• December 03, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 8:13-18 Revelation 3:1-6

    “Joy and Peace through Faith”

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
    [Romans 15:13]

    This is the Apostle’s meaning: may God produce hope through the Gospel, may He give you grace, so that you work with, and believe the Gospel, from which you come to know Christ the most deeply. From that may you then have all joy and a good conscience, as from a common blessing, and then also peace among one another. This joy and peace is not what the world gives through feeling and experience, but through believing, for you neither see nor feel the One who is your blessing, from whom you have joy and peace. In the world, however, you will feel strife and grief. But when you learn that Christ is common for everyone, and equally for all, then you will have a good peace. There is nothing that one can begrudge another, for you are all equally rich. There is joy and peace through faith or in faith … the Holy Spirit graces us and strengthens our hope, so that we do not flee nor fear the misfortunes of the world, but rather stand firm even to death and overcome all evil.

  • December 02, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 8:1-12 Revelation 2:18-29

    “Death is Not Death”

    “The girl is not dead, but sleeping.”
    [Matthew 9:24]

    Ah, she is sleeping! Death, where are you? Among Christians, death is not death, but a sleep. Indeed, the burial place of a Christian is, among us, many times called a “dormitory”. Only a child of Christ can say: “my grave is my bed, my dormitory, I am not dying, but I am falling asleep.” John 11:25 says: “Whoever believes in Me, even in he dies, yet shall he live.” And in 11:11 we hear: “Lazarus has fallen asleep.” And yet, there are still hindrances in this life to this truth of eternal life in Christ. There is despair that we won’t live eternally … our flesh tells us that death is final. And so we must constantly direct our attention to the Word of Christ: “she is sleeping”, though at times it drowned out by crowds, pain, and scandal. Oh, if only the power of Christ, the Restorer of life would flow into all the lands.
    And so, God’s children may joyfully scorn death, certain that He does not lie, but shall awaken us, for though to ourselves we may seem dead, to Him we are only sleeping.

  • December 01, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 7:66-72 Revelation 2:12-17

    “We Will Rise with Him”

    “If anyone keeps my Word, he will never se death.”
    [John 8:51]

    Because we have the Word of God and are baptized in accordance with it, we also will leave this life gladly, relying upon it, and are certain that we have already risen with Christ, and on the Last Day will also rise with according to the body. That is where St. Paul now takes his stand: if Christ rose only on His own behalf, our salvation is lost. Then the true and joyous Easter day that we are keeping does not pertain to us, nor does the Last Day, which will be a day for all Christians. But since Christ has risen from the dead for our sakes, and become the first-fruits of those who sleep [1st Corinthians 15:22-23], our salvation stands firm and we, too, shall rise from the dead and keep the joyous Easter with Him on the Last Day. Thus, He weaves Christ’s resurrection, and our own into one another, and makes of them a single resurrection.

  • November 30, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 7:5-65 Revelation 2:8-11

    “Our God of the Living”

    “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
    [Psalm 118:117]

    Whenever, in the Psalter or the rest of Holy Scripture, the saints deal with God concerning comfort and help in their need, eternal life and the resurrection of the dead are certainly involved. All such texts belong to the doctrine of the resurrection and eternal life. In fact, they belong to the Third article of the Apostles Creed [the Holy Christian Church the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins]. And it all flows out of the First Commandment, where God is telling us that He is truly our God [Exodus 20:2]. This Third article of the Creed emphasizes, that while Christians might deplore the fact that they must suffer and die in this life, they are comforted with another life – that is – life with God in eternity. In truth, it is not possible for a child of God to totally die, and not live again in eternity. For one thing, the One true God on whom they rely, and in whom they trust will never die. Christ tells us that He is a God of the living, not of the dead and of those who are no more [Matthew 22:32]. And so – we must live forever; otherwise, He would not be our God. For us, then, death remains to be nothing more than a little sleep.

  • November 27, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 6:1-14 Revelation 1:9-2:11

    “Our Help in Time of Need”

    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
    [Luke 5:31]

    The physician is helpful and a welcome sight to the sick, but the healthy will pay no attention to him. This woman perceived her need, and for that reason she ran after that sweet fragrance (Song of Solomon 1:4; 4:11). So also Moses must come first and teach us to perceive our sins, so that grace may become sweet and welcome. Therefore, all is lost, not matter how kindly and delightfully Christ is portrayed, if one is not first humbled by knowledge of himself, and is not eager for Christ, as the Magnificat says: “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away” (Luke 1:53). All of this is said and written for the comfort of the miserable, poor, needy, sinful, and depressed people, so that in all of their need they know to whom they should flee for comfort and help. Oh how it hurts nature and reason when, in destitution, she takes off, and leaves behind everything that she senses the opposite. May God help us in time of need and of death to such courage and faith!

