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Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 30 September 2013 at 06:00 am

30 September

The prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much, if it is earnest. James 5:16.

When we pray, we are speaking to the great Majesty. If God only wanted to give us small, insignificant things, He then would not have called upon us to pray in such a glorious form and manner, in that He has called upon us to say: Our Father, You Who are in heaven, Your Name be hallowed, Your kingdom come, etc. Here he lays before us and offers us great goods and the highest gifts in heaven and earth, and He wants for you to ask Him for the same and then wait for them. For each individual petition that we say in the Our Father [Lord's Prayer]: Your Name be hallowed, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, give us our daily bread today, therein is encompassed heaven and earth and everything within it; for what does it mean that His Name is hallowed and His kingdom comes and His will is done? Answer: It is so much, that one therewith cuts down innumerable devils and with one prayer devours the entire world.

Well thank you LORD! Two easy ones in a row from Luther!  With the pain now subsiding a bit in my body, I'll try to take a mid-morning nap now...and will also pray the Lord's Prayer in German [Vater unser] and in Wendish [Wotce nas].

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 29 September 2013 at 06:00 am

29 September

 The Day of the Archangel Michael and all Angels

Are they altogether serving spirits, sent out to serve Him for the sake of those who shall inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:14.

See, there stepped up angels before Him and served Him. Matthew 4:11.

Such has been written for our comfort, so that we may know how the angels again serve us when the devil tempts us, so that we may nobly fight; and as we stand firm, God does not let us suffer need, there must sooner come to us angels from heaven and become our bakers, waiters and cooks and serve us in every need. Matthew chapter 4 was not written for the sake of Christ, Who doesn't need it. The angels served him, thus they may also serve us. I also would rather have one angel around me than 34 Turkish emperors with all the might and power; even if they had a hundred thousand guns with them, it still would be nothing against one angel. There the angels stepped before Him and served Him. That must have lovingly taken place, that they kindly appeared and brought Him food and drink and likewise served Him with tables and all the necessities.

This was one was easy to translate.  On this St. Michael and All Angels Day join me in praying to our heavenly Father: "May Your holy angel watch over me so that the wicked foe may have no power over me!"

Have a blessed day!

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 28 September 2013 at 06:00 am

 28 September

The dragon stepped before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when it was born he could gobble up the Child. Revelations 12:4.

It is totally and completely opportune for the devil to ruin the young people. How is it then possible and how should he admit that one can properly pull this off? Yes, he would be a fool, if he were to allow and help establish in his kingdom whereby he most speedily would have to hit the ground, if it then happens that he loses the cute little dear youth. That's why he is doing fairly and wisely for his kingdom so that the youthful heap remains his. If he has the same, they will grow up under him and remain his; who will take anything away from him? He then keeps the world at peace with himself. For if a harm is to happen to him that will really bite him, it has to happen through the young people, who have grown up in the knowledge of God and spread God's Word and teach others.

I hope and pray that I captured what Luther wrote in German on this one --- this was one of the more difficult ones for me to translate - a truly 'sloppy' translation.  I'm surprised Luther didn’t touch upon the Messianic "Child".

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 27 September 2013 at 06:00 am

27 September

I did not hold back on anything that would be of benefit to you that I did not proclaim to you and teach you publically and particularly. Acts 20:20.

If thousands upon thousands of worlds were mine, I would rather lose them all, rather than allow the slightest piece of confession to come out of the church. It (confession) is the Christians first, most needful and beneficial school, in which they learn to understand God's Word and learn how to practice their faith, which they do not do so well in public lections and sermons. For even though a preacher in the pulpit also teaches Law and Gospel, he still lets it go unanswered as to whether the listener exercises it, nobody is asking and researching how well he grasps it and believes it. Also the pastor cannot see what is lacking, whether he should additionally comfort or punish, since he has no special particular person before him whom he may examine and exercise. And even though the hearer hears both Law and Gospel in the sermon, he still grasps it much more stronger and certain when it is spoken to him what Christ has given to His church on earth: to forgive the sins of the repentant sinner, but to retain the sins of the unrepentant so long as he does not repent.

