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Breath of Life

Mon­day. [II Cor. 12:10-19; Mark 4:10-23 The Lord breathed the breath of life, and man be­came the im­age of God. It is the same with one’s own re­birth: the be­gin­nings of a new life are set down and one’s im­age is re­new­ed by the breath of the Spir­it of God; and whence and how it comes is not known. This is a point of de­par­ture; from here the work be­gins of rais­ing up the im­age to a per­fect like­ness. When we are re­born ac­cord­ing to the im­age of the Cre­a­tor by the Lord’s Spir­it we are trans­fig­ured from glo­ry to glo­ry, but not with­out us, our work and ef­fort; how­ev­er it is God who cre­ates and re­stores us by the grace of the Most Ho­ly Spir­it, ac­cord­ing to faith in the Lord. Be­hold the ide­al and meth­od of ful­fill­ing in one­self the im­age and like­ness of God! Peo­ple so of­ten write a­bout and dis­cuss up­bring­ing. Mean­while, it is all de­ter­mined in the word of God by sev­er­al words. Un­der­take on­ly to ful­fil what is pre­scribed, and up­bring­ing will go on suc­cess­ful­ly to the goal. This is God’s path; but it does not ex­clude hu­man paths — to the con­tra­ry, it gives them di­rec­tion and crowns their suc­cess. When on­ly the hu­man re­mains, up­bring­ing usu­al­ly is in­suf­fi­cient, even det­ri­men­tal, and not rare­ly to­tal­ly per­verts those be­ing raised; then the rest of life goes crook­ed. Where those raised in a crook­ed man­ner mul­ti­ply, all of so­ci­e­ty be­comes more and more crook­ed, both in life and in its at­ti­tudes. The end is uni­ver­sal crook­ed­ness; one bends in one di­rec­tion, then an­oth­er bends in an­oth­er.

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