Sunday 31 March 2013 at 06:00 am
The flesh strives against what the Spirit wants and the Spirit against what the flesh wants. - Galatians 5:17.
From this learn that the conflict doesn't take place in 'raw' sinners, but rather in the believers, and it also gives the Christians a fine comfort, so that whenever they feel evil lusts they don't think that they have been condemned. If you are a Christian, also learn from this that you will feel all sorts of impulses and inclinations in your flesh. For when faith is there, then there come forth hundreds of evil thoughts, hundreds more temptations than previously. Just realize that you are a human being, and don't let yourself be captured, and constantly rebel and say: "I won't do it, I won't do it. Lord Christ You have said: 'Ask, and you shall receive', etc., help, dear Lord, against all temptations!'"
Ouch! Ouch! my body physically hurts from doing this devotion - but God enabled me to do it - take that Satan!
Thursday 28 March 2013 at 06:00 am
It has to turn out well for You in Your (jeweled) garment. See here the truth for good and the upholding of the miserable for righteousness, thus will Your right hand show wonders. - Psalm 45:5. (Luther translates this passage differently than it is in English Bible versions.)
Therefore let us open our hearts and look at Christ our [High]Priest in His gorgeous garment. With your eyes you will not be able to see any such garment on Him, you of course see Him Who miserably and pitifully hangs there[on the cross]. But look at Him with your heart, then you will see such a garment and precious jewel - for which you will never ever be able to adequately thank Him. For He is foremost of all cloaked with the great, glorious obedience toward His Father, to Whose glory and honor He allows Himself to be spit upon, stricken, martyred. It is impossible for us to be able to see such a glorious garment here in this life. However this much we are able to see, that all pearls, velvet, and gold stitched clothes are nothing compared to this. The other garment is the great love which He has for us, so that the Lord regards His life and suffering as being so insignificant and instead prays for us rather than for Himself. Who can fully comprehend such love, the Lord has such a heart towards us, so full of fire, that He amidst His greatest suffering portrays Himself as if He does not see or feel it; He however thinks about looking out for and caring only for your and my misery, suffering and heartache.
My body is really screaming "ouch! ouch!" after this one - I hope I got some of it right.
Have a blessed Easter,
Wednesday 27 March 2013 at 06:00 am
It (the good news) was also was proclaimed to them, but the Word of proclamation did not help them, because those who heard it, did not believe it. - Hebrews 4:2.
When I hear that Jesus Christ died for me, took away my sin and earned heaven for me, I'm hearing the good news. The Word immediately disappears after one preaches it; however when it falls into the heart and is seized by faith, then it can never fall away. No creature can ever knock over this truth; the forces of hell can not prevail against it. And when I also have already struck the devil in the jaw, I can also seize the Word, I then also must come out and remain where the Word is.
I pray I translated these SHORT sentences of Luther correctly -- ouch! ouch! I'm calling it a day. (Dawn,the Holy Spirit motivated me to do this one today for you and your family.)
Wednesday 27 March 2013 at 06:00 am
The Day of Annunciation to Mary
Mary said: Look, I am the Lord's maidservant; let it happen to me as you have said. Luke 1:38.
This saintly Virgin would never have conceived the Son of God if she had not believed the announcement of the angel, if it had not happened that she said: let it happen to me as you have said, - like Elizabeth praised her: Blessed are you who have believed, for it will be accomplished what has been told you by the Lord. So wonderful, that this virginal heart could believe this unbelievable announcement, that she by herself, i.e., without a man, was to actually become a mother of such a great King who is the Son of the Most High, and totally disregarded herself as being of low estate, how could she possibly understand this? However the Holy Spirit came over her. "Look, I am the Lord's maidservant." I submit to Your will on this! "Let it happen to me as you will." As soon as she said this, she became a mother, and something out of the ordinary happened to her than with other
women. That power of faith, which could believe the words of the angel, is no less a wonder than the Word becoming flesh.
Ouch - my limbs barely made it through this - possibly my last one,
Tuesday 26 March 2013 at 06:00 am
Stay away from fleshly lusts, which fight against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11.
