Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 2 of the Lord’s Prayer Series (LISTEN HERE).
Martin Luther wrote in explaining the first petition:
How is God’s name kept holy? God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!
Luther understood the importance of not just the truth of God in a book on a shelf, but the truth of God taught in our homes, churches, and schools…but also put into practice. He was simply echoing Jesus words in Matthew 7:
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
In our WELS fellowship, this phrase, “truth and purity” is one that is used often and also is what many identify as a hallmark of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, “We teach the word of God in its truth and purity.”
Being part of an association of churches that values the Word of God to such a degree that it would make that the most important aspect of our walking together, is to be commended. As sinful men and women, we must always be active in searching the Scripture to understand more fully and more clearly the truths of the Lord and his Word.
Yet, connected to teaching the Word of God in its truth and purity is the encouragement “as children of God, also lead holy lives according to it.”
Learning the truth of God’s Word is one thing…putting it into practice is the challenge.
Knowing truth and living truth are an important pair, but each has its own challenge.
It’s hard to stand for biblical truth on marriage when a culture dismisses it as old fashioned.
It’s hard to stand for life beginning at conception when a culture deems that “as the Christian church’s last gasp to be relevant in society.”
It’s hard to stand strong that the Lord is unique among all other gods when the culture deems all gods the same.
It’s hard to love in all circumstances when opposing positions and views breed hatred and resentment.
It’s hard to forgive as we have been forgiven when we have experienced awful hurt at the hands of another human being.
It’s hard to make gathering with believers a priority when many other options are presented on a Sunday morning.
It’s hard to ______________ when _______________________. How would you fill this in.
It’s hard to live the truth even though I have been taught the truth.
Which is why Luther prays, “Help us do this, dear Father in heaven,” and why we must pray the same.
The Spirit of God through the truth of God empowers and equips us to live the truth of the Word.
In this way, God’s name IS hallowed in us and through us.
Apply: What truth of God’s Word is the hardest for you to put into practice?
Prayer: Help us keep your name holy, dear Father in heaven! AMEN.