Original photo by Arun Kulshreshtha
Daily Reformation, Jeremiah 1:4-10
From the Reformer
Luther, at Wittenberg, seeing a very melancholy man, said to him: Ah! human creature, what dost thou? Hast thou nothing else in hand but to think of thy sins, on death, and damnation? Turn thine eyes quickly away, and look hither to this man Christ, of whom it is written; “He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered, died, buried, descended into hell, the third day arose again from the dead, and ascended up into heaven,” etc. Dost think all this was done to no end? Comfort thyself against death, and sin; be not afraid nor faint, for thou hast no cause; Christ suffered death for thee, and prevailed for thy comfort and defense, and for that cause he sits at the right hand of God, his heavenly Father, to deliver thee.
—Martin Luther, Table Talk
Pulling It Together
Too many begin and end with sin; sin is their religion. They are always thinking about sinning or not sinning, of how they wish they had not sinned or are very glad that they do not sin. The law of God convicts us but God has not ended his work in us with guilt. God knows you intimately and so, he knows of your need for direction in living. He has provided commandments and prophets to remind us—even chastise us. But he also knows of your desperate need of the assurance of his grace when you fail to live up to his rules.
Should you sin? Of course not. Will you sin? You bet. So when you do sin, do so without anxiety, for Christ died for your sin. Focus on Christ crucified and risen—not on yourself and your sins. Take comfort against the curse of death and risk living, for Christ died and he is alive forevermore. So make your focus new life in Christ. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-3)
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers