Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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45 More Great Quotes from Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers by Dane Ortlund

Every once in a while, a book comes along that just blows you away. Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund is one of those books. You can read my review of the book here. Here are 45 more great quotes from the book:

  1. The sins of those who belong to God open the floodgates of his heart of compassion for us. The dam breaks. It is not our loveliness that wins his love. It is our unloveliness.
  2. The atonement accomplished our salvation; intercession is the moment-by-moment application of that atoning work.
  3. The intercession of Christ is his heart connecting our heart to the Father’s heart.
  4. He knows us to the uttermost, and he saves us to the uttermost, because his heart is drawn out to us to the uttermost. We cannot sin our way out of his tender care.
  5. Our prayer life stinks most of the time. But what if you heard Jesus praying aloud for you in the next room? Few things would calm us more deeply.
  6. Our sinning goes to the uttermost. But his saving goes to the uttermost. And his saving always outpaces and overwhelms our sinning, because he always lives to intercede for us.
  7. An intercessor stands between two parties; an advocate doesn’t simply stand in between the two parties but steps over and joins the one party as he approaches the other. Jesus is not only an intercessor but an advocate.
  8. Yes, we fail Christ as his disciples. But his advocacy on our behalf rises higher than our sins. His advocacy speaks louder than our failures. All is taken care of.
  9. When we choose to sin—though we forsake our true identity, our Savior does not forsake us. These are the very moments when his heart erupts on our behalf in renewed advocacy in heaven with a resounding defense that silences all accusations, astonishes the angels, and celebrates the Father’s embrace of us in spite of all our messiness.
  10. Let Jesus draw you in through the loveliness of his heart. This is a heart that upbraids the impenitent with all the harshness that is appropriate, yet embraces the penitent with more openness than we are able to feel. It is a heart that walks us into the bright meadow of the felt love of God.
  11. The Son of God clothed himself with humanity and will never unclothe himself. He became a man and always will be.
  12. One implication of this truth of Christ’s permanent humanity is that when we see the feeling and passions and affections of the incarnate Christ toward sinners and sufferers as given to us in the four Gospels, we are seeing who Jesus is for us today.
  13. While Christ is a lion to the impenitent, he is a lamb to the penitent—the reduced, the open, the hungry, the desiring, the confessing, the self-effacing. He hates with righteous hatred all that plagues you.
  14. Christ’s heart for us means that he will be our never-failing friend.
  15. The Spirit takes what we read in the Bible and believe on paper about Jesus’s heart and moves it from theory to reality, from doctrine to experience.
  16. The Spirit has been given to us in order that we might know, way down deep, the endless grace of the heart of God.
  17. The Spirit’s role, in summary, is to turn our postcard apprehensions of Christ’s great heart of longing affection for us into an experience of sitting on the beach, in a lawn chair, drink in hand, enjoying the actual experience.
  18. When we see the heart of Christ, then, throughout the four Gospels, we are seeing the very compassion and tenderness of who God himself most deeply is.
  19. As you consider the Father’s heart for you, remember that he is the Father of mercies. He is not cautious in his tenderness toward you. He multiplies mercies matched to your every need, and there is nothing he would rather do.
  20. The bent of God’s heart is mercy. His glory is his goodness. His glory is his lowliness.
  21. The Christian life, from one angle, is the long journey of letting our natural assumption about who God is, over many decades, fall away, being slowly replaced with God’s own insistence on who he is.
  22. God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours that not only does he abundantly pardon the penitent; he has determined to bring his people into a future so glorious we can hardly bring ourselves to dare hope for it.
  23. The Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God.
  24. He is a fountain of mercy. He is a billionaire in the currency of mercy, and the withdrawals we make as we sin our way through life cause his fortune to grow greater, not less.
  25. Christ was sent not to mend wounded people or wake sleepy people or advise confused people or inspire bored people or spur on lazy people or educate ignorant people, but to raise dead people.
  26. God is rich in mercy. He doesn’t withhold mercy from some kinds of sinners while extending it to others. Because mercy is who he is— “being rich in mercy”—his heart gushes forth mercy to sinners one and all.
  27. He doesn’t meet you halfway. His very nature is to engage death and bring life. He did that decisively once and for all at your conversion, but he continues to do it time and again in your sin and folly.
  28. The evidence of Christ’s mercy toward you is not your life. The evidence of his mercy toward you is his—mistreated, misunderstood, betrayed, abandoned. Eternally. In your place.
  29. If God sent his own Son to walk through the valley of condemnation, rejection, and hell, you can trust him as you walk through your own valleys on your way to heaven.
  30. Do you know what Jesus does with those who squander his mercy? He pours out more mercy. God is rich in mercy.
  31. The battle of the Christian life is to bring your own heart into alignment with Christ’s, that is, getting up each morning and replacing your natural orphan mind-set with a mind-set of full and free adoption into the family of God through the work of Christ your older brother, who loved you and gave himself for you out of the overflowing fullness of his gracious heart.
  32. A healthy Christian life is built on both the objective and the subjective sides of the gospel—the justification that flows from the work of Christ, and the love that flows from the heart of Christ.
  33. The end-time judgment that awaits all humans has, for those in Christ, already taken place. We who are in Christ no longer look to the future for judgment, but to the past; at the cross, we see our punishment happening, all our sins being punished in Jesus.
  34. The gospel is the invitation to let the heart of Christ calm us into joy, for we’ve already been discovered, included, brought in. We can bring our up-and-down moral performance into subjection to the settled fixedness of what Jesus feels about us.
  35. God didn’t meet us halfway. He refused to hold back, cautious, assessing our worth. That is not his heart. He and his Son took the initiative. On terms of grace and grace alone. In defiance of what we deserved.
  36. He didn’t simply leave heaven for me; he endured hell for me.
  37. His heart was gentle and lowly toward us when we were lost. Will his heart be anything different toward us now that we are found?
  38. If you are united to Christ, you are as good as in heaven already.
  39. We love until we are betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we are forsaken. Jesus loved through forsakenness. We love up to a limit. Jesus loves to the end.
  40. One way we glorify God is by our obedience to him, our refusing to believe we know best and instead trusting that his way is the way of life.
  41. “So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”—what does that mean, for those in Christ? It means that one day God is going to walk us through the wardrobe into Narnia, and we will stand there, paralyzed with joy, wonder, astonishment, and relief.
  42. If his grace in kindness is “immeasurable,” then our failures can never outstrip his grace. Our moments of feeling utterly overwhelmed by life are where God’s heart lives. Our most haunted pockets of failure and regret are where his heart is drawn most unswervingly.
  43. In the coming age we will descend ever deeper into God’s grace in kindness, into his very heart, and the more we understand of it, the more we will see it to be beyond understanding. It is immeasurable.
  44. For those not in Christ, this life is the best it will ever get. For those in Christ, for whom Ephesians 2:7 is the eternal vista just around the next bend in the road, this life is the worst it will ever get.
  45. The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1.


