Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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)

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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