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Real and Only Worship

December 10, 2018
By Martin Luther

Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!

PSALM 117

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Real and Only Worship

The psalmist admonishes and instructs us how to serve the Lord. He urges us to give praise and thanks. Since of ourselves we are nothing but have everything from God, it is easy to see that we can give Him nothing; neither can we repay Him for His grace. He demands nothing from us. The only thing left, therefore, is for us to praise and thank Him. First we must recognize in our hearts and believe that we receive everything from Him and that He is our God. Then out with it, and freely and openly confess this before the world—preach, praise, glorify, and give thanks! This is the real and only worship of God, the true office of the priest, and the finest, most acceptable offering—as St. Peter says (1 Peter 2:9): "You are a royal priesthood, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Yes, our mouths will be slapped for such praise; for the world does not want to hear it and cannot stand it. But that is the risk if one wants to bring this sacrifice to God; for it is written: "Praise the Lord, all heathen." It does not say that we should praise men or this world, but the Lord and His work or grace, not the works of men; for these are condemned.

From Commentary on Psalm 117 (Luther's Works 14:32-33)

December 10

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