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Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 31 October 2013 at 06:00 am

31 October 

Commemoration of the Reformation

So then we maintain that a person is justified apart from the deeds of the Law, through faith alone. Romans 3:28.

As far as the heavens are above the earth, so far should also the Law be separated from justification. And in dealing with justification nothing should be taught, talked or thought about other than the Word of grace in Christ indicates. The Law actually is of no help or use for the justification that avails before God, also not in the tiniest of parts. If it (the Law) is correctly understood, it causes despair and establishes doubting; if it however is not correctly understood, it causes hypocrisy. Just as the Gospel, if it is not correctly understood, makes for self-assured, cocky people; if it is believed and understood correctly, it then makes for pious, godly people. The Christian [doctrine of] Justification, which is our only protection/shelter, not only against the violence and cunning of people, but also against the gates of hell, as stated, that we are justified and saved by believing in Christ, without any doings or deeds.(Romans 4:5: If instead of working, or through works want to be saved, you believe in Him Who declares the ungodly righteous, your faith (i.e., by faith seizing the innocence and righteousness of Christ) is counted as righteousness.)  

Luther drove me up the wall with all the ( ) ( )'s - but it was a privilege to translate this one about the most shining facet on the diamond of Luther's teaching - ALL BASED UPON SCRIPTURE ALONE!

Justified by faith - apart from the deeds of the Law,

Elmer H.

P. S. Out of gratitude for the above, I joyfully translate this one. To God alone be all the glory!  And remember 3 more "alone"s: grace, faith, Scripture!

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 06:00 am

30 October

Then they will take a new courage, will go forth and continue sinning; for then their victory has to be their god. Habakkuk 1;11.

When tyrants and enemies see the truth, that they have good fortune and their enemies misfortune, they however do not know that the persecuted one's God and matter is right and God has given them over into their hands - like He has done with Christ Himself and all saints; they then proceed to slander and say: Where now is your Christ? Let Him help! It however will have a dreadful end for them and there will actually sprout up a sour mustard seed for them where they had actually sown their honey. For since they do not fear God with His judgments and deeds and do not humble themselves, He lets them confidently go ahead, so that they have the fullness of good fortune and victory, makes them into fools with their wisdom and good conceit, to the point where have filled up their sin and become hardened, until their little hour arrives where God deals with them like He did with the Babylonians, Jews and all tyrants. Where now are those who said to Christ: He trusted in God, let Him save Himself?  Where now is their god who gave them their victory? Christ has remained; they however are scattered and swept away in the wind like dust in the fields.  

Luther translates Hab. 1:11 a bit differently than the English Bibles, but with the above paragraph, it seems he's on the same track.  Pray I translated Luther accurately!

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 29 October 2013 at 06:00 am

29 October

Darkness covers the earth and thick darkness the covers the peoples. Isaiah 60:2.

So if we then are God's children, we should not think that God is like gold, silver and stone carved images, carved by human imagination. Acts 17:29.

God, we wait for Your goodness in Your temple. Psalm 48: 10 [v. 9 in English Bibles]

That's why the German saying is true: ["]Dark churches and lit up/enlightened hearts.["] For Abraham had such a church, into which God's Word and the correct worship service had entered. On the other hand in our times we see lit up churches, however the hearts in them are dark or much more so completely blind. Not square stones and beautiful buildings, also not gold or silver, can cloak or sanctify a church, rather God's Word and its teaching or preaching in truth and purity. For where one exalts and reveals to people God's goodness and their hearts are established and encouraged, so that they trust in God and call upon Him in their needs, there certainly is a glorious temple, even if at the same time it is a sinister angle/a dark corner, a bare hill, or wild tree, it also is still a righteous house of God and the gateway to heaven, even though it already has been uncovered and stands under the clouds and open sky.     

The merciful God has enabled me to translate another. So I sing: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness... On Christ, the solid Rock I stand.  All other ground is sinking sand."

