August 17, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 12


“If God did not give us anything unless we had earned it and were worthy of it, He could hardly give is bread and plain water. But He does not intend to look at our merit and worthiness but at our need and His grace and mercy. He intends to grant us not only bodily blessing but also eternal life.”

Martin Luther



Whereas mercy is defined as not getting what we deserve, grace is defined as getting what we don’t deserve. Because God has redeemed us through the sacrifice of His own Son, His mercy is shown in that our condemnation under sin has been lifted. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).



Because of a love we could never comprehend, God’s grace has allowed us an inheritance as sons and daughters of the Most High even though we continue to do things that only serve to separate ourselves from Him. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).



What if God, who has every justification to do so, gave every sinner what they deserved? “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If we stood condemned, we would die in our sins and the beauty of heaven would never approach the eyes of those who had died.



But, because we have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace alone we have been given a new opportunity of redemption. Praise be to God that he doesn’t look at our own merit or worthiness, because under those conditions we would all eternally perish. But because God grants us His mercy and grace, we can look forward to an everlasting bounty, free from the things that hinder us.



Today, take a moment to contemplate just how much has been given you that you do not deserve. Thank God for allowing us the righteousness of His only Son to cover a lifetime of sin and pledge to uphold His calling on your life so that more people might come to the truth.



Our Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving us enough to provide a way out of everlasting condemnation. Help us to exchange our worldliness for Your godliness and lead us on the path toward salvation. Amen.