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14 Notable Quotes from Habits of Grace

This article is part of the Notable Quotes series.

God’s Grace to Us

“Habits of grace” are the God-designed channels through which his glorious grace flows—making them life-giving practices for all Christians. Whether it’s hearing God’s voice (the Word), having his ear (prayer), or participating in his body (fellowship), such spiritual rhythms of the Christian life have the power to awaken our souls to God’s glory and stir our hearts for lifelong service in his name. Be encouraged by the following quotes, excerpted from Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis.

“The means of grace, fleshed out in our various habits of grace, are to be for us means of joy in God, and thus means of his glory. And so the simplicity, stability, confidence, power, and joy of God himself stand behind these means. These are the paths of his promise. He stands ready to pour out his wonderfully wild and lavish grace through these channels.”

“The way to receive the gift of God’s empowering our actions is to do the actions. If he gives the gift of effort, we receive that gift by expending the effort.”

“And just when we think we have been carried far enough, that God has done for us all that we could imagine and more, grace shatters the mold again. Grace sanctifies. It is too wild to let us stay in love with unrighteousness. Too free to leave us in slavery to sin. Too untamed to let our lusts go unconquered. Grace’s power is too uninhibited to not unleash us for the happiness of true holiness.”

Habits of Grace

David Mathis

This book explores how Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians—three foundational “habits of grace”—have the power to awaken our souls to God’s glory and stir our hearts for joyful service.

“Without the Bible, we will soon lose the genuine gospel and the real Jesus and the true God. For now, if we are to saturate our lives with the words of life, we must be people of the Book.”

“Good Bible reading is no mere science; it is an art. The Bible itself is a special compilation of great artistries. And the best way to learn the art of reading the Bible for yourself is this: Read it for yourself.

“Christian meditation, however, is fundamentally different from the “meditation” popularly co-opted by various non-Christian systems. It doesn’t entail emptying our minds, but rather filling them with biblical and theological substance—truth outside of ourselves—and then chewing on that content, until we begin to feel some of its magnitude in our hearts.”

“Prayer, for the Christian, is not merely talking to God, but responding to the One who has initiated toward us. He has spoken first. This is not a conversation we start, but a relationship into which we’ve been drawn. His voice breaks the silence. Then, in prayer, we speak to the God who has spoken.”

“Prayer to God is not only the place for divulging our heart, but also developing our desires. There is power here. Prayer changes our hearts like nothing else—perhaps especially when we follow the prayers of the Bible.”

“Fasting, like the gospel, isn’t for the self-sufficient and those who feel they have it all together. It’s for the poor in spirit. It’s for those who mourn. For the meek. For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. In other words, fasting is for Christians. It is a desperate measure, for desperate times, among those who know themselves desperate for God.”

“Solitude is a kind of companion to fellowship, a fasting from other people, to make our return to them all the better. And silence is a fasting from noise and talk, to improve our listening and speaking.”

“We are for each other an essential element of the good work God has begun in us and promises to bring to completion (Phil. 1:6).”

“Worship in the local church points us to the worship of the universal church, and that Jesus has a people from many nations, and one day will include every nation (Rev. 7:9).”

“Along with baptism, the Supper is one of Jesus’s two specially instituted sacraments for the signifying, sealing, and strengthening of his new-covenant people.”

“We will only go so deep with Jesus until we start yearning to reach out. When our life in him is healthy and vibrant, we not only ache to keep sinking our roots down deep in him, but we also want to stretch out our branches and extend his goodness to others.”


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