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Welcome to "Luther's Christian Guide For Each Day"

Tuesday 18 November 2014 at 4:26 pm

The Reverend Dr. Elmer Hohle is graciously providing us with these as he translates them. You are encouraged to comment, and to share these with your family and other loved ones. 

The sainted Pastor Johannes Poetsch sent him his copy in 1997. Professor Dave Berger says there are 2 other copies in the USA (one at Brigham Young Library in Utah). 

This present book was published by Corinth-Verlag, Hamburg,

Titled Christian Guide for Each Day.

Hänssler Devotionals

Order no. 392514

2 Edition 1997

© Copyright 1996 this issue

by Hänsler-Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart

Cover design: Stefanie Stegbauer

Cover photo: Martin Luther 1533 painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Artothek Kunstdia archive, 82380 Peissenberg

Publisher: Corinth-Verlag, Hamburg

Printer: Ebner Ulm

Printed in Germany

Read More

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 22 July 2014 at 06:00 am

22 July

There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, namely Satan's messenger, who hit me with fists, so that I did not become arrogant. 2 Corinthians 12:7

Paul, I notice, will indeed be among one of the greatest saints, likewise also the Prophet David. But when they came upon the highest point, they couldn't be sure about the idol of work righteousness which they had before their eyes, as they themselves lament. Because Paul freely confesses that God had to send to him from hell a messenger of Satan, who pierced him and quite probably hurt him, solely so that he did not feel proud over the huge enlightenment, like as if he as a result of this enlightenment would be regarded as being better and holier before God. Behold, the noble man in spirit and faith might fall into such pride that he might tickle himself and come before God with his own holiness, and with such register: So much have I accomplished, suffered, preached, so many have I converted, etc., that there was no advice as to how to fight the misery, so that he finally had to have a devil around his neck who scourged him to the point where he had to confess as to what it was, that it was by sheer grace, not on account of any works or merits. 

The verse above has been a reminder for me to keep on struggling through these translations via God's all-sufficient grace. The fact that amidst my 'thorn in the flesh' I was able to translate this one - however sloppily - get's chalked up to: sola gratia, grace alone!

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 24 April 2014 at 06:00 am

24 April

Even when I live in the midst of fear and anxiety, You renew me and stretch out Your hand against the anger of my enemies and help me with Your right hand. Psalm 138:7

When God wanted to make His Son into a King, He began with great wonders and power; but because He was to be the best, He let Him die on the cross like a desperate villain; still He saw to it that while all reason gave up on Him, He came forth and became an eternal King. Just like when the children of Israel were standing amidst death without any help or advice, He parted the sea before them so that they could go through on dry land. So also it goes for us, when we cry out to Him to be rescued from death, He first leads us into it. He then allows such to happen in order that He may put to shame the reason of those who do not believe but instead want to know how, where, and when, in order to make room for faith which lets God do it. God's works are not like human works, instead they are entirely absurd [go counter to reason]; so it happens like this, that if something is to go up, it first has to go down.

  

Elmer M. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 06:00 am

22 April

However to the godless God says: What right do you have to proclaim My laws and to take My covenant into your mouth, in that you hate being chastised and toss My words behind you? Psalm 50:16-17.

You must not be troubled when you live among people who on both sides boast in the name of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, God's Word, etc., on both sides are united in one word, but in terms of understanding are separated the farthest from each other. One cannot separate them nor prevent them. But here it separates itself if you see which of them among both sides - who bear the same name, are wrong or correct. In order to correctly make the distinction as to who is right and who is wrong, one has to look at where the teaching of the good news about faith in Christ apart from any additional and incidental teaching, goes forth with its fruits and true good works in accordance with the same Word, and on the other hand look where the opposition goes and it only calls it the Gospel and faith with its mouth.    

Elmer Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 20 April 2014 at 06:00 am

Holy Festival of Easter

I live, you too shall live. John 14:19.

Jesus Christ arose from the dead, to this there belongs a strong, solid faith that makes strong and solid for us this Article: "He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Almighty Father, from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead". That's why one should well mark and write with huge letters these words "Christ is risen from the dead" with such huge letters, so that one letter is as huge as a tower, indeed as huge as heaven and earth, so that we don't see, hear, think, know of anything other than this Article. If we believe this, we then will have a good life and death. For Christ has not only conquered and risen from the dead for Himself personally, rather you must constantly stick to this as applying to you, and that also we stand and are included among the "risen" ones and with them also shall arise and live forever.

Thank you Lord for guiding me through another couple of Luther's sentences.  Sunday after next we will in church joyfully shout: "He is risen, He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!"  Have a blessed Holy Week.  My little Luther volume is totally unbound and the next sheet I have left is March 25. My left hand is no longer able to touch my right shoulder - thank You Lord that both my hands can still reach this keyboard. 

In Christ,
Elmer H. 

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 18 April 2014 at 06:00 am

18 April

Choose your plan and it will come to nothing, make your statement and it won't stand. Isaiah 8:10.

Often there are enthroned 'Sauls' in kingdoms and princedoms who probably could carry the skies if God in His Wisdom wanted to order them to do so. There is no one here who has signed up to heaven and sought counsel and action from God. For they either are such godless people, that their conscience does not let them pray and call out, or otherwise they are so accustomed to deliberate that it solidifies their unbelief. Thus the Lord our God at times has to idly sit above and must not allow wise counsel to come to such people, and in such situations He says to His angel Gabriel: Beloved one, what are these wise people doing in the council room that they don't also include us in their council? Beloved Gabriel, go and take Isaiah with you and read them a secret Lection through the window and say: “With seeing eyes you shall not see, with hearing ears you shall not hear, with understanding hearts you shall not understand. Conclude a council and nothing will come of it, discuss and debate among yourselves and it will not stand, because Mine is both the council and the action.”

