Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Reflection: Faith Honors God :: Throwback Thursday
By Martin Luther (Commentary on Galatians, 1535)
To believe in God as Abraham did is to be right with God because faith honors God. Faith says to God: “I believe what you say.”
Are you surprised that reason thinks little of faith? Reason thinks it ludicrous that faith should be the foremost service any person can render unto God. Let your faith supplant reason.
Abraham mastered reason by faith in the Word of God. Not as though reason ever yields meekly. It put up a fight against the faith of Abraham.
Reason protested that it was absurd to think that Sarah who was ninety years old and barren by nature, should give birth to a son. But faith won the victory and routed reason, that ugly beast and enemy of God.
Everyone who by faith slays reason, the world’s biggest monster, renders God a real service, a better service than the religions of all races and all the drudgery of meritorious monks can render.
Men fast, pray, watch, suffer. They intend to appease the wrath of God and to deserve God’s grace by their exertions. But there is no glory in it for God, because by their exertions these workers pronounce God an unmerciful slave driver, an unfaithful and angry Judge. They despise God, make a liar out of Him, snub Christ and all His benefits; in short they pull God from His throne and perch themselves on it.
Faith truly honors God. And because faith honors God, God counts faith for righteousness.
Christian righteousness is the confidence of the heart in God through Christ Jesus. Such confidence is accounted righteousness for Christ’s sake.
Two things make for Christian righteousness: Faith in Christ, which is a gift of God; and God’s acceptance of this imperfect faith of ours for perfect righteousness.
Because of my faith in Christ, God overlooks my distrust, the unwillingness of my spirit, my many other sins. Because the shadow of Christ’s wing covers me I have no fear that God will cover all my sins and take my imperfections for perfect righteousness.
Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day. — Psalm 96.2
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.
Genesis 18 (Listen – 4:59)
Matthew 17 (Listen – 3:46)
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Read more about Fasting According to our Lusts :: Throwback Thursday
These all seek in their fasting nothing beyond the work itself: when they have performed that, they think they have done a good work. — Martin Luther
Read more about Faith Requires Humility
One reason faith is so difficult for today’s culture is that we devalue humility. And faith cannot exist without humility.