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300 Best Gentle And Lowly Quotes (Dane C. Ortlund's 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.” p.75


2. “The Jesus given to us in the Gospels is not simply one who loves, but one who is love; merciful affections stream from his innermost heart as rays from the sun.”


3. Do not minimize your sin or excuse it away. Raise no defense. Simply take it to the one who is already at the right hand of the Father, advocating for you on the basis of his own wounds. Let your own unrighteousness, in all your darkness and despair, drive you to Jesus Christ, the righteous, in all his brightness and sufficiency.


4. “His yoke is kind and his burden is light. That is, his yoke is a nonyoke, and his burden is a nonburden. What helium does to a balloon, Jesus’ yoke does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness” (p. 23).


5. “My life has been transformed by the beautiful, staggering truths in this book. Dane Ortlund lifts our eyes to see Christ’s compassion-filled heart for sinners and sufferers, proving that Jesus is no reluctant savior but one who delights in showing his mercy. For any feeling bruised, weary, or empty, this is the balm for you.” Michael Reeves


6. “Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was one of giving back to undeserving sinners their humanity.”


7. Whereas the doctrine of the atonement reassures us with what Christ has done in the past, the doctrine of his intercession reassures us with what he is doing in the present.


8. “Human beings are created with a built-in pull toward beauty ... we are drawn to God by the beauty of the heart of Jesus.”


9. “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. It is a heart that drew the despised and forsaken to his feet in self-abandoning hope. It is a heart of perfect balance and proportion, never overreacting, never excusing, never lashing out. It is a heart that throbs with desire for the destitute. It is a heart that floods the suffering with the deep solace of shared solidarity in that suffering. It is a heart that is gentle and lowly.”


10. “when we hold back, lurking in the shadows, fearful and failing, we miss out not only on our own increased comfort but on Christ’s increased comfort.”


11. His heart for his own is not like an arrow, shot quickly but soon falling to the ground; or a runner, quick out of the gate, soon slowing and faltering. His heart is an avalanche, gathering momentum with time; a wildfire, growing in intensity as it spreads. -203


12. “Cuando peques, arrepiéntete por completo. Vuelve a odiar el pecado. Conságrate de nuevo al Espíritu Santo y Sus caminos puros. Pero rechaza el susurro del diablo de que el corazón tierno de Dios por ti se ha vuelto un poco más frío, un poco más rígido. Él no se inquieta por tu pecaminosidad, sino que Su mayor decepción son tus tibios pensamientos sobre Su corazón. Cristo murió para mostrarte el amor de Dios.”


13. “It is not only that Jesus can relieve us from our troubles, like a doctor prescribing medicine; it is also that, before any relief comes, he is with us in our troubles, like a doctor who has endured the same disease.”


14. Law-ish-ness, of-works-ness, is by its very nature undetectable because it’s natural, not unnatural, to us. It feels normal. “Of works” to fallen people is what water is to a fish. -186


15. “This is a book about the heart of Christ. Who is he? Who is he really? What is most natural to him? What ignites within him most immediately as he moves toward sinners and sufferers? What flows out most freely, most instinctively? Who is he?”


16. “Fallen, anxious sinners are limitless in their capacity to perceive reasons for Jesus to cast them out. We are factories of fresh resistances to Christ’s love. Even when we run out of tangible reasons to be cast out, such as specific sins or failures, we tend to retain a vague sense that, given enough time, Jesus will finally grow tired of us and hold us at arm’s length.” p.63


