This found me today, God put it in my path and I felt His nudge to share it with you…
October 31, 1517
Martin Luther, a German priest and professor of theology, became front-page news by inviting debate on a pressing church issue—and touched off a history-shattering reform movement. On October 31, 1517, the 33 year-old Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The door functioned as a bulletin board for various announcements related to academic and church affairs.
His revolutionary discovery of Scriptural truth served as the catalyst for the eventual breaking away from the Catholic Church and was later instrumental in forming the movement known as the Protestant Reformation. Luther wrote his radical 95 Theses to express his growing concern with the corruption within the Church, fully realizing that he faced excommunication and even death for protesting the traditions and beliefs of the medieval Church. To do so was considered heresy against God.
October 31, 2017
Remember Martin Luther. Celebrate the certainty of your salvation today!!
These things I have written to you… so that you may know that you have eternal life
1 John 5:12–13
Your salvation can’t be lost, and it can’t be preserved through effort and works. Today, embrace the message of a second Reformation—grace that transforms. God’s grace is unexpected, unearned, unending, unwavering, unmerited, undeserved, and not something we can ever repay. Your ongoing and ever deepening friendship with God must be based on the re-forming, transforming truth that our gracious God delights in you, His child. Today, wrap your head around the radical truth that God’s love for you is causeless (you can do nothing to earn or deserve it), ceaseless (He will never stop loving you), and measureless (God’s love is infinite, never changing, never ending). Even though the apostle John was over ninety years old, and a follower of Christ for over sixty years, he still marveled at the extent of God’s love and at his status as God’s son:
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it— we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.
1 John 3:1–2 (MSG)
Saving Grace – The First Reformation
One of the major issues that concerned Luther pertained to the matter of church officials selling “indulgences” to the people as a means of releasing them from having to perform penance for their misdeeds. Indulgences were also claimed by the Church to limit the amount of time the purchaser’s loved ones would have to spend in Purgatory. “As soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].” Luther exposed the teaching that people could literally buy their way into the kingdom of God or buy God’s approval. The 95 Theses exposed saving grace—salvation is through faith in Christ alone. Martin was part of one of the most momentous changes in the history of the church. He brought the simplicity of a personal relationship with Jesus to our attention. God doesn’t grade on a curve!
Transforming Grace – The Second Reformation
Today–almost five hundred years later–we need a second Reformation! The “Wittenburg Door” of every church needs to post the neglected truth of Transforming Grace. What needs to be revealed is the radical truth that authentic spiritual growth and deep transformation is through faith in Christ alone. Yes, Martin Luther had discovered the assurance of his salvation and saving grace. But, the first Reformation didn’t go far enough, failing to broadcast the message of [Transforming] Grace. Salvation is just the beginning of a friendship with God. Yes, the believer is totally accepted, and forgiveness is final and complete.
Stages of Faith
You and I are a part of something so Large. History was crafted in such a way that you and I could step into it. We are a part of something that will be passed on. How we live, how we love, our choices driven from deep beliefs hold futures in sway. Like a little monk 500 years ago, all of us can step into a moment that will make history, if not for millions than maybe just for one. I’ve always loved history, and this part of church history reminds me there is always much going on in the Kingdom, and my part, like yours, is very important. There is no substitute for your life or mine. God has something for us today… I pray you have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to engage it.
Dear God, Holy Trinity, thank you for the Reformation of our hearts, for the message of grace, and for the courage of those who have followed you into the battle and glory of the Larger Story.
Father, thank you for bringing us home… you are our home and we are your children. We take our place in your family and receive all the grace and all the love that you have for each of us, today. We declare, we need your grace and love… we receive all that we can hold in our hearts this day and pray you would then show us who and where we can pour out into the hearts of others.
Jesus, thank you for being the great Reformer. We pray for the Third Reformation—the next installment of aligning our hearts with the truth through the experiences and encounters with you that transform us. We pray that the Larger Gospel be instilled deep in our hearts. We pray that the Gospel of Sin, the Cross, and Forgiveness would expand and grow to include Healing, Restoration, Freedom, and Life—that we would discover the fullness of your work, not only the Cross, but the Resurrection and the Ascension whereby we are Alive in you, and we now carry your Authority.
Holy Spirit, thank you for taking up residence in our hearts, for sealing us and securing our station and status in you as rescued, redeemed, and now, being restored. Thank you for making our history glorious and for a future that is beyond comprehension! We pray, as we live in the in-between, that we would walk closely with you and fulfill our destiny for today. We love you and thank you and invite you to rule in our hearts and take us into the Larger Story with Love, Grace, and Courage. Amen and AMEN!