Immediately after a person has become righteous, he still has not become free from evil lusts. That's why he daily has to get busy, in order to tame and dampen his flesh, and without ceasing he has to thereby hold his own and be on guard so that he doesn't cast aside the faith. That's why those deceive themselves who say to themselves they have faith, therefore they are in no danger, even though they completely engage in the lusts of the flesh. Where there is genuine faith, there a person has to take control of his body and hold it in line, so that he not do what he lusts after; still one must not weaken or destroy the body. It's good if one fasts, but that does not mean one should no longer give 'fodder' to his body, for one needs that in order to maintain one's health, and let him work and be on watch, so that the old donkey doesn't become to belligerent and go out and dance on ice and break a leg, rather stay in line and follow the spirit.
Will try to do some more "ouches".
Sunday 24 March 2013 at 06:00 am
Obviously a brother can buy no one's freedom; for it costs too much to ransom a person's soul, so that he has to put it off forever.- Psalm 49:8-9.
How are we able to and dare we make such a big fuss and boast about that which directs and teaches our reason the best? That our natural powers are still complete and perfect? That reason always achieves the best? On top of that, when we do what is within us, in order to thereby - so to speak - accomplish such great things? Why do I carry before the Lord God, Who is enraged against me and, as Moses says, is a consuming fire, such chaff and stubble, yes my gruesome, horrible sin and still dare to undertake to argue and quarrel over this, that He should for this show me grace and give me eternal life? Oh let me of course hear that misfortunes and evils in the human nature are so countlessly many that the entire world with all its creatures were far to few to reconcile me to God, rather that God's Son Himself had to be offered up for this.
Ouch, ouch - thank you Lord for enabling me to finish another devotion from Luther -- a physical and mental miracle for this old decaying tabernacle. My arthritic fingers can barely type anymore.
Saturday 23 March 2013 at 06:00 am
God has called us from darkness into His wondrous light. 1 Peter 2:9.
Here you see that Peter says there is only one light, and concludes that all our reason/intelligence, smart as it may be, is utter darkness. For even if [human] intelligence can already count one, two, three, also see what is black or white, what is big or little, and is able to understand other external matters, it still is not able to comprehend what faith is; here it is so rigidly blind, that if all humanity were to bring together their total intelligence, it would not be able to understand a single
letter of divine Wisdom. That's why Peter here speaks about a different Light and freely speaks out to us all, no one excluded, that we all are in darkness and blindness if God does not call us out of it to His wondrous Light.
So , when Luther on the 14 March guide, that I sent you the other day, referred us to this one, you can see why He did. Hope you find this one edifying.
Have a blessed Lord's day tomorrow,
Thursday 21 March 2013 at 06:00 am
We are members of His body, flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone. Ephesians 5:30.
Just as any married man can be united with his wife, faith unites me inwardly with Christ.That's why one should properly teach about faith this way: namely,through faith you become united and made one with Christ in such a way that you and He become one Person.You cannot divorce nor separate yourself from each other.Instead you constantly cling to Christ, and with all joy may confidently say: "I am 'Christ' - not personally of course, but rather Christ's righteousness, victory over death, life, and everything that He possesses is my own." And Christ also says: "I am this poor sinner, i.e., all his sins and death are My sin and My death since he through faith clings to Me and I to him - indeed, I actually live in him!"
Thank you Jesus for seeing my frail fingers and body through this one. A blessed Easter to all.
Monday 18 March 2013 at 06:00 am
What was impossible for the Law to do(since it was weakened by the flesh), God did by sending His Son to be like sinful flesh and as a sacrifice for sin and condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:3.
When I feel that sin is biting me in my conscience, I then lift up my eyes and look at the'Bronze Snake' on the cross - my dear Lord Christ; there I find another 'Sin' opposing my sin - which accuses me and wants to devour me. The other 'Sin' however is Christ, my Lord, Who was made sin for us, even though He knew no sin, so that we become righteous through Him, the righteousness that avails before God. This same 'Sin' is also so powerful that 'It' can condemn my sin, and can rip away and destroy the sin of the whole world. Thus is sin condemned by that other 'Sin', i.e., by the crucified Christ, so that it can never ever condemn me. So then I also still find this other death in my flesh, which martyrs and kills me; however I also still have another 'Death' opposed to this death, it is 'Death' to my death and also crucifies and rips it away.