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 28 October 2013 at 06:00 am

28 October

Abraham was not weak in faith, also he did not look at his own body, which already was dead since he nearly was a hundred years old, also not at the dead body of Sarah. Romans 4:19

Thus Abraham took captive his reason and killed it, in that he believed God's Word, in which he was promised that God would from the fruitless, lifeless wife, Sarah, give him a Seed. For such words of promise most certainly did not immediately please Abraham's reason, instead his reason resisted faith and regarded the promise as being foolish, unreasonable and impossible, that Sarah was to bear a son. Thus there is no doubt that faith and reason had a thorough falling out over this matter and probably clobbered each other over this; yet faith finally prevailed and obtained the victory and conquered and killed this most gruesome and shameful enemy of God, aka reason. So also do all other believing people who enter into the dark and hidden darkness of faith, kill reason and say:  Listen up, reason, you are a mad, blind fool, not understanding even a little trace about God's matters; don't make me a lot of antics with the barking of your cons, instead keep your mouth shut and remain silent; no, don't you dare be a judge of God's Word, instead sit down, listen to and hear what He verily tells you, and believe Him.

This was a tough one to translate, but by the grace of God I believe it's correct... it has me singing: "My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine.  Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away; Oh let me from this day be wholly Thine!"  (v. 1 of #394 TLH)

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 27 October 2013 at 06:00 am

27 October

Not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, instead He saved us because of His great mercy.  Titus 3:5.

You have to widely separate life and works from each other. If you want to look at life, I will give you the lives of St. Peter, Paul or St. John and you will still therewith be put to shame. It has to be mercy and grace, not life and works. Those who want to look only at the apparent respectable life, it would be better for those that they were harlots and villainous rascals and laying in feces. And yet God does not want us to lead a shameful evil life; for He does not allow it and it is condemned. If you however were to lead a good life, you probably would like to cling to that. That He will also not allow. That's why you must see to it that you remain upon the most middle stairway steps, wavering neither to the left nor the right, leading a fine, sober life before the world, but regard it as nothing better, for whether I sleep or am awake, I do not thereby earn heaven.   

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner; thank You for your daily new mercy!  Lead me in the path of righteousness for Your name's sake. Amen!

In the name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 26 October 2013 at 06:00 am

26 October

In the time of my need I seek the Lord.  Psalm 77:3 [v. 2 in English Bibles]

It's a villainous devil who plagues me, as well as others, and has so often shown me such malicious cunning when a tribulation or problem arises, be it spiritual or worldly matters, that he all of a sudden sticks his nose into it and brings it to a point where you consume yourself, in order to thereby rip us away from prayer and make our head go nuts, so that one doesn't think about it, and before one begins to pray, one has already martyred oneself to death; because the devil knows very well what prayer does and is capable of doing. That's why he fights and struggles wherever he can so that you don't get there. That's why we should get in the habit of immediately falling on our knees whenever any anxiety or need pops up before our eyes and lay our need before God, thus we will be helped. - For this is a priceless medicine, which most certainly helps and never fails, if one will only just use it.

So.... let us take it to the Lord in prayer in every need and end our prayers with the phrase, I now close this page:

In Jesus' Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 25 October 2013 at 06:00 am

29 November

The girl is not dead, rather it is asleep.  Matthew 9:24.

Here one learns the difference between fleshly eyes and Christian-eyes. Christian-eyes are such eyes that when they look at death, sin and hell, they can with certainty say I see no death, I feel no sin, I am not condemned, instead through Christ I see sheer holiness, life and salvation. Thus when I am poor, I feel no poverty. Me thinks I have enough of everything. For I have Christ Who every hour has given me what I need, even though I have nothing. So then, when you see a Christian die, your eyes see a dead person; however close such eyes and open the spiritual eyes, which look at the Word, thus you will find that such a person is not dead but instead lives before God. As then the death of the believers, who through the Word have been sanctified, are regarded as precious and worthy before God, which otherwise is of course terrible beyond all measure before the world.   

Wow - this was easy to translate. 

 

In Jesus' Name,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 25 October 2013 at 06:00 am

25 October

You should not give anything sacred to the dogs and you should not throw your pearls to the swine.  Matthew 7:6.