I stuck in a couple of additional words ... I pray that I translated this one fairly accurately.  I spoke to one of you folks last night and was asked how long I would translate; I said probably until I drop over, or hopefully until I finish this little volume.  Had a pain ridden night - will try to nap a bit now.

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 26 September 2013 at 06:00 am

26 September

Do you also understand what you are reading?  Acts 8:30.

We have well experienced it, how the folks and the youth learn very little from the sermon if they are not specifically quizzed and interrogated. Where however will one do it better and is it more needed than when they are to go to the Lord's Supper? Since we intend to educate and leave behind us Christians and extend to them in the Holy Supper Christ's body and blood, we will not and should give such to anyone unless he first is interrogated about what he has learned from the Catechism and whether he wants to renounce the sins which he has committed. For we do not want to make the church into a pig sty and let everyone come unheard to the holy Lord's Supper like the pigs run to the trough. - Since a pastor should be a faithful servant of Christ, he must, as much as is possible, not toss the Sacrament before the pigs and dogs, but instead listen to the people who are there. If they deceive him and do not say correctly who they are, then the pastor is excused; they have deceived themselves.

I'm looking forward to being in church on Sunday morning and hear my local called and ordained pastor (after hearing the contrite confession of our sins) say: "I, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The peace of the Lord be with us,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 25 September 2013 at 06:00 am

25 September

You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26.

No person is able to bear the accusations of the devil in his conscience without special help and strength. When he is disputed, he is entertaining; because he plays short, and is not boredom where he finds a man home alone? He takes before him a truth which no one can deny; namely that we all have sinned, and here he has two witnesses, which one cannot dispute; namely, God's Commandments and our conscience. Here it is impossible for me to say 'No’. If I then were to say 'yes', as I must, then I belong to death and to the devil. But since he's lying, he's trying to drive me to despair. Here it's time to seek emergency help from heaven, that either a brother be beside you with an external Word of God or the Holy Spirit Himself speak to you from such memorized-in-your-heart external Word of God and say: The devil has of course taken the yes word away from you; however now turn yourself around like St. Peter did to Christ, who with His blood has nullified your 'yes word'[guilty plea] , and he shall not harm you, so that you can say: “Apart from Christ I am a sinner. In Christ I am not a sinner. For with His blood He has atoned for and expunged my sin.”

My body is screaming in pain - but I refused to quit until I finished this precious 'Christian GUIDE' for this day!  Thank you, Jesus!

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 06:00 am

24 September

Commit your ways to the Lord and place your trust in Him, and He will indeed make it happen.  Palm 37:5.

The Lord takes care of breaking the most wise advice and on the other hand He establishes and builds up those who are weak and despised and about whom everybody has doubts. And from us He wants what He has commanded in Psalm 50: Call on Me in time of need, thus I will rescue you.[cf. v 15] For when everything is lost and corrupted, when people actually no longer know of any advice, when everything is corrupted, so that one cries out: We're going be destroyed and will perish, then God is there and says: I want that you should not be destroyed and perish. That is why one should trust God, even when we also are equipped with the best and smartest advice, and we should not despair when wisdom and human help leaves us in need; instead we should conclude thusly and say: I believe in God the Father, the Almighty..., He can destroy the most beautiful advice and in hell change it and once more out of the most unprincipled advice He can make heaven. For He is an Almighty Creator, I cannot fall into anything deeply enough to where He cannot lift me out of it; I can never seat myself high enough to where He cannot topple me off.   

So....I herewith place my trust in God; He is my Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.

The peace of the Lord be with you now and always,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 23 September 2013 at 06:00 am

 23 September

So then faith comes from the sermon/message, and the sermon/message comes through the Word of God. Romans 10:17.

So then also this piece belongs to the external Word or message in Christendom, namely that one obtains the forgiveness of sin or the Christian righteousness like through a conduit or means whereby then Christ and His grace is revealed and presented to us or laid into our lap, without which nobody would ever be able to become aware of this treasure. For how could one know it, or in which man's heart would it continually come that Christ, God's Son, for our sake came down from heaven, died and rose from the dead for us, obtained for us and gave to us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life, if He had not allowed this message to be publically proclaimed and preached? And though He likewise has won this treasure for us through His suffering and death, still no one could come to or receive such where also by means of the Word it is not allowed to be offered, presented, carried forward and brought home. That's why I thus have always taught that, first of all above everything else, the verbal Word has to be there and be seized by the ears; where then the Holy Spirit will come into the heart; He then enlightens it and works faith in it; thus faith cannot come nor survive without the hearing of and the external preaching of the gospel, through which one receives, is increased in, and is strengthened in, his faith.

