Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 21, 2012

A positive minute: Luther's apple tree

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — "If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:8 NIV

Sounds pretty simple to me.

Either way, if we have committed our life to Christ, we are His. That means we are taken care of both in this life and thereafter.

How do you feel about your life situation for now and when this life is over? Do you have trust in the Lord to help you with life? What are you going through, right now, that keeps you on edge?

We certainly can be concerned about the world political situation. Countries posturing and flaunting their ability to wreak havoc on other nations. Are you so concerned about those issues that it is stressing you out?

The Church Reformer of the 1500's, Martin Luther said, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

Do you get the feeling that Luther was confident in his spiritual position? I most certainly do. Luther was not allowing the world system to hinder him from living life. That is a great attitude for all of us to consider.

The attitude we project is an attitude that we each develop. No one can force you to have an attitude that is detrimental to your well-being. No one can force you to do what you don't want to do, unless you allow it to happen.

When Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door at Wittenberg Chapel, he was confident he had heard from the Lord and that he was guided by the Holy Spirit to call the church to a change. He observed some practices in the church, at that time, which needed to be dealt with.

It would seem that anytime a person takes a stand for what they believe, in the matter of spiritual issues, and will become vocal about it, most certainly they have an assurance in the Lord for strength and protection. I see this as the position Luther took so many centuries ago, and as we continue in the church during this era, let us have faith and strength to speak the message of the Lord as recorded in His Holy Word, the Bible.

Luther had the attitude that regardless what happens, life goes on day by day. One day, when this life is over, we can know that we have done everything we had planned or dreamed of doing and, most importantly, that we have been obedient to the Lord in the way we lived our life.

Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

This passage is not saying to not take care of yourself, but, rather, to get life in perspective.

Do you have your life in perspective? Are you moving forward with your dreams or have you allowed them to become tarnished by the cares of the world and the environment in which you have lived?

It's really never too late to do something about your situation. Remember, when it comes to your life and goals, keep this phrase in mind: "If it's going to be, it's up to me."

With God's help and guidance you can do what is right.

So, in spite of the world's conditions, plant an apple tree!

Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church, Director of the Ministry and Media Center and an author. He can be reached at 812-662-5154 or,