Yes, dear Lord, they already have it. For since it is a public proclamation and distributed in the world, thus we are unable to keep them from falling in to them and rip them away from them. However they therefore do not yet have, and - thank God - still prevent them from getting the sacred things. They of course have the shells and the husks, which is the carnal liberty. However this has to be prevented: namely that no dog nor pig is to get a single letter of the gospel, even though it reads every book and hears every sermon and lets himself think that overall he knows everything well. How at the end will it go for the persecutors and tyrants? What sort of a reward do they get? What sort of gruesome illness did God impose upon Herod at the end? - Because of the stench, nobody could stay around him, for his abdomen became so foul and maggots grew in it, and from the bottom on up he swelled up so very grossly that he could not rest day or night. He let himself be led into natural spring water baths, he let himself be bathed in olive oil; but these were of no help, so that he finally asked for a knife under the pretense of peeling an apple, so that he could pierce himself in the body, thereby ending his pain. That is also what will happen to the tyrants and persecutors of the truth.

A tough one to translate - pray I got it right.

In Jesus' Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 24 October 2013 at 06:00 am

24 October

We admonish you: do not receive the grace of God in vain. 2 Corinthians 6:1.

Sinning against grace happens in two ways. The first way: That when I have sinned against God's Commandment and in addition to this sin I commit an additional evil and then doubt or despair, to the point where my conscience makes me think that God doesn't want to forgive the sin and His grace is no longer there. Here there is also no grace, instead the God of all grace is denied and His grace is dashed. The second way: When I do good works and in addition to that I make up this diabolical addition and trust and rely upon it, thinking that I now on account of my good works am in good standing before God and there is no sin there; with that I bring God's grace to naught, as if His grace is not needed or beneficial, because of such works. Here once more the God of all grace is denied.

I tried here to make Luther speak in English to the best of my ability.  Let's heed what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, don't let God's grace become wasted on you; and let's again read what he wrote to the Ephesians (cf. Eph. 2:1-10).

God's grace be with you all,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 23 October 2013 at 06:00 am

23 October

The peace of God, which is above all our reason/thinking, preserve your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.

This peace of God is not to be understood to mean the peace wherewith God is still and at peace with Himself, rather the peace He gives into our hearts, so that we are at peace. Human reason knows of no peace other than when evil (wickedness) ceases. However those who rejoice in God are satisfied that they have peace with God, remain manly in the midst of distress, don't need the peace which reason gives - namely the cessation of evil, instead they remain firmly steadfast and wait upon inward strength through faith, don't inquire whether the evil will be and will remain brief or lengthy, temporal or eternal, also they don't think or worry about what the outcome shall be, leaving it all up to God. See, this is the peace of the cross, the peace of God, the peace of conscience, the Christian peace, which makes it possible for a person to also be outwardly quiet and at peace with everyone and causes no one any unrest. This is a work of God which is known to no one except those who have experienced it.

Thank you for the peace, Jesus, that is beyond my reason and thinking...and thank you for the blessed rain I'm receiving here at my home.

His peace be with you! now and always,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 22 October 2013 at 06:00 am

22 October

Moses, why are you crying out to Me? Exodus 14:15.

Oh, one should not regard a Christian as insignificant as Turks, pagans, or godless people. A Christian is regarded as precious before God and his prayer is a mighty big thing before God; for he has been sanctified by Christ's blood and anointed with the Spirit of God. Whatever he earnestly cries out for, especially with the inexpressible longing sighs of his heart, that is a cranky cry to God's ears; He has to listen to it, like He said to Moses: Why are you crying out to Me? Moses on account of worries and tremors could not hiss very well, as he was in great need. Such longing, groaning sighs also parted the Red Sea, made it dry, led the Children of Israel through it, drowned Pharaoh along with all of his power. A true spiritual sighing (and prayer) can do and does do such and much more.

Thank you Luther for finally writing with SHORT SENTENCES.  

In Christ,

Elmer  

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 21 October 2013 at 06:00 am

21 October

Our tribulation, which is temporal and light, is preparing an everlasting and an exceedingly important glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Since we then know that it well pleases God that we are willing to suffer and let God's glory be manifested and seen in our suffering, better than in any other places, and we are the kind of people who could not exist/abide in the Word and faith without suffering, and in addition have the priceless, precious promise that our cross, which God sends us, is not a bad thing either, but a delicious elegant sanctuary, why would we then refuse to suffer and endure it? He who does not want to suffer, should go away. - Yet we have so much comfort and promise, that He will not let us remain stuck in suffering but instead will help us out of it, even when all people doubt it. Therefore, even though it  hurts, come on, you still will have to suffer something, it cannot always go the same way. It is just as good, yes even a thousand times better, to suffer for the sake of Christ, Who has promised us comfort and help amidst sufferings, than for the sake of the devil to suffer without comfort and help to despair and perish.

Take that devil; despite my physical pains and crippled-hands-computer-cancelations, Jesus enabled me to finally finish one more 'baby-sized' translation!  Sola Deo Gloria!

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 20 October 2013 at 06:00 am

20 October

So then unless a person is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  John 3:5.

This has to be a different birth than out of father and mother. It indeed is also God's work that a human being is born naturally; yet God does that through a father and mother, and such a birth comes out of their flesh and blood. However no human being can contribute to or do anything for the birth of a Christian: Not from blood (nor from the will of any man), rather born from God, from water and the Holy Spirit. Here you well may be looking at the water of Baptism as the dew(Psalm 110 [v. 3]) and are hearing the external, verbal Word as the wind; however you can neither see, hear, nor comprehend what is accomplished here - namely, how the human being is cleansed by Baptism by being placed into the hand of the administering pastor so that a child of hell becomes a child of God.

Sentimentally I now reminisce about how 20 years ago I had the humbling, joyful privilege to administer the Sacrament of Baptism to my first grandchild - for which occasion I had composed a hymn tune and hymn; here's v. 1:

                Washed by water with the Word,

                This child now adopted by its Lord

                Shares in Christ's full righteousness.

                With faith, O Spirit, her new life bless. 

                © Elmer M Hohle - 1993 

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 19 October 2013 at 06:00 am

19 October

My yoke is gentle/easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:30.

It says: Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. We now should do otherwise than the victors of the world, the devil, sin, death, the diseases of the flesh, and all sorts of evil do as they wear out our bodies and glorify over it. His yoke is of course gentle and His burden is sweet. However our yoke and burden that He bore for us, which was the devil and God's wrath; from that preserve us God. Yes, He has already delivered us from that, and we in turn bear His gentle load and sweet burden. This exchange is joyfully received. He is a good businessman and gracious dealer, who sells us life for death, righteousness for sin, and for that he in the blink of an eye adds on a disease or two as interest, as a testimony that He gives welfare and borrows kindlier than the dealers on earth do. So then, He is called Jesus Christ and is the true Man Who disputes in us, wins in us, and triumphs in us. There is nothing else here; so let the gates of hell tremble.  

Never had a German grammar lesson in my life, but ”Sprachgefuehl” saw me through this one, thank God.

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 18 October 2013 at 06:00 am

18 October

Blessed is the one who does not go with the advice of the wicked.  Psalm 1:1.

This sounds as if there are very few on earth who do not go with the advice of the wicked. No one wants there to be more sinners still doing wrong. From whence comes there so many wicked people? He [the Psalmist]says the reason is that they call everything they do smart advice, wisdom, right and good; no one should call it anything different or criticize it. Thus then it happens according to the saying: Everyone is pleased with his own way, that's why the world is full of fools. So the world is full of saints; only heaven has to be full of sinners. In short: Only God's Son and those who are His must be sinners; the devil and his world is holy and lives in pure advice, holiness and wisdom; so it goes, so it must go. However finally evil will have to come to an end, when the end of this Psalm will also finally happen: The Lord knows the way of the righteous; but the way of the wicked will perish.

Evermore feeble mind sloppily translates another one.

In Christ,

EMH

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 17 October 2013 at 06:00 am

17 October

You will never be united with the harmful throne who uses the Law to do evil. - Psalm 94:20.

Several 'would-be' [wanna be] people are now trying to advise the matter and arbitrate the discord (between Christ and Belial = devil). They pretend that one should waver on both sides and give in. We indeed let them try and do what they can, we don't begrudge them the trouble. If however they were to make the devil pious and at one with Christ, they would be the first to do so. I however maintain that with such patchwork it is even as Sirach 22 says, like when a person wants to patch together pieces of broken glass, and actually are among the many shoemakers who had undertaken to do so, but did all the work for nothing and have lost both wire and stich. In other matters that pertain to our actions or ceremonies and similar external matters, there one may compare oneself and mend what you can. However that which pertains to faith and Christ's kingdom, because one wants to bend His Scepter and make it crooked, there one will have no improvement nor have a patch, and even when one undertakes to do so, one thereby makes it worse so that he loses it. For the Scepter must and shall remain completely straight, without any breaks or gaps like the rule and the measure according to which one should live [one's life].

Dementia minded Elmer groans in physical pain, praying that this translation makes sense.

In Christ, EMH

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 16 October 2013 at 05:00 am

16 October

 

Struggle to enter in through the narrow gate; for many will strive to do so, how they may enter in, and will not be able to do so.  (These are those who without faith struggle to enter into heaven by works.) Luke 13:24.

What? Why not? This is why, they don't know what the narrow gate is. It is faith that makes a person small, actually makes him into a 'nothing' so that he despairs of all his works and simply just sticks to God's grace alone, also lets all other things go that way. However the Cain-like saints (i.e. hypocrites, cf. Genesis 4:3 and 5) think that the narrow gates are good works; that's why they don't become small, don't despair over this, indeed they actually collect their good works in big bags, hang them around their necks and therewith think they can go through the narrow gate, like a camel animal with its huge humpy back might go through the eye of a needle. 

Struggled in translating this one - pray I got right...anyway, let us despair of work-righteousness and cling to God's grace alone through faith alone, based on Scripture alone.  The narrow gate brings to my mind Romans 3:28.

The peace of the Lord be with you,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 15 October 2013 at 06:00 am

15 October

Into Your hands I commend my spirit.  Psalm 31:6[5]

If God were to deal with us in such a manner that He would let us see life in midst of death or showed our soul site and room, way and manner it should step up and set its foot upon and where it should go and stay, then death would not be so bitter; instead it would be like a jump over a flat stream, where one on both sides of the stream sees and feels a solid ground. However He now does not show us any of that, and we have to jump over from the sure solid ground of this shore of life into the abyss, where there is no feeling nor seeing nor moaning, but instead upon God's intervention is tossed out of the ship into the sea, where it feels no sold ground and is forsaken by all creatures to travel where it solely relies upon God's containment. (I. e.: God provides us the knowledge about the abyss as to how it applies to the soul jumping into death.) Even if I also already am plugged into the devil's throat, I can seize the Word, thus I get back out, and I have to remain where the Word is.

I skipped my forenoon respite to painfully translate this difficult one - hope I correctly captured Luther's thoughts into English.  The Lord's peace be with you.

In His name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 14 October 2013 at 06:00 am

14 October

However a Samaritan was traveling and came there, and when he saw him, he felt sorry for him. Luke 10:33.

You dare not ask what you should do externally; look at your neighbor, there you will find enough to do, even when you have a thousand. Just don't seduce your yourself; just don't think that you will get to heaven by praying and church attendance or pins, if you pass by your neighbor. If you pass by your neighbor here, he will be lying in your way there, so that you will again have to pass by him in front of the gateway to heaven, just like the rich man left Lazarus lying before his door. With his conscience a Christian should be a physician, but outwardly - with external lifestyle - he should be a burden-bearing animal [donkey] that bears burdens and brothers.

Thank God that my son Nathan was here this morning to fix my messed up computer... He truly was and is a Good Samaritan to me!  Thanks be to God, he took me to the German service on Wendish Fest Sunday at the church of my Wendish great-grandfather & grandfather in Serbin, TX.

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 12 October 2013 at 06:00 am

12 October

Also from among you yourselves there will arise men who will speak wrong teaching, in order to draw disciples to themselves. Therefore be alert ...  Acts 20:30-31.

If it weren't for the rotten, through whom the devil wakes us up, we then would be too lazy, sleeping and snoring ourselves to death; also both faith and Word would by us be darkened and rusted up until it was completely spoiled. However now such things are our polishers that sharpen and grind our faith and doctrine, so that it is smooth and clean like a shining mirror, also thereby learn to recognize the devil and his thoughts and become skilled to fight against him. On the other hand also the Word itself thereby increases and is presented to the world more brightly, so that many through such a war experience the truth or are strengthened by it. For it is a businesslike thing about the Word of God; that's why God also gives it to be active, depends upon it and rushes both at the devil and the world, in order that its apparent might and virtue be revealed and the devil's lies be put to shame.

"Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word", as Luther states in his great hymn; and today I also thank Him for kindly sending much beneficial rain last night - with much more possible today.

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 11 October 2013 at 06:00 am

11 October

Don't exalt yourself over the other branches. If you exalt yourself over them, you should then know that you do not support the root, but that the root supports you. - Romans 11:18.

I hope, that one deals kindly with the Jews and instructs them well from the Holy Scriptures, so that many of them would become true Christians and again return to the faith of their fathers and patriarchs, from which they are only further discouraged if one discards their thing and will allow nothing to remain and actually opposes them only with arrogance and contempt. If the Apostles, who also were Jews, had dealt with us like the gentiles did with the Jews, there would have been no Christians among the gentiles. - If we exalt ourselves as being equal to the Jews, we still are gentiles, and the Jews are blossoms of Christ. We are brothers-in-law (i.e. guests) and aliens/strangers; they are kinsmen, cousins and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one were to exalt oneself/brag about flesh and blood, then of course the Jews are closer to Christ than we are, Romans chap. 9.

I try as often as possible to support my Jewish friend (Steve Cohen) with his APPLE of His Eye missionary outreach to his fellow Jews with the Christian message of Salvation.

In Christ [Messiah],

Elmer     

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 10 October 2013 at 06:00 am

10 October

That's why I did not flee from you, my Shepherd, thus then I did not covet the day of disaster, You know that; what I have proclaimed is right before You. Jeremiah 17:16.

Anyone who is in the pastoral ministry, consider this; the devil and the world will not let up, they will challenge you. If you tell the truth, then the world becomes mad and foolish, it begins to curse you, condemn and persecute you; here you have to endure scorn and derision. If the world is able to twitch the sword over you, it will do so without ceasing, and the devil as Master helps it do so; he drives such a poisonous, fiery spear into the heart, so that he might melt it. When you thus feel such tribulation, the world curses and persecutes you, and in addition mocks and laughs at you and the devil plagues you; what are you to do?  Should you become impatient, renounce your pastoral ministry, forsake it and curse? No! instead have patience, wait it out, grab some courage and say: Come on, my Lord Christ has previously said it, that I  will weep and howl, but has also additional stated that in a little while my sadness will be turned into joy. If He then did not lie to me about the small stuff, that I now do not yet see Him, but have to weep and howl/mourn, then He will also not lie to me about the other small matter, that I will again see Him and my heart will rejoice.

This one has me remembering how the Lord kept His promises to me in keeping this Jonah in his pastoral ministry .... would love to share it, but my 'weeping, howling' joints make it impossible.

The Good Shepherd be with us to our end,

In His Name,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 09 October 2013 at 06:00 am

 9 October

Then they said to Him: Who then are You? And Jesus said to them: First of all, He who is speaking with you. John 8:25.

They first of all wanted to know who He was, and paid no attention to what He said; thus He wanted them to first listen, thus they would know who He was. This means: Listen and let the Word be the beginning, thus the knowing will certainly follow. However if you don't listen then you will never know anything. For it has been decided that God will be invisible, unknown, incomprehensible except for solely through of His Word. Therefore whatever a person undertakes for salvation outside of the Word is in vain. He will be unable to do it, he won't have it, he will otherwise suffer. That's why you should let His Book - in which He speaks to you - be ordered for you. For He did not let it be written in vain, that one should let it lay on the shelf, as He spoke to the mice under the bench or the flies on the lectern. One should read it [the Bible], ponder, contemplate, speak, and promote it and be certain that He Himself - not angel nor creature - is speaking to us in it.

So then, let us search the Scriptures, for in them we have eternal life...they testify of Him who is our WAY, our TRUTH, and LIFE ...

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 08 October 2013 at 06:00 am

8 October

Let us get rid of the sins that constantly cling to us and drag us down. - Hebrews 2:1.

I have at various times experienced where I purposed to go to Holy Communion on this or that day. When that particular day arrived, then such a devotion left or otherwise a hindrance came up or I thought I was inept, so that I said: Well then, after days I will do it. The eighth day found me even more inept and hindered than before. Well then after eight more days I will do it. Such ["]eight days["]became so many that I would probably soon get away from such an agreement. But as God gave me the grace so that I noticed the devil's chicanery, I said: Do we want that, Satan? So have yourself a good year with your and my talent, - and I ripped through and went (to Communion), also even one time without going to private confession (which of course I otherwise never do) in defiance of the devil.