In my  mind I now draw a huge water tower on a hill, filled with water(labeled God's grace of forgiveness, life and salvation in Christ); below it I draw an open empty faucet (labeled as my empty, sin-filled  heart); then I draw a pipe line connecting the two and label it MEANS OF GRACE (God's Word of forgiveness in the Bible proclaimed publically from pulpits; God's water of forgiveness in Baptism; God's food of forgiveness in the  Lord's Supper; all known as MEANS OF GRACE!)

Let's keep hearing the message from the Word of Christ,

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 22 September 2013 at 06:00 am

22 September

Look, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own words and say: He [God] said it. Look, I am against those who prophecy false dreams, says the Lord, and preach them and mislead My people with their lies and loose chatter and are of no benefit to My people, says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:31-32.

But who can preach unless he is an Apostle? However who is an Apostle other than he who brings God's Word? Who however can bring God's Word other than he who has heard God? However, may one also call someone an Apostle who presents to the people nothing other than his dreams and human statutes and philosophical teachings? Indeed, he is a thief, a murderer, a corruptor and one who suffocates souls; - he has not been sent, instead he comes from himself, and the concerned and anxious consciences recognize this all too well. For so often as God's Word is preached, it creates happy, wide open, confident consciences; for it is a Word about grace, forgiveness, and thereupon a good and sweet Word. If however one preaches words of men, that makes for a sad, narrow, shaky, anxious conscience in oneself. Because that is a word about Law and sin; it displays what a person has not done and what he still must do.

So one should proclaim Christ's Word, not the words of man.  Contrite and repentant faith in Jesus our Savior saves our soul!

In His name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 21 September 2013 at 06:00 am

21 September

Blessed are those who suffer, because they shall be comforted.  Matthew 5:4.

    

He who is not a child of this world, but instead wants to participate with the Christians, let himself also be found in the register that he would help those who are sighing and suffering, so that he also is consoled. For this is the Christians advantage, that, even though they have to see sheer suffering and misery in the world, it will finally come to the point where the world is most secure and joyfully goes forth, when all of a sudden the little wheel [of fortune]turns around and immediately a misfortune comes over it in which one has to remain and has to perish; one however is ripped out of there and rescued like Lot was out of Sodom, after they for the longest time had tortured and martyred his heart with their shameful mode of existence. So then let the world now laugh and live in its boisterous gaiety according to its lusts and mischief. And even though you have to grieve and carry sorrows and daily have to look at what saddens your heart, you then simply let yourself suffer and hold before you this saying that you are to let it give you good pleasure and thereby comfort yourself and that you also outwardly are to renew yourself and make yourself happy, as much as you can.

My ever weakening mind is in a deterioration contest with my body ... don't know how well I translated Luther on this little page ... but I comfort myself in Jesus my Savior.  God grant that we share His message of forgiveness, life and salvation with everyone we encounter,

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 20 September 2013 at 06:00 am

20 September

Anyone who oversteps and does not stay with Christ's teaching, he does not have God. Anyone who stays with Christ's teaching, he has both, the Father and the Son.  2 John 9.    

When the sufferings of Christ has done its work and terrified you, you no longer look at it, but instead penetrate through it and see His kind heart, so that it compels Him to so heavily bear your conscience and sin. Thus your heart towards Him becomes sweet and the confidence of your faith is strengthened. Thereupon climb further through Christ's heart into God's heart, and see that Christ would not have had to show you love if God in eternal love had not wanted to do so, with which love towards you Christ is obedient to it;  here you will find the divine, kind Father heart and, as Christ says, through Christ you are drawn to the Father. This then means that God is truly known when one does not try to grasp Him by one's own power or wisdom (both of which are horrible), but instead seizes it with God's goodness and love; here faith and confidence can exist, and a person is thus truly born anew into God.

So by the grace of God I was able to struggle through another translation...physically I can barely lift my hands high enough to type... also mentally my mind is more and more mushy ... Thank God that His only begotten Son holds me in His arms!