Hallelujah!  Thank you Lord for enabling my evermore feeble mind and my frail, pain-ridden body to finally finish this translation - one of my hands just had another knot pop up - but Satan you lose!   Tetelesthai ("It is finished" in Grk)!  (These translations, that is!)

In Christ,

Elmer M. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 18 April 2014 at 06:00 am

Good Friday

Indeed/Verily, He has taken on Himself our suffering ... He was wounded for our transgression and was crushed for our sins; The punishment was laid on Him, so that we could have peace, and by His wounds we were healed. - Isaiah 53:4-5.

Beyond all measure this beautiful and comforting proclamation is about Christ, our Savior; we with our words, yes also with our thoughts, can never ever acquire the comprehension of this. In yonder life we will forever and ever have our joy and delight upon the fact that the Son of God so deeply humbled Himself and took my sin upon His back; indeed, not only my sin, but also the sin of the whole world that has ever been committed - all the way from Adam on down to the very last person on earth; He was willing to have committed them and also consequently suffer and die because them, so that I may be without sin and receive eternal salvation. There of course is no one who is capable of adequately talking or thinking about this, namely, that the entire world with all its holiness, righteousness, might and glory is locked up under sin and merits nothing before God, and that if anyone wants to be saved and freed of one's sin, he has to know that all of his sin has been laid upon the Lamb's back. That's why John points his disciples to this Lamb and says: "Look, that is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world." Do you want to know where the sin of the world has been laid, so it would be forgiven? Look not upon the Law of Moses nor run to the devil; for there you will find sin, before which you will be terrified and be condemned. However, if you want to know and find a place where sin and the world have been taken away,then look: the Lord has laid upon the cross and upon the back of this Lamb and upon none other.       

 

Luther, you drive me up the wall with your long sentences of interconnected thoughts... but I really don't want to chop them up. 

Thank you Jesus for becoming the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

In the Name of Jesus,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 17 April 2014 at 06:00 am
Maundy Thursday

Take, eat, this is My body ... Drink out of it all of you; this is My blood of the New Testament, which has been shed for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28.

 

According to this you can happily, upon your death and on Judgment Day, speak to Christ like this: ["]My beloved Lord Jesus Christ, there has arisen a conflict over Your words in Holy Communion(namely: This is My body, this is My blood); some want to understand these words differently than how they read. However, since they teach me nothing certain, but instead only make me confused and unsure and in no way want to or are able to prove their claim from the text, I thus abide with Your text as the words read. If there is darkness in them, then You must have wanted them darkened that way; for you have not given nor commanded any other explanation of them.["] The great church father Augustine says:["]The entire Holy Scriptures is as it were, so to speak, written with the blood of Christ.["]  And again, ["]One does not taste the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as long as one does not taste Christ in them.["] From the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther, Chief Part 5, question 1: ["]What is the Sacrament of The Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine for us Christians to eat and drink instituted by Christ Himself.["]

My little worn out WEGWEISER booklet has been falling apart (over fifteen years old) and I've lost the pages of the next few days.  Hence I'll try to work on translating Luther's Holy Week devotions from p. 373f.
... it's getting ever more difficult for me to type, but Ill take a break and then proceed, God willing:
Oh yes, Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the special gift of Your real presence in the Lord's Supper!  And thank You for enabling me to complete another translation.
In His Name,
Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 08 April 2014 at 06:00 am

8 April

As they however came to Jesus, they diligently begged Him and said: He is worthy that You show him this, for he loves our people, and he built a synagogue [literally in German: school] for us. Luke 7:4-5.

When a harm that really bites is to come to the devil, it has to happen through the young people who grow up in the knowledge of God, spread it and teach it. That's why I ask you, my beloved lords and friends, for the sake of God and the poor young folks, that you would not regard this matter as insignificant, as many do who do not see what the world's prince thinks. For it is a serious, big thing, which the Christian and the whole world regards as important that we help and advise the young people. Dear lords, if one has to spend so much each year on gun bearers, roads, bridges, dams and the like, so that a city may have temporal peace and chambers, why should one not also spend much more on the needy, poor youth, in order that one consider hiring an intelligent, skilled person or two as school teacher.

Aged Elmer struggled translating this one; God grant that it's adequately accurate.  

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 07 April 2014 at 06:00 am

7 April

So that you may grasp along with all the rest of the saints, realize how broad and long and deep and high [Christ's love is], also realize how Christ loves us, which of course surpasses all knowledge. Ephesians 3:18-19. 

Knowing Christ means to know that He died for us and loaded our sin upon Himself, also that I consequently regard all my things as worthless, let go of everything that’s mine and solely cling to the fact that Christ has been given to me, His suffering, His godliness and all His virtues are simultaneously all mine. As I realize this, I must in turn love Him, for one has to be well-disposed towards such a Man. Thereupon I move up further to the Son, on to the Father, and see that Christ is God, and has stuck Himself into my death, into my sin, into my misery and gives me also His grace. Thereupon I recognize His friendly and kind will and the highest love of the Father that my heart could ever find and feel. Thus I grasp God and ponder: Oh, that is God, that is God's will and good pleasure, that Christ did that for me. And in His face I discover, realize and feel the high indescribable mercy and love of God in the fact that He placed His dear, beloved Child into pain, shame and death for me.

