April 28

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24

Jesus warned the Pharisees that they shouldn’t judge others by their own foolish thinking or according to their own opinion.  Looking through colored glass distorts the color of everything.  In the same way, the distorted thinking of the spiritually blind doesn’t allow them to perceive the truth accurately, even though they have the truth right before their eyes.  Their hearts are bitter, and they burn with hatred.  Like colored glass, their hearts color the way they look at others.  They see people as enemies whom they resent and find repulsive.

In the world, no one sees anyone else through clear glass except for Christians, because their eyes are bright and pure.  Christians see their enemies with the eyes of mercy and compassion.  They don’t wish evil on those people.  If an enemy is bitter and mean toward them, believers think, “This big shot is miserable.  He is already eternally condemned.  Why would I want to wish more evil on him?  If he keeps going this way, he will certainly belong to the devil.”  Christians have compassion on their enemies and hope for their salvation.  Meanwhile, others only view their neighbors with hatred, envy, and pride.  So it follows that they also view us as scoundrels.  To the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Stop judging by mere appearance, and make a right judgment.”  In other words, he’s saying, “Look at what I do and who I am through clear glass.”

Our enemies will always criticize us.  They will always look at us through colored glass.  We must let it be.  No matter what we do, they will still view us through colored glass.

Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional

Edited by James C. Galvin

Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:

Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther

Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.

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