Friday 06 December 2013 at 06:00 am
Tell the daughter of Zion, your King is coming to you meek. Matthew 21:5.
Run away and say nothing! He is not coming like He came to Adam, Cain, the Great Flood, to the Babylonians, to Sodom and Gomorrah, also not like He came to the people of Israel upon Mt. Sinai; He's not coming with wrath, will not judge you nor demand jurisprudence. He has laid aside all wrath; sheer gentleness and humility is here. He wants to go with you once more, so that your heart will have a desire and love for Him, and complete confidence in Him, so that you from now on very much more so indeed cling to Him and seek refuge in Him, instead of separating yourself and fleeing from Him like you previously did. It's not enough that Christ has redeemed us from the tyranny and lordship of sin, death and hell, and becomes our King; instead He also gives Himself for us to own, so that everything He is and has is our own, about which St. Paul says in Romans 8:32: He [God] did not spare His own Son, but instead gave Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him then give us all things? Thus the daughter of Zion has a twofold gracious goodness from this. The first is faith and the Spirit in the heart, by which it is cleansed and freed from sins; the second is Christ Himself, so that she [the daughter of Zion, aka Christians]in regard to this blessed goodness may boast about Christ, as if also everything were her own, everything what Christ Himself is and has, that she may rely on Christ like upon her own inheritance, about which St. Paul talks about in Romans 8:34: ["Who will condemn? Christ died, more than that, He rose, He is at the right hand of God, and He prays for us."] Christ is our Mediator before God. If He is our Mediator, He then takes us onto Himself, and we on the other hand take Him onto ourselves.
The pain ridden body and the weak mind of this 'daughter of Zion' God uses to churn out another 'sloppy' translation... I inserted the words that are bracketed.
Thank You once again, dear Jesus for all you did for us!
In His Name,
Thursday 05 December 2013 at 06:00 am
But all this happened so that it would be fulfilled what was said through the prophet: Tell the daughter of Zion... Matthew 21:4.
The Evangelist introduces it (i.e. this saying) in order that we may see how Christ did not come on account of our merits, rather on account of divine truth, since He was promised, so long before we ever existed, to whom He is coming. Therefore just as God out of sheer grace has promised us the gospel, so he has also fulfilled in order to prove His truth, that He keeps His promises, so that we may be moved to confidently build upon His Promise; because He will fulfill/keep it. And this is also one of the Scriptures in which the gospel/good news is promised, about which St Paul speaks in Romans 1, 2, and 3: God had promised the good news about His Son Jesus Christ, previously through His prophets. He does not say: Tell about the daughter of Zion; as if someone else should believe about her that she had Christ; instead you should tell it to her that she herself should believe and hold on to it without doubting that it is going to happen to her as these word read. That's faith, which alone is called the Christian faith, when you believe without wavering Christ is not only a such a Man for St. Peter and the saints, but rather also for you yourself, yes indeed, for you personally, above all others.
Thank the Lord that our King came riding on a donkey and saved us from sin, death and the devil!
Crippled hands and brain typed out another translation.
Wednesday 04 December 2013 at 4:16 pm
My children, let us not love in words or in tongue/talk, but instead with action and truth. 1 John 3:18.
The Apostle is talking against the false brothers and hypocritical Christians, who have the Gospel only in their mouth and on their tongue and retain only the foam from it, so that they think the Gospel and faith consists solely of words, many of which one can wash away, and once they have heard it, they then alone are the master of the art, and nobody knows it as well as they do, knows how to judge and blame the whole world, and nobody is as evangelical as they are. But the fact is that this is a sheer empty husk/hull/pod, from which one can see that they have no intention to live accordingly and manifest love where one could see that they are not serious about it, having taken nothing else from it than that they heard that a person receives forgiveness and is saved solely by faith and cannot obtain this through works. Therefore they become lazy and don't want to do good works, always going forth in the name of faith and they get worse than before and live in such a way that also the world must punish them, let alone that they should be able to stand before God.
Lord, forgive me and my feeble mind for not chopping up these three sentences of interconnected thoughts.
The peace of the Lord be with you.
Wednesday 04 December 2013 at 06:00 am
Therein has appeared the love of God toward us, in that He sent only born Son into the world, so that we through Him may live. 1 John 4:9.
Here everything is the highest/greatest, the Giver, the love, and the Gift; all given to us out of sheer love, not earned, and thus was given so that it should remain a gift, and shall not be called borrowed, loaned, nor paid for, so that one gives nothing for it and does nothing for it, in that a person simply holds out his hand, and willingly and gladly receives such a treasure. - For if we really thought about it, and weren't so coldhearted, our hearts would burn for joy so much that we would not only eagerly serve God, but would also for His sake gladly suffer, and would then also laugh about it because we have such a precious treasure from Him. But no thanks to our unbelief which has such joy in the world looking around in the devil's name, which of course is in vain and a loser.
Thanks be to God for sending His only born Son to save us and give us life in Him!
In His name,
Tuesday 03 December 2013 at 06:00 am
You should of course know that the Lord wonderfully leads His saints. Psalm 4:4.
It's as if He wants to say: Why do you sway from here to there, why do you seek help from here to there, why do you love this and that comfort? It is all in vain, doesn’t help you and they are lies, with which you deceive yourselves. Realize and know, listen and believe: This statement stands steadfast and unchangeable: Anyone who wants to be a saint of God, anyone who wants to receive His grace and be acceptable and well pleasing to Him, such a person has to suffer, so that God can be wonderful within him. He however can never be wonderful if your or any other creaturely advice or assistance can help you, for that would not be wonderful because it does not go out beyond your understanding. However when you doubt your own self and all others and commend and commit the entire matter completely to God's will, then your righteousness breaks forth like the light of noon, as is written in Psalm 37:6, however all this in a manner and time other than what you or anyone else might think.