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 19 September 2013 at 06:00 am

19 September

The prophecy will of course yet be fulfilled in its time and will freely finally come true on that day and not remain outside. If however it delays, then wait for it; it most certainly will not be late.  Habakkuk 2:3.

Therefore we should with patience learn to steadfastly cling to the Word and not let go of it, even if it also has to wait a hundred years. For in that He delays, He out of grace does it for our benefit, in order that our faith is strengthened and increases and He all the more richly gives what He has promised. For that is God's way of doing things, that He comes slowly; however He indeed does come, for just like He also punishes slowly, He also punishes powerfully, gives time and space for a person to recognize and improve oneself. That's why the elect for the sake of the evil ones have to wait and be patient, so that they pass through into His glory, in that He is patient and does not immediately punish. Thus the patience of the godly and the wickedness of the evil endures for a long time; however God comes at the right time and richly rewards on both sides.

Luther here reminds me of those on the right hand of Christ to whom He on Judgment Day will say on: "Come you blessed of My of My Father; inherit the kingdom..."; and to those on the left: "Depart from Me ..." bound for hell.  I as an 82 year old man, I find myself singing the last 2 verses of "Abide with Me": (2nd last v)"I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless.  Ills have no pain and tears no bitterness.  Where is death's sting; where grave thy victory?  I triumph still if Thou abide with me.  (last v) "Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes.  Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.  Heav'n's morning breaks and earth's vain shadows flee.  In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."  Memorized these two verses as a 3rd grader at St. Paul Lutheran parochial school, The Grove, TX when I was hardly 7 years old.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 18 September 2013 at 06:00 am

18 September

The Spirit of truth will not speak from Himself, instead He will speak what He hears, and what is coming He will proclaim to you. John 16:13.

Herewith He makes the Holy Spirit a preacher, in order that a person does not gawk after Him into the sky, like the fickle persons do, as they shy away from the verbal Word and separate themselves from the office of the ministry; instead one should know and learn that He in and with the Word is present and through the same wants to guide us into all truth. For I am also a half-learned. For I too am a half scholar doctor, so that I do not exalt myself over the high spirits, who for the longest traveled out over the clouds and placed the Holy Spirit under their wings. However experience has taught me far too often that when the devil grabs at me from outside of the Scriptures, that I with my thoughts begin to take a stroll and flutter up to heaven, thus he brings me to a point where I don't know where God or I am staying.

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word!  So then, Spirit of truth keep proclaiming to us Christ's gospel of forgiveness, life and salvation as it is revealed in Holy Scriptures!  As I yesterday clumsily finished typing this translation the devil tried to destroy my translation ...as my clumsy fingers hit a wrong key, but miraculously my computer saved it.

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 17 September 2013 at 06:00 am

17 September

Let the little children come to Me and forbid them not; for such is the kingdom of God.  Mark 10:14.

You say: The children have not come to [the age of] reason; therefore they cannot believe. Tell me, is that spoken like a Christian to thus judge God's works according to our 'me thinks'? How, if you by such reason were to already have come to faith and the children have come to faith without their reason?  Beloved, what good does reason provide for faith and God's Word? Is it not those who most highly oppose faith and God's Word, that before them nobody can come to faith, nor want to put up with God's Word, unless they become blinded and be put to shame, that a person has to die off and become a fool, yes as stupid and ignorant as a little child, if he otherwise is to become a believer and receive God's grace, as Christ says in Matthew 18:3? What did the children have in place of reason that Christ embraced? Why did He call for them to come to Him and bless them? From whence then did they receive such faith, which made them into children of the kingdom of God? Yes, even though they are without reason and are foolish, they are better skilled for faith than the old and reasonable, for whom reason always lies in the way, who with their big heads do not want to push through the narrow door.     

Ouch! Ouch! Even more mentally than physically in translating this one.  God grant that we all become as little children, as Jesus draws us to Him.  Yesterday our household reviewed the 'creation', 'redemption', and sanctification' of the three Articles of the Apostles Creed.  Am looking forward to having my son Nathan drive me and David, my other son, to church where my soul will be nourished with Word and Sacrament.

