Saturday, September 23, 2017

Week in Review: September 17-23

Living Bible

  • 1 Kings
  • 2 Kings
  • 1 Chronicles
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel 22-48
  • Daniel
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • John 1-2
  • Acts
  • Colossians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • 1 Peter 
  • 2 Peter

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: Imagine

Imagine. John Lennon. Illustrated by Jean Jullien. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us, only sky. Imagine all the people living for today.

Premise/plot: This picture book shares the lyrics of John Lennon's song, "Imagine" with a new generation. The illustrations are by Jean Jullien. His illustrations feature birds flocking together in search of peace.

My thoughts: I'll be completely honest. I hate the song Imagine. I loathe it. If hell has an anthem, I bet it would be Imagine. (You might think hell's anthem would have to be punk or rock or something hard or harsh on the ears--something openly rebellious. But remember Satan is the father of lies and that there is no truth in him. John 8:44. Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. The beautiful melody aids in the deception.) 

The premise of Imagine is theologically flawed and spiritually dangerous. That premise is that deep down man is GOOD. If man is "bad" it's because of "external" notions that he's brainwashed with by society. Notions such as good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust, truth and lies, mine and yours, us and them. Strip away these external notions of absolutes and what you're left with is a purer, cleaner, ultimately GOOD man.

Lennon's premise is at odds with the Bible Genesis to Revelation. I could list hundreds if not thousands of "proofs" that this is so. I won't. I'll limit it to two. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Saying something is true, doesn't make it true in reality. Therein lies the danger. You can say 2+2=5 because I want it to be 5 and not 4. But that doesn't make it so. You can argue it many different ways. I feel oppressed by the idea that 2+2=4. I feel free and liberated when I say 2+2=3 or 2+2=5 or 2+2=18. I don't want anyone telling me that 2+2=4 is the only true answer. Why can't 2+2=7 be just as true as 2+2=4? Why isn't 7 just as good a number as 4? Who are you to say that 7 ISN'T as good as 4? You do math your way, I'll do math my way. After all what difference does it make?! Live and let live, right?!?!

When you mess around with absolutes, when you build your life on false truths, chances are that your mistakes will only multiply and escalate. It's rare to be wrong about just one little thing. (2+2=5) After all, if 2+2=5, then what does 2+3 equal? Your whole world can be built around false premises and false foundations.

I could pick apart just about any line in the lyric. But I'll focus on this one: Imagine all the people living for today. We don't have to imagine what that looks like. We don't. We can see that in Genesis. We can see that in Exodus. We can see that in Judges. We can see that in 1 and 2 Kings. We can see that in Old Testament and New. We can see that in the here and now. Open your eyes. Look around you. The world is full of people who live LIFE FOR TODAY. The struggle is do you see people NOT living life for today? Do you see people living life in light of eternity? It is rare to see someone really willing to live life with heaven in mind. How many are really anxious and excited about living holy lives that are pleasing to God? That is something that would take imagination. Everyone living as he or she sees fit in his or her own eyes--that takes zero imagination.

One more word. This song proclaims to be all about peace. But I challenge that notion of peace. There is no peace so long as we are at war with God. There is no peace apart from Christ. True peace can be found in no other--established in no other.

Imagine ultimately reminds me of the book of Jeremiah. In his day, there were prophets--even priests--saying PEACE, PEACE, ALL IS WELL, ALL IS GOOD. BLESSINGS FOR EVERYONE. But these false words of hope were condemned by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 6:14 reads, "They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace."

Read Jeremiah 23, for example. Here is Jeremiah 23:17, "They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’"

Text: 0 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 3 out of 10

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: Cherished Mercy

Cherished Mercy. (Heart of the Frontier #3) Tracie Peterson. 2017. Bethany House. 310 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: "Push, Hope. You have to push," Grace commanded. Mercy Flanagan wiped her sister's forehead as she labored to give birth to her baby. After ten hours of intense pain, Hope had clearly weakened.