This was a hard translation for me to crack...I hope and pray it's fairly accurate.
Committing all things into God's hands,
Monday 02 December 2013 at 06:00 am
Let us get up and go to Bethel, so that I myself may build and altar for the God, Who heard me in the time of my tribulation, and has been with me on the ways that I have traveled. Genesis 35:3.
Sacrificing is in truth actually nothing other than: thanking and praising God that He is our God, Who according to His promise wants to listen to us, and be with us in tribulation, and rescue us out of death. For that means that He is our God, and that one should thank Him that up to now He has cared for and protected us, even though He allows us to be tested almost beyond our capability. -- Even the churches are built for such an end result. If however these proper sacrifices are not there, they might just as well be called cow and sow stalls, rather than altars and churches. For it has been ordained that one should come together in the church in order that we in them may teach and instruct people about God, that He us our God, Who allows us to be tested for our own good. That's the sermon about faith, about our patience, about God's grace, and about how He leads and rules those who are His. Where these teachings are not heard, there you should not regard it as a place that is a church or an altar.
God gave me the privilege of being in such a 'Bethel', aka, "House of God" or church this morning at Faith Lutheran Church in Georgetown, TX; I was richly nourished spiritually... was also reminded of Luther being used by God almost 500 years ago(1517 A. D.) to get the church's proclamation back to proclaiming our being saved by grace alone, through faith alone, based on Christ alone - Who through His shed blood paid our debt of sin and is our Atonement Cover; Through faith in Him we guilty sinners are declared innocent and righteous! Thank You God!
In His Name,
Sunday 01 December 2013 at 06:00 am
The night is gone, the day however is dawning. Romans 13:12.
The most beloved Son of all - Jesus Christ - makes this day. That's why Malachi calls Him the Sun of Righteousness. And in chapter 4 [v. 2] he says: "upon you who respect My name shall arise the Sun of Righteousness with healing under His wings." For all those who believe in Christ receive from Him, the luminous brightness of His grace and righteousness, and they shall be under His wings. Christ Himself is the Sun who gives out the gleaming luster of the day, i.e., the Gospel. And He shines it upon the whole world. Also in Psalm 19:2 he describes in a most beautiful way both sun and daylight - Christ and Gospel. He says, "The heavens declare the glory of God", i.e., just as the sky brings sun and daylight, and the sun is in the skies, so also the Apostles by their proclamation have and bring with them the true Sun - Christ. All this is proclaimed about this most beautiful daybreak: that it is the proclamation of the Good News which the Holy Scriptures highly and beautifully praises. For this message also makes one alive, joyful, happy, active, and it brings with it everything good.
Wow! My son Nathan drove us to a restaurant for lunch - I then for once was able to have a nice nap... thereupon God enabled me to translate this practically non-stop! Has me singing the "king of the chorales: "How Shines the Morning Star" , # 343 in T L H.
May He Shine into our hearts forever,
Sunday 01 December 2013 at 06:00 am
The night is almost over, and the day is dawning. Rom. 13:12.
This 'day' is made by the most beloved Sun, Jesus Christ; that's why Malachi calls Him a Sun of Righteousness and says in chapter 4: [v. 2], “But for you who respect My name there will rise the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. For all who believe in Christ shall receive from Him the radiant brightness of His grace and righteousness, and shall be saved under His wings. He himself is the Sun from which the radiant brightness of the day, that is to say, the Gospel, comes forth and goes out and shines in all the world.” And in Psalm 19:1, He describes Christ and the Gospel most lovingly as both Sun and Day, and says: “The heavens declare God's glory,” that is to say: just like the lovely skies bring the sun and the day and the sun is in the sky, so likewise the Apostles with their preaching have proclaimed the true Sun - Christ. All of this is speaking about the breaking forth of the day, i.e., about the Gospel - which the Scriptures highly and lovingly praises; for it also enlivens one, cheers one up, makes one giddy, makes one active, and brings everything good with it.
Now that I've struggled translating this, I hope the above is of some use for edifying anyone who reads this.
Saturday 30 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Whoever overcomes, him I will give to sit with Me on My throne. Revelation 3:21.
We should be so amazed over the Gospel that we become proud and cheerful and boast: I am a Christian and baptized, consequently I have no doubt about it, through the Lord Jesus I will be and remain a lord over sin and death, so that heaven and all creatures will have to serve for the best of my own good. If I at the same time had the Turkish Emperor's crown, that would be nothing compared to my having a share of the inheritance of Christ and will live with Him in eternity. However where do I find those who truly believe and take it to heart? Also at the same time we can and know to repeat it. But when we do not believe, that we are to immediately transfer (= transform); for we are not surprised; otherwise we would not only be cheerful, but rather also proud about it. For a Christian is a proud, blessed person, who neither asks about the devil nor about all misfortune; for he knows that he through Christ is lord over all such things.
This one was tough to translate - praying that I got it right, I look forward to being with Christ in the kingdom of glory. In the meantime, "Jesus lead Thou on till our rest is won; and although the way be cheerless, we will follow calm and fearless, guide us by Thy Word to our Fatherland." (v. 1 of hymn #410 in T L H)
In Christ crucified and risen,
P. S. Have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.
Thursday 28 November 2013 at 06:00 am
If anyone keeps My Word, he will never ever see death. John 8:51.