Oh dear Lord,  translating this one made me gratefully misty-eyed out of gratitude for what all You have done to save us sinners.

Elmer Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 30 March 2014 at 06:00 am

30 March

So now as dear children of God be followers/like Him and live in love, just like Christ has loved us and gave Himself up for us as a gift and offering, as a sweet smelling incense to God. Ephesians 5:1-2.

It's as if He wants to say: Here I myself am, He who was given up for you, this treasure I give to you. What I have, you too shall have; if you are lacking, I also shall lack; here, you have My righteousness, life and salvation, so that neither sin nor death, hell nor misfortune shall overpower you; as long as I am righteous and live, so long you also shall remain pious and alive.  -  We must in turn speak such words to our neighbors, namely like this: Look my dear brother, I have received my Lord; He is mine, and I now have plenty left over and have all fullness; so you also now take what I have; it shall all be yours, and I will place it there for you; if it ever becomes necessary that I should die for you, I will also do that. 

Thank you Lord for enabling me to also translate this one!  If it be Your will, please sooth my physical pains so that I now may take a pre-lunch nap. O Holy Spirit grant me grace to live my life in Christian love also for the welfare of my neighbors. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 29 March 2014 at 06:00 am

29 March

Lord, be kind to me; for I am weak. Heal me, Lord; for my bones are frightened, and my soul is very frightened. Psalm 6:3-4(a). [vv. 2-3(a) in English Bibles]

Have mercy, Lord, for I am weak; heal me, for my bones are frightened ... I know what I'm talking about. It most certainly is true that nobody obtains God's mercy who does not intensely hunger and thirst for it, like the Psalm (42:2 ff.) states: Like a deer cries out for fresh water, so my soul thirsts for You, God. No satiated and bored soul dare hope to be satisfied by God; for He fills up with good things only the hungry ones. How less so will He give eternal life to the bored souls, who of course despise it in favor of this temporal life. Only to those who most fervently and with inexpressible groaning sighs seek it, request it, and knock on His door for it, shall He give eternal life. Since we however in this life amidst a quite/peaceful life do not do this, God then lays all kind of afflictions and death upon us, the pressures of which shall drive us to seek mercy and life. 

My body cries out in physical pain, but my soul rejoices that God enabled me to complete this difficult translation. I'm confident that I did it fairly correctly.  I once did a woodblock print of some deer beside a stream of water, entitled: "So longs my soul for Thee."

Longing for Christ - even so come quickly,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 28 March 2014 at 06:00 am

28 March

You must succeed with Your majesty. Enter in for the good cause of truth and uphold the miserable with justice, thus Your right hand shall manifest wondrous things. Psalm 45:5.[verse 4 in English Bibles]

Therefore let us open our hearts and look at Priest Christ in His majestic garment. With your eyes you will not find any majesty on Him; for you probably see how pitifully, miserably and shamefully He hangs there [on the cross]. However look at Him with your heart; there you will find such a majestic garment and treasured jewel, for which you will never be able to thank Him enough. For first of all He is decorated/cloaked with the great glorious obedience towards His Father, that to honor Him He allows Himself to be spit upon, be whipped, martyred. It is impossible that we in this life would actually be able to see such a majestic garment. Yet we still are able to see enough, so that all pearls, velvet and gold-embroidered garments are nothing compared to this one. The second garment is His great love towards us, that the Lord would have such little regard for His life and suffering, and would instead first pray for us rather than for Himself. Who then will ever be able to adequately comprehend such love, that the Lord has such a heart towards us, so full of fieriness that He places Himself amidst His greatest suffering as if He saw or felt nothing; instead He only thinks about, sees and is concerned about your and my misery, hardships and heartaches. 

Wow, I never before have looked at Psalm 45:4 as such a Messianic prophecy. It was soul-warming for me to translate the above thoughts. It has me singing Paul Gerhardt's hymn: "O sacred Head now wounded" (T L H #172) and "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness;   My beauty are, my glorious dress;   Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,   With joy shall I lift up my head."  (T L H #371).

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 27 March 2014 at 06:00 am

27 March

It was also proclaimed to us just like to them, however the Word of the message did not help those who did not believe the good news they heard. Hebrews 4:2.

When I hear that Jesus Christ died for me, took away my sin and won heaven for me, I am hearing the good news. The words soon disappear as one preaches them; however, when it falls into the heart and is seized with faith, it then can never fall away. No creature is able to overturn this truth; the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. And if I were to get stuck in the devil's throat, I can seize the Word, thus I have to be released and remain where the Word remains. 

This one has me singing Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is our God .....v. 3:

"Tho' devils all the world should fill,

All eager to devour us,

We tremble not, we fear no ill, 

They shall not overpow'r us. 

This world's prince may still Scowl fierce as he will, 

He can harm us none, He's judged; the deed is done; 

One little word can fell him."

Clinging to Christ by faith,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 25 March 2014 at 06:00 am

25 March

Day of the Annunciation to Mary

Mary said: Look, I am the Lord's maid; let it happen as you have said. Luke 1:38.

