Tuesday 30 April 2013 at 4:37 pm
Thank God, who at all times gives us victory in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14.
Believers often allow matters to appear to them as if they are quite corrupt and we will have to despair. However faith always clings to the victorious One and He overcomes all failures and dangers that the saints may encounter. He makes the seeing blind and the hearing deaf and on the other hand also the deaf hearing and the blind seeing and all things considered: the believer sins and loses nothing. Or if he stupidly or imprudently stumbles or falls down, then God of course foresees such and sees to it to make it better, so that the faults are covered up and in the end have a blessed and good ending. That's how powerful faith and prayer are. Yes, faith is actually powerful and is a living, active thing, so that one can with total consideration commit oneself to this and cling to the Word. God gives, let things go for as they may.
Ouch, ouch, ...Thank you Lord for enabling me to do another translation, sloppy as it may be.
Elmer H., Pastor Em.
Monday 29 April 2013 at 8:07 pm
If I now however do what I don't want to do, it is no longer I doing it, but sin which lives in me. Romans 7:20.
If this (what is living in us) were not sin, then there also really would be no sin; this sin is not committed like all other sins, instead it exists, it lives and commits all sins; it doesn't sin for one hour or for a certain period of time, instead for however long a person exists, there exists this ["]sin["]. It doesn't do it so long as one outwardly resists, mends ones ways and heals oneself, - inwardly the trunk, root, and font and source of evil nevertheless remain; above all else the font/source has to be plugged up and the roots of the tree have to be removed, otherwise, where you have plugged up and resisted in one place, it sprouts and rises up in ten different other places. It has to be healed from the bottom upward, otherwise you may forever continue to spread and smear salve and plaster to heal a sore, it still keeps oozing out more puss and becomes even more infected. Nor can it be cured with any Law and no kind of punishment - even if there were a thousand hells; rather only the grace of God is able to clean it up, it naturally makes it clean and new.
Ouch! Ouch! I'm in physical pain from head to toe - but take that Satan - God enabled me to finish it this Monday 04/29/2013!
Monday 29 April 2013 at 11:17 am
Christ has loved us and washed us from sin with His blood and has made us into kings and priests before God and His Father. Revelations 1:5-6.
Believers are real kings, not in that they wear a golden crown on their heads, lead with a golden scepter, enter in dressed with silk garments and with a purple robe, but rather because of something far more glorious, they are lords over death, devil, hell and all misfortune. To them shame is an honor, hell the kingdom of God, death life, the devil a straw man, sin righteousness, misfortune fortune, poverty riches, etc., for they are lords over all of that, ask nothing of no one because they are God's own and have God as a Friend, yes even as a dear Father, in Whom they find riches, great treasures and all goodness and fullness; consequently no sin, death, devil, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, sword nor any other misfortune can harm them. Yes, by far in all these they overcome, and on the other hand find in poverty riches, in sin righteousness, in shame great honor, in hunger and thirst all fullness.
This is a beautiful one - though it has lost some of its beauty in my feeble job of translating it. May you find it as edifying and comforting as I did when I read it for about the 16th year in the row yesterday. It also turns my physical pains into cause for rejoicing.
In the name of Jesus,
Saturday 27 April 2013 at 10:21 pm
You stand by faith, do not be proud, rather be afraid. Romans 11:20.
There is many a sanctimonious person, but it can easily happen that such a person will become weaker in faith than me. Thus God could in this very hour grant me a high, strong faith, but on the other hand, before one can turn around He could let me sink and give the faith to any other big sinner. Why does He do such a thing, why does He not always let His saints go about with a strong faith? This is why, so that they don't become arrogantly proud or think they received it from themselves, and thus make themselves into gods. That's why He has to mix and blend things, so that they realize He is God, know themselves and remain humble. He expects this not just from us alone, but also from the greatest saints, even from His own mother; all of them drop down to the depths and say: I am nothing and am capable of nothing.
Amidst 'Ouch! Ouch!' "Thorn in the flesh", I thank God for His all-sufficient grace!
Friday 26 April 2013 at 4:09 pm
How sacred is this place! This is nothing less than God's house, and here is the gateway to heaven. Genesis 28:17.