Premise/plot: Cherished Mercy is the third book in Tracie Peterson's Heart of the Frontier series. Previous books in the series have focused on Grace and Hope, Mercy's two older sisters. In the novel, Mercy follows her heart and goes to help a friend in need even though there is some risk involved. Eletta is pregnant and her husband, Isaac, is very worried about her because the pregnancy is proving to be so difficult and dangerous.

The risk involved? Well, traveling throughout Oregon territory with the tension and unrest of the region. There are many--particularly in the army, particularly the government--who believe the Native Americans should be gotten out of the way. The nicest want the Indians kept on a reservation out of their way. The cruelest? Well, they subscribe to the notion that the only good Indian is a dead one. On her travels, Mercy meets some cruel men who are eager and excited at the idea of killing Indians.

Mercy moves in with Eletta, Isaac, their daughter Faith, and Adam (Isaac's brother). She comes to love them and their community. Isaac, Eletta, and Adam work very closely with one (maybe two) of the Native tribes. The ties of friendship are strong. But a series of worse case scenarios happens...leaving plenty of questions about what will happen next.

My thoughts: I've enjoyed the other books in the series. But I really loved, loved, loved Cherished Mercy. I think I loved Mercy the best of all the sisters. I love her compassionate spirit; I love her bravery. I love her honesty and genuineness. I also came to love Adam. The characterization is so good in this series. I almost hate for the series to end. I would definitely recommend the trilogy.          

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Goodreads Book Tag

Saw this meme at Smiling Shelves

What was the last book you marked as read? Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson
What are you currently reading? Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography by Herman Selderhuis
What was the last book you marked as to read? Enjoying God by R.C. Sproul
What book do you plan to read next? Reading Romans with Luther by R.J. Grunewald
Do you use the star rating system? YES
Are you doing a reading challenge? Yes. My 2017 goal is 500 books. As of September 21, 2017 I am at 495 books.
Do you have a wishlist? Yes. Always. Since I could write.
What book do you plan to buy next? I'm hoping that Grace Alone by Carl Truman will go on sale before Reformation Day.
Do you have any favorite quotes? According to GoodReads, I have over 300. I'm not going to go through that many to pick a favorite. How about, "Some books claiming to be exhaustive are only exhausting to read." ~ A.W. Tozer
Who are your favorite authors? According to Goodreads, my most read authors are: Georgette Heyer, Dr. Seuss, Agatha Christie, Orson Scott Card, Mo Willems, A.W. Tozer, Anthony Trollope, L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Janette Oke. Are my most read authors my favorite authors? For the most part.
Have you joined any groups? Yes. VT Reading Challenge and The Classics Club
What do you think Goodreads could do better? STOP sending me emails telling me I've finished a book.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Psalm 119:1-32

Psalm 119

א Aleph

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.

ב Beth

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word.

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
    that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
    wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
    do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
    for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
    those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
    for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
    your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
    they are my counselors.

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

This summer I've shared twenty-eight posts focusing on Psalm 119. All are tagged "My Summer with Psalm 119."

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Check in With The Cloud

  • What have you been reading? What are you currently reading?
  • Have you finished anything for the challenge?
  • Have you read any new-to-you authors yet?
  • Have you found any new favorites?
  • Are you writing down favorite quotes? Have any to share?
  • Have you learned anything that you'd like to share?
  • Would you be interested in reading a book together? If so, what month would be good for you?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Book Review: Godspeed

Godspeed: Voices of the Reformation. David Teems. 2017. Abingdon Press. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It was William Tyndale, with his 1526 English New Testament, who introduced the word godspeed into the English language. Tyndale lived in the shadows of death. Hounded by a very large, widespread, and oppressive religious body, he lived with the understanding that each day could be his last. Yet far from crippling his efforts or restraining his spirit, it gave him clarity and deepened his resolve. It sharpened his natural gifts as well as his aim, proving, as it did with most of the reformers, that Christianity is always at its best when under fire.

Premise/plot: Godspeed is a new year-long devotional by David Teems. The focus is on the Reformers and the Reformation: William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wycliffe, Jan Has, Ulrich Zwingli, Anne Askew, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Thomas Cranmer,  Girolamo Savonarola, etc. Teems writes, "This little book doesn’t pretend to be a history, and it doesn’t always behave like a devotional."

