Daily Devotion

Daily Devotional

CHRIST IN US

February 19, 2017
By Martin Luther

On that day you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me and that I am in you.
JOHN 14:20

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WE ARE IN CHRIST, and Christ is in us. The first truth points upward, the second points downward. We must first be in him with all our being – with our sin and weakness, and even with death. We know that in God’s eyes we are freed, redeemed, and saved from these through Christ.

Then, we must swing above and beyond ourselves to Christ. Yes, we must be totally one with Christ and his people – those who are baptized in him and receive the Lord’s Supper. Consequently, sin, death, the devil, and struggles with a bad conscience disappear. We can then say, “I’m not sure about death or hell. If there is death, let it consume my Lord Christ first. If there is hell, let it devour my Savior. If sin, the law, or my conscience condemn me, let them accuse the Son of God. If that happens, then let me be condemned, consumed, and devoured with my Lord. But because the Father and Christ live, I will also live. Because Christ remains undefeated by sin and death, so I will also remain undefeated. For I know that Christ is in the Father; therefore, I also am in Christ.” This is how we soar above and beyond ourselves to Christ.

After that, Christ comes down to us from above. If we are in Christ, then Christ is in us. We have received him and crept into him. We have left sin, death, and the devil behind. So Jesus shows himself to us and says, “Go. Preach, comfort, and baptize. Serve your neighbor. Be obedient and patient. I will be in you, and I will do all this through you. Whatever you do will be accomplished by me. Be happy. Be bold and courageous. Remain in me, then I will certainly remain in you.”

SURRENDERING OUR WILL

February 18, 2017
By Martin Luther

Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
MATTHEW 6:10

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GOD’S WILL IS DONE when our will is broken. It pleases him when our will is hindered and defeated. So when someone talks about you as if you were a fool, you shouldn’t disagree. Instead, agree and let the criticism appear correct, for it’s certainly correct before God. If a person wants to take something from you and harm you, you should allow it to happen as if it were all right with you. For undoubtedly it’s right before God. Even if the person were wronging you, it still wouldn’t be unjust. For it’s God’s will either way, whether he uses a wicked person or good person to take something away from you. Instead of resisting, you should simply say, “Your will be done.” This is true in both physical and spiritual matters. For Christ said, “If someone wants to sue you in order to take your shirt, let him have your coat too” (Matthew 5:40).

Someone might ask, “If that’s what it means for God’s will to be done, who can be saved? Who can keep this difficult command to surrender everything and not have his own will in anything?” My reply is that we should learn how great this prayer is, why we need it, and how earnestly we should pray it. It’s crucial that we allow our will to be totally defeated so that only God’s will is done.

Notice that in the garden, Jesus said, “Your will must be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42). Undoubtedly, Christ’s will was good – in fact, the best one of all time. If Christ had to surrender his will so that God’s will could be done, why do we poor, little worms want to make such a fuss over our own wills?

OBSTACLES TO PRAYER

February 17, 2017
By Martin Luther

So far you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive so that you can be completely happy.
JOHN 16:24

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THERE ARE TWO MAJOR obstacles to prayer. The first obstacle arises when the devil prompts you to think, “I am not yet prepared to pray. I should wait for another half-hour or another day until I have become more prepared or until I have finished taking care of this or that.” Meanwhile, the devil distracts you for half an hour, so that you no longer think about prayer for the rest of the day. From one day to the next, you are hindered and rushed with other business. This common obstacle shows us how maliciously the devil tries to trick us. He often tries this on me. The devil also has an influence over our bodies, which are so lazy and cold that we can’t pray the way we want to. Even if we do begin to pray, we become distracted by useless thoughts and lose our concentration in prayer.

The second obstacle arises when we ask ourselves, “How can you pray to God and say the Lord’s Prayer? You are too unworthy and sin every day. Wait until you are more devout. You might be in the mood to pray now, but wait until you have confessed your sin and taken the Lord’s Supper so that you can pray more fervently and approach God with confidence. Only then can you really pray the Lord’s Prayer from your heart.” This serious obstacle crushes us like a heavy stone. Despite our feelings of unworthiness, our hearts must struggle to remove this obstacle so that we can freely approach God and call upon him.

THE MARRIAGE PARTNERSHIP

February 16, 2017
By Martin Luther

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be named woman because she was taken from man.”
GENESIS 2:23

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THE WORD WOMAN PRESENTS an amazing and lovely picture of the institution of marriage. Everything the husband has also belongs to his wife. Not only do they share their assets, but also their children, income, food, drink, bed, and home. Besides that, they are to be one in mind and spirit. The only difference between a husband and wife is in their anatomy. Otherwise, they are the same. Because of this, whatever the husband has or owns also belongs to his wife.

Compared to the very first marriage, our marriages today are only pathetic copies of the original design. If a married woman is honorable, moral, devout, and God-fearing, she and her husband will equally share the cares, duties, and responsibilities of their household. This is why she was created and why she is called woman.

Even though a wife today doesn’t come from her husband’s flesh and bone as Eve did, she is still a head of the household the same as her husband because she is the wife. This doesn’t invalidate the law, given after the fall into sin, which places the wife under the authority of her husband. This punishment, like the others, clouds the glorious life humans enjoyed in paradise. This passage reminds us that Moses wasn’t describing the miserable life of married people today, but the innocence humans enjoyed in paradise. Back then, the authority of the husband and wife were equal. Now, men are obligated to work by the sweat of their brows, and wives are commanded to place themselves under their husbands’ authority. Nevertheless, we still see a remnant of the original design in marriage because the wife is called woman and because she owns property and possessions jointly with her husband.

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