Here you see that God's house is not called an expensive huge building, like we have. God does not ask for it to be a huge arch-vaulted or consecrated building. Yes, He lives there and yet does not in His lifetime ever build Himself any house. So what does it take for God to live there? Nothing more than that God be there with His Word; where that is the case, He indeed lives there, and on the other hand, when the Word is not there, He does not live there - even if one builds a house as big as one wants to. Where His Word is proclaimed, there He most certainly will let Himself be found; where the same is no Word present, there also is no house [of God], even if one builds one pure gold church after another. The church has worth only if God's Word (pure and genuine) is proclaimed in it.
Wednesday 24 April 2013 at 06:00 am
And in the night there appeared to Paul a vision, it was a man from Macedonia, who stood and urged him and said: Come over to Macedonia and help us. As soon as he saw the vision, we immediately looked for a way to travel to Macedonia, convinced that the Lord had called us there to proclaim the good news to them. Acts 16:9-10
This is how God proceeds to provide with His own, that He doesn't let them remain very long at one place, chases them over here and over there, not only for their sake, so that their faith will be preserved, but also to benefit other people. That's how He by means of hunger drove Abraham to Egypt, so that he also there would provide benefits and enlighten certain ones with the knowledge of God, which he without a doubt did do. That's how God wondrously deals upon earth, sends apostles and preachers to the people, even before they envision it or think about it; also those who are sent do themselves not know where they will go.
If you don't want to receive these translations, let me know.
Tuesday 23 April 2013 at 06:00 am
I give My sheep eternal life, and they will never be lost. John 10:28
That's why each individual Christian, when he has trustingly accepted the gospel, may well rejoice that he is under the care of this Shepherd and Christ, and not let his sins cause him to make mistakes when he has grabbed hold of the gospel, for Christ - under who's care he is - will bring it all to a good ending. The devil will of course indeed still tempt him with this and that kind of vice, with adultery, harlotry, thievery, envy, hatred, wrath and whatever the sins may be called; but he has no want or need; he has a strong, mighty King, who will not
leave him defenseless. Things may become difficult for you, turn sour, so that it well requires petitions; others may also pray for you, so that you have a strong will and a saucy bold heart with which to stand up against the devil. However one thing is certain, you will not be forsaken; Christ will indeed save you; all this just so you don't fall out of His hand.
I once had a shut-in parishioner who would in is dying days - as I visited him - greet me by saying: "No one will tear me out of His hand!"
Pr. Elmer H.
Sunday 21 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Be kind and cordial to one another, and forgive each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.
It's bound to happen that contentions and disputes will arise among believers, yet we should not on account of that become enraged, as we with teeth bite our tongue, or push the fist into an eye, or step on a toe, or pound our head against the wall. But here one has to remind oneself: It is your fellow member, your brother or neighbor, what are you going to do about it? He saw it coming and did not do it gladly, didn't mean any harm by it, or it happened out of weakness or a misunderstanding. The offence which has hurt you has occurred; are you as a result going to cut off your member? It's just a little spark; spit on it and it will be extinguished, so that the devil doesn't come with his poisonous breath or through evil tongues and create a fire out of it, which then will be an inextinguishable breath, and cause such discord and hatred which will be irreconcilable and do harm to the entire group. For the devil is such a spirit who does not stop nor cease, if one does not guard against him.
Luther 'drove me up the wall' with this one - this translation is sort of a paraphrase translation... I was saying "ouch! ouch!" not only physically, but also mentally.
Saturday 20 April 2013 at 06:00 am
If one from the heart believes, one becomes righteous, and if one with the mouth confesses, one is saved. Romans 10:10.
Faith seizes Christ and has Him present and holds Him locked in like a ring does a diamond, and anyone who is found as one who with such confidence has seized Christ in his heart, God regards as righteous. That’s the merit and way whereby we obtain forgiveness of sins and righteousness. Since you believe in me, says God, and your faith seizes Christ, whom I have given to you so that He is your Mediator and High Priest, you therefore shall be righteous. Since you have seized Christ by faith, through Whom you are righteous, you now then start doing good works: love God and love your neighbor, call upon God, thank Him, proclaim Him, praise Him, confess God, do good to your neighbor and serve him. These are the true good works that by faith flow forth from a frolicking/joyful heart, since we through Christ have received forgiveness of sins for free.