17. “we were dead. Utterly helpless. That’s what his mercy healed. Well, you say, that really doesn’t describe me. I grew up in a law-abiding home. We went to church. I kept my nose clean. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve been decent to my neighbors. But look at what Paul says: “. . . among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh.” Surely not. This is Paul the former Pharisee, the law keeper to end all law keepers, “a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:5–6). How could he include himself among those who were devoted to the passions of the flesh? Neither of these is a one-time self-description, moreover. Multiple times in Acts, as in Philippians 3, Paul describes his earlier life as “according to the strict manner of our fathers” (Acts 22:3), or “according to the strictest party of our religion” (Acts 26:5), even from a young age (Acts 26:4). And yet, as in Ephesians 2, in Titus 3 he again identifies his former life as “foolish, disobedient, led astray, [enslaved] to various passions and pleasures” (Titus 3:3). So which was it? The only way to make sense of these two kinds of passages is to understand that we can vent our fleshly passions by breaking all the rules, or we can vent our fleshly passions by keeping all the rules, but both ways of venting the flesh still need resurrection. We can be immoral dead people, or we can be moral dead people. Either way, we’re dead.”


18. “the most vivid and arresting element of the portrait, is the way the Holy Son of God moves toward, touches, heals, embraces, and forgives those who least deserve it yet truly desire it.”


19. “When you come to Christ for mercy and love and help in your anguish and perplexity and sinfulness, you are going with the flow of his own deepest wishes, not against them.”


20. ... the wrath of Christ and the mercy of Christ are not at odds with one another like a see-saw, one diminishing to the degree that the other is held up. Rather, the two rise and fall together. The more robust one's felt understanding of the just wrath of Christ against all that is evil both around us and within us, the more robust our felt understanding of his mercy.”


21. “The Best Quotes from The Possibility of Prayer“


22. “That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which divine mercy passes but homes in which divine mercy abides. It means the things about you that make you cringe most, make him hug hardest. It means his mercy is not calculating and cautious, like ours. It is unrestrained, flood-like, sweeping, magnanimous. It means our haunting shame is not a problem for him, but the very thing he loves most to work with. It means our sins do not cause his love to take a hit. Our sins cause his love to surge forward all the more. It means on that day when we stand before him, quietly, unhurriedly, we will weep with relief, shocked at how impoverished a view of his mercy-rich heart we had. ”


23. “Christ got angry and still gets angry, for he is the perfect human, who loves too much to remain indifferent. And this righteous anger reflects his heart, his tender compassion. But because his deepest heart is tender compassion, he is the quickest to get angry and feels anger most furiously--and all without a hint of sin tainting that anger.”


24. “If sin were the color blue, we do not occasionally say or do something blue; all that we say, do, and think has some taint of blue.”


25. “When we, despite our smiles and civility, were running from God as fast as we could, building our own kingdoms and loving our own glory, lapping up the fraudulent pleasures of the world, repulsed by the beauty of God and shutting up our ears at his calls to come home—it was then, in the hollowed-out horror of that revolting existence, that the prince of heaven bade his adoring angels farewell. It was then that he put himself into the murderous hands of these very rebels in a divine strategy planned from eternity past to rinse muddy sinners clean and hug them into his own heart despite their squirmy attempt to get free and scrub themselves clean on their own. Christ went down into death—“voluntary endurance of unutterable anguish,”1 Warfield calls it—while we applauded. We couldn’t have cared less. We were weak. Sinners. Enemies. It was only after the fact, only once the Holy Spirit came flooding into our hearts, that the realization swept over us: he walked through my death. And he didn’t simply die. He was condemned. He didn’t simply leave heaven for me; he endured hell for me. He, not deserving to be condemned, absorbed it in my place—I, who alone deserved it. That is his heart. And into our empty souls, like a glass of cold water to a thirsty mouth, God poured his Holy Spirit to internalize the actual experience of God’s love (v. 5).”


26. “The Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God” (p. 172).


27. “Yet as truly man, Christ’s heart is not drained by our coming to him; his heart is filled up all the more by our coming to him.”


28. “Martyn Lloyd-Jones, reflecting on this, said: You will never make yourself feel that you are a sinner, because there is a mechanism in you as a result of sin that will always be defending you against every accusation. We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know that we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.”


29. “The dominant note left ringing in our ears after reading the Gospels, the most vivid and arresting element of the portrait, is the way the Holy Son of God moves toward, touches, heals, embraces, and forgives those who least deserve it yet truly desire it” (p. 27).


