• July 30, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 26:1-31:21 Romans 13:1-15:22 Proverbs 20:11-15

    “One Little Word”

    “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

    [John 17:15]

    For the sake of the Word we must endure misfortune and evil in this world from both tyrants and sects, who press in upon us on every side with clenched fist and false doctrine, with cunning and force, in order to take the Word from us. Moreover, we must be surrounded by devils and stand like a lone sheep amid wolves, yes, amid roaring lions. Tell me, who is it that holds us here, so that we remain and endure against so many abominable enemies without despairing at every moment, and losing both faith and the Word from our hearts? I answer: it is surely not any human power or might. But here stands one little Word that accomplishes it. Above us there sits One who remembered this prayer and says we shall be protected and preserved. This is our defense, and no one can snatch away from His hand, and we will not come to ruin; all because of His One little Word.

  • July 29, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 24:1-25:28 Romans 12:1-21 Proverbs 20:8-10

    “Our Faithful Shepherd”

    “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them
    out of the Father’s hand.”
    [John 10:29]

    Christ, our Dear Lord, is such a faithful Guardian and Shepherd. He has this name above all others, with all honor, for our eternal comfort, both at the right hand of God – where He unceasingly intercedes with the Father for us, prays for us, and shows His wounds – and then here below on earth, where through His Word, Sacraments, and the power of the Holy Spirit He rules. If He were not present as our Faithful Shepherd, we would be blotted out forthwith by the Liar. But, wherever true doctrine, faith, and the use of the Sacraments still remain, that is due only to the keeping and watching of this Dear Shepherd and Guardian.

  • July 28, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 21:1-23:21 Romans 11:13-36 Proverbs 20:7

    “When God Speaks”

    “For he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.”
    [Psalm 33:9]

    But what, or in what manner will He speak? Here we must observe the Hebrew way of expression. For when Scripture says that God speaks, it understands a word related to a real thing or action, not just a sound. For God does not have a mouth or tongue, since He is a spirit. Scripture does record: “He spoke and it came to be” [Psalm 33:9]. And when He speaks, the mountains tremble, kingdoms are scattered, and the whole earth is moved. That is a language that is different than ours. When the sun rises, when the sun sets, God is speaking. When the fruit grows in size, when we are born, it is God speaking. God’s Words are empty air floating around the universe. When God said: “Let there be a sun, let there be a moon, let the earth bring forth trees,…” as soon as He said it, it was done. No one heard his voice, but it was done. God’s “voice” is His love in action.

  • June 27, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 19:1-20:37 Romans 10:14-11:12 Proverbs 20:4-6

    “We Shall Not Die, But Live”

    “The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.”
    [Psalm 118:18]

    We should recognize this verse as a masterpiece. How mightily the psalmist banishes death out of sight. He will know nothing of dying and of sin. At the same time, he visualizes life most vividly and will hear of nothing but life. But whoever will not see death, lives forever, as Christ says: “if anyone keeps My Word, he will never see death” [John 8:51]. Thus, all the saints have sung this verse, and will continue to sing it to the end. We note this especially in the case of the martyrs. So far as the world is concerned, they die. Yet their hearts say with a firm faith: “I shall not die, but live.”

  • July 26, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 17:1-18:34 Romans 9:25-10:13 Proverbs 20:2-3

    “A Wonderful Victory”

    “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;”

    [Psalm 23:5]

    How highly “blessed David” exalts and highly praises the dear Word of God, namely, by telling us that by means of it the believers gain the victory over the devil, the world, the flesh, sin, conscience, and death. When one has the Word, and in faith clings to it firmly, these enemies, who otherwise are invincible, must all yield and let themselves be taken captive. It is, however, a wonderful victory and power, also a very proud and haughty boast on the part of the believers, that they may compel and conquer all these horrible enemies – not by raging – but by Christ. All of this is only accomplished in His Word. For in Scripture, “eating and drinking” means believing and clinging firmly to the Word; and from it proceeds joy, peace, comfort, strength, and the like.

  • July 23, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 8:11-16:14 Romans 8:9-9:24 Proverbs 19:26-20:1

    “He Who Bears All Sins”

    “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. ….. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”.
    [Galatians 3:10, 13]

    This is our highest comfort, to clothe and wrap Christ this way in my sins, your sins, and the sins of the entire world, and in this way to behold Him bearing all our sins. When He is beheld this way, He easily removes all the fanatical opinions of our opponents about justification by works. Some teach that our sins are removed by our love – how sad. This removes Christ altogether. For is Christ is truly the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, who became a curse for us, and who was wrapped in our sins, it necessarily follows that we cannot be justified in our own works, not matter how wonderful we think they may be. All Scripture says this: “I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered, was crucified, and died for our forgiveness.”

  • July 22, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 6:12-8:10 Romans 7:14-8:8 Proverbs 19:24-25

    “The Unexpected Change”

    “So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.”
    [Genesis 45:4]

    We may not look at the manifestation of Joseph only in passing, but may consider the great affection of heart by which Joseph and his brothers were benumbed. I would not know how I would have reacted when he said: “I am Joseph.” Nor do they know. What will happen then, when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ comes, who also disciplines us in various ways in this life, and allows us to be troubled, scourged and killed? What great joy there will be after that sudden and unexpected change, since we previously felt that He was a very harsh tyrant who wanted to destroy everyone. Then He will say: “I am Joseph; I am your Savior.”

  • July 21, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 4:1-6:11 Romans 7:1-13 Proverbs 19:22-23

    “Have Courage to Believe”

    “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
    [Luke 12:32]

    This consolation has always been necessary for all believers; for if a man looks about him, he stumbles at the idea of eternal life. Our primary impression is that we are sinners, but it is a sublime thing to believe that God has prepared eternal life. He raises the poor up from the dirt and leads them from sin and death; He crowns the unworthy. Thus He says in John14:1-2; “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?”