Brother "D" in St. Louis, God used your words of encouragement to move me to plow through putrid physical pain to do another one (and even type some alliterations). May all of you have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow; this 'old ram' is praying for my Pastor through Word and Sacrament to proclaim and present to me the Good Shepherd (out of Whose hand nothing and no one can snatch me) and have my robe washed in the blood of the Lamb slain for us.
Elmer M. Hohle, Pr. em.
Friday 19 April 2013 at 06:00 am
You will be hated by everyone on account of My name. Matthew 10:22.
One can recognize the sainted Christian people by the sacredness of the cross, that they have to bear all kinds of misfortunes and persecutions, all sorts of temptation and evil from the devil, the world and the flesh, be inwardly saddened, embarrassed, frightened, outwardly poverty stricken, neglected, sick, weak, in order thereby to become like Christ their Head. And the reason for this must also solely be because they steadfastly cling to Christ and God's Word and thus are willing to suffer for the sake of Christ. They have to be pious, subdued and obedient, prepared to serve the authorities and everyone, offend no one. However no [other] people on earth have to suffer such bitter hatred; the Christians annoyingly have to put up with being called Jews, heathen, Turks; generally speaking, they have to put up with being called heretics, rascals, rogues, devils, cursed and most shameful people on earth, so that also those who perform divine service, for which they are hanged, drowned, murdered, martyred, put to flight, tormented and no one has pity on them, but instead with myrrh and bile - when they're thirsty - drink a toast, and yet not because they [the Christians] are adulterers, murderers, thieves or rascals, but rather because they have Christ alone and don't want any other god. Where you then see and hear of such [people], know that that's the Christian Church.
I'm in physical pain - and Luther's long sentences of interconnected thought flattened my ever weak, dementia ridden mind - maybe this is all part of what we Christians have to undergo in this vale of tears.
The Lord be with you,
Wednesday 17 April 2013 at 06:00 am
It so happened that the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. Luke 16:22.
No person is so kind and so ready and reliable for all kinds of service and truth as the beloved angels are; therefore we should learn that our best and most steadfast friends are invisible, who with faithfulness and goodwill, with all servitude and genuine friendship, far exceed that of our visible friends which we have. With the same reassurance that I go into my house and lay down on my bed, and am certain that the good angels have an order to watch over me, even more so should I be certain and reassured that when I on that final journey go under the earth, to the worms in the grave, that the beloved angels will also be there and escort me, also bearing my soul to Abraham's bosom.
As I translate this, my pain-ridden body reminds me or my mortality and 'final journey'; in my heart & mind I'm singing v. 3 of Martin Schalling's lengthy-versed hymn (#429 TLH; #708 LSB): "Lord, let at last Thine angels come, To Ab'rams bosom bear me home, That I may die unfearing...." It is my request that it be sung at my funeral. May God bless us with a blessed death, in Jesus' Name.
Tuesday 16 April 2013 at 06:00 am
By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is God's gift, not as a result of works, so then no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
It constantly remains in our hearts that we don't want to be 'nothing' nor that Christ alone has done everything, instead we always want to have a hand involved in 'doing', do so much and serve God that He has to notice this and on account of it has to forgive our sins and be gracious to us, and of course this will never be. For with this, faith and the entirety of Christ hits the floor. If Christ alone is to prevail and if I am to confess such, then I must scrub my tongue clean and say: If Christ does this, then I must do nothing, for the two cannot tolerate each other in one's heart where I could rely upon both, but rather one has to get out, either Christ or else my activity, that's clear and well understood.
So join me in saying: Sola gratia, Sola fide, Sola Scriptura!
Monday 15 April 2013 at 06:00 am
By faith Abraham was obedient when he was called to go to another country that he was to inherit, and left not knowing where he was going.