30. “The fall has ruined me, all of me, including my emotions. Fallen emotions not only sinfully overreact; they also sinfully underreact.”


31. “Christ's . . .. transcending, defining reality is: gentle and lowly. He astounds and sustains us with his endless kindness. Only as we walk ever deeper into this tender kindness can we live the Christian life as the New Testament calls us to. Only as we drink down the kindness of the heart of Christ will we leave in our wake, everywhere we go, the aroma of heaven, and die one day having startled the world with glimpses of a divine kindness too great to be boxed in by what we deserve.”


32. [D]o you realize what is true of you if you are in Christ? Those in union with him are promised that all the haunted brokenness that infects everything—every relationship, every conversation, every family, every email, every wakening to consciousness in the morning, every job, every vacation—everything—will one day be rewound and reversed. The more darkness and pain we experience in this life, the more resplendence and relief in the next.


33. “He isn't like you. Even the most intense of human love is but the faintest echo of heaven's cascading abundance. His heartful thoughts for you outstrip what you can conceive. He intends to restore you into the radiant resplendence for which you were created. And that is dependent not on you keeping yourself c lean but on you taking your mess to him. He doesn't limit himself to working with the unspoiled parts of us that remain after a lifetime of sinning. His power runs so deep that he is able to redeem the very worst parts of our past into the most radiant parts of our future. But we need to take those dark miseries to him.”


34. “As long as you fix your attention on your sin, you will fail to see how you can be safe. But as long as you look to this high priest, you will fail to see how you can be in danger. Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness.”


35. Human beings are created with a built-in pull toward beauty. We are arrested by it. [Jonathan] Edwards understood this deeply and saw that this magnetic pull toward beauty also occurs in spiritual things — in fact, Edwards would say that it is spiritual beauty of which every other beauty is a shadow or echo. -97


36. “He does not say, “Whoever comes to me with sufficient contrition,” or “Whoever comes to me feeling bad enough for their sin,” or “Whoever comes to me with redoubled efforts.” He says, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”


37. “given the depths of our sinfulness, the fact that Jesus has not yet cast us off proves that his deepest impulse and delight is patient gentleness.”


38. What helium does to a balloon, Jesus’s yoke does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness. He doesn’t simply meet us at our place of need; he lives in our place of need. -23


39. “The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ”


40. “One way to think of Christ’s intercession, then, is simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now. “It is a consoling thought,” wrote theologian Louis Berkhof, “that Christ is praying for us, even when we are negligent in our prayer life.”4 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.”


41. “If his grace in kindness is "immesaurable," 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.


42. “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.”


43. “Only as we drink down the kindness of the heart of Christ will we leave in our wake, everywhere we go, the aroma of heaven, and die one day having startled the world with glimpses of a divine kindness too great to be boxed in by what we deserve.”


44. “Solo mientras bebemos de la bondad del corazón de Cristo, dejaremos a nuestro paso, dondequiera que vayamos, el aroma celestial, y moriremos algún día, no sin antes haber iluminado el mundo con destellos de una bondad divina demasiado grande para ser considerada como algo que merecemos.”


45. The Bible says God is ‘rich in mercy’ to the believer (Ephesians 2:4). “What does this mean? It means that God is something other than what we naturally believe him to be. It means the Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God ... It means the things about you that make you cringe most, make him hug hardest.”


46. “It is impossible for the affectionate heart of Christ to be over-celebrated ...”


47. “have an advocate.” Do you see the difference? Intercession is something Christ is always doing, while advocacy is something he does as occasion calls for it. Apparently he intercedes for us given our general sinfulness, but he advocates for us in the case of specific sins. Bunyan explains it like this: Christ, as Priest, goes before, and Christ, as an Advocate, comes after.”