What a great and mighty thing it is for a Christian who believes. Death, sin and devil have to give way to him. And he begins here in this time to also live the eternal life. Christ, God's Son, in Whom he believes, does this. That's why a Christian should with this rhyme:
I live and don't know for how long,
I die, also do not know when,
I depart from here, not knowing whereto,
It surprises me that I am so happy.
changing the last two verses and with happy mouth to rhyme like this:
I depart and know - praise God - whereto,
It surprises me that I am so happy.
It was good that unrepentant, self-assured people always had this Rhyme before their eyes, so that they thereby might once more be reminded to become wise, that is, strike their chest and think about the fact that they are mortal and that no blink of an eye of their life is certain and thus be moved to fear God, contritely repent and better their lives as Moses in His Psalm admonishes all children of Adam to pray to God like this: Teach us Lord to remember that they will have to die, so that they may become wise.
Wow! Thank the Lord! I managed to complete another 'sloppy Elmer Hohle translation from Luther' - sorry I didn't make the poem verse above rhyme in English.
Wednesday 27 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Teach us to remember that we have to die, so that we may become wise. Psalm 90:12.
Since our life is nothing other than a continual going to our death, we thus should also thoroughly study the art of how to properly live and die. Anyone who has lived well, will not die an evil death. Seldom does anyone who has done evil die well. Living well does not mean to daily be fully mad and wild, like the world of course lives, instead live by faith in the Son of God, Gal. 2:20. I live, however it is not I, rather Christ that lives in me. For the life I now live in the flesh, I live it by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Dying well means dying gladly; faith brings forth dying gladly; the fruits of faith brings forth dying well. Anyone who believes that he through Christ has a gracious God, dies gladly; for he knows where he shall be; also anyone who views his neighbor justly and treats him well, like he would treat himself, he will not depart badly.
This has me singing #585 from T L H:
1) I fall asleep in Jesus' wounds, There pardon for my sins abound;
Yes, Jesus' blood and righteous My jewels are, my glorious dress.
In these before my God I'll stand, When I shall reach the heav'nly land.
2) With peace and joy I now depart; God's child I am with all my heart.
I thank thee, Death, thou leadest me To That true life where I would be,
So cleansed by Christ, I fear not death. Lord Jesus, strengthen Thou my faith. Amen.
Tuesday 26 November 2013 at 06:00 am
The healthy do not need a physician, rather the sick. Luke 5:31.
The Physician is beneficial and acceptable to the sick; the healthy have no regard for him, as one well sees in the case of the Canaanite woman. She felt her and her daughter's need; that's why she ran after Christ and with confident trust did not allow herself to be turned nor frightened away from Him. So also Moses had to go forth and learn to feel sin, so that grace would become sweet. That's why it is in vain if Christ is portrayed as kind and loving, if a person is not first humbled through the knowledge of himself and becomes eagerly desirous of Christ, as the Magnificat (Mary's Song of Praise in Luke 1:46-55) also says: He fills up the hungry with good things, and leaves the rich empty-handed. All this is said to us for our comfort and written for the wretched poor, needy sinful people, so that they may know to Whom they may flee amidst all their needs, may know from Whom, they should seek comfort and help. But O what a pain to human nature and reason, that it has to undress itself naked and forsake everything that it feels, and solely cling to the plain bare Word, where it also the feels the simultaneous interpretation facilities of cons! God help us in distress and in death to have such courage and faith.
Ouch! ouch! Thank You Lord for getting me through another translation!
Monday 25 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Anyone then who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks condemnation upon himself, in that he does not discern the body of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:29.
Here there has to be faith which relies upon and joyfully dares to trust such signs and pledges of God. What kind of Savior or God would that be who didn't want to save us from death, sin, hell? It has to be huge what the true God promises and does. So then here comes the devil and blows you up: So how can this be, if I have received the sacramental elements unworthily and through my unworthiness have robbed myself of such grace? Here take before you the cross, do not let worthiness or unworthiness challenge you; simply just see to it that you believe that here are sure signs, the true Word of God, thus you are and remain truly worthy. Faith makes one worthy; doubt makes one unworthy. What can you do to awaken your faith? What can you do to stimulate yourself to give thanks? Do you wait until it arrives from yourself or the devil gives you room to do so or otherwise something stops you; nothing ever comes out of these. You have to warm yourself in the Sacrament and keep yourself close to it; it is a fire that can ignite your heart; here you have to think about your plight and impoverishment and hear and believe the blessing of your Savior, thus your heart will be different and seize other thoughts.
Having somehow successfully struggled and stumbled through another translation, I now sing v. 5 of hymn # 306 from T L H:
Though reason cannot understand
Yet faith this truth embraces;
Thy body, Lord, is everywhere
At once in many places.
How this can be I leave to Thee,
Thy Word alone suffices me,
I trust its truth unfailing.
And the hymn concludes in the final verse (v. 8):
Grant that this Sacrament may be
A blessed comfort unto me
When living and when dying.
Sunday 24 November 2013 at 06:00 am
For as high as heaven is above the earth, that's how He extends His grace over those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11.