The Blessed Virgin would never have received the Son of God, if she had not believed the announcement of the angel, had it not happened that she said: Let it happen to me as you have said, - like she praised Elizabeth: Blessed are you who have believed, for it will happen to you what has been told you from the Lord. It's a miracle that this virgin's heart could believe this unbelievable (announcement),that she of herself, i.e., without a man, was to become a mother, indeed a mother of such a great King Who is the Son of the most High, and that she despised herself and was quite miserable about how could she understand this? But the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. "Look, I am the Lord's maid." I consent to you in this matter. As soon as she said that, she became a mother, and something unusual happened to her like to no other woman. Such power of faith that could believe the words of the angel is no less a wonder than the incarnation of the Word Himself.

And so the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth!  Nine month's from this day we'll joyfully commemorate the birth of our Savior - Christ the Lord!  He even came to save a wretch like me! O Holy Spirit, grant me such a faith like Mary's!

In Him, 

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 22 March 2014 at 06:00 am

22 March

The rule of the Spirit, that makes alive in Christ Jesus, has freed me from the rule of sin and death. Romans 8:2.

These words are full of comfort, with which you can respond to law and conscience when they say:

"You have sinned," by saying: "It is true, I have sinned."

"So now, that's why our Lord God will condemn and punish you."

"No, not so!"

"But God's law says so, it surely would not lie to you.

"What does the law matter to me?"

"How can that be possible?"

"Because I have a different law, namely freedom, which forces the other law to keep silent." 

"What kind of freedom?"

"Christ's Freedom; for by Christ I have been made free of the law. Therefore also the law which the godless have and try to keep, is no law to me, instead freedom is my law, it binds the other law that wants to condemn me. And thus also the law, that for a time held me captive and in bondage, is now again taken captive by the grace and freedom which from now on has become my law and says to the other law, which  accuses me: 'You will not bind this person nor take him captive, much less so will you condemn him, instead I will take you captive, bind up your feet, so that you won't be able to do anything to this person who lives in Christ and is dead to all your things.'"       

A tough one to translate; I put in some quotation marks to help us get through it. My faith was well nourished at church yesterday through Word and Sacrament.  God grant yours was too.  

Grateful for Christ's freedom from the rule of sin and death.

Living in Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 21 March 2014 at 06:00 am

21 March

We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. Ephesians 5:30.

Just like any married man can be united with his wife, faith unites me inwardly with Christ. That's why one should properly teach about faith this way: namely, through faith you become united and are made one with Christ in such a way that you and He become one Person. You cannot divorce nor separate yourselves from each other.  Instead, you constantly cling to Christ, and with all joy may confidently say: 'I am Christ' - of course not personally, but rather Christ's righteousness, victory, life, and everything that He possesses is my own. And Christ also says, "I am this poor sinner, i.e., all his sins and death are My sin and My death, since he by faith clings to Me and I cling to him - indeed, I actually live in him!"

Feeble mindedly my fumbling fingers (all 3 of them) punch out another translation. 

United in Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 20 March 2014 at 06:00 am

20 March

By the Law I have died to the Law, so that I live for God. Galatians 2:19. 

The Scriptures give our Lord Christ so many lovely names, calling Him our law, sin, death, even though He Himself is nothing other than freedom, righteousness, eternal life and salvation. However that is why He became a law against the Law, a sin against all sin, a death against all death, in order to redeem us from the curse of the Law, make us righteous and alive from sin and death. So then Christ is simultaneously Law and freedom, sin and righteousness, death and life.  For by the fact that He allowed the Law to accuse Him, sin to condemn Him and death to devour Him, He at the same time took away the Law, in turn condemned sin, devoured death, and made us righteous and just. So then Christ is a poison, from which Law, sin, and death have to die, and at the same time He is a curative medicine, from which the believers are not only freed from all misfortune, but from which they also become righteous, alive, and blessed.   

Thank You Lord for again enabling my feeble mind and frail fingers to iron out the wrinkles of my translation of page 86.  Luther has some very edifying words of comment here.  God grant that you find that to be the case for you too.  So,

By the Law I died to the Law, to live for God (cf. Romans 3:28),

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 19 March 2014 at 06:00 am

19 March

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

I have frequently said that one must with diligence distinguish between a pious person and a Christian. We do of course also laud a person for being pious, and there is nothing praise worthy on earth that is not also a gift of God, just as are the sun and moon, corn and wine and all creatures, however so that one does not mix and brew them together, but instead leaves the praise of a pious person up to the world and says: A pious person indeed is an excellent person on earth, yet he still is not a Christian; for he could also be a Turk or a heathen (like those in previous times have been), as it can be no other way that among so many evil ones there must be found a pious person. However, be he as pious as he may be, with such piety he still is and remains a child of Adam, i.e., an earthly man under sin and death.  

After untangling a translation like this one, I'd normally be sweating - but in anticipation of the cold front that may bring me some snow, there's not a drop of sweat on my brow.  There however is gratitude in my heart for God's gift in my Baptism of faith in Christ Jesus, "whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but has eternal life.”

By God's grace a new creation in Christ via God's Word and Sacraments,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 18 March 2014 at 06:00 am

18 March

What was impossible for the Law to do (since it was weakened by the flesh), God did and sent His own Son in the form of sinful flesh and condemned sin in the flesh through sin. Romans 8:3.

When I feel that sin is biting me in my conscience, I then lift up my eyes and look at the bronze serpent on the cross, my dear Lord Christ; there I find another 'Sin' against my sin - Who then accuses me and wants to devour me. This very same 'other sin' however is Christ, my Lord, Who was made sin for us, even though He knew of no sin, so that in Him we would become the righteousness which avails before God. That very same 'Sin' is so powerful that it condemns my sin and rips it away and devours the sin of the whole world. Thus also my sin is condemned through that 'Sin', i.e., through the crucified Christ, so that it can ever condemn me. Then I also find death in my flesh, which martyrs and kills me; I however have another 'Death' against this death, Who is the 'Death' of my death, He also once more crucifies and rips away my death.