48. “Are you angry today? Let us not be too quick to assume our anger is sinful. After all, the Bible positively orders us to be angry when occasion calls for it (Ps. 4:4; Eph. 4:26). Perhaps you have reason to be angry. Perhaps you have been sinned against, and the only appropriate response is anger. Be comforted by this: Jesus is angry alongside you. He joins you in your anger. Indeed, he is angrier than you could ever be about the wrong done to you. Your just anger is a shadow of his. And his anger, unlike yours, has zero taint of sin in it. As you consider those who have wronged you, let Jesus be angry on your behalf. His anger can be trusted. For it is an anger that springs from his compassion for you. The indignation he felt when he came upon mistreatment of others in the Gospels is the same indignation he feels now in heaven upon mistreatments of you. In that knowledge, release your debtor and breathe again. Let Christ’s heart for you not only wash you in his compassion but also assure you of his solidarity in rage against all that distresses you, most centrally death and hell.”


49. “Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.”


50. “When you come to Christ for mercy and love and help in your anguish and perplexity and sinfulness, you are going with the flow of his own deepest wishes, not against them.” p.38


51. “Thomas Goodwin said, ‘Christ is love covered over in flesh.’ Picture it. . .If compassion clothed itself in a human body and went walking around this earth, what would it look like? We don’t have to wonder” (p. 32).


52. “John's point in 13:1 is that in going to the cross, Jesus did not retain something for himself, the way we tend to do when we seek to love others sacrificially. He does not love like us. 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.”


53. “It is the very fallenness which he came to undo that is most irresistibly attractive to him. This is deeper than saying Jesus is loving or merciful or gracious. The cumulative testimony of the four Gospels is that when Jesus Christ sees the fallenness of the world all about him, his deepest impulse, his most natural instinct, is to move toward that sin and suffering, not away from it” (p. 30).


54. “When we take the Gospels as a whole and consider the composite picture given to us of who Jesus is, what stands out most strongly?”


55. “You know most of it, sure. Certainly more than what others see. But there’s perversity down inside me that is hidden from everyone.”


56. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). When we come to Jesus, “our eyes are opened ... Christ becomes beautiful ... we do not come to a set of doctrines. We do not come to a church. We do not even come to the gospel. All these are vital. But most truly, we come to a person, to Christ Himself.”


57. “As his friendship is sweet, so it is constant in all conditions. . . . If other friends fail, as friends may fail, yet this friend will never fail us. If we be not ashamed of him, he will never be ashamed of us. How comfortable would our life be if we could draw out the comfort that this title of friend affords! It is a comfortable, a fruitful, an eternal friendship.8”


58. “Remember,” said the Puritan John Flavel, “that this God in whose hand are all creatures, is your Father, and is much more tender of you than you are, or can be, of yourself.”


59. “When the relationship goes sour, when the feelings of futility come flooding in, when it feels like life is passing us by, when it seems that our one shot at significance has slipped through our fingers, when we can’t sort out our emotions, when the longtime friend lets us down, when a family member betrays us, when we feel deeply misunderstood, when we are laughed at by the impressive—in short, when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces”


60. “But this is just how the Lord delights to work--taking the sidelined and the overlooked and giving them quietly pivotal roles in the unfolding of redemptive history.”


61. This is a book about the heart of Christ. Who is he? Who is he really? what is most natural to him? What ignites within him most immediately as he moves toward sinners and sufferers? What flows out most freely, most instinctively? Who is he? (13)


62. [T]he Spirit makes the heart of Christ real to us: not just heard, but seen; not just seen, but felt; not just felt, but enjoyed. 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.


63. 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?


64. “the safest way to theological fidelity is sticking close to the biblical text.”


65. 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 mindset with the mindset 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. -181


66. “The things about you that make you cringe the most, make him hug the hardest” (p. 179).


67. “Consider your own life. When the relationship goes sour, when the feelings of futility come flooding in, when it feels like life is passing us by, when it seems that our one shot at significance has slipped through our fingers, when we can’t sort out our emotions, when the longtime friend lets us down, when a family member betrays us, when we feel deeply misunderstood, when we are laughed at by the impressive—in short, when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces us. With us. Solidarity.”