That is the vexing naughtiness of our nature, that when Christ comes to it with His grace and comfort, it shies away and flees from the One it should simply and with bare feet run after to the ends of the earth, but instead turns and twists itself seeking its own works and wants to first be pure and worthy enough and on its own to merit and be a gracious God and Christ, thereby to seek peace and run away from sin, so that he runs away from Christ and wants to first find something in himself whereby he will become worthy so that he can come to Him, and still therewith falls still deeper into fear and despair, until Christ with His Word rips him out again. That's why you must not do Him the dishonor of striking Him away from yourself or with fright and doubt want to turn away from Him, instead much rather with total confidence run to Him, therewith you also immediately hear the joyful, comforting Word:Fear not, whereby He speaks to you and all afflicted consciences into the heart the absolution of sins.
Physically in pain but mentally rejoicing that the Lord enabled me to struggle through Luther' long sentence of interconnected thoughts,
Saturday 23 November 2013 at 06:00 am
I tell you, none of the men who where invited will taste of My supper. Luke 14:24.
These are simple, short, but very serious words, as He would say: Come on, My supper is also something, and what matters is that it should be better than their oxen, fields and houses or wives, even though they likewise despise it and regard their fields, oxen and houses as being more precious. And the hour will come when they will have to leave behind their fields, oxen and houses, where they will also eagerly want to taste some of My supper. However it shall also then be said: Beloved, I am not home now; I cannot wait on My guests now. Go back to your fields, to your oxen, into your houses; they will probably give you a special supper, since you with such certainty and haughtiness despised My supper. I had of course cooked for you and you didn't care much about it; you spurned it; so if you then have cooked better, eat it and be happy, just as long as you don’t taste My supper. That's why we should not become weary with such thoughts. Where good friends get together, they can sit together the entire night and chat and thereby forget about sleeping. Why should a person become tired of this, that one preaches and teaches about how at an expensive price our dear Lord Christ has bought us?
With the above last sentence Luther had me singing v. 5 of #442 in T L H:
Lord of Glory, who hast bought us
With Thy life-blood as the price,
Never grudging for the lost ones
That tremendous sacrifice,
Give us faith to trust Thee boldly,
Hope to st ay our souls on Thee;
But, oh! best of all The graces,
Give us Thine own charity.
Friday 22 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I am among them. Matthew 18:20.
More and greater sins happen when people are alone, than when they have fellowship with other people. I also have experienced that I fall into more sins when I am alone. When a person is alone, he thinks more industriously about a thing. And if something repugnant has taken place, we regard it as being bigger and more violent than it actually is. Thinking that no one is more miserably unhappy than we are, and dream about it as if our stuff will have a bad ending. To sum it up: When we are alone, we have such wonderful thoughts, and we constantly lay out a thing more evil than it of itself actually is, while thinking on the other hand that other people are much more happier than we are, and it then grieves us so very much that things are going well for others, and we on the other hand are stuck in tribulation and all sort of hardships.
For once Luther speaks with simple thoughts and short sentences. This one took 10% of the time than what it took me to translate the previous one... Luther spent a lot of time alone in that Wartburg Castle, but Jesus was with him as he translated the Bible into the language of the people on the street.
It was great yesterday to be in church with MANY MORE THAN 2 or 3, as Christ nourished my soul with Word and His body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine.
Thursday 21 November 2013 at 06:00 am
The High Priests bound up Jesus, led Him away and handed Him over to Pontius Pilate. Matthew 27:2.
Pilate had indeed allowed Christ to preach and perform miracles all the days of His life and never questioned it. However the High Priests, that mindless bunch, brought it about that Pilate as a judge, and Christ as a evil-doer, were buttoned together. So it still goes. The Lord Christ's most wicked enemies are the mindless clergy; if they have concluded that it is a heresy that doesn't please them or is against them, they rush the worldly Potentates (I.e., power holders) against the Gospel. They have to become its executioner and bring indictments and suspensions against it, obstinately sullying themselves with innocent blood like Pilate did. Suffer that, you pious Christian. People have also played like that with your Lord Christ, and thank God that you too are thus worthy to suffer such for His Name's sake. The counterfeit Christians regard us along with Christ as leaders and interpret our doctrine in order to set up all kind of disaster. A person has to learn this and get used to it. As the Jews brought Christ to the cross, as they stoned Stephan, both of them, Lord and servant, had to bear the name that they had been trouble-makers and had blasphemed God. The Scripture is full of such examples.
Lord forgive me where I have incorrectly translated. My ever increasing mental and physical disabilities really had me struggling on this one! So I conclude with v. 2 of Johann Franck's 1655 hymn in T L H #347: "Jesus, Priceless Treasure":
In Thine arms I rest me, Foes who would molest me,
Cannot reach me here. Tho' the earth be shaking,
Ev'ry heart be quaking, Jesus calms my fear
Lightnings flash And thunders crash;
Yet, tho' sin and hell assail me,
Jesus will not fail me.
In Jesus, my priceless Treasure,
Wednesday 20 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Divine foolishness is wiser than people are. 1 Corinthians 1:23.
If God tells, speaks or does something, you should keep your mouth shut and fall on your knees, say or ask nothing further, instead do what He tells you to do, listen to what He says to you, and be pleased with what He does. For God will not be controlled by us, we who by nature are children of wrath, sinners and liars. That's why His council, word and work is much too high for us, so that we could never understand it. Yet we are such blind, measured fools who let ourselves think that we not only can understand it, but also are able to make it better. Since we then by nature are so naughty, we should lay aside our wisdom, and think about God's command and stuff like this: If it looks foolish to you, it is for no other reason than that I am an even bigger fool who can neither grasp nor understand divine wisdom.