    It is as if He is saying: “It is a grand thing, but do not fear. You are a little flock, but you should have the courage to believe; for it has pleased the Father. Besides, if dwelling places were not prepared, I would prepare them for you now.”

  • July 20, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 2nd Chronicles 1:1-3:17 Romans 6:1-23 Proverbs 19:20-21

    “The Purpose of Baptism”

    “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
    [2nd Corinthians 5:7]

    What is the purpose of Baptism? “So that we might become heirs of eternal life”. [Titus 3:7] Not so that we might possess the sort of treasure that greedy people would like, but an eternal treasure that shall be yours eternally. This Baptism takes place to make you a son or daughter, an heir of eternal life, certain that you will not die forever. Therefore, be grateful to God, thank and praise Him, because you have a Savior who is and always will be kind and loving toward humanity; His kindness and love for humanity endure to the end of the world. If you fall, repent; even if everything turns out badly, you will still be an heir of eternal life. We possess this inheritance, but only in hope, and therefore we live in hope, that He will at last come and free us. This is certainly true [Titus 3:8]. To this, let everyone say, “Amen!”

  • July 19, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 28:1-29:30 Romans 5:6-21 Proverbs 19:18-19

    “Amazing Help”

    “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die,
    yet shall he live,”
    [John 11:25]

    The right hand of God mightily lifts the heart and comforts it in the midst of death, so that it can say: “though I die, I die not. Though I suffer, I suffer not. Though I fall, I am not down. Though I am disgraced, I am not dishonored.” This is our consolation. Furthermore, the Psalmist says of the help: “I shall live”. Isn’t this an amazing help? The dying live; the suffering rejoice; the fallen rise; the disgraced are honored. It is as Christ says: “He who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.” [John 11:25]. St. Paul also speaks in a similar manner: “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair” [2nd Corinthians 4:8]. And here you see that this comfort and help is eternal life, which is the true, everlasting blessing of God.

  • July 16, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 22:1-27:34 Romans 3:9-5:5 Proverbs 19:13-17

    “Our Active God”

    “This also comes from the Lord of hosts; He is wonderful in counsel
    and excellent in wisdom.”
    [Isaiah 28:29]

    Therefore let us learn this rule and order which God is want to employ in governing His saints. For I, too, have often attempted to prescribe to God definite methods He should use in the administration either of the Church, or of other matters. I have, too often said; “Lord, I have my way, and you might consider it”. Nevertheless, time has shown my way to be disadvantageous to the Kingdom of God. In short, God’s plans are just fine, and will always work to His glory and to our good. Undoubtedly, the Lord laughed at my wisdom; “Oh, Dr. Luther, you know so much, and yet, know so little. Just teach and preach my pure Gospel, that’s all you need to know.” My friends, that is where we will see God most active, as He forgives His people.

  • July 15, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 19:1-21:30 Romans 2:25-3:8 Proverbs 19:10-12

    “The Calling in Your Heart”

    “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
    [Galatians 4:6]

    We certainly know that we are poor sinners, but here we must not look at what we are, and do, but at what Christ is and has done, and still does for us. If you think it is a big thing that you are God’s child, do not think it is a small thing that God’s Son was born of a woman, born under the Law, so that you could become such a child of God. What God does is altogether something great, which gives us great joy and courage and makes spirits undaunted, which are afraid of nothing and can do everything. Therefore, cling firmly to this text. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” Romans 8:16. How could our heart not know of this calling? If you do not know of it, pray, and the Lord will reveal it to you.

  • July 14, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 16:37-18:17 Romans 2:1-24 Proverbs 19:8-9

    “The Arm of God”

    “He has shown strength with his arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;”
    [Luke 1:51]

    These words “He has shown strength” … are not bound to any one time, but are intended to set forth in general the works of God that He always has done, always does, and always will do. Hence the following would be a fair translation: “God is a Lord whose works are of such a nature that He mightily scatters the proud and is merciful to those who fear Him.” In the Scriptures, the “arm” of God means God’s own power, by which He works without the medium of any creature. This work is done quietly and in secret, and no one becomes aware of it until all is accomplished: so that this power, or arm, can be known and understood only by faith.

  • July 13, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 15:1-16:36 Romans 1:18-32 Proverbs 19:6-7

    “Mary’s Hymn of Praise”

    “And Mary said, my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”
    [Luke 1:46-47]

    This word, “magnifies”, is used by Mary to indicate what her hymn of praise is to be about, namely, the great works and deeds of God, for all the strengthening of our faith, for the comforting of all those of low degree, and for the terrifying of all the mighty ones of the earth. We are to let the hymn to this threefold hymn serve it’s purpose; for she sang it not for herself alone but for us all, to sing it after her. Now, these great works of God will neither terrify not comfort anyone unless they believe that God has not only the power and the knowledge but also the willingness and hearty desire to do such great things. We must, without any wavering or doubt, realize His will toward us, and firmly believe that He will do great things also to you, and is willing to do so.

  • July 12, 2021

    Day by Day with Martin Luther

    Read: 1st Chronicles 12:19-14:17 Romans 1:1-17 Proverbs 19:4-5

    “The Visitation”

    “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she ex claimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
    [Luke 1:41-45]

    Is that not surprising that the Creator was in the world, dwelt among men, and still passed unrecognized by His creatures? This was particularly true during the days before He inaugurated His ministry and performed miracles. Then there was no one who knew of Him. And yet, at that time there were several pious people in the world who knew Him – to be sure, not by reason, but by power from above, by revelation from the Holy Spirit. Among these were Zacharias, Elizabeth, Simeon, the prophetess Anna, the Shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and others.