68. “The Spirit does this decisively, once and for all, at regeneration. But he does it ten thousand times thereafter, as we continue through sin, folly, or boredom to drift from the felt experience of his heart.”


69. “There are two ways to live the Christian life. You can live it either for the heart of Christ or from the heart of Christ. You can live for the smile of God or from it. For a new identity as a son or daughter of God or from it.”


70. “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. Remember that Isaiah 53 speaks of Christ bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows (v. 4). He wasn't only punished in our place, experiencing something we never will (condemnation); he also suffered with us, experiencing what we ourselves do (mistreatment). In your grief, he is grieved. In your distress, he is distressed.


71. “Let’s not dishonor God by so emphasizing his transcendence that we lose a sense of the emotional life of God of which our own emotions are an echo, even if a fallen and distorted echo.5 God is not a platonic ideal, immovably austere, beyond the reach of meaningful human engagement. God is free of all fallen emotion, but not all emotion (or feeling) whatsoever—where do our own emotions come from, we who are made in his image?”


72. “This is why we need a Bible. Our natural intuition can only give us a God like us.”


73. “Dane Ortlund helps us rediscover the heart of Jesus that is the very heart of the gospel. This delightful book opens up the sheer immensity of Jesus’s tender love for us. As you immerse yourself in Christ’s very heart, you’ll find your own heart warmed at the fire of the love of God. Ortlund opens up a neglected theme among the Puritans (in bite-sized chunks that won’t overwhelm you), where you’ll discover their grasp of the beauty of Jesus’s love. Your soul needs this book. I highly recommend it.” Paul E. Miller


74. “And the first two words God uses to describe who he is are merciful and gracious. God does not reveal his glory as, “The Lord, the Lord, exacting and precise,” or, “The Lord, the Lord, tolerant and overlooking,” or, “The Lord, the Lord, disappointed and frustrated.” His highest priority and deepest delight and first reaction—his heart—is merciful and gracious. He gently accommodates himself to our terms rather than overwhelming us with his.”


75. “He eagerly suffered for us when we were failing, as orphans. Will he cross his arms over our failures now that we are his adopted children?


76. When you look at the glorious older saints in your church, how do you think they got there? Sound doctrine, yes. Resolute obedience, without a doubt. Suffering without becoming cynical, for sure. But maybe another reason, maybe the deepest reason, is that they have, over time, been won over in their deepest affections to a gentle Savior ... maybe they have not only known that Jesus loved them, but felt it.”


77. “Is it not presumptuous audacity to draw on the mercy of Christ in an unfiltered way? Shouldn’t we be measured and reasonable, careful not to pull too much on him? Would a father with a suffocating child want his child to draw on the oxygen tank in a measured, reasonable way?”


78. Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms … You don’t need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. (19-20)


79. “Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.” p.19


80. …when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces us. With us. Solidarity. Our tendency is to feel intuitively that the more difficult life gets, the more alone we are. As we sink further into pain, we sink further into felt isolation. The Bible corrects us. Our pain never outstrips what he himself shares in. We are never alone. That sorrow that feels so isolating, so unique, was endured by him in the past and is now shouldered by him in the present.


81. His saving of us is not cool and calculating. It is a matter of yearning—not yearning for the Facebook you, the you that you project to everyone around you. Not the you that you wish you were. Yearning for the real you. The you underneath everything you present to others. -166


82. “The cumulative testimony of the four Gospels is that when Jesus Christ sees the fallenness of the world all about him, his deepest impulse, his most natural instinct, is to move toward that sin and suffering, not away from it.”


83. …we don’t feel the weight of our sin because of our sin.


84. “The burden is heavy – and heavier all the time.”


85. What elicits tenderness from Jesus is not the severity of the sin but whether the sinner comes to him.


86. “We cannot present a reason for Christ to finally close off his heart to his own sheep. No such reason exists. Every human friend has a limit. If we offend enough, if a relationship gets damaged enough, if we betray enough times, we are cast out. The walls go up. With Christ, our sins and weaknesses are the very resumé items that qualify us to approach him. Nothing but coming to him is required—first at conversion and a thousand times thereafter until w are with him upon death.” p.64


87. “Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness.”


