Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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