Each entry features a quote by a Reformer, a short devotional message, a prayer, and a scripture verse.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this devotional book. Some entries I loved more than others. But overall, I'd say it is a thought-provoking, substantive choice for a devotional book. Perhaps this is of more interest to history-lovers and church-history lovers. But the Reformers can teach us all a little something. So don't be intimidated by the idea of reading "ancient" theologians.

I loved reading the quotes. I liked Teems' devotions and prayers. Some of the prayers were really compelling.

David Teems:

  • Being saturated with the gospel makes you vulnerable to an intimate fellowship not only with God but with life around you, the two not easily separated. It is love for love’s sake, not for reward or gain but simply because it is asked of me.
  • There is no divide, Tyndale writes, between the Christian and any living soul. Love has no division in it, and therefore no politics. It has a cross instead. The believer sees Christ in all of humanity, and serves accordingly. It refines perception. Clears the eye, so to speak.
  • “Let God worry” is an entire theology. Luther once told Philip Melanchthon, “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Even if you should fall down the stairs or should suddenly expire while you are writing, it wouldn’t matter. Let it be!”
  • May the Word sustain you when the world has lost its mind, when truth cannot be determined from lies. May it be the earth beneath your feet. May you neither slip nor fall out of rhythm.
  •  I often use present tense when writing about Tyndale. His writing seems too alive, too present not to.
  • Lord, give me the courage to examine the way I love, how I invest myself in others, at what depths, how much of myself am I willing to give away for nothing in return. Leave your print in me. 
  • Did William Tyndale translate the Bible or did the Bible translate William Tyndale? When you read Tyndale, it takes very little work to detect the consistencies in him, the themes he gravitates to, that repeat themselves again and again. Everything he does, everything he thinks, is, like his very soul, tethered to the Word of God. Before he translated a single word from one language to the next, the Word was at work translating him. Feeding on the Word, saturating himself with the Word daily altered him. Improvement led to improvement, compounding along the way, even as the scripture says, “to everyone who has, more will be given.” 
  • Hypocrisy is little more than scorn disguised and polished. Truth is, who would shut up the kingdom of heaven before men has never truly tasted of the kingdom, has never been humble enough, or desperate enough, or in love enough to understand it. 
  • If William Tyndale or Martin Luther or any of the reformers, including those martyred, could somehow visit us presently, what would their reaction be? What would they see? A fat church? A heady, bloat and overfed, overindulged church, where the gospel is something to draw a fiery sermon from, point a few fingers, raise the voice a few decibels, take up a collection, then go on their way? Would they see the faithful exercising their faith, following the simple words of Christ? Would they think their work was not yet complete? Or worse, that reform had failed? 
  • “If I were addicted to God’s Word at all times alike,” Luther said, “and always had such love and desire thereunto as sometimes I have, I should account myself the most blessed man on earth. But the loving apostle, St. Paul, failed also, as he complains, with sighs, saying: ‘I see another law in my members warring against the law in my mind.’” Not to step too lightly around his moderately self-deprecating confession, but it is the Word in Luther that gives him (and Paul) a clear and intimate look at his own soul. Here it plays the mirror. Scripture, with its deep inward gaze. We will not achieve God or have his mind simply by the exercise of our wit. It is not something that can be taught, that submits to reason, or that we can do for ourselves. 
  • Tyndale inspired a new taste for scripture, a new taste for the English language itself. With this new school of thought, instruction was necessary. For Tyndale, behind the pursuit of scripture is the desire for God, unless it be of little effect. The scripture both inspires and nurtures this desire. The Word acts as medication to the ills of man, both psychological and spiritual. The closer one gets to the center, that is, from the superficial, the more powerful that medicine becomes, the closer one gets to the warm middle, or the pith, as the translator calls it, where the light is on and remains on.
  • May the Word of God be your shield, your strong and high tower, your refuge in a time of flight, your peace in a time of calamity. May it have access to your thought life, to the secrets you keep there. May it be the answer when you have none, when you are mute. May it embolden. May it give you courage in a desperate time, wisdom in a time of doubt and uncertainty. May everything you do, everything you set your hand to have the seal of God upon it. And may you rest peaceful at day’s end, content with your labor. Where you fail or fall short, may the Word comfort even as it corrects. May it be your confidence in this world, your backbone, your clear eye, the depository of all you do and hope. Amen.  
  • May worship be the strong motive in all you do, in all you consider, all you debate in the heart. May it help construct your sentences, adding tone, color, and something weightless. May it teach you how to choose. May it be attractive on you. And conspicuous. May it change you by day’s end, and in pleasant unexpected ways.
  • May your mind be overwhelmed with the goodness of God. May he sanctify your imagination, and inform your dreams. May he give you a clear eye, a mop and broom to refine your thought life. 
  • May reform never sleep in you or grow dull. May you find the courage to keep the engine running smoothly and consistently, even when the mirror says unflattering things. What reform seeks is you, the authentic, very you, nothing less. Let it work a lifetime.  

