Daily Reform, Day 78
Galatians 2:6 & Revelation 19:11-16
From the Reformer
Paul is quoting Moses: “Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty” (Lev. 19:15). This quotation from Moses ought to shut the mouths of the false apostles. “Don’t you know that God is no respecter of persons?” cries Paul. The dignity or authority of men means nothing to God. The fact is that God often rejects just such who stand in the odor of sanctity and in the aura of importance. In doing so God seems unjust and harsh. But men need deterring examples. For it is a vice with us to esteem personality more highly than the Word of God. God wants us to exalt His Word and not men.
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
Someone said it well: “Get over yourself.” We ought also to get over others. So much tribute is paid to what this writer said or that preacher said. What does the Word of God say? Churchgoers would say that they esteem the Word of God highly since these men or women they esteem teach it. Really? How would the average churchgoer know someone teaches the Word of God? Churchgoers read the Bible when it suits them, when they are looking for answers or comfort. They do not read the Word of God because they want to better know God. They certainly do not read it to check the teaching of the latest Christian book or CD. They simply accept it as true because it bears a Christian label. Perhaps that is the most pernicious form of respect.
Churchgoers assign authority to products because they are allegedly Christian. Whether it is a book or a t-shirt or a politician, more honor is afforded the product with the Christian label. In doing so, many slide the Word to a lesser place of honor. Labels are easy; the Word is discipline. Men are not to be exalted but we churchgoers seem to exalt them every day. Instead, we are to lift the Word of God to the highest honor in our lives.
Yet, one may easily imagine that many churchgoers will remember quotes from the Church Lady but not The Magnificat. They will recall a line from a book or movie but not from an epistle. They will esteem the teaching of Billy but not know if John is an Old or a New Testament work. Face it. Churchgoers do not esteem the Word of God as they ought. You can begin to change that fact today.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers