August 27

And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.  Genesis 16:4

 

As a slave, Hagar owned nothing except the food and clothes that Sarai, out of kindness and generosity, had given her.  Sarai was even the one who chose her to be the mother of Abram’s child.  Yet Hagar began to be disrespectful to Sarai, Abram’s true wife.  The Holy Spirit relates this story about he quarrel between Sarai and Hagar for our comfort.  He wants us to understand what God’s people had to go through in their lifetimes.  The entire family was affected by the fact that Hagar treated Sarai with disrespect.

On the surface, this story seems to be trivial and insignificant.  Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit considered it so worthwhile as to describe it in great detail.  This was done so that believers would be comforted and learn the lesson that they should be patient as they wait to be delivered from similar problems.

Hagar owed everything she had, even life itself, to Sarai.  Yet she was rude and disrespectful to the person who generously provided for her.  So we should learn to do good to others but be prepared to put up with ingratitude.  Many situations in our lives don’t turn out the way we expect.  Our hopes for other people aren’t always fulfilled.  After all, human nature is corrupt, and people are unpredictable.  When life suddenly starts going well, it’s difficult for anyone to avoid the temptation of becoming rude and disrespectful to others.

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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