Martin Luther On Prayer

Martin LutherSome powerful quotes from Martin Luther on prayer—

“Behold, Lord, and empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in You.”

“Almighty God, grant us grace to hear Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Bread, preached throughout the world and truly to understand Him. May all evil, heretical and human doctrines be cut off, while Your Word as the Living Bread be distributed.”

“Lord God, You have placed me in Your church. You know how unsuitable I am. Were not for Your guidance I would long since have brought everything to destruction. I wish to give my heart and mouth to Your service. I desire to teach your people, and long to be taught Your work. Use me as Your work man, dear Lord. Do not for sake me; for if I am alone I show bring all to naught.”

“I have to hurry all day to get time to pray.”

12 Additional Quotes From “Transforming Grace”

Transforming GraceI already shared a few quotes from Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges (you can read them by clicking here). Bridges also extensively quoted other authors in this amazing book, so I wanted to share a few of those quotes as well.

“Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit…. Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit…. Grace is treating a person without the slightest reference to desert whatsoever, but solely according to the infinite goodness and supper and purpose of God.” —Dr. C. Samuel Storms

“The most shining deeds and valuable qualities that can be found among men, though highly useful and truly excellent, when set in their proper places, and referred to suitable ends, are, as to the grand article of justification treated as nonentities…. For divine grace disdains to be assisted in the performance of that work which peculiarly belongs to itself, by the poor, imperfect performances of men. Attempts to complete what grace begins, betray our pride and offend the Lord; but cannot promote our spiritual interest. Let the reader, therefore, carefully remember, that grace is either absolutely free, or it is not at all: and, that he who professes to look for salvation by grace, either believes in his heart to be saved entirely by it, or he acts inconsistently in affairs of the greatest importance.” —Abraham Booth

“Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our celebration. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people—for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.” —R.C. Sproul 

“A lawdriver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works and reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God.” —Martin Luther, commenting on Romans 12:1

“The great mistake made by most of the Lord’s people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.” —Arthur W. Pink

“In the person of Christ God beholds a holiness which abides His closest scrutiny, yea, which rejoices and satisfies His heart; and whatever Christ is before God, He is for His people.” —Arthur W. Pink

“Only what God has commanded in His Word should be regarded as binding; in all else there may be liberty of actions.” —John Owen

“Let us never surrender our judgments or our consciences to be at the disposal and opinions of others, and to be subjected to the sentences and determinations of men. … It is my exhortation therefore to all Christians to maintain their Christian freedom by constant watchfulness. You must not be tempted or threatened out of it; you must not be bribed or frightened from it; you must not let either force or fraud rob you of it. … We must not give up ourselves to the opinion of other men, though they be never so learned, never so holy, merely because it is their opinion. The apostle directs us to try all things and to hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It often happens that a high esteem of others in respect of their learning and piety makes men take up all upon trust from such, and to submit their judgments to their opinions, and their consciences to their precepts. This should not be so.” —Samuel Bolton (1645)

“So God supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming needs, overwhelming grace. God’s grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely, but not foolishly; bountifully, but not blindly.” —John Blanchard

“For men have no taste for God’s power till they are convinced of their need of it and they immediately forget its value unless they are continually reminded by awareness of their own weakness.” —John Calvin

“Yet the duties God requires of us are not in proportion to the strength we possess in ourselves. Rather, they are proportional to the resources available to us in Christ. We do not have the ability in ourselves to accomplish the least of God’s tasks. This is a law of grace. When we recognize it is impossible for us to perform a duty in our own strength, we will discover the secret of its accomplishment. But alas, this is a secret we often fail to discover.” —John Owen

“Christian humility does not consist in denying what there is of good in us; but in an abiding sense of ill-desert, and in the consciousness that what we have of good is due to the grace of God.” —Charles Hodge

You can read my full review of Transforming Grace by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

I was totally blown away when I saw this morning that BibleGateway featured my chart The Kings & Prophets Of Judah & Israel!

[INFOGRAPHIC] 22 Surprising Facts About Sleep from the Cleveland Clinic. Here’s a great book resource: Sleep: It Does A Family Good.

Very powerful: An open letter to my friends struggling with eating disorders.