Our Omniscient, All-Wise God has enabled my dementia ridden mind and crippled fingers to translate another one - this one has me singing v. 4 of #628 from T L H:
4. Ever be Thou our Guide,
Our Shepherd and our Pride,
Our Staff and Song;
Jesus, Thou Christ of God,
By Thine enduring Word
Lead us where Thou hast trod,
Make our faith strong.
In the Name of Jesus,
Tuesday 19 November 2013 at 06:00 am
You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Matthew 8:26.
As Peter, who by the power of Christ walked on the sea, saw a strong wind, became weak in faith, lost the Word of Christ that He said to him: Come here!, by which power he actually jumped out of the ship into the sea, but did not remain in the same power. For the wind that he saw struck him so hard that he lost his grip on the Word he had heard: "Come here", to the point where he didn't remember the Word, but instead thought about the wind driven waves, which he saw. That's what the eye does to the ear in all times of harm, and the visible uproots the Word and the invisible thing. As long as Peter listened to the Word: "Come here" and did not look at how the sea upon which he was walking was carrying him, he was happy. But when he began looking at the wind driven waves, he lost his hearing of the Word "Come here" and began to sink. So it goes if Christ comes in the ship, it will not remain still very long, a furious storm will come. For if you want to be a Christian, then send yourself out upon this storm and strife; it will be no other way, for anyone who wants to blessedly live in Christ, says Paul, has to suffer persecution. And the more powerfully the Word goes out, the more angry and furious the devil will be over this with his grasping.
Ouch! ouch! but Jesus enabled me to keep my ear on His Word to finish another translation... am too tired to look up the number in my old hymnal, but in my heart I'm singing: "...on Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand."
Monday 18 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Remind yourself that you serve the Lord and not people. Ephesians 6:7.
The state of marriage may well turn into a cumbersome position, wherein there is plenty of toil and labor, in the event you want to put out of sight God's creation, institution, blessing. Therefore learn how a person can also well serve our Lord God in one's home and it is not necessary to instigate something special. For a householder in whose home the fear of God reigns, educates his children and relatives to fear and know God, to be disciplined and honest, he is in a blessed, saintly position. Also a wife who waits upon the children with food, gives them drinks, washes and bathes them, she could not ask for a more saintly position. Likewise also the servants and maids in the home; if they do what their householder tells them to do, are thus serving God. And insofar as they believe in Christ, that pleases God far more than when they also clean the rooms and polish the shoes, more than when all monks (work) pray, fast, conduct Masses, and whatever else they boast about in high worship.
Luther had me struggling on this one - due to my ever more weak, feeble mind. I'll conclude with verse 5 of Martin Behm's 1610 hymn ["O Jesu Christ, mein's Leben's Licht" - #148 in The Lutheran Hymnal]:
5. Oh, let Thy holy wounds for me
Clefts in the rock forever be
Where as a dove my soul can hide
And safe from Satan's rage abide.
Behm must have read Johann Gerhard's "An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ" ... Cf. my translation of it on page 300-301; Gerhard's second point about Christ's pierced side.
Sunday 17 November 2013 at 06:00 am
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more so shall the members of the household be called the same. Matthew 10:25.
If the world scolds one as a heretic, seductive liar, or rebel, that is a good sign that he is a righteous person and is similar to his Lord Christ; for he must actually be that and be judged and crucified with the murderers. What does it matter to me if the world were to call me a devil, when I know that God calls me His angel? Let the world call me a seducer as long as it wants to, God however calls me His faithful servant and member of His household; the angels call me their journeyman; the saints call me their brother; the believers call me their father; the wretched souls call me their savior/rescuer; the ignorant call me their light, and God says “Yes, let it be so, along with the angels and all creatures.” Oh my, how proud the world along with the devil have made me with their vitriolic, abusive, backbiting slander! Oh my, how big did they win over me? How large a scale of damage did they cause me? [Luther's implied answer to the last two questions is of course: Nada, zero, nothing]
So by God's grace I complete another one - realize that the above text is in the context of Jesus sending out the twelve disciples ... He also sends all of us to share the good news!
Saturday 16 November 2013 at 06:00 am
The death of His holy ones (saints) is regarded as valuable to the Lord. Psalm 116:15
True believers, who love His Word and steadfastly cling to it, also are willing to die for it, be they hanged, broken on the wheel, burned, drowned or overcome by the pestilence, from fever, etc., let them just enclose themselves with Christ's death and resurrection and quickly the above text: The death of His saints is expensive and valuable to the Lord, for He regards it as a precious and expensive treasure upon earth. Were the devil to choke you in bed or the executioner on the gallows, it then has been concluded that such a death is a holy/sanctified death. If the devil choke you in bed or the executioner on the gallows, it then is to be concluded that such a death is a saintly death and regarded by Him as being very expensive/costly, so that He will not let it go unpunished, instead He will take the devil, who murdered you, and place him before judgment and torture him with eternal pain, cut off sin's head and bury death in hell and bring vengeance on everything by which his saints had to die. And since he has such a high regard for His saints, He thus will most certainly not allow them to remain in death, but will instead bring them out of it, so that their death is not a death, but rather actually will be a new life with Christ in eternal bright clarity and glory.
