Readings lately: Jerram Barrs’ “The Heart of Prayer” and Luther’s “On Christian Liberty”. Look for more later.
Luther’s little volume is a deceptively simple read. The power and packing of the thoughts is, however, far denser than it first appears. The Pastor and I have been reading through it and having weekly book talks on it over coffee. Today, we started in on the last 1/3 of the book: pages 50-74 (amazingly, that’s all there is!). The first 2/3s were good and solid, but a bit light. Here, all the application flows.
When we do acts of mercy and service, what is the motivating factor? Or, more mundane, why do you go to church? Is it out of a sense of responsibility or duty? Or to win points with God? For Luther, and I think he nails it here, it should be out of a hear of faith that seeks to honor Christ. Since Christ came, emptying himself of all authority to do what we couldn’t, and became a humble servant, what more should we do, but the same? All our acts should be out of a heart of gratitude and appreciation, knowing that we arethe Lord’s by what Christ did on the cross. And all that he did is ours through faith in the Son of God.
Maybe some quotes soon. Luther says it far better than can I.
On Barrs’ work, I’ll offer this: ever since I met and studied under Prof. Barrs in seminary, he’s had the uncanny ability to crush you spiritually without beating you up. He can tell the truth with great grace. It’s a great truth on prayer this time, and something I need to read. More later.
Solo Deo Gloria,