88. “No one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ” (p. 20).


89. “You will never make yourself feel that you are a sinner, because there is a mechanism in you as a result of sin that will always be defending you against every accusation. We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know that we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.1”


90. “As we go down into pain and anguish, we are descending ever deeper into Christ’s very heart, not away from it” (p. 57).


91. “With our own kids, if we are parents, what’s our job? That question could be answered with a hundred valid responses. But at the center, our job is to show our kids that even our best love is a shadow of a greater love. To put a sharper edge on it: to make the tender heart of Christ irresistible and unforgettable. Our goal is that our kids would leave the house at eighteen and be unable to live the rest of their lives believing that their sins and sufferings repel Christ.”


92. “He is able, with all meekness and gentleness, with patience and moderation, to bear with the infirmities, sins, and provocations of his people,”


93. “Out of his heart flows mercy; out of ours, reluctance to receive it. We are the cool and calculating ones, not he. He is open-armed. We stiff-arm. Our naturally decaffeinated views of God’s heart might feel right because we’re being stern with ourselves, not letting ourselves off the hook too easily. Such sternness feels appropriately morally serious. But this deflecting of God’s yearning heart does not reflect Scripture’s testimony about how God feels toward his own.”


94. “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.


95. “It is not what life brings to us but to whom we belong that determines Christ’s heart of love for us. The only thing required to enjoy such love is to come to him. To ask him to take us in. He does not say, “Whoever comes to me with sufficient contrition,” or “Whoever comes to me feeling bad enough for their sin,” or “Whoever comes to me with redoubled efforts.” He says, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”


96. “As long as you fix your attention on your sin, you will fail to see how you can be safe. But as long as you look to this high priest, you will fail to see how you can be in danger.”


97. “Christ’s heart is a steady reality flowing through time. It isn’t as if his heart throbbed for his people when he was on earth but has dissipated now that he is in heaven. It’s not that his heart was flowing forth in a burst of mercy that took him all the way to the cross but has now cooled down, settling back once more into kindly indifference. His heart is as drawn to his people now as ever it was in his incarnate state. And the present manifestation of his heart for his people is his constant interceding on their behalf.” p.79


98. “Nowhere else in the Bible is God described as rich in anything. The only thing he is called rich in is: mercy. What does this mean? It means that God is something other than what we naturally believe him to be. It means the Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God. In his justice, God is exacting in his mercy, God is overflowing.”


99. “He hates sin. But he loves you. We understand this, says Goodwin, when we consider the hatred a father has against a terrible disease afflicting his child—the father hates the disease while loving the child. Indeed, at some level the presence of the disease draws out his heart to his child all the more. This is not to ignore the disciplinary side of Christ’s care for his people. The Bible clearly teaches that our sins draw forth the discipline of Christ (e.g., Heb. 12:1–11). He would not truly love us if that were not true. But even this is a reflection of his great heart for us. When a body part has been injured, it requires the pain and labor of physical therapy. But that physical therapy is not punitive; it is intended to bring healing. It is out of care for that limb that the physical therapy is assigned.”


100. Christ continues to intercede on our behalf in heaven because we continue to fail here on earth. He does not forgive us through his work on the cross and then hope we make it the rest of the way.


101. “Our strength of resolve is not part of the formula of retaining his good will. When my two-year-old Benjamin begins to wade into the gentle slope of the zero-entry swimming pool near our home, he instinctively grabs hold of my hand. He holds on tight as the water gradually gets deeper. But a two-year-old’s grip is not very strong. Before long it is not he holding on to me but me holding on to him. Left to his own strength he will certainly slip out of my hand. But if I have determined that he will not fall out of my grasp, he is secure. He can’t get away from me if he tried. So with Christ. We cling to him, to be sure. But our grip is that of a two-year-old amid the stormy waves of life. His sure grasp never falters. Psalm 63:8 expresses the double-sided truth: “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”


102. “He does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That’s the whole point. It’s what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged out through the other side in order to provide a limitless supply of mercy and grace to his people.” p.37


103. “When God himself sets the terms on what his glory is, he surprises us into wonder. Our deepest instincts expect him to be thundering, gavel swinging, judgment relishing. We expect the bent of God’s heart to be retribution to our waywardness. And then Exodus 34 taps us on the shoulder and stops us in our tracks. The bent of God’s heart is mercy. His glory is his goodness. His glory is his lowliness. ‘Great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly’ (Ps. 138:5-6)” (p. 147).