Luther, you forced me to PERSONALIZE NOUNS on this one... so here you have another 'sloppy' translation... my bodily pains will make me call it a day...Thank You Jesus for Your sin-atoning sacrifice for a chief of sinner like
In His Name,
Friday 15 March 2013 at 06:00 am
During the days of His flesh He with strong pleas and tears prayed to Him Who could save Him from death, and and was heard, because He feared God. Hebrews 5:7.
We should take comfort in such suffering and prayer. For in the same way He suffered, He also prayed, not only for those who at that time were opposed to Him and laid hands on Him and nailed Him on that cross, but He also [suffered and prayed] for us; for those people were merely our sin
slaves and servants. For if my and your sins had not lifted Christ onto that cross, those people would have had to leave Him alone. However, since Christ as the true legitimate Priest and little Lamb of God is there to pay for, with His sacrifice and death, the sins of the world, that provides the power for Jews and Gentiles to posses the power to act against Him there. Consequently, when He prays for those who crucify Him, He is praying for us, who with our sins gave reason for His crucifixion and death. That's why we should not look at the cross, upon which Christ suffered, in any other way than as an altar upon which Christ sacrificed His life and carried out His priestly office with those pleas and prayers, so that we would be rid of our sins and freed from death. For whoever takes away sin, also takes away death.
So there you have it -- may God grant me the energy to do the 22 March next!
Thursday 14 March 2013 at 06:00 am
It is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and defeat the intelligence of the intelligent. 1 Corinthians 1:19. (cf. Is 29:14; Ps 33:10)
If you want to know what is right and wrong before God, then the Holy Spirit's conclusion and judgment is this: Everything that reason judges before God is flesh and is worthless. Everything that is inborn and not born anew in a man, that has to be destroyed and put to death, so that no one can boast about or rely upon what the world regards as wisdom; that about which everyone says that it is wisely or sensibly handled or done is foolishness before God. In a word, what it does is worthless and condemned, unless its source is the Lord Christ and is His Word and Spirit, also that it teaches us. If it does not come from there, then it is sheer blindness and worthless.
So I'll try now translate next weeks March 23 devotion from my totally collapsed little book from Germany, "Christlichen WEGEWEISER fuer jeden Tag: (but I first have rest and then have some lunch) ...My son has provided me lunch, I've had a nap...And I'll try first to translate today's(March 15) devotion.
Thursday 14 March 2013 at 06:00 am
Away with this One (Jesus), and release to us Barrabas. Luke 23:13.
That's how it is, that's how it was, and that’s how it has always been. That's the custom and course of the world. The more noble the treasure an asset is, which God gives, the more hostile the world and the devil are towards such treasure and asset. Gold is the most insignificant asset, nevertheless the devil cannot tolerate that a person properly use gold. Proper power and lovely peace is a beautiful jewel, but the devil cannot tolerate it, instead he constantly instigates murder and the shedding of blood, etc. But when you come upon the high gifts of God, as for example the Holy Scripture, divine truth and Christ, etc., when these treasures come into the world, which bring justification and life, then it goes as the text says here: Barrabas should be freed, but Christ should be crucified. Before the Truth [Jesus Christ] should be condemned, all the devils had to be released first.
Sunday 10 March 2013 at 06:00 am
This is most certainly true and a trustworthy precious statement, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15.
So then remember and diligently arm yourself, so that at all times you are skillfully prepared, not just for when you, apart from temptation, are at peace with your conscience, but especially also when you amidst the greatest troubles and dangers have to struggle with death, when your conscience will remind you of your past sins and scare you and Satan with great might goes under your eyes and like with a Great Flood reminds you of the huge burden of your sins in order to frighten you away from Christ, in order to chase you away and bring you into doubt and despair; I tell you, immediately remember that Christ gave Himself up not for imagined or dreamed up, rather for actual, not for teeny insignificant, rather above all else for huge and gross, not for one or two, rather for all, not for overcome and expunged, rather for non-overcome and powerful sins.