Faith is a living, active thing, so that one with total consideration will submit himself and cling to these words; God provides, things may go for us as they will. It (faith)is not a lazy, mischievous thought, but instead such a living, serious, comforting and reliable confidence of the heart's precious beauty, whereby we with Christ and through Him with the Father are one thing. That is faith's manner/method, that it deals with blessings that it cannot see or feel, and yet goes forth therewith as if it has them in hand, has no other comfort than that it knows that God does not lie nor deceive. O there is a living, active, productive, powerful thing about faith, so that it is impossible for it not do good works without ceasing; nor does it ask whether there are good works to be done, instead before one asks, it has already done them and is constantly doing them.
This one was a tough one for me to translate. ..my weak mind and body are slowing down.
Sunday 14 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Pray without let up. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Wherever there is a Christian, there actually is the Holy Spirit, Who does nothing other than pray constantly; for even though he (the Christian) does not constantly move his mouth or say words, nevertheless the heart beats (just like the pulse and heart in a body) without letting up with longing sighs like this: Alas, dear Father, that yet Your Name would be hallowed, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done by us and everyone else, etc. And if thereupon stabbings or persecution and misery would press down harder, then such longing sighs and petitions come forth even more strongly, also verbally, so that one can find no Christian who does not pray, no more so than finding a living person with a pulse that does not constantly beat and pulsate, even though that person is sleeping or doing something else of which he is not aware.
It's been a difficult afternoon for me, but God has answered my unspoken prayer to enable me to translate one more - - Pastor Pohland preached a 'dynamite of God' sermon to me this morning ...
Saturday 13 April 2013 at 06:00 am
God raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right in heaven... and has placed all things under His feet. Ephesians 1:20,22.
Be it, however you want it, be it sinful or charitable, consequently undaunted and intrepid. For since we do not rely on our good deeds, so also we do not despair in our sins, but we thank God that our faith is greater than good deeds and sin. And if Satan still tries to do something bigger and more evil, it still should no more make us weary than if Satan tried to grab ahold of something in order to rip Christ away from the right hand of God. Since Christ continues to sit up there, so also we will remain lord and victor over sin, death, devil and all things, so that nothing can hinder us.
I pray that I didn't mistranslate this one too badly...
Friday 12 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Do not become like this world, instead change yourself by renewing your mind. Romans 12:2.
That's why it is necessary for us to see to it that we do not follow either this world, nor our reason and good intentions, but instead constantly break and change our mind and will, and behave and suffer differently than what our reason and will suggests, so that we thereby indeed always are unlike the world and live in contradiction to it, thus we are changed daily and renewed in our mind. In other words, we are daily to cling more and more to that which the world and(corrupt) reason hates, so that we daily (for the sake of the truth and Christ) would rather become poverty stricken, sick, despised, fools, and sinners and ultimately regard death more highly than life, foolishness more precious than wisdom, shame more noble than honor, poverty more blessed than riches. The world does not have such a mindset, but instead is differently minded in all things and remains unchanged in such an old mindset and is not renewed, but instead remains stubbornly impenitent and ancient.
Ouch! I pray this is not my last one...
Thursday 11 April 2013 at 06:00 am
If you stay in Me and My words stay in you, you may ask for whatever you want, and it will happen for you. John 15:7
This indeed is and is called a great magnificence and freedom, that we are able to confidently and audaciously petition God, and all of it most certainly has to be heard, provided we also have previously heard and stayed in His words. And this most certainly is a beautiful exchange. If you hear Me, I will again hear you; however, if you do not listen to Me, then I in turn will not listen to you. One or the other, whatever you want. Oh how condemned now are the enemies and despisers of the Word of God; they do not have God, and even though they may pray a lot, He nevertheless will still not listen to it. They cry out, but there is no Helper there. They may cry out to the Lord, but He's not listening.
This devotion has me praying the words of one of Luther's Reformation hymns:
1)Lord keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
Curb those who fain by craft and sword
Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son
And set at naught all He has done.
2)Lord Jesus Christ, Thy power make known,
For Thou art Lord of lords alone;
Defend Thy Christendom that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
3)O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
(Tr., Katherine Winkworth, 1863; TLH #261)
To this I say "Amen!"
