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Thoughts From Martin Luther

Dear Friends,

Today's "thoughts" (plural!) come to you from the down to earth wisdom of the great Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1586). They are taken from his sermons, letters to friends, and books. I have divided them up by category. I trust you will be encouraged, inspired, or convicted (if necessary) by one or more of them. They display his wit, wisdom, and relevant application of the Word. Enjoy.

Luther on Prayer:
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
"I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."

Luther on Speaking Out:
"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times."
"I know not the way God leads me, but well do I know my Guide."
"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."

Luther on Sin:
"I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self."
"The best repentance is to do so no more."

Luther on Idolatry:
"Whatever your heart clings to and confides in most, that is really your God."

Luther on Scripture
"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."
"If you want to interpret well and confidently, set Christ before you, for He is the man to whom it all applies, every bit of it."
"The Gospel cannot be truly preached without offense [to one's pride] and tumult [turning your world upside down]."

Luther on Hardship:
"Those speak foolishly who ascribe their anger or their impatience to such as offend them, or to tribulation. But tribulation does not make them impatient, it only proves they are impatient. So everyone may learn from tribulation how their heart is constituted."

I trust you found one or two of his insights helpful or encouraging! If you would like to find more, Luther's "Table Talk" or "The Freedom of the Christian" or if you like love stories, "Luther and his Katie" are all worth the read. Luther adored his wife Katie (a former nun who was a bit of a spitfire), setting the tone and example for married clergy for years to come. In fact, although his book "The Bondage of the Will" (the book Luther himself said was his most influential and important work) is itself very good, the introduction to the Revell edition of it (about 30 pages long, and written by J. I. Packer and O. J. Johnston) is worth its weight in gold!

With Prayers for your Encouragement, Pastor Jeff


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