104. “You don’t have to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required: He says ‘I will give you rest.’ His rest is gift, not transaction” (pp. 20-21).


105. “It means that our fallenness now is not an obstacle to enjoying heaven. It is the key ingredient to enjoying heaven.”


106. …at the center, our job is to show our kids that even our best love is a shadow of a greater love. To put a sharper edge on it: to make the tender heart of Christ irresistible and unforgettable. Our goal is that our kids would leave the house at eighteen and be unable to live the rest of their lives believing that their sins and sufferings repel Christ.


107. When we live to glorify God, we step into the only truly humanizing way of living. We function properly, like a car running on gasoline rather than orange juice. And on top of that, what more enjoyable kind of life is there? How exhausting is the misery of self. How energizing are the joys of living for another. -205


108. “Jesus Christ is comforted when you draw from the riches of his atoning work, because his own body is getting healed.”


109. “The world is starving for a yearning love ... a love that isn’t tied to our loveliness. A love that gets down under our messiness.”


110. …in going to the cross, Jesus did not retain something for himself, the way we tend to do when we seek to love others sacrificially. He does not love like us. 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.


111. “Jesus knows what it’s like to be thirsty, hungry, despised, rejected, scorned, shamed, embarrassed, abandoned, misunderstood, falsely accused, suffocated, tortured, and killed. He knows what it is to be lonely ... had he lived today, every last Twitter follower and Facebook friend would have unfriended him when he turned 33 – he who will never unfriend us.”


112. “The Greek word for “compassion” is the same in all these texts and refers most literally to the bowels or guts of a person—it’s an ancient way of referring to what rises up from one’s innermost core. This compassion reflects the deepest heart of Christ.”


113. “If you are in Christ, you have a Friend who, in your sorrow, will never lob down a pep talk from heaven. He cannot bear to hold himself at a distance. Nothing can hold him back. His heart is too bound up with yours.”


114. “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.”


115. “Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms. “.”


116. “If you are in Christ, you are as eternally invincible as he is” (p. 178).


117. In the four Gospels ... there is only one place where Jesus tells us about his own heart ... 'I am Gentle and Humble of heart' (Matt. 11:29; this means Jesus is accessible, approachable).


118. “Then I am the one most suited to forgive them. “But the more of the ugliness in me you”


119. “If we are asked to say only one thing about who Jesus is, we would be honoring Jesus’s own teaching if our answer is, gentle and lowly.” p.21


120. “(Matt. 11:28–30)1 In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is, we are not told that he is “austere and demanding in heart.” We are not told that he is “exalted and dignified in heart.” We are not even told that he is “joyful and generous in heart.” Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.”


121. “There is nothing that troubles our consciences more,” said John Calvin on this passage [Isaiah 55], “than when we think that God is like ourselves. . . . He isn’t like you. Even the most intense of human love is but the faintest echo of heaven’s cascading abundance. His heartful thoughts for you outstrip what you can conceive. He intends to restore you into the radiant resplendence for which you were created. And that is dependent not on you keeping yourself clean but on you taking your mess to him.” (155; 160)


122. “The Lord passed by Moses and revealed that his deepest glory is seen in his mercy and grace. Jesus came to do in flesh and blood what God had done only in wind and voice in the Old Testament” (p. 153).


