Why I Sorta-Kinda-Actually Love Martin Luther

martin

Apart from the apostolic age, there is no one in history that I enjoy studying and learning about more than Martin Luther.

Weird, I know!

I did a Martin Luther tour in Germany. I have the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation tattooed on my leg. I get more stoked about Reformation Day than 87% of the year’s other holidays.

And I thought it’d be nice to share with you some of the reasons why he has such a special place in my heart–so maybe you don’t judge me so hard when you see me wear my “Here I stand, I can do no other” socks.

[Side note–the study of Church history, and therefore diving into doctrine–is a WONDERFUL way to grow in understanding & adoration of who God is. I highly recommend it :))

10 Things I Just Love About Martin Luther:

1.) He was a man of strong convictions and of courage. There are SO many examples of the Holy Spirit giving him strength of conviction, but one I love is when he was on trial at the Diet of Worms-vehemently disagreeing with over a thousand years of church tradition, and says, “My conscience is taken captive by the Word of God…To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

2.) He had sass. One time, when they asked him to recant his accusations that indulgences (people paying their way out of purgatory) was NOT Scriptural he responded with “I was wrong, I admit it, when I said that indulgences were ‘the pious defrauding of the faithful.’ I recant and say, ‘Indulgences are the most impious frauds and imposters of the most rascally pontiffs by which they deceive the souls and destroy the goods of the faithful.” Such sass.

3.) He had a WONDERFUL marriage! Luther and his wife Katie (whom he called My Kate <3) are #goals! Their relationship was full of strength, laughter, and delightful companionship. He said,”Next to God’s Word, there is no more precious treasure than holy matrimony. God’s highest gift on earth is a pious, cheerful, God-fearing, home-keeping wife.” And he advised that “The wife should make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry he leaves.”

4.) He was passionate about prayer. “No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience. Whenever I have prayed earnestly, I have been heard and have obtained more than I prayed for. God sometimes delays, but He always comes.”

5.) He elevated the authority of Scripture. In a time where the only authority that mattered was the popes’ (and it was soooooo corrupt), Luther said “A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or council without.” And he even said that if there was anything in any of his books that were contrary to Scripture, he would be the first to throw them into the fire!

6.) He wasn’t superman. He wasn’t perfect, and he definitely said some very stupid things in his lifetime. He also experienced very difficult periods of depression and anxiety, and even seasons of demonic oppression. And yet, by the grace of God, and for His Name’s sake–his faith and legacy flourished.

7.) He was TRANSFORMED by the gospel. During his years as a monk, he was crippled by fear. Absolutely haunted by thoughts of a vengeful, merciless Majesty-and driven near to death by the reality that he could never satisfy that Judge. When the truth of God’s GRACE THROUGH FAITH ALONE was revealed to him through studying the original Biblical texts, he unequivocally became a NEW MAN. And that is awesome to see!

8.) He was a man of great humility– “All that I am and have is due to His grace and mercy, aye, to His precious blood and bitter sweat. Therefore, God willing, all of it is to be done to His honor, joyfully and sincerely. ”

9.) He fought against the devil while cooped up alone in a castle for refuge. And during that time he translated the New Testament from the original greek into German in 11 weeks! He brilliantly translated it into a common German dialect (which was a huge deal!) that united the German people and thusly aided in the blossoming of the Reformation.

10.) He deeply loved the word of God and wanted EVERYONE to be able to read it and love it like he did! About knowing God’s word he says“First I shake the whole Apple tree, that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf.” And he thought EVERY person should have the Bible written “simply enough” for ever the simplest minded person to do the same.

Martin Luther was not perfect. He had sooooo many flaws (maybe I’ll write about them next Reformation Day!)-but I appreciate his life so much, not simply because it is a fascinating story, but because it stirs my heart to want to know the Word more deeply, treasure it’s authority more passionately, share it’s power more consistently, and delight in the grace it teaches more steadfastly. I want to pray more–and see it’s effect and power. I want my heart to overflow in gratitude for the cross more. I want to pray for and have a marriage that looks like Christ and the church-the way Kate and Martin’s did. His life motivates and encourages my heart. That is why I love his story. I hope what I shared did the same for you too!

 

(Many of my quotes were from the book “Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation” by Erwin Lutzer. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more! It’s an enjoyable and informative read!)

Grace Unmeasured

So a little while ago, I got together with these two amazing musicians to jam some of our favorite worship songs. The good news is I recorded it! The bad news is I lost ALL OF IT BUT THIS SONG (saaaaddddddd).