  • November 26, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 5:14-19 Revelation 1:1-8

    “God Provides Abundantly”

    “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”
    [Psalm 118:1]

    God abundantly and convincingly proves His friendly and gracious favor by His daily and everlasting goodness, as the Psalmist writes: “His steadfast love endures forever”; that is, He showers the best upon us. He is the Creator of our bodies and souls, our Protector by day and night, and the Preserver of our lives. He provides us with silver and gold, sun and moon, fire and water, family and friend, birds and fish. In short, who can count it all? All this is bountifully showered upon us every day of our lives – we just do not always notice His love – we see and live it. When we are sick or must get along without one of His gifts, then we realize the manifold blessings of our Lord. We should always be thankful and remember this verse that should be in the heart and mouth of all God’s people every moment of their lives. “His steadfast love endures forever.”

  • November 25, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 5:1-13 Jude 1-25

    “Christ’s Banquet”

    “I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste My banquet.”
    [Luke 14:24]

    It is as if Jesus meant to say: “well, my supper, too, is something and is surely better than their oxen, fields, and houses or wives, even though they now despise it and regard their fields, oxen, and houses as much more precious. The hour will come when they must leave their oxen, fields, and houses. And would gladly taste something from My supper. But then it will be said: “friend I am not at home, and I cannot now wait on the guests. Go to your fields, to your oxen, to your houses; they will certainly give you a better supper, because you have despised mine.”
    And so, Jesus asks us to accept His Holy Supper, His banquet as a cheerful, hungry child. And not decline His invitation to receive the Grace of God given in His Body and Blood. This is the love of God that we preach, and is offered to us in the Gospel through Christ, where we receive grace instead of wrath, eternal righteousness instead of sin, and eternal life instead of eternal death.

  • November 24, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 4:15-23 3rd John 1-15

    “Christian Friends”

    “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
    [Matthew 18:20]

    Even if one’s heart is well grounded by the Holy Spirit, it remains a great advantage to have a brother with whom we can converse about our faith and from whom one can hear words of comfort … I for my part consider the loss of my possessions far less important than the loss of a good friend. When Christ was wrestling with the temptation in garden [Matthew 26:37], we see Him seeking comfort among three of His disciples. When Paul [Acts 28:15] saw the brethren coming to meet him, he took courage from the sight and expressed comfort. Loneliness distresses a person who is solitary and deprived of closes friends. He can exert himself and struggle against it, but he will not overcome it without great difficulty. Everything is less burdensome if you have a brother with you; for then the promise applies from Matthew 18:20 – “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Therefore, solitude should be shunned, and the companionship of familiar people sought, especially in peril.

  • November 23, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 4:1-14 2nd John 1-13

    “Our Lord Sustains Us”

    When Peter walked on the sea and came to Christ, so long as he held to the Word, the water had to bear him up; but when he turned his eyes from Christ and he let go of the Word, he saw the wind blowing and he began to sink. Therefore I say we must let go of everything, and cling only to the Word; if we have laid hold of that, then let rage and roar the world, death, sin, hell, and all misfortune. But if you let go of the Word, then you will perish. This we see also in people who out of such effort over-seek temporal nourishment. When they have sufficient, and their house and barn are full, they easily trust in God and they will say they have a gracious God; but when they have nothing they have doubts that take over their life, and their faith vanishes. They picture before their eyes that there is nothing at hand nothing in the store house, and do not how they shall exist; and then worry and fear dominate their life.

    It is then, that we must lay hold of God’s Word, and think thusly: My God lives, He assures me that He will sustain my life in His manner and way, and things will be may right in His way. As Christ our Lord says in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” If I retained this Word, and would cast the other foolish things out of my mind, I would never be in need, though I might even be hungry.

  • November 20, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Nehemiah 1 – 3 1st John 4:1 – 5:21

    “Praise God at All Times”

    Since we neither acknowledged nor praised God as our benefactor in peace and prosperity, as we should have done, it has pleased Him that now we should acknowledge and praise Him through the cross and adversity. We did not serve God with gladness in security, and so He is pleased that we serve Him with gladness in fear and rejoice with trembling.

    This is the cross of Christ and the way in which we are saved. Those who follow human opinion, reason, and wisdom will be offended by our Lord and will one day perish. SAVE THEM O LORD! This, then, is the meaning: when Christ the Lord reigns with His iron scepter, and crushes the old man within us through the Word of the cross, according to the will and command of the Father, who has subjected everything to Him; you must recognize yourself as subjected to Him. And so, we bear our cross in all patience and humility, knowing the greater cross that our dear Christ bore for us.

