The Large Catechism – part 142

Scripture Text: Isaiah 26:3

Let us be clear; Luther is not saying that God rewards our works and obedience with salvation. God grants salvation through faith in his grace alone (Eph 2:8–9).

The Large Catechism – part 142

Scripture Text: John 7:53–8:11

This section of John’s gospel is not in the earliest manuscripts. The story intrigues me, nonetheless. We wonder what Jesus wrote in the dirt. I like to imagine it was the name of a woman each of the accusers had secretly committed adultery with...

The Large Catechism – part 141

Scripture Text: Revelation 1:3

To be sure, the precise meaning of today’s verse is that one who reads the Revelation to the church is blessed. The church is also blessed if they listen and obey.

The Large Catechism – part 140

Scripture Text: Matthew 18:5–6

There is more to being persuaded than for a child to believe the Fourth Commandment. Another side of the persuasion is adults teaching it to the little ones.

The Christmas Story from Luke 2:1–20

Scripture Text: Luke 2:1-14

Now it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first census made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

The Large Catechism – part 139

Scripture Text: Revelation 21:22–27

One must walk in God’s light; you cannot invent your own. He is the way, so we must walk in his truth. There are certainly many of those who would spin God’s truth into their own brand of truth.

The Large Catechism – part 138

Scripture Text: Revelation 21:9–11

Would you do things to brighten your standing with God? Then you would simply shine with your own dim, human qualities. The Christian, however, reflects a divine glory...

The Large Catechism – part 137

Scripture Text: Revelation 20:12

When the scroll of life is opened, what will it say about you? How will it record your response to the great commandment? Will you have loved the Lord your God so much as to believe in him and take him at his word?

The Large Catechism – part 136

Scripture Text: Revelation 20:5–6

Faith embraces its vocation because it is freed to do so, because it trusts in another. The one who has faith, trusts in God instead of his or her own talents, work ethic, labor, or cunning.

The Large Catechism – part 135

Scripture Text: Isaiah 10:15

Should the created vaunt itself over the Creator? This logic follows downward. Next to the Father come father and mother, those whom God has put in charge.

The Large Catechism – part 134

Scripture Text: Isaiah 9:13–15

If you will not do your job, it will be taken from you. Parenting is important, especially godly parenting. There is no difference between the old leaders of Israel...

The Large Catechism – part 133

Scripture Text: Isaiah 9:4

Why does God promise such a great blessing as long life? How does it work out that his promise may come to pass? He does so by delivering the faithful from sin and its consequences.

The Large Catechism – part 131

Scripture Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:3

These traditions that we have learned from our parents (if only our parents in the church) are a great and lifelong blessing. Through these, God is faithful...

The Large Catechism – part 130

Scripture Text: Isaiah 6:3

Most of us have encountered a willful child whom we conjectured would either not live a long life or would be the death of his parents. But there is more to being an obedient child than civil order.

The Large Catechism – part 129

Scripture Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13

These verses urge us to honor those who do the principal work of ministry in congregations. But it is good counsel to think of our parents along these lines too.

The Large Catechism – part 128

Scripture Text: Isaiah 5:13

We garner our initial knowledge of the Lord in the home. There, we learn how to honor our parents, and in so learning, we learn that we are not the center of all things.

The Large Catechism – part 127

Scripture Text: Isaiah 3:8

The people of God rebelled against his authority, largely because they were disrespectful to their elders. When this happens, society is ripped apart to the extent that even God cannot heal their wounds.

The Large Catechism – part 126

Scripture Text: Isaiah 2:5

Being obedient does not always make sense to us. This was especially the case when we were children. My father drove me crazy with his demands and discipline. He makes more sense to me now, some 50 years later.

Reprint from December 2, 2016

Scripture Text: Acts 2:37-38

The young man in Matthew 19 had been keeping the commandments his whole life, or so he claimed, but still knew something was lacking. So he asked Jesus, “What good deed must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Reprinted from December 1, 2015

Scripture Text: Matthew 25:44–46

Yes, God wants our good works, but he earnestly desires our hearts. Works that are done with an unbelieving, faithless heart are not good works; they are hypocritical.

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