Amidst a host of life's pains and trials, the completion of this translation has me rejoicing with a consoled soul - may the Spirit do the same for you.

In Christ who is 'Sin' to my sin and 'Death' to my death,

E. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 17 March 2014 at 06:00 am

17 March

Truly, truly, I tell you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. John 16:23.

If you don't want to pray until you know and feel that you are worthy and qualified, you then must never pray, for our prayer must never be based upon our worthiness, but rather upon the unchangeable truth of divine commitment, and where it is based upon oneself or something else, it then is false and it betrays you, even if you also break your heart with great devotion and weep sheer drops of blood; for here's why we ask, because we are not worthy to ask and to be heard, and that's the very reason why we become worthy to ask and to be heard, in that we believe we are unworthy and finally rely solely upon God's faithfulness. Therefore guard yourself for the rest of your life, so that you never regard yourself as being worthy and qualified to ask or to receive, unless you find for yourself a free daring person upon the true and certain commitments of your gracious God. 

So, unworthy Elmer Hohle thanks You holy Father in heaven for enabling me to struggle through another translation; upon your gracious commitments I ask you to use me as you see fit to spread the Gospel to all nations.  I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

In Christ,

E. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 16 March 2014 at 06:00 am

16 March

We know that the Law is spiritual. Romans 7:14.

God's commandment calls not only for outward essence and appearance, rather it grabs into the heart and requires perfect obedience of it. Therefore it also not only requires of a person external change and conduct, but also internal change from the bottom of one's heart; however the world does not pay attention to such nor does it have any respect for such; for it knows of nothing other than public, outward sin, murder, adultery, theft and whatever else the jurists call sin and punish, but the true nodes and roots of the them, e.g., such as contempt of God, inherited inward impurity of the heart, disobedience towards God's will, etc., they do not recognize and see, all of which of course are in and remain in all humans beings who have not been sanctified by Christ.   

God uses my feeble mind to grind out another one of my 'sloppy translations' ... this one has me chanting David's Psalm 51:10 ... Create in me a clean heart of God, and renew a right spirit within me. God is faithful!

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 15 March 2014 at 06:00 am

15 March

In the days of His flesh He with strong cries and tears offered up prayers and pleas to Him Who could save Him from death, and also was heard because He held God in high esteem. Hebrews 5:7.

We should comfort ourselves with such suffering and prayer. For just as He suffered, He also prayed, not only for those who at that time were opposed to Him and laid their hands on Him and nailed Him onto the cross, but also for us; for they only were slaves and servants of our sins. For if your and my sins had not raised Christ onto the cross, they indeed would have had to leave Him alone. Since however Christ is there as the true Priest and Little Lamb of God, to pay for the sins of the whole world with His sacrifice and death, this made it possible for the Jews and Gentiles to obtain power against Him. As a result, when He prays for those who crucified Him, He is praying for us, who with our sins brought about the cause for His cross and dying. As a result we should not view the cross, upon which Christ suffered in any other way than as an altar, upon which altar Christ offered up His life and also with His praying performed the duties of His office of the Priesthood, so that we were freed from sin and from eternal death. For He Who takes away sin, also takes away death.

O Thank You Jesus for what you did for us in order to save us from sin and death and make us be declared righteous before our Father; may the Holy Spirit move us to share this message with the whole world!  Such Good News aids me in forgetting about human aches and pains.

Looking forward to being in heaven with Jesus Christ,

E. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 14 March 2014 at 06:00 am

14 March

It is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and discard the intelligence of the intelligent. 1 Corinthians 1:19.

If you want to know what is just and unjust before God, the Holy Spirit's conclusion and judgment is this: Everything that reason judges before God is flesh and blood and is worthless. Everything that is innate to human beings and not born anew, must be utterly destroyed and killed, so that no one boasts about it nor relies upon that which the world regards as wisdom; concerning that about which everyone says it has been dealt with and done wisely or reasonably, is foolishness before God. In short, what it is useless and damned, unless it happens to be the fount and source from Christ the Lord and His Word and Spirit, in order that He teach it to us. If it does not come from that, it then most certainly is sheer blindness and nothing good. (Cf. 23. March.)

On this Monday morning I'm grateful for the spiritually nourishment I received at church yesterday, and for the nice family gathering for our noon meal which my son Nathan prepared for our cozy family gathering at noon.  Our heavenly Father granted me a fairly pain-free night of sleep... typing out this translation has me aching again, but at least my dementia-ridden mind  and three typing fingers saw me through it.  

Let's keep our eyes on the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world...In His Name,

E. Hohle

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 13 March 2014 at 06:00 am

13 March

Away with this One (Jesus), and gives us Barabbas free. Luke 23:18.

Thus it wanted to go, thus it went and thus it still goes all the time. For that is the world's custom and way of doing things. For the more noble the treasure and goods are, the more hostile the world and the devil are towards such a treasure and goods. Gold is the least of goods, yet the devil cannot bear it that a person use the gold properly. Ordinary force and external peace is a beautiful gem, but the devil cannot tolerate it, instead he constantly instigates murder and the shedding of blood etc. But if you come upon the high gifts of God, such as are Holy Scripture, Gospel, divine truth and Christ, etc., when these treasures, which bring eternal righteousness and life, come into the world, then it has to happen as the text says here:  Barabbas has to be freed, Christ however has to be crucified. Before the truth can remain un-condemnable, all the devils must first go to hell. [or perhaps: all the devils must first be approved] 

# Ouch!  Twice I tried to nap after lunch - pain kept me from doing so; amidst much pain God enabled me to thumb my nose at Satan, and struggle through translating this difficult one... Luther used some phrases that are difficult to translate. 