Wednesday 10 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Right up front I gave to you, which you have also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and did rise on the third day according to the Scriptures. Corinthians 15:3-4.
Here you hear that Paul introduces and points to the Scriptures as his strongest witness; that there is no other foundation for us to rely upon for our doctrine and faith other than the lovely written letters of the Scriptures which have been composed into words or are verbally proclaimed by mouth. For here it clearly stands: Scriptures, Scriptures. Scriptures however is not a vain spirit, from which you froth at the mouth (like the enemies errantly parrot us); the Spirit alone must do it, the Scriptures is a dead letter and cannot give life. However do not boast much about the Spirit if you do not have the external revealed Word, for it would not be a good spirit, but instead the evil devil from hell. For the Holy Spirit has of course encompassed His wisdom and counsel and mysteries in the Word and
revealed them in the Scriptures, so that nobody can excuse himself nor look for or search for something different. There also is nothing greater or better to learn or obtain than what the Scriptures teach about Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior, that He died rose again for us.
This was very difficult for me to translate - I pray I did accurately enough.
Tuesday 09 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Forgive one another; just as Christ forgave you, so you do likewise. Colossians :13.
One must gladly forgive and forget whatever happens to offend a person, just like God has dealt with us, and still does, when He forgives sin, so that the sin is completely expunged from the registry and He remembers it no more. Yet not that one only can forgive in manner that one no longer dare to think about it, but rather in such a way that you even bear such a friendly heart towards your neighbor as you did before he offended you. However, if the 'peg' still remains in one's heart, so that you are no longer as kind and friendly towards him as you were previously, then that is called 'not forgetting', also 'not forgiving' from the heart, and you even are the rascal who comes before the altar with an offering and will not serve God and still is stuck full with wrath, envy and hatred in the heart. However so few people actually take note of this, they all go away in their beautiful facial mask, do not notice how their heart stands in opposition to this prayer, which in sum does not bear any wrath nor animosity towards the neighbor.
OUCH, OUCH - thank You Jesus for bringing me through this - forgive me for not being able to get it translated well.
My this serve to edify you.
Monday 08 April 2013 at 06:00 am
I pray that the LORD God would allow me to continue doing this for a while longer; Satan is rejoicing that my crippled, pain-ridden body and demented mind is making it ever more difficult. Here is one I found in my files:
Take notice of what you are reading, for you are not reading any words of mankind, rather the Word of the Most High God. He wants students to diligently take note of what He says and remember what He says. Whoever does this becomes more learned and better from the Scriptures. Whoever does not do this learns nothing.
Clean animals chew the cud again - chewing the cud again means to receive and accept God's Word with genuine sincerity, taking it to heart, having a love and desire for it, diligently viewing it, and clinging to it. That is what true Christians ('the cud chewers') do, whose hearts have been cleansed through the Word. Mary treasured all these words in her heart and kept thinking about them.
I don't know from where I translated this - more dementia! I hope you find it edifying.
Saturday 06 April 2013 at 06:00 am
How can a youngster keep his life pure? When he lives according to Your Word. Psalm 119:9
O how unequally we proceed with the poor pile of youth that has been assigned to us to rule and guide them, and what a severe reprimand must be given when we do not lay before them the Word of God. Wherever the Holy Scriptures does not reign, I above all else recommend that no child be placed there. Everything that does not promote God's Word without ceasing has to perish. The High Schools should educate pure highly intelligent people with the Scriptures, who might become Bishops and pastors, standing at front against heretics, devils, and the world. But where does one find this to be the case? I have great concerns, the High Schools are big forts of hell if they do not diligently practice and promote the Holy Scriptures among the youth.
This one was difficult to translate. Luther makes a good point with this one.
E M Hohle
Friday 05 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, as He became a curse for us. Galatians 3:13
We should receive this above all else sweet and totally comforting teaching with thanksgiving and with confident faith, by the virtue of the fact that it tells us that Christ became a curse for us, i.e., became a sinner loaded down with God's wrath, clothed Himself with our flesh and blood, took our sin upon His shoulder, and said: "I, I have committed the sins that all humans have initiated." Thus He actually became a curse according to the Law, not for Himself, but rather - as Paul says - "for us". Since He however took our sins upon Himself willingly, He therefore had to carry God's wrath and punishment - not for His own Person, but rather for our own personhood. Thus He entered into a blessed exchange. He took on our being and gave to us His innocent, victorious Being.