Ha! Ha! Satan; God enabled my grinding-bone limbs and my feeble mind to complete another one of Elmer's sloppy translations - also I had the edification of receiving Holy Communion from my pastor day before yesterday. Today we also pray the Fifth Petition.

Through these turbulent times, Lord keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 07 October 2013 at 06:00 am

7 October

If you also suffer for the sake of righteousness, you still are blessed. But don’t fear their defiance and don't you be frightened.  1 Peter 3:14.

The world has its defiance and courage if its bag and box are full. Here there is such pride and defiance that the devil would be unable to cope with any rich peasant farmers. Another defiantly steps up with his nobility and power to win favor and honor from the people. If someone is smart and wise, he defies his head and thereby pulls it off so that no one can resist him, and nobody will give in to another, who has more power, honor, art, money or goods. That however is nothing more than a foolish childish dispute. However Christians have nothing upon which they rely other than Christ, our Lord and God, that they for His sake allow all things to move on and say: Rather than deny and forsake my Christ, I would sooner let go of throat and belly, glory and goods, house and home, wife and children and everything. Such a mindset is not false and misleading; for it trusts in no temporal and perishable thing on earth.

This one induces me to sing to our Lord:  "Take my life and let it be .... Thine forever...etc."  So be happy, by faith in Christ, we contrite and repentant sinners are pronounced righteous.

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 06 October 2013 at 06:00 am

6 October

Mercy exalts itself against triumphs over judgment. James 2:13

It is called remaining in the kingdom of grace, if I do not doubt God's grace and the forgiveness of sins, be the sin as huge as it wants to be; I instead with mind and conscience continue to remain steadfast in faith; grace and forgiveness is still there, even if the wrath of God and all creation wanted to eat/gobble me up and even my conscience itself would additionally say that grace is gone and God doesn't want to forgive. That is called lifting God's grace above everything else. Anyone who can't do this, by defying the judgment has deflected away the grace, and grace comes to naught and the judgment alone rules to death and damnation. On the other hand where grace defies, the judgment must be deflected and grace alone rules to life and eternal salvation.

This was a true torture to translate...inasmuch as I got it right, may you be comforted by it like I now am. (re physical pains, am now trying Australian Dream tonight - hope some pain subsides; I still have God's grace!

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 05 October 2013 at 06:00 am

5 October

In my anxiety I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me. Jonah 2:3.[v.2]

To the Lord, to the Lord, and otherwise to no one else than to Him who is angry and punishes, and to none other! However it must be the kind of outcry that God will answer. This is nothing other than crying out with true faith from the heart, which in an emergency so rises up that it by the Spirit's support runs to the engaged God and under His wrath seeks grace, it lets God punish and at the same time still allows itself to be consoled/comforted by His goodness. Here you take notice of what a sharp face the heart has to here deal with sheer wrath and punishment and yet not feel and see any punishment or wrath but rather grace and goodness,[;] that is, it will not see or feel it, even though it at the same time sees and feels it at the highest level, and it will see and feel the grace, even though at the same time it is hidden at the deepest level. So you see, it is such a big thing to come to God, that one has to break through His wrath, punishment and disgrace, like going through sheer thorns, even through sheer spears and swords.

Last night I found myself in the belly of a big fish =  'thorn in the flesh' of physical pain. I cried out to the Lord, as it kept me awake. The Lord answered me by enabling me to here finish one more Luther translation. God grant us all a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.

In His Name,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 04 October 2013 at 06:00 am

4 October

[literally: Our daily bread give us today.]

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11.