Martin Luther quotes:

  • No man understands the Scriptures unless he be acquainted with the cross. —Table Talk
  • Only spiritual trial teaches what Christ is. —Martin Luther 
  • A Christian lives not to himself, but in Christ and his neighbor. Otherwise he is not a Christian. He lives in Christ through faith, in his neighbor through love. By faith he is caught up beyond himself into God. By love he descends beneath himself into his neighbor. Yet he always remains in God and in his love, as Christ says in John 1:51, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” —The Freedom of a Christian Man
  • Mother love is stronger than the filth and scabbiness on a child, and so the love of God toward us is stronger than the dirt that clings to us. —Table Talk 
  • But you will know the gospel when you hear the voice which tells you that Christ Himself is yours, together with His life, teaching, work, death, resurrection, and everything he has, does, or can do. —The Freedom of a Christian Man
  • No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people, than to have God’s Word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no longer have it pure and clear. God grant we and our descendants be not witnesses of such a calamity. —Table Talk
  • There is no other way in which man can meet or deal with God but by faith. It is not man by any works of his, but God, who by His own promise is the author of salvation; so that everything depends, is contained, and preserved in the word of His power, by which He begot us, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of His creation. —On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church 
  • God styles himself, in all the Holy Scriptures, a God of life, of peace, of comfort, and joy, for the sake of Christ. I hate myself, that I cannot believe it so constantly and surely as I should; but no human creature can rightly know how mercifully God is inclined toward those that steadfastly believe in Christ. —Table Talk
  • Pray and let God worry. —Last letter to his wife, Katy von Bora, before his death
  • If I am to have no other God, then I must surely possess the only true God with my heart, that is, I must in my heart be affectionate to him, evermore cleave to him, depend upon him, trust him, have my desire, love and joy in him, and always think of him. Just as we say at other times when we delight in something, that it tastes good in our very heart. —The Two Greatest Commandments
  • He heard naked me, who am nothing, when I called, and this not because of my righteousness, which is His and which I received from His hand. But if he is the ‘God of my righteousness,’ He is, then, also the God of all my good things. —Lectures on the Psalms
  • My counsel is, that we draw water from the true source and fountain, that is, that we diligently search the Scriptures. He who wholly possesses the text of the Bible, is a consummate divine. One single verse, one sentence of the text, is of far more instruction than a whole host of glosses and commentaries, which are neither strongly penetrating nor armor of proof. —Table Talk 
  •  It is a great lesson, how mighty divine truth is, which presses through, though she be hemmed in ever so closely; the more she is read, the more she moves and takes possession of the heart. —Table Talk
  •  Oh! how great and glorious a thing it is to have before one the Word of God! With that we may at all times feel joyous and secure; we need never be in want of consolation, for we see before us, in all its brightness, the pure and right way. He who loses sight of the Word of God, falls into despair; the voice of heaven no longer sustains him; he follows only the disorderly tendency of his heart, and of world vanity, which lead him on to his destruction. —Table Talk
  • For to those who meditate on the Law the very rock of Scripture gushes forth abundant streams and flowing waters of knowledge and wisdom, and grace and sweetness besides. —Lectures on the Psalms
  • In my heart reigns this one article, faith in my dear Lord Christ, the beginning, middle and end of whatever spiritual and divine thoughts I may have, whether by day or by night. —Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians 
  • So a Christian who lives in this confidence toward God knows all things, can do all things, undertakes all things that are to be done, and does everything cheerfully and freely; not that he may gather many merits and good works, but because it is a pleasure for him to please God thereby, and he serves God purely for nothing, content that his service pleases God. —A Treatise on Good Works
