God. But it is always the great and sovereign Lord who in and through them continues to create and to work and to sustain. So it behooved not only Adam and Eve, but you and me today as well, to say as Luther wrote: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still preserves them” (Explanation of the First Article). God is not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.
To God we owe our life and being; in God, by virtue of His almighty power it is that we exist; each breath we draw, every motion of the body we make, is to be attributed to this almighty power of His. What an abomination it is when we abuse the power God thus gives us in the service of sin! And oh, the patience of the Lord to sustain us notwithstanding!
PRAYER – O great God, in whose all-sustaining power I, as well as every creature, live, and move, and have my being, for Jesus Christ’s sake forgive me my sins which so grievously offend Thee! And give me Thy Holy Spirit, that not bodily only, but spiritually as well, I may live, and move, and have my being in Thee. And be patient with Thy frail child, until Thou shalt bring me to the state of eternal perfection. Amen.
Thou Father of eternity, Thine image hast impressed on me;
In Thee I am, and live, and move, nor can exist without Thy love.
Thou hast redeemed me, Son of God, hast shed for me Thy precious Blood,
The Law for my sake hast fulfilled, and thus Thy Father’s wrath hast stilled.
When sin and Satan witness bear against me, that I must despair,
As Mediator Thou stepst in, and sav’st me from the curse of sin.
Hymn 35, 2. 5. 6. (ELHB)