Today for most of the world is Halloween. But for many others, it is another day that deserves its own moment of recognition. It’s the Eve of All Saint’s Day. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. It was on this day the Protestant Reformation truly began, and it with the movement that has produced almost all of our churches.
Luther’s work greatly influenced John Wesley, not only by starting the Protestant movement, but it was in reading Luther’s Preface to Romans that Wesley felt his heart strangely warmed by the awareness of grace.
To me, that’s what is most important about Luther’s life and Luther’s work. Grace. Grace. Grace. Grace.
You don’t earn God’s love. Please hear that. Please understand that. If you don’t remember anything I’ve ever said or written to you, please, please remember that. You don’t earn God’s love. It is not a wage to be earned. It is a gift to be received.
If you spend your life trying to make God love you, you will fail. You cannot make God love you. You don’t have to. He already does. We should not live our lives trying to make God love us, we should live our lives as a response to God’s love.
Grace. Grace. Grace. Listen to what Paul says today in Romans 3: 21-27:
21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. 27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Today, give thanks for God’s grace. That is what it as all about. You are loved. You truly are. You are loved today. Understanding God’s grace to you is a truly life-changing thing. You are loved. When you understand that, know just how much you are loved, it will change your life.
And when you live your life out as a response to grace, you will, by that very same grace, change others.
Today, you are loved. Deep, in the core of your being, know just how much you are loved. Today, may you know God’s grace.