December 31

 

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.  Hebrews 11:3

 

 

No creature can assist in its own creation or sustain itself.  Similarly, we didn’t create ourselves, and we can’t keep ourselves alive for a single moment by our own strength.  God alone is responsible for our growth and development.  Without him, we would have died a long time ago.  If our Creator, who continues to work, and his co-worker, Christ, were to stop their work, everything would break down in an instant.  This truth inspires us to confess, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”  If God hadn’t been sustaining us all along, we would have died long ago – even in infancy or at birth.

The writer of Hebrews also teaches us about how God creates and sustains us:  “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”  In other words, the author of Hebrews is saying that through Christ, the Father continually makes the invisible become visible.  He makes what is nonexistent come into existence.  A hundred years ago none of us come be seen.  People who will be born ten or twenty years from now can’t be seen either.  They haven’t been born and don’t exist yet.  But when they are born, they will become visible and real.

Christ is the one who creates something visible from the invisible.  Through him, heaven and earth were created out of nothing.  Christ the Lord was present when everything was created.  He wasn’t merely a spectator, but was equal to the Creator.  He was the Father’s co-worker.  He will continue to rule and will sustain everything until the end of the world.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end for everything and everyone.

 

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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