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 16 September 2013 at 06:00 am

16 September

No longer live like the heathen live in the vanity of their minds, whose understanding has been darkened and is estranged from the life that God gives, through the blindness of their hearts.  Ephesians 4:17-18.

In regard to divine things, i.e., in regard to those that pertain to God, with which one should act so that it pleases God and one thereby is saved, here human nature is blind as a bat, cataract blind and indeed totally blind, so that it is incapable of pointing out the breadth of a hair, which are all the same things. To measure it is enough for them that they fall and slip into it like a blind horse, however everything that they discuss and conclude is - as God lives - most certainly so false and erring. Here they do like the man who builds upon sand; here they take a spider-web and try to make a rock out of it. Here they take sand and try to turn it into flour and want to bake bread. Here they sow wind and harvest whirlwind. Here they measure the air with spoons, carry the light out in bowls into the cellar and weigh the flame upon a scale and carry out all this fools work and wrong game like has never happened or thought of; for they do their thing as is if is a worship service and yet it is a nothing.

Oh, what a wild translation this was....LORD, KEEP OUR MINDS OFF OF WORTHLESS, EARTHLY THINGS AND BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT RENEW OUR FAITH IN JESUS OUR SAVIOR.

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 15 September 2013 at 06:00 am

15 September

The Lord threw all our sin on Him.  Isaiah 53:6

These have been written with great diligence, so that our conscience may be all the more certain and non-despairing, so that it does not become concerned and be anxious about the image of any one sin. And this is the most pleasing will of God in heaven, that your terrified conscience is not to be afraid or suffer, as if God intended to think differently with you than with our Lord Christ or as if He wanted to kill you on account of the sin which Christ loaded upon Himself and has taken away.  No, dear conscience, you should believe it, that the Lord and Father in heaven, your God, even has the same kind, gracious heart and will to you that the Son of God has; namely, that Christ shall redeem you and free you from all sins. What kind of God then is this, Who could as God in heaven on account of your sin accuse Himself; He Who is your Lord and before Whom you are terribly afraid, has not laid your sin upon you, but upon Christ in opposition to all rights and laws of Moses and the rest. Moses threatens the sinner thusly, that every person must die on account of his own sin and transgression. Likewise in earthly regimes your sins remain upon you. However when we become righteous before God, there our sins are not ours, but rather Christ's.

What a gracious, glorious exchange = #1 guilty sinner I am pronounced "innocent" through the merits of the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world!  Salvation unto us has come!  Thank you Jesus!

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 14 September 2013 at 06:00 am

14 September

It is a great gain to him who is godly and lets it satisfy him. 1 Timothy 6:6.

The person who fears God and lives in faith, is cheaply called a rich man, also with such Godliness allows himself to be satisfied with that which God gives him and has such along with God and honor, without injustice and not to someone's disadvantage. For he has a very big treasure, which is called God's blessings, that also in his poverty he still must have enough; for he knows that of course we bring nothing more from it than food and drinks, and it still does not depend on anxious worry and work where God does not provide prosperity. That's why a Christian should much rather let himself be a florin (Dutch guilder), that God gives him, instead of all the big treasures of the rich tightwads on earth. For he has this beautiful treasure in a home that is called 'godliness and having enough' or 'letting oneself be satisfied', i.e., having a peaceful, tranquil heart focus on God.

After struggling through this one, my dementia ridden mind is slightly dizzy... I pray I captured into English what Luther has written on this 'Christian GUIDE' for this day (9/14).  It makes me turn to Philippians 2 (read all of chapter 2).  God grant that we count all earthly things as garbage.

Thanking God for His gift of righteousness through faith in Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 13 September 2013 at 06:00 am

13 September

Do not revenge yourselves, my nearest and dearest, rather make space for wrath. Romans 12:19.

When a harm happens to us, then immediately flesh and blood is there and acts like flesh and blood, and begins to wail and rage with wrath and impatience. For it naturally grieves us when injustice and violence happens to us. That's why one should here fight back and resist; in that it hurts you, you can probably let go of that; however in that you want to seek revenge over this, return harm tit for tat, that is forbidden. That's why you should see to it that you do not infringe upon the right of the other person and not break nor destroy his rights, instead come to an agreement so that both remain. If you are unable to carry out your justice without great injustice, then just let go of it; for it does no good to fight against and punish injustice with injustice. And God does not desire that for the sake of your begging rights the entire world's law of justice come to an end.

As we carry out Paul's admonition, I suggest we re-read the first 8 chapters of the Book of Romans.  Out of Luther's complicated German I've tried to translate into simple English - forgive me where I have failed...physical pains are with me, thank the Lord I made it through this translation...and thank You Jesus for being the "Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world..."

In his Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 12 September 2013 at 06:00 am

12 September

If they pursue you in one town, then flee to another one.  Matthew 10:23.

It is impossible that someone should be able to suppress the Gospel; for it is a teaching which freely goes forth under the heavens, bound to no place. This is most certainly true: Place and room, where the Gospel or sermon are to be proclaimed, may well be resisted by the gentlemen. However you can leave that town or place and run after the Gospel in a another place, and it's not necessary for you to also capture or keep the town or place for the sake of the Gospel; instead leave the town to the lords and you follow the Gospel, thus you suffer that someone does you an injustice and chases you away, and yet at the same time you do not suffer that someone takes the Gospel away from you. See, thus the two come together, suffer and not suffer. Otherwise, where you also want to keep it along with the Gospel, you then rob the lord of town that is his and pretend you are doing it for the sake of the Gospel. Dear one, the Gospel teaches you not to rob and take, even though the lords of the Manor - in opposition to God and with injustice to harm you - abuse this. The Gospel requires no space nor city for it to stay in; it wants to and must stay in the heart.

Tough one to translate ... thanks to God, I struggled through it.

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 11 September 2013 at 06:00 am

11 September

Watch closely yourself and your teaching; continue in these things. 1 Timothy 4:16.

It is not in vain that I so diligently deal with the Article of Justification; for I am concerned that one will not abide by the Article. And there are many among us who neglect it and do not highly regard it. There will come preachers/pastors who sleepily, lax and lazily will preach and promote the Article, thus it soon happens that there comes one error after another. I want to learn and teach this Article for as long as I live; it will be diligently promoted in my preaching; for I see well what it does where it is present, and on the other hand what harm it also brings where it is not present. For this Article is the foundation and rock upon which the entire Christendom and congregation of God is built, which Article also is our wall and defense against hordes and heresy, so that no false teachers and sneaks mislead us and can capture us, as we keep/retain this Article in its full truth and purity, and there is no teaching/doctrine nor religion in the world that is so opposed to and harmful to the devil and his kingdom. There is also for Satan no sermon upon earth that is such a fierce enemy as is this sermon, that's why he pursues with such temptations and tribulations; both, each one in particular. Thereupon also in general he instigates against this doctrine all sorts of ungodly teachings, heresies, divisions and offenses, by which of course he makes this doctrine hateful and offensive to the world, so that it becomes muffled and neglected.

Difficult for me to translate - I pray that it is on target.  Justified by faith! ...and comfort the 9/11 victims.

In the name of Jesus,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 10 September 2013 at 06:00 am

10 September

Christ has expunged the handwriting that was against us, and took them out of the way and nailed them to the cross. Colossians 2:14.

If you believe that it is most certainly true that Christ suffered for you and redeemed you, you then can say: If Christ has my sins, then I indeed no longer have them, because He has them. He however has ripped them out of my heart and conscience; since I had a register upon which was: You were an adulterer, a murderer, a thief, etc. However since I have the Word: Christ has taken my sin upon Himself, -- thus one cannot find my sin in any register or book, neither in heaven nor on earth. They are written on the Son of God, that's where I shall see them and nowhere else. Anyone who cannot knock the sin out of his mind, but instead keeps it in his memory, thereby martyrs and scourges himself, and tries to remember how he might by his own power and works advise and help himself, or he wants to wait so long until his conscience comes to peace by itself; he first of all comes right into the devil's knitting, miserably martyrs himself and in due time, as his challenges become larger, he falls into doubt.

This morning I was spiritually nourished by Word and Sacrament @ Faith Lutheran Church...this afternoon God has enabled my feeble body and mind to yet do another translation.  And thank you to the fellow member who gave me the gift of a precious book entitled CLASSIC HYMNS OF CHRISTENDOM by James E. Shaw!

