The Searcher of Hearts

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Original image by C. Jill Reed

Daily Reformation, Romans 8:22-27

From the Reformer

The Spirit cries in us because of our weakness. Because of our infirmity the Holy Ghost is sent forth into our hearts to pray for us according to the will of God and to assure us of the grace of God. Let the Law, sin, and the devil cry out against us until their outcry fills heaven and earth. The Spirit of God outcries them all. Our feeble groans, “Abba, Father,” will be heard of God sooner than the combined racket of hell, sin, and the Law. We do not think of our groanings as a crying. It is so faint we do not know we are groaning. “But he,” says Paul, “that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit” (Rom 8:27). To this Searcher of hearts our feeble groaning, as it seems to us, is a loud shout for help in comparison with which the howls of hell, the din of the devil, the yells of the Law, the shouts of sin are like so many whispers.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Within his mind, he heard the familiar protest: “Christians do not think this way and they do not act this way. You are not really be a Christian!” Yet deep within his heart, as he struggled with this objection, he heard: “You are are saved not by your feeble, good works but by my perfect work.” Those who are not of the Spirit never hear the devil’s insinuations. They simply go on walking in the flesh and their conscience may never be pricked. Christians, however, are reproved to help them walk in the Spirit of Christ—not to drive them away from him. When you fall down, get up and keep on walking with God. This is what people of the Spirit do.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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