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Prepare for the Lord's Coming

12/14/17

Permalink 01:57:00 am, by Pastor Plagenz Email , 355 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: Devotions

Prepare for the Lord's Coming

A voice of one calling out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.”  John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  (Mark 1:3-4, Evangelical Heritage Version)

(The following is a devotion by Pastor Phil Janke of Winnebago Lutheran Academy.)

I’ve always wrestled with what it really means to be prepared for the Lord’s coming.  Make paths straight?  Level the mountains, fill the valleys?  I’m always fighting my pride and just as soon my despair.  Is that what it is?  Will I ever feel really ready?

In commenting on Psalm 118:17, Martin Luther helped me understand.  And even though he is commenting on a different verse than what is quoted above, it is talking about the same thing.  Both John the Baptist and Martin Luther address the life of repentance for a believer—a humbling of the soul through the law and a lifting up in the forgiveness Jesus provides.  Perhaps what helped me will help you.

“In that conflict [against the devil and death] nothing is better and more vital for victory than learning to sing this little song of the saints, that is, to look away from self and to cling to the hand of God.  Thus the devil is defrauded and made to miss the boat.  It works like this: I am nothing.  The Lord is all my strength, as stated above.  I am stripped of everything, of myself and all that is mine.  I can say: ‘Devil, what are you fighting?  If you try to denounce my good works and my holiness before God, why, I have none.  My strength is not my own; the Lord is my Strength.  You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip!  If you try to prosecute my sins, I have none of those either [because Jesus took them away].  Here is God’s strength—prosecute it if you have had enough.  I know absolutely nothing about either sins or holiness in me.  I know nothing whatever except God’s power in me.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 14, pg. 85)

May the Lord keep you and your loved ones ready for his Coming again!

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