A Heart for Good

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Original photo by Schristia

Daily Reformation, Psalm 125:1-5

From the Reformer

With the believers in Christ, them who have their righteousness in him, there should follow in this life on earth the fruits of upright living, in obedience to God. These fruits constitute the good works acceptable to God, which, being works of faith and wrought in Christ, will be rewarded in the life to come. But Paul has in mind the individuals who, rejecting faith in Christ, regard their self-directed lives, their humanly-wrought works, which conform to the Law, as righteousness availing in the sight of God. His reference is to them who so trust, though wholly ignorant of Christ, for whose sake, without any merit on our part, righteousness is imputed to us by God. The only condition is we must believe in Christ; for he became man, died for our sins and rose from the dead, for the very purpose of liberating us from our sins and granting us his resurrection and life. Toward the heavenly life we should tend, in our life here walking in harmony with it; as Paul says in conclusion: “Our citizenship is in heaven [not earthly and not confined to this temporal life only]; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

—Martin Luther, Assorted Sermons, “Enemies of the Cross of Christ”

Pulling It Together

What is holding you back? Nothing—if God surrounds you. Since you are hemmed about by God, you may do what he expects. Being so surrounded, you may continue to believe and therefore, do good works to your heart’s content. Good works are possible because God is always there, giving you the faith to act. It is he who has given you a heart for good works.

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

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