• January 28, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Exodus 5:22-7:25 Matthew 18:21-19:12 Proverbs 5:22-23

    “An Altar to the Lord”

    “Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.”
    [Genesis 12:7]

    Here for the first time you see that through the holy patriarch is an exile and a sojourner, nevertheless, on account of the promise made to his seed, he gives consideration to a definite habitation. Now for the first time he builds an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. That is, he appoints a definite place where the church should come together to hear the Word of God, offer prayers, praise God, and honor sacrifices to God; for this is what it means to build an altar. The Lord Himself, who appeared to Abraham there, selected it; for the Lord is the first founder of all things. As we read in Genesis 28:17: “and he was afraid and said, ‘how awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’ “ At a place such as this, where the Word is truly proclaimed, God dwells among us.

  • January 27, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Exodus 4:1-5:21 Matthew 18:1-20 Proverbs 5:15-21

    “The Conversion of Saul”

    “And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
    [Acts 9:4-6]

    The Master here is great, and He produces a great student, Paul, the only one who heard this sermon and thereafter became our teacher, who still teaches us today. For Christ here is saying for the most part : “did you hear that, Paul? The whole world is wavering in darkness and error and does not know Me. But you are to call them, and lead from darkness into light, from the devil’s kingdom into the kingdom of God, from death to life.” Paul asks, “but how?” God told Him what He tells us; “through the Word, which You, Paul, have now heard from me in this small sermon, namely, that you should preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins in My name. And whoever believes in Me will be declared righteous before God and will receive eternal life.”

  • January 26, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Exodus 2:11–3:22 Matthew 17:10-27 Proverbs 5:7-14

    “A Father’s Duty”

    “ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
    [Ephesians 6:4]

    It is the duty of every father of a family to question and examine his children and servants at least once a week and see what they know or are learning from their Catechism. And if they do not know the Catechism, he should keep them learning it faithfully. Our children should be used to reciting the 10 Commandments, the Apostles Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer daily; when they rise in the morning, whey they sit down to their meals, and when they go to bed at night. These will lead them to Christ, a Christian life, and peace as they begin their day, and as they lay their heads down at night.

  • January 25, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 50:1 – Exodus 2:10 Matthew 16:13-17:9 Proverbs 5:1-6

    “Expecting Perfection”

    “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
    [Romans 15:1]

    Rarely will anyone will be patient with the faults of others, and we demand others to be perfect. We, too often, think only of others faults, and try this or that way to have more peace and rest than others, on top of disliking them. Whoever can dismiss his neighbor and pushes him away, and then covers himself with the excuse that he did it because of love for righteousness, that he did not want to have a wicked person around him, but only the godly and good people like himself, is wrong. This evil thinking holds sway only with those who think themselves better and less sinful than others. They puff themselves up, putt on airs, thinking they are the only cute kitten in the house; it is just not true!

  • January 22, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 44:1-49:33 Matthew 14:13-16:12 Proverbs 4:11-27

    “Comrades in Sin”

    “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.”
    [Matthew 9:9]

    And it is a wondrous comfort that he chooses such unworthy sinners as apostles, so that they might not become prideful about having such a lofty office or, rather, so that no sinner might lose heart or despair of Christ. For who are the ones who sit in the highest choir and innermost senate of the saints? They are none other than the splendid sinners and tax collectors who, according to their own righteousness, would deserve to sit in the midst of hell. Therefore, Peter has no reason to look down on me or boast against me, no matter how great a sinner I am. For Peter has good reason to recall that he was my comrade in sin. Sinners, one and all – forgiven, one and all.

