On this date, 496 years ago, nails pierced wood. Truth pierced lies. On this date, 496 years ago, one brave man stood alone, probably knowing full well the potential consequences from others—the Church, in particular.
And this one man started a movement that still moves. Because truth never stops expanding, consuming lies. Light never stops shining, illuminating dark.
Martin Luther. God breathed through him Truth and so the Reformation began.
And we all need reformed, don’t we? We all need perfect to reach imperfect and fill us with what we can never be, no matter how hard we wish, no matter how hard we try.
I WANT perfect! And yet . . . I can’t BE perfect on my own. I know it. So should I settle for what I am? Should I settle for who YOU are? Should I settle for this mess of a broken world even though there are bits of beauty everywhere, reminding us of what once was?
We’ve been tricked.
Many of us believe in salvation and we all want to be saved from everything broken, don’t we? We turn this way and that—we turn ourselves inside out—we grasp hold of this philosophy or that political leader, hoping for restoration—salvation—transformation.
But we’ve been tricked, if we are looking everywhere—to anyone or anything—except the One Perfect Being—our God.
I dare anyone to prove how and when we humans will ever reach “nirvana”—perfection—perfect peace and unity apart from God who created all.
Treat me with truth! Don’t trick me with lies!
Martin Luther dared to stand on truth—THE TRUTH—written plainly in the holy word of God.
The TRUTH—the treat given this day, 496 years ago?
WE ARE SAVED BY NOTHING BUT GOD’S GRACE.
We can’t earn salvation. We can’t earn good standing. We can’t make perfect out of imperfect.
We are not saved by human philosophies or human political systems or human bastardization of God’s true word. We are not saved by efforts. Oh how I wish I could save someone right now with my own efforts! But I can’t. I can only beg mercy and grace from the One who knows him better and loves him more than I ever can or will.
And I often find myself in the same tricked state as he has this week. I think I can help myself, heal myself. I make promises and then break them. I want to live truth but then I lie. My actions prove!
Oh, what does a tricked heart do? Where can we run?
To the cross, I go!
Because we are saved by nothing but grace—by nothing other than faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross.
And this is just too much, isn’t it?
I have to DO something, PROVE something, ACCOMPLISH something. I am far too PROUD to accept a gift I haven’t earned at all because then I would have to admit I’m not as great and powerful as I like to believe.
But when I do? When every single day I realize I am made of dust with absolutely no ability to save myself, to save my family, my friends, my community, my nation, my world?
Then and only then am I ready to be TREATED—to open my empty heart and let God pour in His gracious gifts that I did not purchase—that I did not earn.
Ready to be treated today?
I am. I am so ready to be treated today, especially with all our family has gone through this week. I’m ready to receive, once again, God’s grace—His divine assistance given to me, though I could do nothing to earn His favor, for my regeneration and sanctification—to live free of all that steals and kills true life. I don’t want to be tricked into following any other gospel, which is really no gospel at all.
Martin Luther didn’t start a new religion on October 31, 1517. He nailed the TRUTH already given.
He nailed it all right. Now I need the grace to live it. Faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Tricked or treated?
Open your heart and be filled along with me this dark night?
Ready for light to shine—for all hopes to be filled—for truth to reign?
Oh, yes—I am!