  • November 19, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Daniel 12:1-13 1st John 3:11-24

    “The Gospel Will Never Perish”

    The fact that nowadays we still encounter offense to the Gospel need not surprise us, since Christ Himself meets with it … we can expect to fare no better that my Lord Jesus. Since He experienced apostasy, I might know that among us not everyone will stand with the Lord. In Matthew 10:25 we read: “it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” Therefore let them proceed with their persecutions.
    This doctrine will not perish or crumble because of them. The Gospel will, and must be constructed on a different foundation, from that of might or of great, learned, and intelligent scholars. Let the angry princes or the ranting and raving bishops persecute the Gospel, let the learned people abandon it. The Gospel will be despised outwardly by the world, be trodden underfoot and persecuted – we will never stop this. Some, who claim to be Christians will fall away – we will never stop this. In the end, Jesus will reign supreme – trust Him – endure with Him – live with Him.

  • November 18, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Daniel 11:20-45 1st John 2:28-3:10

    “God Cares For His People”

    We should all be individually certain about this, that we are the people of God, members of His Holy Christian church. Above all things this faith is necessary which firmly apprehends the following: the whole people of God happens to be blessed, holy, pleasing and acceptable to God in such a way that it cannot be torn from the hands of God. Again, we are the people of God. Therefore, God exercises His care for us. The major premise is eminently true, because even the death and blood of the saints are precious in the sight of the Lord [Psalm 116:115]; all they do and suffer is pleasing to God [in that they do it for His kingdom]. On the contrary, their errors and lapses have been covered and forgiven, as Psalm 32:1 testifies. “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

  • November 17, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Daniel 11:1-19 1st John 2:15-27

    “Have Mercy, O Lord”

    Let all people sing this verse with David and acknowledge that they are sinners and that God is righteous, that is – merciful. This confession is a sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God, and David invites us to it regularly. He wants this to be a teaching for the whole world. When the devil, or our conscience, accuses us because of our sins, we can freely confess that our sins are many and they are great, but do not despair because of them. For though our sins are many and great, nevertheless we are taught here that the mercies of God are also many and greater. With this argument all the saints have defended themselves against Satan, that though they were sinners, they have become holy by this knowledge, according to Isaiah 53:11: “the knowledge of Christ will justify many.”

  • November 16, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Daniel 10:1-21 1st John 2:1-12

    “Where Weakness Ends”

    The Lord lets the godly become powerless and to be brought low, at times, until everyone supposes their end is near, whereas in these very things He is present to them with all His power, yet so hidden and in secret that even those who suffer the oppression may not feel it, but only believe. There is the fullness of God’s power and His outstretched arm. For where man’s strength ends, God’s strength begins, provided faith is present and waits on Him. And when the oppression comes to an end, it becomes manifest to all what great strength was hidden underneath our human weakness. Our Lord, Christ, performed His mightiest work on the cross, conquering sin, death, world, hell, and all evil while allowing the evil one to have free reign upon Him. Thus, all the martyrs were also strong and overcame. Thus, too, all who suffer and are oppressed, likewise will overcome. Therefore it is said in Joel 3:10: “let the weak say, ‘I am strong’”– yet in faith, and without feeling it until it is accomplished.

  • November 13, 2020

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Daniel 7:9-9:27 2nd Peter 3:1-18 1st John 1:1-10
    “Who is Like the Lord?”

    “Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?”
    [Psalm 113:5-6]

    For since God is the Most High, and there is nothing above Him, He, nor we can look above Him, nor yet to either side, for there is none like Him. He must needs, therefore, look within Him and beneath Him. The eyes of the world and of men on the contrary, look only above them and are lifted up with pride, as it is said in Proverbs 30:13: “there is a people whose eyes are lofty, and their eyelids lifted up on high.” This we experience every day. Everyone strives after that which above them, after honor, power, wealth, knowledge, a life of ease, and whatever is lofty and great. And where such people are, there are many hangers on; all the world gathers round them, gladly yields them service, and would be at their side and share in their exaltation. On the other hand, no one is willing to look into the depths with their poverty, disgrace, squalor, misery, and anguish. From these all turn their eyes. Where there are such people, everyone forsakes and shuns and leaves them to themselves; no one dreams of helping them or making something out of them. And so they must remain in the depths and in their low and despised condition. There is among men no creator who can make something out of nothing. Therefore, to God alone belongs that sort of seeing that looks into the depths with their need and misery, and is near to all that are in the depths.