“Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah.”
I am always inspired by the writings of Thomas a Kempis. The Lord so leads and guides when we seek Him, I just had to share my morning devotional with you today.
The following is chapter 40 of book 3 of his book, Imitatio Christi – The Imitation of Christ . I have edited it just to update some of the language as it was originally written in Latin in around 1418. Keep in mind that this is wriotten in the first. To better understand, put yourself as the person writing this note. I Hope you are as blessed as I was.
LORD, what is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that You visit him?
What has man deserved that You should give him Your grace? What cause have I, Lord, to complain if You were to desert me, or what objection can we have if You do not do what we ask? This I may think and say in all truth: “Lord, I am nothing, of myself I have nothing that is good; I am lacking in all things, and I am ever leaning toward nothing. And unless I have Your help and am inwardly strengthened by You, I become quite lukewarm and lax.”
But You, Lord, are always the same. You remain forever, always good, just, and holy; doing all things rightly, justly, and in holiness, disposing them wisely. I, however, who am more ready to go backward than forward, do not remain always in one state, for I change with the seasons. Yet my condition quickly improves when it pleases You and when You reach forth Your helping hand. For You alone, without human aid, can help me and strengthen me so greatly that my heart shall no more change but be converted and rest solely in You. Hence, if I knew well how to cast aside all earthly consolation, either to attain devotion or because of the necessity which, in the absence of human solace, compels me to seek You alone, then I could deservedly hope for Your grace and rejoice in the gift of new consolation.
Thanks be to You from Whom all things come, whenever it is well with me. In Your sight I am vanity and nothingness, a weak, unstable man. In what, therefore, can I glory, and how can I wish to be highly regarded? Is it because I am nothing? This, too, is utterly vain. Indeed, the greatest vanity is the evil plague of empty self-glory, because it draws one away from true glory and robs one of heavenly grace. For when a man is pleased with himself he displeases You, when he pants after human praise he is deprived of true virtue. But it is true glory and holy exultation to glory in You and not in self, to rejoice in Your name rather than in one’s own virtue, and not to delight in any creature except for Your sake.
Let Your name, not mine, be praised. Let Your work, not mine, be magnified. Let Your holy name be blessed, but let no human praise be given to me. You are my glory. You are the joy of my heart. In You I will glory and rejoice all the day, and for myself I will glory in nothing but my infirmities. Let the Jews seek the glory that comes from another.
I will seek that which comes from God alone. All human glory, all temporal honor, all worldly position is truly vanity and foolishness compared to Your everlasting glory. O my Truth, my Mercy, my God, O Blessed Trinity, to You alone be praise and honor, power and glory, throughout all the endless ages of ages.
Here I Stand, I can do no other.
*”Hier stehe ich, ich kann machen kein ander,” Martin Luther