On account of its countless virtues and deeds God's Holy Word has many names in Scripture. It is called a spiritual Sword with which a person is able to fight against the spiritual enemies. It is called a Light, a Morning Rain, an Evening Rain, a heavenly Dew, Gold, Silver, Physician, Clothing, Cloak and many other similar things. So then it is also called a Bread, since the soul is fed, strengthened, made larger and stronger by it. And one should not just take this [i.e., the above verse] to mean only plain bread; for in the same way that Scripture through physical bread expresses all sorts of food for the body, of how delicious they always are, so also through spiritual bread it expresses all the foods for the soul, which are totally innumerable. For there are all sort of souls on earth and each individual one does not always have the same need and skill, and yet the Word of God gives an exuberant satisfaction to each and every soul. For if all the foods of kings, who have been and sill might be, were to be heaped on a pile, their food could not in the least be compared to even the tiniest piece of the Word of God. That's why Christ the Lord in the Gospel (Matthew 22:2 ff.) calls it a royal housekeeping and through Isaiah a delicious, exquisite and gorgeous feast (Isa. 25:6). The Bread, the Word, and the Food is none other than Jesus Christ, our Lord Himself, as He says in John 6:51: I am the Living Bread, that has come down from heaven, in order to bring life to the world.

Early this morning my son Nathan prepared my breakfast, I read a devotion...in mid-morning I'm hungry for both 'bread's'; my stomach stirs up the appetite for the visible bread, the Holy Spirit for the "Bread of Life".

In Christ,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 03 October 2013 at 06:00 am

3 October

Look at the birds in the air; they don't sow, they don't harvest, they don't gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26.

The little birds fly over our eyes, so that we well might tip our little hats to them and say: My dear, little Sir Doctor, I have to confess that I am unable to perform the art and skill that you do. You sleep in your little nest through the whole night without any worry. In the morning you again fly out, are happy and [do] good things, seat yourself in a tree and sing, praising and thanking God; thereafter you look for your little grain and find it. Phooey, what have I old fool learned, that I don't also do it, for which I of course have so many reasons to do this? Therefore:  The little bird leaves the worries behind and in such circumstances conducts himself like a living saint and yet has neither farm nor barns, neither storage boxes nor cellars; it sings, praises God, is happy and [has]good things.

Amidst physical pain and disabilities, this little "GUIDE" has me happily chirping on a tree limb!  Our Creator out of fatherly kindness daily provides for all our needs (still gives me 2 fingers on each hand to type with....[And our Redeemer saved us, and the Holy Spirit has brought us to faith through the means of grace; CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP!]

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Soli Deo Gloria!

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 02 October 2013 at 06:00 am

2 October

There about four thousand who had eaten there. Mark 8:9.

These so many thousands of people were also already fed with Christ from the beginning of the world; for He sees and knows the satisfaction and the overflow just as if they have already been happening for thousands of years. However in the eyes of the disciples it is impossible, also after thousands of years and into eternity. Oh! flesh, you indeed are flesh and remain flesh. When no danger and need is present or if you are filled with present goods, you then courageously believe, but if you lack the necessities or an emergency exists, then you much more so sing or whine out of Psalm 4: [??? Perhaps Psalm 104:15???]These have much wine and grain. Even so very much so the flesh actually steeps itself in unbelief and current things, and so very much so it is actually drowned in recklessness with absent or future things. Ps. 104:27-28: ["]All of them wait upon You to give them their food at the right time. When You give it to them, the pick it up; when You open Your hand, thus the are satisfied with good things.["] 

A bit of a tough one to translate...hope and pray I satisfactorily corralled Luther's German thoughts into English.

In the name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 01 October 2013 at 06:00 am

1 October 

He satisfies you with the best of wheat. Psalm 147:14.

When we sow an acre of grain, we should not only notice God's goodness, but also God's might and thus think; O you dear grain, how fully God gives you to us, but also think about with what great might He has protected you from the very hour that you were sown until you come to the table! Through how many countless dangers of all misfortune have you come? How powerfully He tears you through the devil's fingers and hands, which grab for, shoot and strike at you in order to corrupt you and kill you with hunger! Yes, yes, that's how we should think. We unfortunately think we have other things to do than acknowledge such grace and power of God. We think we're the ones who have done the most for the grain; why, had we not labored, then God would not have been able to give etc. Why do we petition that God would give us daily bread? Because we do not have it from ourselves, or acquired it through our own skills and labor, instead we have petition and await it from Him. Ps. 104:14: You make the grass grow for the cattle and sow for the benefit of the people, so that you bring bread from the ground. 

God has used my physical osteoid-arthritic pain as a 'thorn in the flesh' to keep awake and translate another one.  But suddenly Luther is writing in simpler German.  And thank you Lord for our daily bread. 

In Christ,

Elmer