Daily Devotion

Daily Devotional

LETTING GO OF OUR POSSESSIONS

June 26, 2017
By Martin Luther

You are already totally defeated because you have lawsuits against each other. Why don’t you accept the fact that you have been wronged?
1 CORINTHIANS 6:7

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UNFORTUNATELY IN THIS WORLD, we have lawsuits. It would be better if there were none. But God allows them to exist in order to avoid greater evil. He permits lawsuits because people are imperfect. When someone takes something from them, they don’t want to let go of it and give it back to God.

Nevertheless, we should strive toward the goal of keeping God’s name holy. We should learn from day to day how to give God’s honor and goods back to him. This includes giving back to God anything that is taken away from us. In this way, we are made completely holy. The Lord’s Prayer was given to us to help us remember that we should always want to keep God’s name holy.

It shouldn’t surprise Christians if they have everything taken away from them – all of their property, honor, friends, health, wisdom, and so on. For ultimately all their possessions will be destroyed, and they will be separated from all things before they can be made holy and keep God’s name holy. For if something exists, its name also exists. So everything must be taken away so that only God, the things of God, and the names of God remain.

BETWEEN ARROGANCE AND DESPAIR

June 25, 2017
By Martin Luther

God opposes arrogant people, but he is kind to humble people.
JAMES 4:6

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WE SHOULDN’T BECOME proud in times of prosperity nor despair in times of trouble. On the one hand, we must keep our arrogance in check by fearing God. On the other hand, we should cling to his mercy in those times when we think he is angry with us. By doing so, we won’t crash into heaven with our big heads or fall flat on our faces on the earth.

But the person who is humble and has a broken heart is neither proud nor full of despair. Yet, it’s difficult for us to avoid both arrogance and despair. In our weakness, we sometimes swerve to the right and sometimes to the left. Whenever we feel overconfident or full of despair, we must make an effort to resist such tendencies. We cannot give in to either one. When an archer misses the bull’s eye, he is still awarded points for hitting the target. Similarly, God is pleased when we at least fight against arrogance and despair. Even if we may not show enough joy in times of trouble or enough reverence for God in times of prosperity, he won’t hold it against his faithful people. We have Christ as our mediator. Through him, we are considered true saints even though we have barely started to act like holy people.

In summary, those with many troubles should lift their spirits by acknowledging God’s mercy and remembering what Christ has done for them. Those with few troubles should drive out arrogance by living in the fear of God.

GOD’S POWER

June 24, 2017
By Martin Luther

We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that ... is kept in heaven for you, since you are guarded by God’s power through faith.
1 PETER 1:4-5

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PETER SAYS, “You are guarded by God’s power through faith.” He says this because when certain people hear the gospel – how faith alone without works makes us godly – they jump in and say, “Yes, I believe too.” They confuse their own thoughts, which they make up, with faith. We have previously taught from Scripture that none of us can do even the smallest works without God’s Spirit. How then out of our own strength could we do the greatest work – to believe? Such thoughts are nothing but a dream. If we are to believe, then God’s power must be working in us. Paul says, “I pray that the glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom .... You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers” (Ephesians 1:17-19). Not only is it God’s will, but he also has the power to spend a great deal on us. For when God creates faith in us, it is a great work. It’s as if he were creating heaven and earth again.

People are being foolish when they say, “How can faith alone save us? There are some people who believe, yet they don’t do any good works.” For they think that their own thoughts are faith and that faith can exist without good works. In contrast, we agree with Peter who says faith is a power that comes from God. When God gives faith, the individual is born again and becomes a new creature. As a result, good works naturally flow from faith.

WHAT IT MEANS TO SEE GOD

June 23, 2017
By Martin Luther

Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure. They will see God.
MATTHEW 5:8

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IT’S VERY IMPORTANT for believers to have a pure heart that follows God. They need to do this on the basis of God’s pure and holy Word. What reward will they have? What has God promised to those who have pure thoughts? We are told, “They will see God.” Surely this is wonderful – an excellent treasure! But what does it mean to “see God?”

Some people have their own ideas about how to see God. They crouch in a corner, lift their thoughts toward heaven, and engage in a life of idle speculation. Is this any way to try to see God? They use their own ideas to try to stroll into God’s presence. They try to climb up to heaven under their own power. They insist on using their own intellect to figure out everything about God and his Word.

However, if you believe that Christ is your Savior, you’ll soon realize that you have a gracious God. Faith leads you to heaven and lets you see inside of God’s heart. There, you will get a glimpse of his infinite kindness and love. This is what it really means to “see God.” You can’t physically see him with your eyes because no one can see God in this life. Instead, you see God by faith.

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