Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Kindling for a Holy Fire

Yesterday I took delivery of Ray Ortlund's A Passion for God: Prayers and Meditations on the Book of Romans, a book published in 1993 and now apparently out of print. This looks like the perfect devotional to accompany my immersion in the Epistle to the Romans. Ortlund's method is simple. In essence, he is praying through the book of Romans, with the overriding desire for a closer and more intimate knowledge of God. He is yearning for "revival" within his own heart.

I want to offer a somewhat lengthy quotation from the introduction. Ortlund, who of course blogs at Christ is Deeper Still, wrote:
When you look at your Bible, what do you see? I have learned to see the Bible as kindling for a holy fire. Scripture is meant to inform us, and thus to inflame us. It is meant to illuminate our thoughts of God, and thus to ignite our affections for God. So in our personal Bible study, as we strive to think and learn, we are gathering kindling for devotion and worship in our hearts. And even more, we are amassing kindling for revival and reformation in the church.

Paul's letter to the Romans is of this explosive nature. Under the blessing of the Holy Spirit, it warms Christians with release from guilt, confidence in God, and certainty in their faith. It ignites Christians with joy and moral courage. It fires Christians with energy for bold new ventures of holy obedience. Let me put it this way. The more you understand, believe and love Romans, the more filled you will be with God's Spirit, the more you will walk in newness of life and the more your life will count for the great cause of the gospel.

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