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 09 September 2013 at 06:00 am

9 September

I am a worm and no man. Psalm 22:7.

The Holy Scripture is God's Word, written and well-formed with (alphabetical) letters, just like Christ, the eternal Word of God, is veiled in humanity. In the same way that Christ is now regarded and dealt with in this world, so also is treated the written Word of God. It is regarded as a worm and no book, compared to other books. For such honor with studying, reading, contemplation, keeping and using doesn't happen for Him like it does for other human literature; if it is good for a person, it is located under one's seat, etc. The others tear up, crucify, whip/scourge it and place upon it every torture, until it stretches out onto their heresy and serves their sense of mischief, until finally it is corrupted, killed, and they bury it, in order that it may be pushed out of this world and forgotten. But it of course will rise up again; here no guarding and defending will be of any help. That's why it is a good sign when there is bestowed the precious gift of having and desiring the Scripture, to gladly read it, holding it in high regard and esteem. Such a person God will most certainly honor again.

Tough for me to translate ... I'm going get away from my computer now and read tomorrow's designated Scripture lessons; may the Holy Spirit enable me to learn, mark, and inwardly digest them.  I'll also think about which one my pastor loci will proclaim from the pulpit to me in church tomorrow. 

See you in church!

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 08 September 2013 at 06:00 am

8 September

So then stand firm in the freedom into which Christ has freed you, and do not let yourself be taken captive again into the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1.

Just as the oxen with much trouble and labor have to pull with their yokes and beyond their daily feed get to earn nothing more than that after they have served for a long time, one chops off their head and slaughters them; that's how it also goes for those who want to become righteous through the Law, that they have to become captive in the yoke of slavery, i.e., under the Law, serve under it and be scourged by it; and after they have for a long time have tried hard with the works of the Law and have been martyred, their final wage will be that they in eternal poverty will have to be unfortunate slaves, namely slaves of sin, death, devil. Therefore among all the others there probably is no heavier servitude/slavery than the one under the Law.   

Thank God that we are saved by grace through faith - apart from the deeds of the Law.  This is God's doing.  What a gift!  Thus let us thank Him unceasingly.

In Christ,

Elmer Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 07 September 2013 at 06:00 am

7 September

First of all know this, that no prophecy of Scripture happens out of one's own interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20.

That's why we should hear God's Word with respectful awe and deal with it humbly and not jump into it with our own opinion. You should preferably rather fall into all sins than into to your own arrogant thinking; that is how dangerous and harmful a thing it is. For God's Word is not to be trifled with; if you can't understand it, then take your hat off before it. It tolerates no insult and no human interpretation, instead there is sheer seriousness there and is to be honored and held in high esteem. If you come into the Word with your own arrogant thinking, then you will go so far and not know whether you are behind or in front, and it will be hard for you to guess. For when one falls into his own arrogant thinking, such a person one cannot easily help him get out of it.

Let us thank God for the gift of His divinely inspired Word as recorded in the Holy Bible.  It points us to our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whom we have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 06 September 2013 at 06:00 am

6 September

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.1 Corinthians 1:31.

Our heart has to be like this, that it remembers: O Lord, if we were to judge one another, how I live and conduct myself, then I could not survive, even if I were like John the Baptizer. For everything is not yet the gift, gifts and mercy, but rather life. However thereby I extol myself meekly and as Your servant, in that You give to me without letup, like you promised to Abraham, that You through Your Christ want to be merciful to me.If I am not pious/gentle/meek, He is. If I am not holy, He is. If I am not God's servant, yet He is God's Servant. If I am not without worry and fear, He is free of all worry and without fear, so that I swing out of myself into Him and boast that I in Christ and through Christ am pious/gentle/meek. Thus He wants that we should meekly and piously boast, but not about ourselves, For about us we have to boast like desperate boys.  

So I conclude what was a difficult translation for me ... hope and pray you find it edifying.

In the name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 05 September 2013 at 06:00 am

5 September

Lord, to whom should we go?  You have words of eternal life. John 6:68.