“In times of extraordinary crisis ordinary measures will not suffice. The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were ‘normal.’ Nothing is normal while sin and lust and death roam the world, pouncing upon one and another till the whole population has been destroyed.” —A.W. Tozer

“I want you to know how to study theology in the right way. I have practiced this method myself. … The method of which I am speaking is the one which the holy king David teaches in Psalm 119. … Here you will find three rules. They are frequently proposed throughout the psalm and run thus: Oratio, meditatio, tentatio [prayer, meditation, trial]. …

“You should completely despair of your own sense and reason, for by these you will not attain the goal. … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God through His dear son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding. [Psalm 119:18, 27, 33, 34-37]. …

“Second, you should meditate. This means that not only in your heart but also externally you should constantly handle and compare, read and reread the Word as preached and the very words as written in Scripture, diligently noting and meditating on what the Holy Spirit means. … Therefore, you observe how in this psalm David always says that he will speak, think, talk, hear, read, day and night and constantly—but about nothing else than God’s Word and Commandments. For God wants to give you His Spirit only through the external Word. [119:11, 15, 48, 24, 47, 93, 97] …

“Third, there is the tentatio, the trial. This is the touchstone. It teaches you not only to know and understand, but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God’s Word is: it is wisdom supreme. This is why you observe that, in the psalm indicated, David so often complains of all sorts of enemies. … For as soon as God’s Word becomes known through you, the devil will afflict you, will make a real [theologian] of you.” [119: 67-68, 71] —Martin Luther, on the 119th Psalm

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading & watching from this weekend…

What it means to fight like a man.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The most popular Book of all time.

“Christians are priests, but how priests if they offer no sacrifice? Christians are lights, but how are they lights unless they shine for others? Christians are sent into the world, even as Christ was sent into the world, but how are they sent unless they are sent to pray? Christians are meant not only to be blessed themselves, but in them shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but how if you refuse to pray?” —Charles Spurgeon

“Reason does not know that salvation must come down from above; we want to work up from below so that the satisfaction is rendered by us.” —Martin Luther

“No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.” —Jim Cymbala

Chilly Chilton has a very timely message: My Take On Mark Driscoll & Acts 29.

[FREE EBOOK] I love the graphics and Bible study tools from The Overview Bible Project. Check out the free ebook they are offering on the apostles.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says, “You cannot be full of yourself and focused on others.” Check out his video on humility.

Holy Fire (book review)

Holy FireI believe the subtitle of R.T. Kendall’s book Holy Fire is the most apt description of this work: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives. Truly this book is both biblical and balanced.

“I am writing this book (1) to introduce the Holy Spirit as if you did not know very much about Him, (2) to show the inconsistency of the teaching of some evangelicals, but (3) also to warn you of strange fire that is about,” says Dr. Kendall.

It seems lately there is a great deal of UNbalance when discussing the Holy Spirit, and much “theology” being preached which doesn’t have a firm biblical foundation. Some want to emphasize the Spirit’s role so much that they almost exclude God the Father and God the Son. Others want to so downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today that they have almost become binitarians. Kendall stated, “The Holy Spirit does not belong to you. Are you Charismatic? He is bigger than your signs and wonders event. Are you Reformed? He will not be limited by your theology.”

Sticking close to the words of Scripture, R.T. Kendall walks us through the various roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He brings in the insights of other notable thinkers from Martin Luther, to John Calvin, to Jonathan Edwards, to George Whitefield, and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Even for someone like me who grew up in the Pentecostal tradition, I learned so much from this book!

Holy Fire is not written in a scholarly tone, but in a conversational style that made me feel I was talking with R.T. Kendall. This allowed me to drink in what Rev. Kendall was saying, process it, compare it with Scripture, and reach my own conclusions.

An excellent book that is very timely for the Christian era in which we currently live. Whether your background is Pentecostal or Reformed, there is so much to be learned from Holy Fire.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading this weekend:

“It is bad to pursue something good negligently; it is worse to expend many labors on an empty thing.” —Hugh of St. Victor

A ground-breaking scientist of the 16th and 17th centuries who was (gasp!) a Christian: William Harvey.

Could the IRS do anything to make itself more unpopular?” Yep! Read more in New IRS Revelations.

“In the worst temptations nothing can help us but faith that God’s Son has put on flesh, is bone, sits at the right hand of the Father, and prays for us. There is no mightier comfort.” —Martin Luther

“Most of us are like the disciples. We see one miracle, and we are satisfied to talk about it for the rest of our lives. Yet, if we really knew God and let Him be God to us, we would ask Him for so much more.” —David Wilkerson

Great (not!): States Face Overwhelming Reality Of Obamacare.

Gratitude is a “chosen attitude.” Read more in Dr. Tim Elmore’s post The Inverse Relationship Between Gratitude And Entitlement.

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I found this weekend.

“God’s work on this earth languishes when God’s people give up their ministries of prayer and supplication.” —A.W. Tozer

Very thoughtful: Why We Should Say “Yes” To A Culture Of Marriage.

Hmmm … Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop When Planned Parenthood Locations Close.

An informative article about the Holy Spirit: Jesus’ Closest Companion.

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” —Martin Luther

It becomes those to be generous who are the children of a gracious God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Debunking 7 Myths About Marijuana.

This is so cool! Laser surgery conducted on twins girls while they were still in the womb.

Where is the outrage in the mainstream media?! Pakistani married couple sentenced to death for their “anti-Islam” texts.

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