Thursday, December 31, 2015

We are the Lord's:  His all sufficient merit,
Sealed on the cross, to us this grace accords;
We are the Lord's, and all things shall inherit;
Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

We are the Lord's:  then let us gladly tender
Our souls to Him, in deeds, not empty words;
Let heart and tongue, and life combine to render
No doubtful witness that we are the Lord's.
             from a hymn by Karl Johann Philipp Spitta,Tr.  by Charles Tamberlane Astle


I and my house will serve the Lord;
But first, obedient to his word
I must myself appear;
By actions, works, tempers, show
That I my heavenly Master know,
And serve with heart sincere.

I must the fair example set;
From those that on my pleasure wait
The stumbling block remove;
Their duty by my life explain,
And still in all my works maintain
The dignity of love.

Easy to be entreated, mild,
Quickly appeased and reconciled,
A follower of my God,
A saint indeed, I long to be,
And lead my faithful family
In the celestial road.

Lord, if thou didst the wish infuse,
A vessel fitted for thy use receive:
Into thy hands receive:
Work in me both to will and do;
And show them how believers true,
And real Christians, live.
                    Charles Wesley

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  1 Peter 2:12

.....Why should I subdue my flesh? that I may be saved?  No, but that I may lead an honest life before the world.  For this honest life does not justify us, but we must first be justified and believe before we attempt to lead an honest (pious) life.  But as to outward conduct, this I am not to direct to my own profit, but that the unbelieving may thereby be reformed and attracted, that they through us may come to Christ; which is a true mark of love, though they slander and asperse us, and hold us as the worst wretches.  Therefore we should exhibit such an excellent course of action, that men shall be compelled to say, Certainly they cannot be blamed. 
     We read that when the emperors reigned, and persecuted the Christians, no fault could be found with the latter, except that they called on Christ and considered Him as God.  So Pliny writes in his letter to Trajan, the Emperor, that he knew of no wrong that the Christians did, except that they came together every morning, early, and sang songs of praise in order that they might honor their Christ and receive the sacrament; besides this, none could bring any charge against them.  Therefore St. Peter says:  Ye must endure to have men asperse you as evil-doers, and for this reason you are to lead such a life that you shall do no man injury, and in this manner you shall bring about their reformation.  Till that day arrive; that is, ye must endure it as long as men reproach you, till all shall be set forth and revealed, so that it shall be seen how unjust they have been toward you, and that they must glorify God on your account....
                                                                                                                       Martin Luther

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