Daily Reformation, Luke 6:17-26
From the Reformer
…how many good works you have before you in your home, with your child, that needs all these things like a hungry, thirsty, naked, poor, imprisoned, sick soul. O what a blessed marriage and home were that where such parents were to be found! Truly it would be a real Church, a chosen cloister, yea, a paradise. Of such says Psalm 128: “Blessed are they that fear God, and walk in His Commandments; thou shalt eat of the labor of thine hands; therefore thou shalt be happy, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine in thine house, and thy children shall be as the young scions of laden olive trees about thy table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed, that feareth the Lord,” etc. Where are such parents? Where are they that ask after good works? Here none wishes to come. Why? God has commanded it; the devil, flesh and blood pull away from it; it makes no show, therefore it counts for nothing. Here this husband runs to St. James, that wife vows a pilgrimage to Our Lady; no one vows that he will properly govern and teach himself and his child to the honor of God; he leaves behind those whom God has commanded him to keep in body and soul, and would serve God in some other place, which has not been commanded him. Such perversity no bishop forbids, no preacher corrects; nay, for covetousness’ sake they confirm it and daily only invent more pilgrimages, elevations of saints, indulgence fairs. God have pity on such blindness.
—Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works
Pulling It Together
Crazy conclusions? Wishful thinking? God has promised many blessings and yet so many would sincerely say that they have not come to pass. This is because they have passed on the blessing. They care not for the manner of delivery. A blessing through hunger? They think not; they would rather to be fat than blessed. Blessing through sorrow? Give them empty laughter rather than the blessing of God. Blessing by rejection? Surround them with false friends and they consider it happiness.
What has God put before you? This is where he will bless. It does not matter what circumstances you are in; God can bless you there. Paul said he had learned to be content in whatever situation he found himself. (Phil 4:11) Two verses later he states that God can do all things in his life. Obviously, the Apostle considered God able to bless whether he was in need or plenty, weak, insulted, suffering hardship, persecuted, or experiencing a calamity. He knew that when he was weak, then he was actually strong because of the One who was within him. (2Cor 12:10)
Crazy conclusions? “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1Cor 1:15) What is before you today? Rejoice! God is blessing.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers