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Daily Devotion

Daily Devotional

Safe and Sound

February 27, 2020
By Martin Luther

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."

GENESIS 28:15

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Safe and Sound

This should be applied to our use, in order that we may acknowledge the magnitude of God's grace, which has been revealed and given to us through the Gospel. For we are absolved through the Word, and on the authority of Christ we are told: "I baptize you; I extend to you the body and blood of Christ; I tear your soul by force from the power of the devil; I set you free from eternal death and damnation; and I make you a child of God and an heir of eternal life." . . . But how few there are who believe these things as they should! Much less do we comprehend them, but we only take hold of them in one way or another. Yet they are completely true. And surely we must die in this faith. Otherwise we shall fall from our salvation and not remain safe and sound against the devil for even one moment. For he rages horribly when he hears that this is taught in this way, and he persecutes those who preach it or who listen to this doctrine and embrace it. But we should listen with grateful hearts and with joy, and we should believe at least weakly. Only let us not fight against it, blaspheme, persecute, reject, and deny. . .. But how? Believe in the Seed of Abraham, the Son of God. This faith is our victory which overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), vanquishes the devil, and destroys the gates of hell (cf. Matthew 16:18).

Shield and Protection

February 26, 2020
By Martin Luther

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."

GENESIS 28:15

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Shield and Protection

This is a twofold promise concerning the Seed of Jacob, in whom all the nations of the earth are to be blessed, that is, a promise concerning Christ which he includes in the temporal promise as in the one that is less significant, just as a child is wrapped in rags, a gem is inserted in gold, or a precious treasure is kept in an earthen container. The temporal blessing is great and rich enough, but the one about raging into the world is greater. But He repeats the temporal blessing and binds it up into a little bundle with this temporal promise concerning the descendants. For He says: 'And behold, I am with you, etc. You have the eternal promise and the temporal one concerning your descendants. Now I shall add this third point: I will be with you on this journey and during this exile so far as your person is concerned, and I will even protect you yourself; for in order that the things I have promised may be fulfilled, you must live and be protected. Your brother Esau is plotting against you. The devil hates you when you sleep and when you are awake; but I want to walk with you, and I will be your companion." Oh, what a desirable and stout companion! "I will not only go with you to escort you; but I will be your wall, your protector. I will fight for you—I, who am to be your Son from your seed, through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed. I will be with you, I will shield you and protect you."

Certainty of the Blessing

February 25, 2020
By Martin Luther

"In you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

GENESIS 28:14

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Certainty of the Blessing

[God] means to say: "Not only will you possess the land in which you are sleeping, but you will break out in such a way that the blessed Seed will proceed without any resistance and will be spread out with might into the whole world." . . . This is how God consoles Jacob, and in him the whole Church, in order that he may be certain about his descendants. For although Esau exercises dominion after Jacob has been cast off and driven into exile, and even though he is really king and priest in the meantime, so that everything is full of despair and nothing is less likely than that Jacob will be the future heir and ruler in the house or the Church, yet this is of little importance. "Be stouthearted, and endure. For not only will you be the heir in the house, and not only will the blessing of Abraham and the possession of this land be bestowed on you; but I also assure you that you will be a patriarch over the whole earth and the father of the blessed Seed, through whom all the nations will be blessed. And I will accomplish this when I rage against him who rages." . . . God shows His strength, according to the saying (2 Corinthians 12:9): "My power is made perfect in weakness." . . . Thus Christ was strongest when He was dead and weakest. For in that weakness He condemned the world and the ruler of this world together with all their power and wisdom.

Our Lord, True Man

February 24, 2020
By Martin Luther

"I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac... In you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

GENESIS 28:13-14

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Our Lord, True Man

The Gospel concerning Christ the Savior cannot be preached without adding that He was born from Abraham, from Jacob. For we must have sure proof that He was in all truth the Son of Man, a natural man, and not a specter, not an apparition. . .. Therefore we have His ancestors, who were true men. Nor can He be named without these fathers, without Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Adam, in order that He may have a definite lineage, a true father, a true mother, and that it may be certain that He is from a human seed and that He took upon Himself human nature, not the angels, not any other creature. Accordingly, a definite place was assigned to the nativity of Christ for the fathers and the prophets, and definite persons from whom He had to descend were named. Consequently, we cannot doubt that He is in very truth our flesh and blood, bone of our bones. Accordingly, when He is preached and praised, His parents, from whom He assumed flesh, are named at the same time. And at the same time we, too, are included—we for whose sakes He became the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the seed of angels. Therefore He so carefully inculcates and so often repeats the words "in your seed, etc."

 

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