Prying that it's been translated fairly accurately,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 12 March 2014 at 06:00 am

12 March

He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our sins. Isaiah 53:5.

Here you see the strict and unchangeable seriousness of God over sin and sinners, in that He also did not want to spare His only, most dearly beloved Son, unless he made the heavy propitiatory atonement for sinners. What will the sinner himself encounter if God's most dear Child is crushed like this? There has to be an indescribable, grave seriousness here that would move such a great, infinite Person to take this on and suffer and die over it. And, if you properly and deeply ponder the fact that God's Son Himself suffered this, then you will indeed be startled and terrified, the longer you think about it, the more deeply you will be terrified. Sin has to be completely killed off, otherwise it will kill you.  

I managed to get in a bit of a nap...only to have my physical pains wake me up to do this one - which I already did a couple of years ago and my local pastors used it as the opening section of our congregations' noon and evening GOOD FRIDAY services (April 6, 2012).  Retyping it with a few minor changes made me realize how 'drop in the ocean' any of our pains are compared to what Christ suffered to pay the debt of our sin.  So, as I think about Philippians 3:7 ff., let's sing: "When I survey the wondrous cross ..." [L S B #425]. 

Pouring contempt on all my pride,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 11 March 2014 at 06:00 am

11 March

Judge for yourselves whether it is right for us to listen more to you than to God. We indeed cannot allow that we should not tell what we have seen and heard. Acts 4:19-20

We probably still could suffer it if in a case of emergency we had to be robbed of our temporal goods, glory and what we otherwise have, but that we however should allow ourselves to be robbed of the beloved, comforting Gospel, of the faith and of Christ Himself, that's too much, and that we cannot and should not and will not suffer or put up with. And I'm only gentle at heart and at home that in this matter one calls me obstinate, stubborn and defiant. For here I publically confess, that in this matter I am rigid, defiant and stubborn and I will, God willing, keep such stubbornness and hardheadedness and not waver from it one hairbreadth, it goes as it may. Love, which endures all things, believes and hopes all things, does and should indeed waver; however faith should not do it; because faith can and may in sum actually suffer nothing.    

Rx's enabled me to sleep for about 4 hours until 4:30 a.m. ... the ouch! ouchs! kept me wide awake enough to get this one translated - Those three sentences are a sharp reminder to me to keep spreading the good news about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And I now shut this one down as I sing "My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of  Calvary, Savior divine" ....etc.  

In His Name,

Elmer H., pr. em.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 10 March 2014 at 06:00 am

10 March

This most certainly is a true and precious, trustworthy statement, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15.

So remember now to arm yourself with diligence, so that you at all times are equipped, not just only when you apart from the external challenges or tribulations are at peace with your conscience, rather also when amidst highest distress and danger you have to fight with death, when your conscience reminds you of and terrifies you with your past sins and Satan with great might goes about under your eyes and reminds you about the great burden of your sins in order to overcome you like with a great flood, to scare and chase you away from Christ, to bring you into doubt or despair; I tell you, immediately remind yourself that Christ gave Himself up not for dreamt up or drawn or painted sins, rather for actual sins, not just for little insignificant sins, rather for overall huge and gruesome sins, not for one or two, rather for all sins, not for conquered and expunged sins, rather for unconquerable and strong, powerful sins.

Well Luther, I kept your one sentence also into my English translation.  And Satan, you couldn't stop me from finishing this one - despite my physical pains and only 3 typing fingers.  Dear reader, this one has a comforting verse and concluding phrase.

One of the saved sinners,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 09 March 2014 at 06:00 am

9 March

I am going away. John 8:21.

That's frightening if He goes away, for He takes with Him everlasting life and salvation, and everything that God wants to give to those who are His, and He leaves behind death, devil, sin and every misfortune. One can see such among the Jews. Among the Turks He has also gone away. Also in the Papacy. There is not a single one who is able to save a single soul. So we with our gross ingratitude are on the way. And if the remnant, which now longingly sighs, has a strong desire and love for the Gospel, is gone, and the core is peeled off, one thereupon will also have preachers who will not be able to keep, teach, nor sustain a single soul. It's so frightening when He says: I'm leaving. For there goes with Him, the knowledge of God, the understanding of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, where one doesn't know what God, life, righteousness and salvation is, or how one can be freed from sin and death. Everything goes away with Him, and things become evil, or indeed things become as evil as it was before.

Remember that what Jesus said in the text above was to some Jews who were arguing with Him.  Tomorrows verse will be a comforting one...

In the Name of Jesus - Who is with us always to the end of the ages,

Elmer H. (who's body is aching, but rejoicing that I completed this)

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 08 March 2014 at 06:00 am

8 March

Those who belong to Christ, they crucify their flesh along with its lusts and desires. Galatians 5:24.