  • Prayer is a powerful thing, if only one believes in it, for God has attached and bound himself to it [by his promises]. —A Simple Way to Pray, 1535
  • But where there is such an idle and grudging heart there can be no singing, or at least no singing of anything good. Cheerful and merry must we be in heart and mind, when we would sing. —4th Preface to Valentine Bapst’s Hymn-Book, 1545
  • He who loses sight of the Word of God, falls into despair; the voice of heaven no longer sustains him; he follows only the disorderly tendency of his heart, and of world vanity, which lead him on to his destruction. —Table Talk 
  • Think of the Scriptures as the loftiest and noblest of holy things, as the richest of mines which can never be sufficiently explored, in order that you might find divine wisdom which God here lays before you in such simple guise as to quench all pride. Here you will find the swaddling cloths and the manger in which Christ lies, and to which the angel points the shepherds. Simple and lowly are these swaddling cloths, but dear is the treasure, Christ, who lies in them. —Watchwords for the Warfare of Life 
  • When Jesus Christ utters a word, he opens his mouth so wide that it embraces all heaven and earth, even though that word be but in a whisper. The word of the emperor is powerful, but that of Jesus Christ governs the whole universe. —Table Talk
  • For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant. —Table Talk
  • A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it. —Debate at Leipzig 
  • Christians pray without ceasing; though they pray not always with their mouths, yet their hearts pray continually, sleeping and waking; for the sigh of a true Christian is a prayer. In like manner, a true Christian always carries the cross, though he feel it not always. —Table Talk  
  • For the greatest and only consolation of Christians in their adversities, is the knowing that God lies not, but does all things immutably, and that His will cannot be resisted, changed, or hindered. —Bondage of the Will
  • The Holy Scripture is the highest and best of books, abounding in comfort under all afflictions and trials. It teaches us to see, to feel, to grasp, and to comprehend faith, hope, and charity, far otherwise than mere human reason can; and when evil oppresses us, it teaches how these virtues throw light upon the darkness, and how, after this poor miserable existence of ours on earth, there is another and an eternal life. —Table Talk 
  • This is real strength, to trust in God when to all our senses and reason he appears to be angry; and to have greater confidence in him than we feel. —A Treatise on Good Works 
  • Our Lord God must be a devout man to be able to love knaves. I can’t do it, although I am myself a knave. —Table Talk
  • Faith is not a quiet and idle, but a living, restless thing, that either retrogrades or advances, lives and moves; and where this does not occur, faith does not exist, but only a lifeless notion of the heart concerning God. For true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit pours into the heart, cannot be inactive. —What Is Faith, Sermon no. 107 (21st Sunday after Trinity)
  • The search after the Word has been, from the beginning of the world, the source of great danger; few people can hit it, unless God, through his Holy Spirit, teach it them in their hearts. —Table Talk 
  • To worship means to stoop and bow down the body with external gestures; to serve in the work. But to worship God in spirit is the service and honor of the heart; it comprehends faith and fear in God. The worshipping of God is two-fold, outward and inward—that is, to acknowledge God’s benefits, and to be thankful unto him. —Table Talk
  • A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. —Table Talk
  • A fiery shield is God’s Word; of more substance and purer than gold, which, tried in the fire, loses naught of its substance, but resists and overcomes all the fury of the fiery heat; even so, he that believes God’s Word overcomes all, and remains secure everlastingly, against all misfortunes; for this shield fears nothing, neither hell nor the devil. —Table Talk 
  • When God’s word is not preached, one had better neither sing nor read, or even come together. . . . We can spare everything except the Word. —Concerning the Order of Public Worship

