Isaiah 2:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20; Luke 20:19-26
What is that thing God wants of you? In Luther’s day, the man who had conferred the doctorate on him, Andreas Karlstadt, told the people what God desired. He insisted that the people of Wittenberg smash all religious statues. This, Karlstadt taught, was their religious duty, the good work that God demanded of them. Luther taught against Karlstadt’s legalism, seeking to free his people’s conscience through the gospel and faith, knowing that stressing works of the law would only lead to a sort of Wittenberg captivity. Later, when the Peasant War broke out, Karlstadt was in danger and appealed to Luther for aid. Luther brought his old friend in to his home, hiding him there for about two months.
The thing that God requires of us is faith. Good works will follow by the urging of God’s Spirit within us. We need not demand them of others or ourselves. Good works will be rendered to God because of the faith that is received through the word of God. We will live rightly only when God teaches us his ways. Then, even weapons of war will be hammered into tools of peace, as they were between Karlstadt and Luther.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman,
Pastor of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Asheboro, NC.