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Daily Devotion

Daily Devotional

Free in Christ

April 21, 2019
By Martin Luther

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

PSALM 32:1

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Free in Christ

This is at once in opposition to the hypocrites, who do not need forgiveness and, like healthy people, have no use for a doctor. For they do not think they have iniquities but rely on themselves as righteous and do not eat with the tax collectors and sinners, because they are not like other people (cf. Luke 15:2; 18:9ff.) . . . Let us hear, then, what the line of argument is here. No one is blessed except the one whose iniquities are forgiven. Therefore the corollary is: No one is without iniquity, no one is not a child of wrath, and so he needs to have his sins forgiven. But this happens only through Christ. Therefore no one will be saved on his own, but through Christ alone. And this is also the argument of blessed Paul's entire Epistle to the Romans, to which almost all the words of the Epistle speak, as is clear to anyone who looks into it. For he says (Romans 1:18, 17): "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven"; again: "The righteousness of God is revealed, etc." The meaning is this: No human being knew that the wrath of God is upon all men and that all are in sin before God, but through His Gospel He has revealed from heaven both how we may be saved from that wrath and by what righteousness we may be set free, namely, through Christ.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 32 (Luther's Works 10:145)

April 21

His Promises Are True

April 20, 2019
By Martin Luther

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

PSALM 31:24

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His Promises Are True

Since we have the promise, let us hold out in trials and conclude: "The Lord, who said to me: 'Believe,' will surely keep His promise. Meanwhile I shall wait in accordance with the words 'Wait for the Lord, be strong, etc.' (Psalm 27:14), 'Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord— (Psalm 31:24). The godly should wait and persevere even in greatest dangers and adversities; for He has promised that He wants to take care of us. 1 Peter 5:7 states: "Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you." The exercises of faith are necessary for the godly; for without them their faith would grow weak and lukewarm, yes, would eventually be extinguished. But from this source they assuredly learn what faith is; and when they have been tried, they grow in the knowledge of the Son of God and become so strong and firm that they can rejoice and glory in misfortunes no less than in days of prosperity and can regard any trial at all as nothing more than a little cloud or a fog which vanishes forthwith.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 5:56)

April 20

A Droplet of Spiritual Trust

April 19, 2019
By Martin Luther

Love the LORD, all you His saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

PSALM 31:23-24

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A Droplet of Spiritual Trust

How often it is repeated in the Psalms: "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" (Psalm 27:14). "Love the Lord, all you His saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly requites him who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!" (Psalm 31:23-24). We know all this, and it is pointed out to us daily, yet we neither believe nor follow God, who calls us to confess the Word and promises help and deliverance. There certainly is no reason for us to think that God is pleased with that doubt and mistrust in us. Indeed, this one sin is by far the gravest of all the sins which will condemn the world and the unbelievers. For the magnitude of the sin can be gauged from the magnitude of God's promise, oath, pledge, and imprecation. Therefore whoever has either a droplet or a spark of that spiritual trust should know that it is a blessing of God and an extraordinary gift. If we firmly and unquestioningly held promises of this kind as true, there would be given to our hearts strength far greater than our fear of the world or the devil or all the gates of hell.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 4:147)

April 19

Deadly Words

April 18, 2019
By Martin Luther

Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.

PSALM 31:18

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Deadly Words

Deceitful lips become dumb . . . when they are removed by death and borne away in the wrath of punishment, so that they can no longer rage against God's righteousness. Thus we read in Psalm 63:11: "The mouth of those who speak evil is stopped"; and in Psalm 107:42: “All iniquity shall stop its mouth"; and in Psalm 75:5: "Do not speak iniquity against God." But this is the iniquity which they speak against God, because they oppose the righteous Christ and His righteousness, as if it were neither necessary nor useful, as if their own were enough. This is evil and against God. He wants this righteousness of Christ and indeed demands it. Therefore John says, "If we say that we have no sin, we make God a liar" (1 John 1:10). This is so because He Himself has asserted that we have sin, and He sent His Son into death for our sins [since Scripture everywhere promises righteousness and truth on His account, it follows that there was none on earth], as all the prophets testify, Isaiah 53:8: "For the wickedness of My people have I struck Him."

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 31 (Luther's Works 10:143-44)

April 18

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