Dear human being, if you wish to obtain the piety which avails before God, you must completely and totally give yourself over to Christ and accept Him for yourself, so that everything that was His is now yours, and what was yours is now His. For thus you begin to live in divine love and actually become a different person, totally new born, and everything that is in you is turned completely around. Here then you will have such a great lust for chastity like you previously had for non-chastity, and forthwith with all lusts and desires. However thereupon we must be aware that we also do not doubt when we still feel sinful desires within us and everything is still not all too clean like we eagerly wanted it to be. While you still are here in flesh and blood, you will not be able to completely sweep out these droppings [of feces].

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.  Amen.

The peace of the Lord be with us all,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 07 March 2014 at 06:00 am

7 March

You have come to the blood of sprinkling, which is better than that of Abel.  Hebrews 12:24 

Thus the blood of Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate, without ceasing, cries out so that God the Father takes note of His beloved Son's pleas and intercessions and is gracious to us poor, miserable sinners. For He can see no sin in us, even though we already are stuck full of sin, indeed sheer sins are inwardly and outwardly in our body and soul, from peak to heel [from the top of our head to the tip of our toes], instead He sees only the dear, precious blood of His beloved Son, our Lord, wherewith we have been sprinkled. For that very same blood is the golden cloak or robe of grace wherewith we have been dressed and in which we stand before God, in order that He can not nor wants to see anything other than as if we were His beloved Son Himself, full of righteousness, holiness, innocence. 

My son took me to have my eye-glasses framework adjusted after lunch today.  Came back and tried to take a nap.  The pains in one of my joints kept me awake.... God used it for a good purpose = He has enabled me, amidst the pain, to finish this translation.  With this one Luther has me singing what my parents taught us siblings in our childhood: "Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit ...(oops, I'll translate THAT into English too):

"Jesus, Your blood and righteousness,

My beauty are, my glorious dress; 

Arrayed in which before my God I'll stand

When I shall enter the heavenly land!" 

On the phone last night my 87 year old sister and I recited it in German.

Arrayed in His righteousness,

Elmer

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 06 March 2014 at 06:00 am

6 March

Our life however is in heaven, from there we also await the Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Philippian 3:20.

Here on earth we are not citizens, as we steadfastly live and have a heavenly kingdom; our citizenship however is with Christ in heaven, i.e., in the yonder life for which we wait, and hope to be saved like the those (Jews) from Babylon and come to the place where we shall be and remain eternal brothers and lords. Since we however will have to remain in this misery and in our 'Babylon' for as long as God wants, we will want to do what they (the Jews) were ordered to do, that we should live here with the people, eat and drink, maintain homes, build farms, govern and conduct ourselves peacefully with them, also pray for them, until the hour arrives when we shall travel home from there. Jeremiah 29:4-7.

As a native Texan and born USA citizen, I can't thank God enough that we Christians have a 'dual' citizenship; we're temporary citizens here on earth until the Lord takes us to our heavenly home.  In the meantime, let's keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Savior from sin, death and devil.

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Wednesday 05 March 2014 at 06:00 am

5 March

My peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives. Let not your hearts not be troubled nor be afraid! John 14:27.

You indeed seek and desire peace, but wrongly. For you seek it how the world gives it, not like Christ does. You should also know that God is wonderful amidst His people, because He has established His peace in the midst of where there's no peace, i.e., amidst all temptations, as He speaks: Reign amidst your enemies! He also does not have the kind of peace that disturbs anyone, for that's the world's sort of peace, instead He has the kind of peace which, if anything disturbs one he endures everything with quiet peace. When you say with Israel: Peace, peace, there still is no peace. Much rather instead say with Christ: Cross, cross, and there still is no cross. For there is no longer a cross if you joyfully say: Blessed cross, among everything else, there is nothing that is comparable to you!

Go away physically pain - I have Jesus' peace, thus I was able to untangle another Luther translation.  You, don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid,

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Tuesday 04 March 2014 at 06:00 am

4 March

I am a Good Shepherd; a Good Shepherd gives up His life for the sheep. John 10:12.

If you know this Shepherd, you can protect yourself against the devil and death and say I indeed have hardly kept God's Commandments: but I crawl under the wings of this beloved 'Hen', my beloved Lord Christ, and believe that He is my Shepherd, Bishop and mediator before God, Who bestows on me His righteousness, for what I failed to keep, He kept, indeed where I have sinned, He paid for that with His blood. Since He did not die and rise for Himself, He instead did it for me, as He then says here: He does not give up His life for Himself, instead He does it for the sheep. So than you are certain and assured, and the devil with his hell has to leave you alone; for he obviously will be unable to have anything on Christ, Who has conquered him, and as you like a little lamb believe in Him, He protects and keeps you.

Grateful to God for enabling me to do another translation!  So let's sing: "I am Jesus' little lamb, Ever glad at heart I am ..."

One of the Good Shepherd's little lambs,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Monday 03 March 2014 at 06:00 am

3 March

Why are you so afraid and why do such thoughts come into your hearts? Luke 24:38.

No money or goods can pay for what a troubled heart can learn and conclude from this text: Although the devil brings up all the passages that are in the Bible to frighten one's heart, when he overdoes it and thereupon does not afterword comfort you, then it most certainly is the devil, even if you seemingly see the figure of Christ as He hangs on the cross or sits at the right hand of God. For it is possible that Christ may come and seriously scare you; however that is not the fault of His nature, but rather instead the fault of yours that you did not recognize Him; however it is the devil himself who grabs hold of you with fright and doesn't let up until he brings you into doubt and despair.  

So there you have it - and Satan did not successfully frighten me to the point where I would give up on trying to untangle the above two long sentences of Luther into English. And let's let Christ kick the devil away from trying to stop and spoil our sacred Sunday services. Jesus comes to us in Word and Sacrament.  Fellow sinners, for starters let's go to John 3:16.

