94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
When Jesus was leaving His disciples to go back to heaven, he told them that they should not expect their life to be easy; He said that if He had to suffer while he was on earth they should expect the same or worse. Luther says here that Christians should expect that to live their life in following Jesus would also be hard. God never promised anything else. But following Christ through the troubles of this life will lead to a glorious and joyous life without end with God in heaven.
A life lived following Jesus is a life where we show love to all those around us and we look for ways to serve others with all our days. Living our life in this way does not earn us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Instead living our life in that way is the result of God giving us the free gift of His Spirit. Because living this way is not easy, Luther says here that we need to give people ongoing encouragement that living a life for Christ is the proper result of the faith that is within us that trusts Jesus for our salvation.
Today that new life in Christ is no easier than it was in the days of Luther; we still need to encourage each other to live a life worthy of our Lord. Not because we have to but because we got to!
Dear Father, I have to admit that the good things that I want to do with my life, those are the things that I do not do and the bad things that I wish to avoid, those are the things that I do. I know that with the power of Your Spirit living in me I have the power to lead the life I was created for. In Jesus name. Amen.