Thank you LORD for enabling me to struggle through this ouch! ouch! session at the computer to translate this difficult ONE SENTENCE devotion into English in ONE SENTENCE.
Thursday 07 March 2013 at 06:00 am
You have come to the sprinkled blood,that has better things to tell than Abel's. Hebrews 12:24.
This is how the blood of Jesus Christ, our own Mediator and Intercessor, cries out for us on and on without quitting, so that God, the Father, takes notice of His beloved Son's outcries and petitions on our behalf, and is gracious to us poor, miserable sinners. For He can no longer see any sin upon us - even though we are stuck full of sin,indeed sheer sin is stuck in us inwardly and outwardly, in body and soul, from top of the head to tip of the toe; instead He[God the Father]only sees the dear, precious blood of His beloved Son, our Lord, with which we have been sprinkled. For this very same blood is the golden garment of grace in which we have been dressed,and arrayed in which we shall stand before God, in order that He can and will view us in no other way than seeing His beloved Son Himself - full of righteousness, holiness, innocence.
The above translation is "sloppy again," but it epitomizes God' grace. I still am sort of weak ... but thank You God for being STRONG - OMNIPOTENT!
Wednesday 06 March 2013 at 06:00 am
Our course [citizenship] however is in heaven, from where we also await the Savior Jesus Christ, the Lord. Philippians 3:20.
Here on earth we are not citizens, where we live permanently and have a kingdom of heaven; our citizenship however is with Christ in heaven, i.e., in yonder life, for which we wait, and hope to be saved like those (Jews) from Babylon and to come there in order that we should remain eternal brothers and lords. However, since we have to remain in this misery and 'Babylon' for as long as God wants us to, we then want to do what was commanded to the former, that we live with the people here, eat and drink, keep house, farm land, to rule and conduct ourselves peacefully with them, also pray for them, until the hour comes where are to depart from here. Jeremiah 29:4-7.
I pray that you may find some edification in these two long sentences from this Luther's March 6th "Christian GUIDE for every Day". I thank the LORD that He enabled me to do another one. Now I'll sit back and try to read some more of my favorite translation from Gerhard, "An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Monday 04 March 2013 at 06:00 am
I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:12.
If you know this Shepherd, you can protect yourself against the devil and say: I am afraid I have not kept God's commandments; however, I crawl under the wings of this beloved "Hen" - my dear Lord Christ - and believe that He is my dear Shepherd, Bishop and Mediator before God, Who covers and protects me with His innocence and gives me His righteousness; for you see, He has kept what I have not kept; and yes, what sins I have committed He has paid for with His blood. Since He did not die and rise for Himself but rather for me, He consequently says here: He does not give His life for Himself, but rather for the sheep. Thus you are reassured, and the devil with his hell has to leave you alone; for he obviously will not be able to hold anything against Christ, since He has overcome him and He - as you as a little lamb believe in Him - protects and sustains you.
The Lord's healing hand is resting on me as I recover from my fall in my bathroom early Sunday morning. It is extremely difficult for me to type, but here goes: So by the grace of God, here's another sloppy translation... will try to keep going 'til I drop.
Friday 01 March 2013 at 06:00 am
Christ died for all, so that all who live should henceforth not live for themselves, but rather for Him Who died for them and rose for them. 1 Corinthians 5:15.
This lovely, sweet sermon will not help you in that you say: Christ died and rose for sinners, therefore I hope also for me. Yea,right. However, if you constantly want to remain in your old hide/skin and use this sermon as a lid [to cover up] your stinginess,pride, lust, then it's written here: ["]then don't take on this comfort; for even though He died and rose for all, He still did not rise for you, for you have not yet through faith seized such resurrection. [in other words] You have seen the smoke, but have not felt the fire. You have heard the Word, but you haven't received any of its power.["]
So there you have it, I pray that the Holy Spirit will move you and me to seize by faith in Christ the comfort of this 'lovely, sweet sermon" of 1 Cor. 5:15.
Bozemje/Gott befohlen/God be with you,