In His Name,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Sunday 02 March 2014 at 06:00 am

2 March

Christ made the cleansing of our sins by Himself. Hebrews 1:3.

Here he defines the Gospel right[correctly]; for everything that may be said about Christ helps us nothing until we hear how it is said to be altogether good and useful for us. What would be the need for it to be proclaimed to us, if it had happened only for His sake? But now it totally and completely applies to us and our salvation. Therefore let us here listen with joy; these are lovely words beyond all measure. The Christ, Who is so huge, an Heir of all things, a Luster of divine glory, an Image of divine essence, Who bears all things, not through foreign power or help, instead through His own action and power He has served us, poured out His love and established a cleansing of our sins. He says: our, our sin, not His sin, not the sin of the unbelievers; for anyone who does not believe this, for him such a cleansing is useless and is not established.  

I thank God for enabling me with a body aching in pain and a faltering mind to complete this translation; I pray you find it as comforting as I do. 

Thank you Christ!

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Saturday 01 March 2014 at 06:00 am

1 March

Therefore Christ died for all, so that those who then live, should not live for themselves, but rather for Him Who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:15. 

This lovely, sweet sermon will not help you, were you to say: Christ died for sinners and rose again, therefore I hope [*] also for me. Yeah, right. But as you always want to continue to remain in your old skin and use this sermon only as a cover for your shameful greed, haughty pride, lust, it then stands written here: Just don't take this consolation to mean you; for even though He did die for all and rose again, He still has not arisen for you, for you still have not by faith seized such a resurrection. You have seen the smoke, but have not felt the fire. You have heard the words, but from the same have not received any power.   

*The word 'hope' in the above first sentence is what evidently moved Luther to write this one.  So as we place our faith and trust in our crucified, risen Savior, may we by the power of the Holy Spirit live our lives for Him.  He is our only hope for salvation - thank God.

In Christ,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 28 February 2014 at 06:00 am

29 February 

However if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins and to wash us clean from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

That's why the good news of the forgiveness of sins belongs only for true Christians, who properly confess and feel their sin. The other raw people, who do not acknowledge and feel their sin, do not understand this Article about the forgiveness of sins. Even if they already heard sermons about this, it still remains covered up to them. However true Christians, when they feel their sin, have the comfort of believing in the forgiveness of sins: for they are baptized, hear the Gospel, have absolution and the holy sacrament; they believe the very same Word. For God has placed this treasure, namely the forgiveness of sins, into His Word and Sacraments and has ordered that a person should believe it. To that end the preaching of the Gospel, Baptism, Absolution and the Sacrament [of the Altar] all have been instituted so that our faith about the forgiveness of sins be ever more and more strengthened.

Thank you brother Martin for writing a GUIDE for this 'leap year' date that was easy to translate!  I, #1 chief-of-sinners, found it forgiving and faith strengthening! 

Praying you did too,

Elmer MARTIN Hohle 

P. S.  God gave me a good' night of sleep last night!  Not so much pain today either.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Friday 28 February 2014 at 06:00 am

28 February

The kingdom of God does not consist of words, but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20.

It [the kingdom of God] should not remain in the words of [about] the resurrection and Christ therefore has nothing to do with it that one hear or speak about it, instead it should be perceived [to take place] in our [personal] lives. For what does it help a dead person whether one preaches a lot about life if he does not also become alive from it? Or to a sinner about righteousness, if still remains in sin? Or to one who errs from the truth if he does not let go of error and darkness? So then it is also not only in vain, but also harmful and damnable, to hear about the glorious and blessed comfort of the resurrection, if the heart never experiences such, but instead there only remains the sound in the ears and the foam on the tongue and nothing more comes of it than it does with those who never heard anything about it. 

Please Lord, grant that I with this 'sloppy wire-untangling translation' captured into English what Luther here wrote in German!  Above all else, May He grant that His Holy Spirit transfer the "foam on the tongue" and "the sound in the ears" into people's hearts. The Gospel is God's power (dynamis = Greek word from which we get 'dynamite') to save everyone who believes it! (cf. Rom 1:16).

Joining in being one of Jesus' witnesses,

Elmer H.

Luther's "Christian Guide for Each Day"

Thursday 27 February 2014 at 06:00 am

27 February

Now that we have been declared righteous through faith, we thus have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1.

If I believe that the Lord Christ has overcome my hardship, sin, death and all evil, it is not possible that I could despair and be stupid, no matter how much also sin and death might pressure me. For faith is always there and says: If sin pressures you, if death frightens you, then cast your eyes upon Christ; He died and rose for your sake and has overcome every misfortune and disaster. What then can harm you? Of what then should you be afraid? So also if other misfortunes have been laid around your neck, such as illness or poverty, then cast your eyes away from them, lock up reason, and cast yourself upon Christ and cling to Him, thus you shall be strengthened and comforted. If you look to Christ and believe in Him, there then is no evil that you may encounter which is so big that it could harm you and cause you to despair. That's why it is impossible for this fruit [peace] to remain outside anywhere there is faith, so that peace would not also follow.

After another rough, painful, semi-sleepless night, this daily GUIDE from Luther is most comforting to me.  May it also comfort you about anything the devil has tried to lay around your neck.  And may it also comfort us amidst the 'thorns in the flesh', i.e., my/your osteo-arthritic pains, that God has permitted to assail us. 

Peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Elmer H.