I am still plowing through this book
this week … and LOVING IT!! Such wonderful insights on the state of the church (and the people and the political situation) in Germany before (and during) World War II (right now still reading about ca. 1934/35) and inspiration from those who stood up for The Truth (as in for Jesus: the Way, the Truth, and the Life!).
It is said that Dietrich Bonhoeffer read the Moravian Daily Texts
each day …. and thus, I am having these daily devotionals delivered to my email box. There is always a Scripture from the Old Testament and from the New Testament and then a prayer that ties them together and applies them practically. Today’s text is:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear. Psalm 46:1-2
Paul wrote: Whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Heavenly Protector, when we are threatened by the world around us, watch
over us. When our fears weaken us, be our strength. When discouragement
squelches the joy of life, shine your light into our lives and into your
Genesis 27:30-28:9; Matthew 10:17-25
The Moravian church has roots all the way back to 1457 as a result of the work of Czech Reformer John Hus (who had been martyred even before the church was “established”). The church was persecuted and exiled … but then revived by Count von Zinzendorf (in his refuge of Herrnhut) in the mid 1700s when many of the congregants also came to America. Ultimately, they settled on George Whitfield’s estate in Bethlehem, PA though they have spread all over by now, having reached out with the Gospel particularly to Native Americans around the time of World War II. You can read more about their history on their website.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wasn’t Moravian; he was part of the traditional German Lutheran state church until he began helping establish the “Confessing Church” (in the early-mid 1930s) when the state church began to be ruled by Hitler’s leaders. This was also motivated by his own observations and his firm belief that the state church was entirely too rote and traditional, making Christ’s death on the cross flippantly and generically for every one’s sins, a “cheap grace” (not at all what Martin Luther intended when he taught, “The just shall live by faith.”!). Yes, of course, Christ died for every one’s sins, BUT it was an “expensive grace” – it cost Christ something … and it will cost a believer something to follow Him! Christ gave us His all so we could have eternal life if we accept His redemption plan – but we should then give Him our all in return – even if it costs us our very lives.
I wonder what – on January 27, 1934 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer meditated on (and he was a huge advocate of reading a Scripture and MEDITATING on it until one gleans how this verse applies to you personally and to listen for God to speak through His Word) as he probably read the very text I copied above … and how it comforted him as he saw the future of his country, Germany, following a very evil man and many of its “Christians” following right along …
For me, I am reminded that I face my day as a weak, sinful human. To have a joyful day, I need to rely on God’s strength.
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