Löhe on Galatians 6:7-8

Jesus Christ crucifiedDo not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal 6:7-8 NIV)

Here the Apostle depicts flesh and spirit as fields for sowing and reaping. “Whoever sows to please their flesh” uses temporal and secular goods for selfish and sinful purposes, whereas “whoever sows to please the Spirit” using these same means for Christian and Church purposes. The selfish and sinful purposes lead to destruction and decay. There will be no lasting benefits. Yet those offering for Christian purposes like the mission of the Church will reap “eternal life”. It is not as if we could earn or buy eternal life for ourselves, but rather we can promote this eternal life with others. Whoever supports the teacher and witness of the gospel, supports the gospel itself, because this does not become audible without preachers and teachers, evangelists and missionaries. Whoever supports the gospel, supports the spread of the forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life. And whoever supports poor believers and needy Christians because of their Lord Jesus Christ points them to this living Lord, who is the source and goal of all loving mercy.

The word”: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” is a very serious warning. It should resound like a loud cry in our ears. It is directed against those, who believe that they can forget about the teachers and preachers of the gospel, the brethren in the faith and the poor – and yet remain faithful Christians. No, no. That is not possible. Disobedience against this godly law to be merciful and help those in need, mocks the living God himself and he will not be mocked.

Almighty and eternal God, heavenly Father! Yet again a week has gone passed and time is fleeting by. We ourselves are rushing on and plead you: Have mercy on us. Forgive us all that in the past week we have done, thought and said against your holy will and by which we have again deserved your wrath and eternal punishment.  Dear heavenly Father help us tidy up our house, get our life and household in order and follow your most holy and divine ordinances and life sustaining rules and regulations. Allow that our lives would be nothing else than a holy holiday in preparation for that promised eternal rest and peaceful joy with you in heaven. Amen. (W.Löhe)  

We give Thee but Thine own, Whate’er the gift may be: All that we have is Thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

May we Thy bounties thus As stewards true receive, And gladly, as Thou blessest us, To Thee our first-fruits give.

 O! hearts are bruised and dead And homes are bare and cold, And lambs for whom the Shepherd bled Are straying from the fold.

To comfort and to bless, To find a balm for woe, To tend the lone and fatherless, Is angels’ work below. (William Walsham How, 1858)

The captive to release, To God the lost to bring, To teach the way of life and peace, It is a Christ-like thing.

And we believe Thy word, Though dim our faith may be; Whate’er for Thine we do, O Lord, We do it unto Thee. () 

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the fifteenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 326 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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