  • January 21, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 42:18-43:34 Matthew 13:47-14:12 Proverbs 4:7-10

    “The Helper Who Comforts”

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
    [1st John 1:8]

    Therefore, a Christian must somewhere in his heart feel his sin and be frightened to death, because everything that afflicts other sinners also oppresses him. The unbelievers are so stuck in their sins that they pay no attention to this, but these people, the believers, will certainly feel it. But then they have a helper, the Holy Spirit, who comforts and strengthens them until he has completely carried it out, and put an end to it; then they will no longer perceive any of those things. We may feel evil desires, as long as we struggle against them. For that reason, such a person must not judge according to his feelings as if all were lost, but work at the remaining sins he feels all his life, let the Holy Spirit work on him, and sigh without ceasing that he might be free of those sins. This sighing never ceases in the believers, and it goes deeper than can be expressed, as St. Paul says in Romans 8:26. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” But they have a precious Listener, namely, the Holy Spirit Himself, who certainly perceives this longing and gives such consciences His divine comfort.

  • January 20, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 41:17-42:17 Matthew 13:24-46 Proverbs 4:1-6

    “The Purpose of Good Works”

    “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
    [Galatians 2:16]

    We should do good works, but our confidence and faith must not be built upon them, but on Christ’s work. We should not attack sin, death, and hell with our works, but send them away from us to the Righteous Savior, to the King of Zion, who rides on the donkey. He knows how to treat sin, death and hell: He kills sin, chokes death, and devours hell. Let Him take care of such matters, and you apply your works to your neighbor, so that you have a sure testimony of faith in the Savior who kills death.

  • January 19, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 39:1-41:16 Matthew 12:46-13:23 Proverbs 3:33-35

    “Surrendering the Self”

    “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
    [Titus 3:14]

    Thus it is not your good work that you give some alms or that you pray, but that you surrender yourself completely to your neighbor and serve him, wherever he needs and wherever you can, be it with alms, prayer, work, fasting, counsel, food, and finally even with suffering and maybe even even dying for him. Tell me, where now are such works to be found in Christendom? I wish I had a voice like a thunderbolt of iron so that I could preach to all the world and tear the little words “good works” out of people’s hearts – or at least give them the right understanding of those words. It is simple – just serve your neighbor for the sake of Christ, and leave it at that.

  • January 18, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 37:1-38:30 Matthew 12:22-45 Proverbs 3:27-32

    “True Man, True God”

    “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied,
    ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ “

    [Matthew 16:15-16]

    It is of no avail for salvation if you think of Christ according to human opinion – that He is righteous, holy, a good man, a prophet, or even the greatest one. Rather, the Father’s revelation from heaven must be added: that He is Christ, the Son of God – that is, that He is true man and true God, and that He is the promised King and Priest. And in these few words is encompassed the entire doctrine of the Christian faith. For the fact that He is the Son of the living God means that He is true God, which Scripture elsewhere demonstrates at greater length. However, the fact that He is also man is evident in and of itself since, He was found as a man (Philippians 2:7), and as He Himself says here: “Who do they say the Son of Man is?”

  • January 15, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 31:17-36:43 Matthew 10:24-12:21 Proverbs 3:16-26

    “The True God”

    Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
    [Matthew 10:34-36]

    Christ, with these words announces to the world that He is God – and very much equal to God. The prophets did not speak like this, nor did they dare to accord themselves preeminence over parents and magistrates. Rather, they preached that God was to have preeminence over everything, while they boasted of Jesus. (2nd Corinthians 4:5) All these words show that this crucified man is the true God. This is the scandal of scandals for all time. This is still the case today, and will remain so forever. Everything in this world is inferior to the Christ, and He Himself is to be exalted over all things as true God. Thus, under lowly words, His infinite majesty makes Himself known to believers. The godless pass over these things with a deaf ear – that is a sad thing to see. I think I will go pray for them again.

  • January 14, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 30:1-31:16 Matthew 10:1-23 Proverbs 3:13-15

    “Praise for Noah’s Faith”

    “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
    [James 2:17-18]

    Noah is praised as an example for us because he did not have a dead faith, which is actually no faith at all, but he had living and active faith. He is obedient when God gives him a command; and because he believes God both when he gives a promise, and when he utters a threat, he painstakingly carries out God’s direction in regard to the ark, the gathering of the animals, and the flood. The particular praise of Noah’s faith is that he stays on the royal road; he adds nothing, changes nothing, and takes nothing away from God’s directive, but abides completely by the command he hears.

  • January 13, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 28:1-29:35 Matthew 9:18-38 Proverbs 3:11-12

    “The Picture of Love”

    “ So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
    [1st John 4:16]

    If we were to talk for a long time about how love is a high, noble quality of the soul, the most precious and perfect virtue of all – as the philosophers and teachers do – that is all nothing compared to what he loudly pours forth saying; “God Himself is love, and His essence is nothing but pure love.” If someone wanted to paint God accurately, then he would have to find a picture that is nothing but love, since the divine nature is nothing other than the fiery furnace and ardor of love, which fills heaven and earth. In turn, if someone could paint and picture love, then he would have to make a picture, which is not artistic or human, not angelic or heavenly, but God Himself. So the Apostle can paint things here in such a way that he makes out of God and love just one thing. He does this to coax and draw us through this noble, precious, and delightful picture all the more to strive also to have love for one another and to be on our guard against envy, hatred, and dissension.

  • January 12, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 26:17-27:46 Matthew 9:1-17 Proverbs 3:9-10

    “Justified through Faith”

    “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” [Romans 10:4]

    Outside of Christ there is no blessing or justification, not only because of the Law, but also because there is no other faith. God wants to keep His promise made to Abraham, to whom the promised blessing for all the world in his Seed and in no one else’s seed (Genesis 22:18). Therefore, He will not sanction a new or different faith for anyone, or let His promise be lie or recall it. Therefore, faith in Christ justifies, as Paul says, “Christ is the end of the Law; whoever believes in Him is righteous” (Romans 10:4). What does this mean? Nothing else than that all who believe in Christ are justified through faith, and receive His Spirit and grace. With that there is an end of the Law, so that he is never under the Law. Live in Christ!

  • January 11, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 24:52-26:16 Matthew 8:18-34 Proverbs 3:7-8

    “Where Our Treasure Lies”

    “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
    [Philippians 3:8]

    Therefore, as the dear children and heirs of God, we ought to glory in neither our wisdom, nor strength, nor riches, but in this, that we have “the pearl of great value” (Matt. 13:46), the dear Word, through which we know God, our dear Father, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent (John 17:3). That is our treasure and heritage, and it is sure and eternal and better that all worldly possessions. Whoever has this treasure may let others gather money, live riotously, be proud and haughty. Let him not be haughty. Let him not be troubled by such things, though he be despised and poor in the eyes of the world. But let him thank God for His inexpressible gift (2nd Corinthians 9:15) and pray that he may abide by it. St. Paul was an unworthy, miserable man on earth, and the devil and the world assailed him most violently. To God he was a dear, worthy man. We should be as St. Paul, when he says; “I count all things but loss and refuse”. (Philippians 3:8)

  • January 08, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: Genesis 18:16-25:51 Matthew 6:25-8:17 Proverbs 2:6-3:6

    “To Know the Father”

    “They said to him therefore, ‘where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘you know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ “
    [John 8:19]

    Do not begin backwards, or from above, attempting to know the Father beforehand. You will fail. But do this, close your eyes and say: “I know nothing of God or of the Father unless I come here and listen to Christ.” For anything preached or invented outside this Man’s Word, no matter what it may be or how sublime it may sound, is not the Father, but remains blindness, error, yes, the devil himself. “If you knew me, you would know My Father also. But if you do not know Me, you also know nothing of My Father; for He has declared that He wants to be recognized through the Son.” The Father takes us away from all universities, from the laws of all wise people, from the lives of all the saints, from all religions, faiths, and doctrines, from all monastic cowls and tonsures, and says: “he who would know Me, the Father, must give ear to Christ, the Son.”