I've been wanting to translate this one for a long time - thanks be to God, I've finally struggled through it - praying it's fairly accurate. I conclude with v. 1 of #463 T L H:
"For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confest,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
In His Name,
Thursday 14 November 2013 at 06:00 am
So then you kings let yourselves be wise, and you judges upon earth let yourselves be chastised. Serve the Lord with fear. Psalm 2:10-11
Why does the prophet here exclude the people (Latin: populus = the people) and speak only to the kings and rulers? Without a doubt it's because of the fact that where the rulers are obedient to and do serve Christ, the Lord, there nothing can prevent the people. Where however they chase after or despise God's Word, there nothing can help the people. Where now churches and schools are in good standing, there Christ will indeed again know to richly thank the authorities. However, where the churches and schools which are in good standing, without which the Word of God cannot remain, are neglected, it will be nobody's fault but the authorities and big lords. For them it will also go like is said in this Psalm, that they will perish on their way because of His wrath(cf. v, 12).
I pray that God would bless our Native Land and grant us religious freedom ... but above all that we may continually give witness to the world about the salvation that is only found in none other than Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of man.
Wednesday 13 November 2013 at 06:00 am
So even if we or an angel from heaven proclaim a different gospel than what we have proclaimed to you, a curse be on him. Galatians 1:8.
You have to build yourself so solidly firm and faithfully sure upon God's Word, so that even if I myself were to become a fool, since God is above, and were to renounce or deny my teachings, that you as a result do not step away from it, but instead say: If Luther himself or an angel from heaven teaches something different, a curse be on him; for you must not be Luther's, but rather Christ's student, and without wavering feel that it is God's Word, even though the whole world fights against it. You are confronted by death and persecution; for that I cannot be beside you nor you beside me; instead each person has to fight devil, death and overcome the world. If you then at that time wanted to look around to see where I am staying, or I where you are staying, and let yourself be moved as to whether I say something different to someone on this earth, then you are already lost and have let the Word slip out of your heart; for you are not sticking with/adhering to the Word, but rather to me or someone else; here there is no help.
This one was a little tough to translate - praying that I got it right; May the Lord keep our hearts as a temple of the Holy Spirit; as we cling to the wondrous message from Galatians that we by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ - who has atoned for our sins - have been declared righteous by our heavenly Father, justified apart from the deeds of the Law.
Tuesday 12 November 2013 at 06:00 am
As dying and see, we live. 2 Corinthians 6:9.
God often leaves His children powerless and oppressed, so that everyone thinks that He is done and finished with them, and yet He is strongest in such a situation. For where human power exits, there God's power enters in, when faith is there and is waiting for it. Again let God's enemies exalt themselves greatly and mightily. He then withdraws His power and allows them to blow themselves up. For wherever human power enters in, there God's power goes out. Then when the bubble is full and everybody, as they are laying on the top, thinks that they have won and they are also self-assured that they have brought it to a conclusion, God then pricks a hole into the bubble, so that it is completely deflated. The fools don't realize that even when they have risen up and have become strong, they have been forsaken by God and God's strong arm is not beside them.
So, We endure; if God be for us, who can be against us?"!!! I was richly blessed with sermon and Supper this morning at Faith Lutheran Church, 4010 Williams Drive, Georgetown, TX.
Monday 11 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Who is like the Lord, our God, Who is seated so high that He has to bend to look down on heaven and earth? Psalm 113:5-6[4-5 in English Bibles]
Because God is the Most High and nothing is above Him, He sees nothing above Him, also sees nothing beside Him; since no one is like Him, He of necessity has to look within and under Himself. And the deeper one is under Him, the better He sees him. But the eyes of the world and people do the opposite; they only look above themselves and want to travel up high to glory, to power, to riches, to art, and to good living. And where there are such people, everyone depends on them; one flocks to them; one gladly serves them and wants to become a participant of the highest.-- But no one wants to look into the depths, where there is poverty, shame, need, misery, fear and anxiety; here everyone turns away his eyes; here everyone flees, shies away, here one forsakes them and no one gives thought to help and stand by them; here there is no creator among men, who would want to make something out of nothing. That's why God alone remains to view something like this and looks into the depths to see misery and lamenting shame, and He is near to those who are in the depths.
After translating this one - sorry it's sloppy, I turn to Psalm 130 and "out of the depths" I call to You, O Lord. Have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.
In the Name of Jesus,
Sunday 10 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Dr. Martin Luther's Birthday 1483
If one says: I am Paul's, but the other: I am Appollo’s, - aren't you ordinary people? Who then is Paul, who is Apollo"? They are servants through whose help you came to believe. 1 Corinthians 3:4-5.
I ask that if anyone wanted to mention my name that he would not say Lutheran, but rather Christian. What is Lutheran. The teaching is of course not mine. So also I was crucified for no one. St.Paul would not put up with anyone calling themselves Paul's or Peter's, but instead Christians. How did it come about that I, a poor stinking bag of maggots, that Christians should be called by my worthless name? However if you uphold it because Luther's teaching is evangelical, you must not actually throw away Luther; otherwise you would also along with him throw away his teaching, which you of course confess to be the teaching of Christ. If it would have been sufficient enough for Timothy to confess and proclaim the Gospel, Paul would not have bidden him that he should also not be ashamed of him, not of Paul personally, but rather the fact that he was imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel. Now if Timothy would have said: I do not uphold it with Paul nor with Peter, but rather with Christ, - and yet knew that Paul and Peter preached/proclaimed Christ, he himself would still thereby have denied Christ. For Christ says in Matthew chap.10: Whoever receives you, he also receives Me; whoever despises you, he despises Me.
With Paul I also say: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is God's power to save everyone who believes it! (Rom.1:16)
Saturday 09 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Who knows, God may relent and regret and turn from His fierce anger, so that we don't perish. However when God saw their deeds God relented from the evil He threatened to bring on them, and didn't do it. Jonah 3:9-10.
