Short pithy gems from Martin Luther

(1483 - 1546)

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Prayer is climbing up into the heart of God!

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God does not need your good works but your neighbor does!

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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.

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If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the Devil are at the moment attacking I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing.

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The Bible is alive, it speaks to me!
It has feet, it runs after me!
It has hands, it lays hold of me!

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Many have passed for saints on earth whose souls are now in Hell.

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The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man, was the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God!

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When Satan tells me I am a sinner he comforts me immeasurably, since Christ died for sinners.

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When God works in us the will, being changed and sweetly breathed upon by the Spirit of God, desires and acts, not from compulsion but responsively.

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The sin underneath all our sins, is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ, and must take matters into our own hands.

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We need to hear the Gospel every day, because we forget it every day!

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The world doesn't want to be punished. It wants to remain in darkness. It doesn't want to be told that what it believes is false. If you also don't want to be corrected, then you might as well leave the church and spend your time at the bar and brothel. But if you want to be saved and remember that there's another life after this one you must accept correction.

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May a merciful God preserve me from a Christian Church in which everyone is a saint! I want to be and remain in the church and little flock of the faint-hearted, the feeble and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins, who sigh and cry to God incessantly for comfort and help, who believe in the forgiveness of sins.

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But know that to serve God is nothing else than to serve your neighbor and do good to him in love be it a child, wife, servant, enemy, friend. If you do not find yourself among the needy and the poor, where the Gospel shows us Christ, then you may know that your faith is not right, and that you have not yet tasted of Christ's benevolence and work for you.

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One evening, Luther heard a nightingale singing very sweetly near a pond full of frogs who, by their croaking, seemed as though they wanted to silence the melodious bird.
He said: "Thus it is in the world. Jesus Christ is the nightingale, making the gospel to be heard and the heretics and false prophets, the frogs, trying to prevent His being heard!"

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We should die relying on grace alone.

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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.