To anyone who in this world is to abide with Christ against so many devils and wicked people, amidst so many hindrances and annoying troubles, there needs to be provided another support other than human power; there has to be a heart there that trusts God and can be certain about the matter, thereto a heartfelt, warm love of the Lord Christ, that He for his sake loaded upon Himself all the basic soup of hell, so that one knows of no other treasure and support apart from Him alone, that he has a gracious God and would rather have Christ than the whole world and what it has. Anyone who does not have a love for Christ cannot withstand and endure the devil and the wicked world. The devil may well chase after Christ from one town to another, however he will have to leave Him alone when it comes to chasing Him out of this world. You will not tolerate Christ and Belial, their enmity/hostility is sworn too severely between them. One ultimately has to go down and the other one remain, nothing other will come of it.

Ouch! ouch! Jesus pulled me through another translation - so get thee behind me, Satan!

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 04 September 2013 at 06:00 am

4 September

I reckon I still haven't reached it (the goal); however I chase after it in order that I might grab hold of it, because I have been grabbed hold of by Christ. Philippians 3:12-13.

Nothing is more harmful to a believer than that he thinks he has already grabbed hold of it, and that it isn't necessary to first of all seek for it, for that's why it happens that many fall back and wither away on account of self-assurance and laziness and become lax/lackadaisical. That's why anyone who has started out to be a Christian is obligated to still also do this, that he remember that he still is not a Christian, rather that he still seeks to bring it to the point that he becomes a Christian. This life is not a piety, but rather a becoming pious, not a being healthy, but rather a becoming healthy, not a being, but rather a becoming, not a rest, but rather an exercise. We are not there yet; but we're getting there. It has not yet happened or been done; but it is in progress and progressing. It is not at the end; it is however on the way. A Christian consists in becoming, not in having become. Anyone who is a Christian thusly, he is not a Christian, i. e., anyone who allows himself to think he has already become a Christian, when he only should become a Christian, he is nothing. For we stretch ourselves up to heaven, but we are not in heaven. And just as the person who conceitedly imagines he is already in heaven will never get there, so on the other hand the person who reaches out to heaven and seeks to come into it is by all rights in heaven. That's how wonderful the works of this kingdom are.

Wow!  Hope that this translation has adequately clipped together Luther's thoughts ... but then it's a 'work in progress. Thank God we've been grabbed hold of by Christ!  Let's keep chasing after the 'goal'!

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 02 September 2013 at 06:00 am

2 September

Do the work of an evangelical preacher; nobly conduct your office. 2 Timothy 4:5.

In the spiritual shepherding, that is in Christ's kingdom, one should not preach God's laws, much less the laws of men, to Christ's 'little sheep', but instead preach the gospel, which is called a comforting rod and staff whereby they are strengthened in faith, receive refreshment in their heart and receive comfort amidst all sorts of anxieties and times of death. Those who preach like this correctly carry out the spiritual office of shepherding, feed them upon green meadows,-- and where one hears such (preachers), there one should most certainly maintain that one is hearing Christ himself. One should also acknowledge and even remember that they cry out and condemn the world as heretical and deceptive. On the other hand, those who preach something other than the gospel are most certainly gruesome wolves and murderers.

Ouch.... made it through another one - this one was fairly easy to translate.

Join me in saying, "The Lord is my Shepherd..." let's also thank Him for providing us with faithful pastors.

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 01 September 2013 at 06:00 am

1 September

Be firm in faith, as you have been taught. Colossians 2:7.

One must step away from feelings and simply seize the Word in one's ears and thereupon write them in the heart and cling to them, if it does not immediately appear that my sins have been taken away, if I still feel them in me. One must not pay attention to what one feels, but insist upon the fact that death, sin and hell have been overcome, even though I at the same time feel that I am still stuck in death, sin and hell. For even though the feeling of sin still remains in us, it thus still happens solely for the purpose of driving us to faith and to make that faith strong, so that we in opposition to feelings take up the Word and therewith constantly weave our heart and conscience onto Christ. For faith is not the human delusion and dream that some people regard as faith. Faith is a lively, bold confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that the believers would die a thousand times for it. And such confidence and knowledge of divine grace makes one joyful, defiant and funny towards God and all creatures, which the Holy Spirit does by faith.

My aching, frail body was unable to stop it's fingers and dementia ridden brain from competing this translation.

Thank You Jesus!

In Your Name,

Elmer H.