I had serious medical problems after breakfast today, my son Nathan took me to Dr., and I received an Rx for my condition - thank you Lord for what you did for me through Nathan, Dr. Otto, & L & M Pharmacy.
In the Name of Him Who became a curse for us,
Thursday 04 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Where now is your rage, O Satan? Where is your malice, O world? Where is your fight, O flesh? Here is victory. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Ah, whoever can believe this, how blessed would be such a soul! For if the world has been overcome, what can it do to us? What can its god and prince, the devil, do to us? But if the world is nothing, then also its god and prince is nothing. Let them kill us, rob us of body, honor and goods, the world will to have submit to us, be unwilling slaves to serve our best interests and eternal life, that's what we get from this.
Rx's enabled me to get a decent night of sleep and translate Yesterday's devotion TODAY. Finally Luther used short sentences for this one. The peace of the Lord be with you all.
Wednesday 03 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Then Jesus turned around and saw her and said: Be of good cheer, my daughter. your faith has made you well. Matthew 9:22.
See, this is indeed an elegant faith, when a person realizes one's unworthiness and yet does not let that hinder one's trust in Christ nor doubt His grace and help, rips through the Law and everything else that would frighten one away from Him, and yes, even if here the whole world wanted to block and hinder one, one does not even think about giving up on this Man until one has grabbed hold of Him. That's why such a person also presses through and receives what that person seeks from Christ, and immediately experiences the power and work, even also before Christ begins to speak with her. For there is nothing that can disappoint such a person, as Christ Himself has to give testimony here and say: Your faith has made you well. This faith pleases Christ so much that He does not want it, nor the power and the work demonstrated thereby, to remain hidden only in her, so that thereby it may be revealed to every person what is in her heart, so that her faith be extoled before the whole world and also be strengthened in you.
Pain severely inflicts me today - but thanks be to God that He enabled me to do another one of these.
Tuesday 02 April 2013 at 06:00 am
Jesus said to the officer: Go, your son is alive/well! The man believed the message Jesus told him and left. John 4:50.
The way of faith is this: even as the Word gives comfort about future, eternal, heavenly blessings, which we still don’t possess, faith thereupon seizes such future blessings as if they actually are there, and has no doubts about it. The reason why: Faith sees that God's Word is omnipotent and that God is truthful and is not a liar. Therefore it has a sharp eye out for the Word. If it sees that the Word is there, it goes fresh into it and does not let either the world or the devil frighten it away; for it knows where it will finally come to rest and how it will all turn out, and let it all be to the sorrow of the devil. On the other hand, if it (faith) sees that there is no Word of God there, then it lets no appearance, no threat, or might of world motivate it to regard it as being true, and rather suffers whatever happens to one as as a result. This is why it is a very necessary and beneficial matter that a person actually knows what it means to truly believe - namely, to have God's Word and promise and steadfastly cling thereupon that it will most certainly happen as the Word teaches us.
Amidst 'thorn in the flesh' arthritic pains and physical disabilities, may God grant that I do another one:
Ouch! ouch! physical pain aside, thank you LORD for using me to complete another one!
Monday 01 April 2013 at 06:00 am
I was determined to know nothing other among you than Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2.
There are certain preachers who think they cannot be preachers if they preach nothing more than Christ and don't teach something more than we do. These are the high-flown, ambitious strange sort who forsake our simplicity and thereupon move over into a particular 'wisdom', in order that one should with wide-eyed surprise say: Wow! what a preacher! Such preachers one should send to Athens - where every day a person wants to hear something new; they are seeking their own glory and not Christ, therefore there end will happen in shame. Guard yourself against such and stay with Paul, who wanted to know nothing other than Christ, and Him crucified.
Thank you Lord for enabling me to translate another one!
In Christ, crucified and risen!