Wisdom of Life

Martin Luther: Faith & God — The Meaning of Life

“To progress is always to begin, always to begin again.”

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”

“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”

This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

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. All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired. This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.

You must learn to call on the Lord. Don’t sit all alone or lie on the couch, shaking your head and letting your thoughts torture you. Don’t worry about how to get out of your situation or brood about your terrible life, how miserable you feel, and what a bad person you are. Instead, say, “Get a grip on yourself, you lazy bum! Fall on your knees, and raise your hands and eyes toward heaven. Read a psalm. Say the Lord’s Prayer, and tearfully tell God what you need.

The heart overflows with gladness, and leaps and dances for the joy it has found in God. In this experience the Holy Spirit is active, and has taught us in the flash of a moment the deep secret of joy. You will have as much joy and laughter in life as you have faith in God.

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope. We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone. Faith is a living, unshakable confidence in God’s grace; it is so certain that someone would die a thousand times for it.

Pray like it all depends on God, then when you are done, go work like it all depends on you. To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. God wants us to pray, and he wants to hear our prayers—not because we are worthy, but because he is merciful. A Christian is never in a state of completion but always in a process of becoming.

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue. God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another — God alone.

Be careful not to measure your holiness by other people’s sins.

Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us. Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our hearts, minds and spirits. A person who does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs! As long as we live there is never enough singing. Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.

Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave. There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.

“By faith we began, by hope we continue, and by revelation we shall obtain the whole.”

“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

***

~Martin Luther was a German priest, theologian, author and hymnwriter. A former Augustinian friar, he is best known as the seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation and as the namesake of Lutheranism.

Excerpts from The Sermons of Martin Luther

Excellence Reporter 2022

Categories: Wisdom of Life

2 replies »

  1. This is very nice. Is the entire writing an actual excerpt from one of his sermons? Can you give more source siting? The paragraph, “You must learn to call on the Lord. Don’t sit all alone or lie on the couch, shaking your head and letting your thoughts torture you. Don’t worry about how to get out of your situation or brood about your terrible life, how miserable you feel, and what a bad person you are. Instead, say, “Get a grip on yourself, you lazy bum! Fall on your knees and raise your hands and eyes toward heaven. Read a psalm. Say the Lord’s Prayer, and tearfully tell God what you need,” is questionable to me as being an exact translation from his sermons. I am very much interested in where you found this excerpt.
    Thank you.

    Like

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