May 5

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

Being in the world, seeing the world, and experiencing the world are all different from loving the world, just as having sin and feeling sin are both different from loving sin.  Abraham certainly had property, but he didn’t love it.  He recognized that God made him a steward over these possessions, and he managed them accordingly.  David was a mighty king but didn’t demand his own way.  Rather, he governed according to God’s will.  For he said of himself, “I dwell with you as an alien, a strange, as all my fathers were” (Psalm 39:12).  In other words, he considered himself to be a traveler, merely a guest on this earth.  David, didn’t rule his kingdom according to his own will, but according to God’s will and for God’s honor.  So he didn’t love the world.  But when someone oppresses and troubles the poor and uses other people’s possessions as their own, then we see someone loving the world.  This is unjust.  Christ doesn’t take us out of the world.  Rather, he leaves us in the world after baptism so that others will be strengthened and encouraged by our example.  So anyone who flees the world lives in a godless way.

Christ says that the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin” (John 16>8).  The world is filled with people who have turned away from God and know nothing about God.  They have turned instead to what God has created and have used his creation for their own honor.

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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