William Tyndale quotes:

  • If we be in Christ we work for no worldly purpose, but of love. —The Obedience of a Christian Man
  • But you, reader, think of the law of God how that it is altogether spiritual, and so spiritual that it is never fulfilled with deeds or works until they flow out of your heart with as great love toward your neighbor, for no deserving of his, though he be your enemy, as Christ loved you and died for you, for no deserving of yours, but even when you were his enemy. —Prologue to The Story of the Prophet Jonas 
  • If any man ask me, seeing that faith justifies me why I work? I answer love compels me. —“Prologue Showing the Use of the Scripture”
  • The scriptures spring out of God and flow unto Christ, and were given to lead us to Christ. Thou must therefore go along by the scripture as by a line, until thou come at Christ, which is the way’s end and resting place. —The Obedience of a Christian Man 
  • We should leave searching God’s secrets and give diligence to walk according to that he has opened unto us. —“Prologue into the Fifth Book of Moses Called Deuteronomy” 
  • Where love is not, there is nothing that pleaseth God. For that one should love another, is all that God requireth of us. —“Prologue to the Epistle of Paul to the Romans” 
  • He that loveth not my dog loveth not me. Not that a man should love my dog first, but if a man loved me, the love wherewith he loved me would compel him to love my dog, though the dog deserved it not. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon 
  • We are in eternal life already and feel already in our hearts the sweetness thereof, and are overcome with the kindness of God and Christ. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon
  • As thou readest therefore think that every syllable pertaineth to thine own self, and suck out the pith of the scripture, and arm thyself against all assaults. —“Prologue Showing the Use of the Scripture” 
  • God giveth no man his grace that he should let it lay still and do no good withal, but that he should increase it and multiply it with lending it to others, and with open declaring of it with the outward works, provoke and draw others to God. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon  
  • Love God, cleave to God, dread, serve, bow, pray, and call on God, believe and trust in God, and such like. . . . God is honored in his own person when we receive all things, both good and bad, at his hand; and love his law with all our hearts; and believe, hope, and long for all that he promiseth. —Tyndale’s Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue
  • Among Christian men, love makes all things common; every man is the other’s debtor, and every man is bound to minister to his neighbor, and to supply his neighbor’s lack of that wherewith God has endowed him. —The Parable of the Wicked Mammon 
  • Prayer is a mourning, a longing, and a desire of the man mourns and sorrows in his heart, longing for health. Faith ever prays. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon
  • God worketh with his word, and in his word. And as his word is preached, faith rooteth herself in the hearts of the elect, and as faith entereth, and the word of God is believed, the power of God looseth the heart from the captivity and bondage under sin, and knitteth and coupleth him to God, and to the will of God. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon 
  • First, he is our Redeemer, Deliverer, Solicitor, our Hope, Comfort, Shield, Protection, Defender, Strength, Health, Satisfaction and Salvation. His blood, his death, all that he ever did, is ours. And Christ himself, with all that he is or can do, is ours. —A Pathway Into the Holy Scripture
  • Cleave fast unto the naked and pure word of God. The promise of God is the anchor that saveth us in all temptations. If all the world be against us, God’s word is stronger than the world. If the world kill us, that shall make us alive again. —The Obedience of a Christian Man 
  • Neighbor is a word of love, and signifieth that a man should be ever nigh and at hand, and ready to help in time of need. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon
  • So now the Scripture is a light and shows us the true way, both what to do and what to hope. —Parable of the Wicked Mammon
  • No man verily can read it [scripture] too oft or study it too well: for the more it is studied the easier it is, the more it is chewed the pleasanter it is, and the more groundly it is searched the preciouser things are found in it, so great treasure of spiritual things lieth hid therein. —Prologue to the Epistle of Paul to the Romans 
  • It is not enough therefore to read and talk of it only, but we must also desire God day and night instantly to open our eyes, and to make us understand and feel wherefore [why] the scripture was given, that we may apply the medicine of the scripture, every man to his own sores, unless that we intend to be idle disputers, and brawlers about vain words, ever gnawing upon the bitter bark without and never attaining unto the sweet pith within, and persecuting one another for defending of lewd imaginations and fanstasies of our own invention. —“Prologue Showing the Use of the Scripture”
  • Except a man cast away his own imagination and reason, he cannot perceive God, and understand the virtue and power of the blood of Christ. —A Pathway into the Holy Scripture
  • Christ is with us until the world’s end. Let his little flock be bold therefore. For if God be on our side, what does it matter who is against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes, or whatsoever names they will? Mark this also, if God sends you to the sea, and promises to go with you, and to bring you safe to land, he will raise up a tempest against you, to prove whether you will abide by his word, and that you may feel your faith, and perceive his goodness. For if it were always fair weather, and you were never brought into such jeopardy, when his mercy only delivered you, your faith should be but a presumption, and you should be ever unthankful to God and merciless unto your neighbor. . . . We are called to a kingdom that must be won with suffering only, as a sick man wins his health. . . . To cleave, therefore, fast unto Christ, and unto those promises which God has made us for his sake, is our wisdom. —The Obedience of a Christian Man
  • Now am I God’s only, and ought to serve nothing but God and his word. My body must serve the rulers of this world, and my neighbor, as God has appointed it, and so must all my goods; but my soul must serve God only, to love his law and to trust in his promises of mercy, in all my deeds. —Tyndale’s Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue
  • Faith is then a living and steadfast trust in the favor of God, wherewith we commit ourselves altogether unto God, and that trust is so surely grounded and sticks so fast in our hearts, that a man would not once doubt of it, though he should die a thousand times therefore. —“The Prologue to the Epistle of Paul to the Romans” 