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My 2020 Favorites

As has been my practice for several years, I want to share with you my favorites for 2020 in a variety of categories. (Here is my list from 2019). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s list will look very different from past years, as concerts and conferences have been cancelled and movie theatres have been closed.

Except for books, and the film A Hidden Life (a 2019 film that wasn’t available for me to see until 2020), these are all items that were released in 2020. For books, I include my favorite books that I read during 2020, regardless of when the book was published.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list, as well as what would be on your list.

Movies

Top Pick: A Hidden Life (read my review here).

Other films I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

      • Hamilton
      • Just Mercy
      • 1917

Music: Albums

Top Pick: Patient Kingdom – Sandra McCracken (read my review here)

Here are the rest of my Top 10 albums of 2020:

  1. The Life of Christ Quintology – Keith and Kristyn Getty (and friends)
  2. Rough and Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan
  3. McCartney III – Paul McCartney
  4. Restoration – Lecrae
  5. Out of Body – NEEDTOBREATHE
  6. Chris Tomlin and Friends – Chris Tomlin
  7. Live from the Forum MMXVIII – Eagles
  8. Blues with Friends – Dion
  9. Let There Be Wonder – Matt Redman

Other albums I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • American Standard – James Taylor
  • Christ Be All EP – Grace Worship
  • The Lost Demos EP – TobyMac
  • Evensong – Hymns and Lullabies at The Close of Day – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • Letter to You – Bruce Springsteen
  • A Drummer Boy Christmas – for King & Country
  • Vintage – Shane and Shane

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund. Crossway. 224 pages. 2020
****

Every once in a while, a book comes along that just blows you away. Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund is one of those books. This was a book that I was influenced to read because so many people I respect were writing good things about it and recommending it. As a result, my wife and I read and discussed the book, which is comprised of relatively short chapters.
Ortlund tells us that the book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynical, the empty. It is written, in other words, for normal Christians. In short, it is for sinners and sufferers.
In the book, the author simply asks what the Bible says about the heart of Christ, and considers the glory of his heart for our own up-and-down lives. The author takes either a Bible passage or a teaching from the Puritans (especially Thomas Goodwin), and considers what is being said about the heart of God and of Christ. He doesn’t focus centrally on what Christ has done, but instead who he is. The two matters are bound up together and indeed interdependent. But they are distinct. Letting Jesus set the terms, the author tells us that his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. He tells us that for all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, Jesus’ supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.
The message of the book is that we tend to project our natural expectations about who God is onto him instead of fighting to let the Bible surprise us into what God himself says. The book reads almost like a devotional. One way to approach it is to read a chapter a day over your morning coffee. Another is to read and discuss with others.
Here are 20 of my favorite quotes from the book:

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and reviews of…

  • The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church by Albert Mohler
  • Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures For Approaching God’s Word by Matt Smethurst

BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING….
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My Summer Reading Plan

I love to read, and enjoy books in a variety of genres – theology, Christian living, biography, leadership, professional and personal development, sports, etc. Here are the books I’m planning to read this summer along with a short synopsis of each:

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