So here’s this song, which is a wonderful song! Although we certainly don’t execute it as perfectly as we’d like (I sincerely apologize for my pitches graces :(!)–we LOVED playing together! (also go to 1:00 to miss us starting over haha :))

VERSE 1
Grace unmeasured, vast and free
That knew me from eternity
That called me out before my birth
To bring You glory on this earth
Grace amazing, pure and deep
That saw me in my misery
That took my curse and owned my blame
So I could bear Your righteous name

CHORUS
Grace paid for my sins
And brought me to life
Grace clothes me with power
To do what is right
Grace will lead me to heaven
Where I’ll see Your face
And never cease
To thank You for Your grace

VERSE 2
Grace abounding, strong and true
That makes me long to be like You
That turns me from my selfish pride
To love the cross on which You died
Grace unending all my days
You’ll give me strength to run this race
And when my years on earth are through
The praise will all belong to You

© 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

All I Need and Trust is the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

When my eyes are wearied by what I see around me–and by what I do not see, I realize that I am often looking in the wrong places. Instead of what I lack, or what pains me, I turn my eyes to the Founder and Perfecter of my faith, and find my once heavy heart now light and peaceful. 

Dear friend, pray for a heart that understands and delights in this precious love. His love changes everything!

VERSE 1
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

CHORUS
Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

VERSE 2
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

VERSE 3
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

john piper quote:

Probably the Best Quote You’ll Read Today…

As you may know, I am a quote junkie. It’s almost embarrassing how often I’ll insert quotes into conversations-but I find them so succient, helpful, and well-said! The one I’m bringing to you today is one of my absolute favorites! It is a beautiful prayer by A.W. Tozer that I often use to start my time in the Word, or to prep my heart for church on Sunday mornings. May it stir your affections for Christ and deepen your desire to fellowship with Him.

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”

Has God Mellowed Out in His Old Age?

I’m currently reading through the book of Numbers, and this morning I read through the spies checking out the land God promised to them, their lies, and their complaints, yada yada yada. I read about God’s anger against the wicked, grumbling Israelites and the punishment that follows. Then in Chapter 15, there is this small portion-5 verses-that tells about the time someone was publically breaking the Sabbath by gathering sticks, and the Lord said “stone him to death”. Geez. That seems a bit overdramatic. And frankly, I was frustrated and literally, out loud, said:

“See, LORD. This is why people don’t like you!”

He just commanded someone to be STONED to DEATH for PICKING UP STICKS on the Sabbath! In fact, there are many times we read about similar stories in the OT. And it’s easy while reading through the Old Testament to see God as short-tempered and ungracious. Though I KNOW there are also countless examples of him being gracious and as Moses declares, “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression”, the times where he is not, definitely stand out in my mind.  This is why people love New Testament Jesus and avoid like the plague Old Testament Yahweh.

And then, (because I am a quote junkie) I remembered this quote by Pastor R.C. Sproul:

“When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God, it’s with me.”

Dang, R.C.! Okay, so there is something wrong with me (that I already knew!) but what is it?

According to Scripture, God is immutable-never changing. He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Ps. 102:24-27).  So why does it sometimes seem to me that God was a cranky dictator, but now he’s more lenient and gracious, and less sensitive and severe? Why do I like the responses of God less in the OT although I KNOW that He hasn’t changed in the NT?

The Holy Spirit graciously showed me the answer. The answer is (as it often is) the Cross.

Here’s the thing, God’s CHARACTER, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and PERFECTION have NOT changed. But, whereas his wrath once was rightfully poured out on individuals, through Jesus Christ, his wrath CHANGED to be poured out ONCE for ALL WHO BELIEVE on Jesus Christ. So God is still as deeply offended by blatant sin as he was in the time of Moses. But FORTUNATLEY for us, instead of sentencing us to death-he sentenced Christ to death.God still is INCREDIBLY serious about sin-but FORTUNATELY for us, Jesus Christ took all our deserved punishments so we don’t have to fear God’s punitive reactions to our crimes. In the Old Testament, God had the ground swallow people (Numbers 16:32), and if I view my sin correctly, I realize there are PLENTLY of times I rightfully deserved that to happen to me! But ON THE CROSS, CHRIST mercifully absorbed all of God’s reactions to our sins.

So when you and I read Old Testament stories of God’s wrath, instead of thinking “Ugh. I hate that God was so dramatic against sin!” focus on these 2 things–

  1. God STILL FEELS THAT way about sin! Don’t minimize your offenses against God-they are severe, He HATES them, and they do deserve punishment!
  2. PRAISE God ALL THE MORE for His kindness is sending Christ so that His children no longer need to be punished for their sins!

God is infinitely more holy and righteous than we ever realize. That truth plus the incredible grace displayed in sending God the Son to die for us, should motivate us towards joyful obedience and humble adoration!

Sproul

Keller