John Calvin quotes:

  • He must be of a high and great spirit that undertakes to serve the people in body and soul, for he must suffer the utmost danger and unthankfulness. —Golden Booklet on the True Christian Life 
  • It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. —Institutes of the Christian Religion 
  • For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity. —Institutes of the Christian Religion 
  • Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart. Let them, therefore, either cease to insult God, by boasting that they are what they are not, or let them show themselves not unworthy disciples of their divine Master. To doctrine in which our religion is contained we have given the first place, since by it our salvation commences; but it must be transfused into the breast, and pass into the conduct, and so transform us into itself, as not to prove unfruitful. —Golden Booklet on the True Christian Life 
  • A Christian ought to be disposed and prepared to keep in mind that he has to reckon with God every moment of his life. —Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life 
  • But it is foolish to attempt to prove to infidels that the Scripture is the Word of God. This it cannot be known to be, except by faith. Justly, therefore, does Augustine remind us, that every man who would have any understanding in such high matters must previously possess piety and mental peace. —Institutes of the Christian Religion
  • There is not one little blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make men rejoice. —Sermon 10, 1 Corinthians  


  • When God demands confession, he wills that our whole life be a confession. —Good Works, Philip Melanchthon
  • Let us reverently hear and read Holy Scripture, which is the food of the soul. Let us diligently search for the well of life in the books of the New and Old Testament, and not run to the stinking puddles of men’s traditions, devised by men’s imaginations, for our justification and salvation. —Homily on Scripture, Thomas Cranmer
  • Feed ye tenderly, with all diligence, the flock of Christ. Preach truly the word of God. Love the light, walk in the light, and so be ye the children of light while ye are in this world, that ye may shine in the world that is to come bright as the sun, with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; to whom be all honour, praise, and glory. Amen. —Sermon before parliament began, 9 June 1537, Hugh Latimer
  • It is better to die well, than to live wrongly . . . who is afraid of death loses the joy of life. —Letter to Christian of Prachaticz, Jan Has 
  • The human heart cannot be satisfied with partial knowledge, but always desires knowledge that is more complete. So the more the heart knows God, the more it desires to know Him completely. —Triumph of the Cross, Girolamo Savonarola 
  • Above all else, truth conquers. He conquers who is put to death because no adversity harms him if no iniquity has rule over him. —Letter to Christian of Prachaticz, 1413, Jan Has

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible