Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther’

howOur physical lives need routine check-ups to see that we are healthy and to prevent and see health problems before they become a major threat to our lives.  Our spiritual lives need to have the same scrutiny to problems as well and require self-examination in order to purge the unhealthy tendencies we have and replace them with the habits that God desires.

Here are 7 Questions to evaluate where you are in the Christian life:

1. Am I praying with faith?
I could have asked, “Am I praying?”  That would be a good question, but this question goes further.  In Luke 18, Jesus teaches us that we ought always to pray.  Then at the end of that teaching he asks a question:  “When the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?”  Notice, He doesn’t ask, “Will the son of man find prayer on the earth?” but “Will the son of man find faith on the earth?”  Why?  Because what matters is not that I am saying my prayers, like the Pharisees did, and like millions of people in all religions around the world do.

What matters is that I’m praying with faith.  Do I have confidence in God to do more than I can do?  Or have I wandered into the spiritual wasteland of evaluating everything in terms of what I see as humanly possible—the easiest thing to do when you’ve been a Christian for 10, 20, 30 years.

LifeKey: Praying with Faith

2. Am I serving with zeal?
I take this question straight from the Scriptures.  Romans 12:8 says “The one who leads,” must lead “with zeal.”  There’s something about passion here, something about vision and something about direction.  The leader must care passionately about where he or she is going.  1 Peter 5:2 says to leaders, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers, not because you must but because you are willing as God wants you to be.”

In the film, Parenthood, Steve Martin plays an overworked father trying to do his best for a family under pressure. One day he quits his job, and when he gets home, he finds the kids running wild and his wife tells him that she is pregnant.  He does not react well.  Then when it’s time to take his son to a baseball game, his wife wants to talk and she says, “Do you have to?”  He says, “My whole life is ‘have to.’”  You’ve been there, and so have I.  But that’s not a place from which we can lead others. Are you serving with zeal?

3. Am I believing with confidence?
God says that “the gospel… is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).  Do I believe that?  Do I believe that when I pray for an unbelieving friend or relative?  Do I believe that God is able to save them through the Gospel?

When I struggle with a powerful temptation, with a habit that is difficult to overcome, do I believe that God is able to deliver me through the Gospel?  When I become tired, get discouraged, begin to wonder how long I can continue, do I believe that the God who saved me is able to keep me?

4. Am I confessing with humility? Martin Luther said “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ He meant that the whole life of a believer should be repentance.”  Christ calls us, not to a prayer of repentance, but to a life of repentance, a life of turning ever more fully to Jesus Christ.

A life of repentance is not a life of misery, but a life of growth.  It’s a life in which the Holy Spirit is constantly opening your eyes to how you can take the next step in becoming more like Jesus.  A process of examination like this may begin to connect this reality with your life now.

A Christian is a person who has light to see what there needs to be less of and what there needs to be more of in his or her life.  This leads to a life of confession, in which you see your sins and your failings, and you keep bringing them under the blood of Christ.

When you live life like this, you don’t waste your life in the shallow water of compromised obedience, instead you launch out into the deep oceans of following Christ.  Can you name a sin that you have confessed in the last week?  In the last month?

LifeKey: Where Confidence Meets Humility

5. Am I worshipping with joy?I come to worship.  Do I participate or do I observe?  In the presence of Jesus, there will not be a single person with their arms folded, listening to the angels and observing the worship.  We will all sing.  We will all shout for joy.  Ask yourself, “Am I worshipping with joy?”  If not, why not?

Video: What is Worship? How Should a Christian Prepare Himself for Worship?

6. Am I giving with gladness?
Giving is an indicator of love within marriage.  A marriage that’s marked by withholding is not healthy.  Giving is also an indicator of your love for Christ and your love for the bride of Christ.  “I work to earn money that I gladly give to the bride.”  Is that true of me?  Or am I tiring of that?

7. Am I reaching out with love?
Here we are in a world of need, and some Christians are stretched out in sacrifice, so that lost people on their way to an eternal darkness may see the light of Christ through the Gospel and be saved.  What about you?

It shall greatly help you to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or written
– but of whom
– and to whom
– with what words
– at what time
– where
– to what intent
– with what circumstances
– considering what goeth before
– and what followeth
Author: John Wycliff
I can seldom read scripture now without tears of joy and gratitude
Author: Hudson Taylor
(After losing his beloved wife, Hudson Taylor wrote in his journal) Love gave the blow that for a little while makes the desert more dreary, but Heaven more homelike
Author: Hudson Taylor
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
Author: C.S. Lewis
Five minutes after you die you’ll know how you should have lived.
Author: Leonard Ravenhill  
If I might be the means of saving one soul I should prefer it to all the riches and honor in the world
Author: Asahel Nettleton  
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Author: Jesus Christ  
What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Author: Jesus Christ
If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Author: Jesus Christ
There are only two days on my calendar… today and the day of judgment
Author: Martin Luther  
Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.
Author: Matthew Henry  
A woman rushed up to famed violinist Fritz Kreisler after a concert and cried: “I’d give my life to play as beautifully as you do.” Kreisler replied, “I did.” Even nature teaches us that results require long, hard, patient, careful work. The Christian life is no different.
Author: Anonymous
No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.
Author: Jesus Christ
Only Christ could build a bridge to God with only two pieces of wood.
Author: Anonymous  
Very few people have the grace of being special without also being aware of that specialness. But in Heaven the lowest Christian will be a king, and he can enjoy all the honors of royalty without vanity or pride.
Author: Michael Phillips
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason-I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other-my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.
Author: Martin Luther  
Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Author: Jesus Christ
Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity.
Author: Horatius Bonar
Oh! how amazing it is that people can talk so much about men’s power and goodness, when if God did not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate!
Author: David Brainerd  
Is what you’re living for worth Christ dying for?
Author: Epitaph of Leonard Ravenhill  
Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Trust in Him
Author: Job
I love to live on the brink of eternity.
Author: David Brainerd
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
Author: Asaph  
You know they boasted about the Titanic, that it was the one ship that could not be sunk. Somebody said ‘God Almighty can’t sink this ship’ You can be pretty sure when somebody says something like that it’s going to sink on it’s first voyage. But there is one ship that isn’t going to sink.. and that’s the church
Author: Zac Poonen