God tends not to be angry, unless there is no hope of mending things. Therefore, when you are in need, anxiety, or danger, then grieve in your bosom and ask your heart whether you are such an enemy of God that you no longer want to return to God. If you now in your heart have with certainty concluded that you gladly would like to turn back and come to Him, if only He would again take you back and forgive your sins, which you have committed against Him and for which you are heartily sorry for and desire to abstain from them, then you should indeed not doubt: God is not angry at you, because you still have not begun to doubt His grace and mercy.
Tough to translate I pray I got right; it has me singing:
"Jesus sinners doth receive.... Dying still to Him I cleave - ..." #324 T L H
Ponder: John 3:16! Even if you are in the belly of a big fish.
Friday 08 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Christ in His own body took upon Himself our sins to the cross, so that we will die to sin and live for righteousness; through His wounds we have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24.
All the Prophets by the Spirit have indeed foreseen that Christ would be the most biggest sinner that has ever come upon this earth; for by the fact that He is a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, He now no longer is the kind of person who is innocent and without sin. He is not God's Son in glory, rather He is a sinner and for a short time He is forsaken by God; He is the One Who carries and has laid upon His neck all the sins of humankind - like St. Paul, who had been a blasphemer, a persecutor, a wrongdoer, likewise David, who was an adulterer and murderer and brought it about that the Name of the Lord was blasphemed among the Gentiles. All in all: He is the Person Who loaded upon His own body and carried away all sin of all humankind in the entire world, every sin that ever was, still is, and ever will be. Not that He Himself ever committed a single sin, instead He took them from us who actually committed them, took them upon His own body in order that He with His own blood made satisfaction for them.
After this translation, Luther has me singing the last two verses of hymn #295 in T L H:
5. The Law is good; but since the Fall 6. To Jesus we for refuge flee,
It's holiness condemns us all; Who from the curse has set us free,
It dooms us for our sin to die And humbly worship at His throne,
And has no power to justify. Saved by His grace through faith alone.
Thursday 07 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Some of the same are sneaking back and forth into the homes and taking women captive. 2 Timothy 3:6.
Seductive spirits do not sneak into places where one is opposed to the Gospel, rather into places where there are Christians and pious people; they sneak after these, here in this home, over there in another one, riding through everything until their poison is left in every corner among the people. Why don't they travel among the godless and confess their teaching freely and openly, like we have done about God's grace? But the delicate martyrs fear for their skin and flee from the danger. So learn from this that it is the duty of pious preachers to also go this way. Beyond the fact that they will be persecuted by an evil, ungrateful world, they still will have to suffer the fact that what they with great difficulty and hard labor have built up will be torn down by such false spirits. Thus the evil Satan hinders and inhibits the beloved Gospel on both sides, on the left and on the right; yet Satan does more harm on the right with one's building and improvements, than he does with persecution and murder on the left.
This one has me singing Luther's hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (T L H #262), and also "Lord Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word" (#261). Satan get thee behind me!
In Christ, our Savior from sin, Satan, and death!
Wednesday 06 November 2013 at 06:00 am
You shall not covet your neighbor's house. - You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, servant, maid, cattle, or anything that is his. Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5;21.
In these two commandments is forbidden, even the tinder and the insurmountable desirous lustfulness that is stuck in our human nature, even the root of our evil thoughts. In the sixth and seventh commandments is forbidden approval of the heart, character of the limbs, words of mouth and works of the wicked body; but here even the first stirrings in addition to their first tinder and root have their origin. For we need to be so pure before we enter into the kingdom of heaven, so that no evil impulse nor root, which tends toward evil, is any longer in us, instead a perfect health of body and soul so that we be pure of all vices. That of course will not happen in this life, and is not also in our power. For who can boast that he has a pure heart? Who is able to extinguish the gruesome fire that is stuck in our members, so that also St. Paul (in Rom. 7) laments against the law of the body [flesh] and law of sin? We tame our ears, eyes and all our senses from within and from without, so that sin does not rule within us, but the evil lust nobody can dampen. That's why the above two commandments, which cannot be kept/fulfilled to any measure by any person, no matter how saintly he may be. The pious keep all other commandments, for they dampen the evil works, words and stirrings, but herein these two commandments they remain condemned and poor sinners, since they fulfill nothing of these two commandments, wherein there is enrooted into them the evil lust of the flesh and greed for other things. And so all sin, and fall short of God's glory. (Rom. 3:23)
In great physical pain I finish a difficult translation. It has me singing #377 in TLH .... am too exhausted to type it out. Also Rock of Ages #376.
A guilty forgiven sinner,
Tuesday 05 November 2013 at 06:00 am
But when the first came, they thought they would receive more. Matthew 20:10.
We should know that each one of us have a big work righteousness in our bosom. I.e., we all would gladly like to have such precious works, about which we would like to boast and say: Look at what I have done; today I paid back my God with prayer and good works; consequently I will now have more rest in my conscience. I also experienced the same thing, when I waited upon my office and diligently carried out the duties of my calling, that I was much happier than when I did nothing. This joy in itself is of course not evil; yet it is without faith and not pure and the kind of joy that wants to capture the conscience and drive it mad. Since however the conscience is delicate thing, it cannot be protected enough against the vice of presumption. Therefore let us not be overconfident, but, since we confess Christ, let us live in fear and grow in faith, also knowing that each of us carries a huge and hateful 'monk' (work righteousness)in our hearts, i.e., that we rely upon our works, which is totally against the faith.
So I've struggled through another one ... physically worn out and hurting. After the last one , one of you recipients called me this noon and requested more hymnody; so...
With this one my eyes fall upon Isaac Watts' 6th verse of #382 in TLH: Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults:
6 'Tis through the purchase of His death
Who hung upon the tree
The Spirit is sent down to breathe
On such dry bones as we.
In Jesus' Name,
Monday 04 November 2013 at 06:00 am
The little that a righteous person has is better than the huge wealth of many godless people. Psalm 37:16.
A Christian does not horde earthly things for himself. If he has laid his treasure into heaven, into God's lap, and says - "Dear Lord, I know that You have still more, even much more than You may ever bestow. In You I will find no shortage. For if it is necessary, the sky would rain down gold coins. Be my chest, basement, cellar. In You I have all my treasure. If I have You, I have enough" - this is a true Christian. If we only could just believe, there would be no shortage. Our Lord God is a Goldsmith, who out of a gold coin can forge more than hundreds of thousands. It's not up to ready money, [or ready money is of little consequence.] A person with an unbelieving heart cannot get as far with thousands of coins as the person who believes can with a single coin. Everything is dependent upon God's blessing.
Thank You Lord for granting my feeble mind the ability to complete another translation. So join me in singing from TLH #425, v. 1:
All depends on our possessing
God's abundant grace and blessing
Tho' all earthly wealth depart,
He who trusts with faith unshaken
In his God is not forsaken
And e'er keeps a dauntless heart.
Sunday 03 November 2013 at 06:00 am
He who reads this, let him take note of it. Matthew 24:15.
I.e.: Anyone who reads this should understand it. In German we say it like this: ["]Take note of what you read.["] Or: ["]If you want to read, then remember well what you read.["] For you are not reading the words of a human being, rather the Word of the God, the Most High. He wants to have scholars who carefully read, take note of, and inwardly digest what He says. And as it is well stated that one should read the letters from Princes three times, that they should speak thoughtfully, so that they are not regarded as fools, how much more so should one not God's letters, - I.e., the Holy Scriptures -three-, four-, a hundred-, a thousand-, and another thousand-times. For He speaks thoughtfully and importantly, indeed He Himself actually is eternal Wisdom. Anyone who does this, becomes learned and better from the Scriptures. Anyone who does not do this, learns nothing, indeed he becomes evil from it; for clean animals chew the cud. [']Chewing the cud' ['] however means, accepting God's Word with genuine earnestness, taking it to heart, having a love and desire for it, diligently regard it and steadfastly cling to it. All the 'clean ones', I.e., true Christians - whose hearts through faith have been cleansed by the Word do this. The others, who do not seriously think about the Word, remain unclean animals. Mary however kept and pondered all these words in her heart, Luke 2.
For years my physician has had me off caffeine; my sons and I had lunch at a restaurant today...and I mistakenly drank lots of caffeine tea; couldn't nap. I'm worn out, but God used it to squeeze out another translation.
Have a blessed Lord's day.
In the Name of Jesus,
Saturday 02 November 2013 at 06:00 am
Look at the example of the elderly and remember them; when has anyone who has hoped in the Lord ever been put to shame? Sirach [from the Apocalypse - written between the Old Testament and New Testament period; not divinely inspired, but Luther used verses that are in total agreement with the Old and New Testament of the Bible] ... Sirach 2:10-11
The examples of weaknesses of the saints are more needed and bring more comfort than the examples of the great, outstanding strengths and other virtues which the saints had. Just as I cannot become better by the fact that David killed Goliath, bears and lions. For in such knightly deeds I cannot follow after, because they surpass all my strengths and thoughts. For through such great deeds the saints were praised on account of their might and strength, which they possessed as noble heroes. When however the examples of the weaknesses, the sins, the terrors and temptations which the saints had are held before us, like when I read the laments, sighing, the frightenings and despairings that David had, that raises me up very much and gives me a great comfort. For there I see how they in their despairing and frightening did not corrupt and perish, but instead how they got up and comforted themselves with the promise; therefore I conclude that I also shall not despair.
Now I am going to read Psalm 51. Please join me in doing so.
God's mercies are new every morning,
Friday 01 November 2013 at 06:00 am
The Lord of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge. Psalm 46:12 [v. 11 in English Bibles]
(From the writings to Prince Friedrich, as Luther had left the Wartburg [Castle].)
This is being written to you gracious Prince with the intention that you may know that I am coming up to Wittenberg with an actually greater protection than the Prince. I also did not have in mind to request protection from you, gracious royal Prince. Indeed, I wanted to protect Your Majesty more than you can protect me. To that end, if I would have known that Your Majesty knew me and wanted to protect me, I would not have come. No sword or council should or can be of any help in this matter; here God alone has to creatively act, without any additional human care or concern. Therefore, whoever believes the most, he will here protect the most. In light of the fact that I now feel that Your Honorable Majesty is still quite weak in the faith, I can in no way see Your Honorable Majesty as the man who is able to protect or rescue me. If your Honorable Majesty believed, you would be able to see God's glory; however since you still do not yet believe, you also have not yet seen His glory.
Wow! Courageous Luther!
Fixing my eyes on Jesus,
Thursday 31 October 2013 at 06:00 am
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,
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!
Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 06:00 am
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!
Tuesday 29 October 2013 at 06:00 am
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,
Monday 28 October 2013 at 06:00 am
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)