December 2

 

 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16:23-24

 

In this passage, Christ shows us how to defend against the obstacles thrown at us by the devil and our sinful nature.  These threaten to tear us away from prayer. Christ tells us, “My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”  First, Christ commands us to pray.  Then he admonishes us for not asking.  He repeats his command and drives it home to show that he’s serious.  He demands prayer as true worship and as the real work of Christians.

Study what Christ commands in this passage and puts it into practice.  Don’t consider prayer something you do voluntarily, as if it wouldn’t be a sin if you neglected to pray.  Don’t act as if it’s enough for others to pray.  Now you know that Christ earnestly commands prayer.  If you don’t pray, you risk the greatest disgrace and highest penalty.  Christ’s command here is similar to the commandment that prohibits worshipping any other gods and blaspheming God’s name.  Those who never pray should know that they aren’t Christians and don’t belong in God’s kingdom.  Now don’t you think that God has good reason to be angry with idolaters, murderers, thieves, blasphemers, and others who despise his Word?  Don’t you think he’s right to punish these sins?  Why, then, aren’t you afraid of God’s anger when you disrespect his command and confidently act as if you aren’t obligated to pray?

So this passage should serve as a strong encouragement to pray diligently.  Prayer is our comfort, strength, and salvation.  It’s our first line of defense against all of our enemies.

 

Martin Luther: Bondage of the Will

 

The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.

 

The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

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