A PRAYER – from my desk drawer

            In my desk drawer I find a scrap of  paper on which I had scribbled out a prayer that I had composed several years ago; it reads thus:

 

Dear Jesus,

            You are the Truth!  Since Truth cannot lie, I will trust You completely, for You will never forsake or leave me.  Since Your Word cannot deceive, my salvation remains irrevocable into all eternity!  Amen.

 

            So there you have it to pray with me… I no longer have any talent for composing prayers.

 

In Christ,

 

Elmer M. Hohle

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

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

Das Vorliegende Buch erschien im Korinth-Verlag, Hamburg,

mit dem Titel Christlicher Wegweiser für jeden Tag.

Hänssler-Andachten

Bestell-Nr. 392514

2. Auflage1997

© Copyright dieser Ausgabe 1996

by Hänsler-Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart

Umschlaggestaltung: Stefanie Stegbauer

Titelfoto: Martin Luther 1533  Gemälde von Lucas Cranach d. A.

Artothek Kunstdia-Archiv, 82380 Peissenberg

Satz: Korinth-Verlag, Hamburg

Druck: Ebner Ulm

Printed in Germany

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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. 
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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.
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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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

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Luther’s "Christian Guide for Each Day"

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.
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