123. “Perhaps you have difficulty receiving the rich mercy of God in Christ not because of what others have done to you but because of what you’ve done to torpedo your life, maybe through one big, stupid decision or maybe through ten thousand little ones. You have squandered his mercy, and you know it. To you I say, do you know what Jesus does with those who squander his mercy? He pours out more mercy. God is rich in mercy. That’s the whole point. Whether we have been sinned against or have sinned ourselves into misery, the Bible says God is not tightfisted with mercy but openhanded, not frugal but lavish, not poor but rich.”


124. “Here is the promise of the gospel and the message of the whole Bible: In Jesus Christ, we are given a friend who will always enjoy rather than refuse our presence. This is a companion whose embrace of us does not strengthen or weaken depending on how clean or unclean, how attractive or revolting, how faithful or fickle, we presently are. The friendliness of his heart for us subjectively is as fixed and stable as is the declaration of his justification of us objectively.”


125. “It is one thing to know the doctrines of the incarnation and the atonement and a hundred other vital doctrines. It is another, more searching matter to know his heart for you” (p. 16).


126. “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. It is a heart that drew the despised and forsaken to his feet in self-abandoning hope. It is a heart of perfect balance and proportion, never overreacting, never excusing, never lashing out. It is a heart that throbs with desire for the destitute. It is a heart that floods the suffering with the deep solace of shared solidarity in that suffering. It is a heart that is gentle and lowly” (p. 99).


127. Jesus is our paraclete, are comforting defender, the one nearer than we know, and his heart is such that he stands and speaks in our defense when we sin, not after we get over it in that sense his advocacy is itself our conquering of it. -92


128. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”


129. “et German theologian Jürgen Moltmann points out that miracles are not in interruption of the natural order but the restoration of the natural order. We are so used to have fallen world that sickness, disease, pain, and death seem natural. In fact, they are the interruption.”


130. “Jesus Christ's earthly ministry was one of giving back to undeserving sinners their humanity. We tend to think of the miracles of the Gospels as interruptions in the natural order. Yet German theologian Jürgen Moltmann points out that miracles are not an interruption of the natural order but the restoration of the natural order. We are so used to a fallen world that sickness, disease, pain, and death seem natural. In fact, they are the interruption.”


131. “And what did he do when he saw the unclean? What was his first impulse when he came across prostitutes and lepers? He moved toward them. Pity flooded his heart, the longing of true compassion. He spent time with them. He touched them. We all can testify to the humaneness of touch. A warm hug does something warm words of greeting alone cannot. Gut there is something deeper in Christ's touch of compassion. He was reversing the Jewish system. When Jesus, the Clean One, touched an unclean sinner, Christ did not become unclean. The sinner became clean. Jesus Christ's earthly ministry was one of giving back to undeserving sinners their humanity.”


132. If you are part of Christ’s own body, your sins evoke his deepest heart, his compassion and pity. He “takes part with you”—that is, he’s on your side. He sides with you against your sin, not against you because of your sin. He hates sin. But he loves you. We understand this, says Goodwin, when we consider the hatred a father has against a terrible disease afflicting his child—the father hates the disease while loving the child. Indeed, at some level the presence of the disease draws out his heart to his child all the more. -71


133. “And the Christian life is simply the process of bringing my sense of self, my Identity with a capital "I," the ego, my swirling internal world of fretful panicky-ness arising out of that gospel deficit, into alignment with the more fundamental truth. 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.”


134. “We are perversely resistant to letting Christ love us. But as Flavel says, “Why should you be such an enemy to your own peace? Why read over the evidences of God’s love to your soul . . . ? Why do you study evasions, and turn off those comforts which are due to you?”3”


135. “For those united to him, the heart of Jesus is not a rental; it is your new permanent residence. You are not a tenant; you are a child. His heart is not a ticking time bomb; his heart is the green pastures and still waters of endless reassurances of his presence and comfort, whatever our present spiritual accomplishments. It is who he is.”


136. “Dane Ortlund writes about what seems too good to be true―the Lord delights to show mercy to you and to me―so he works very carefully through key texts and enlists the help of saints past. I was persuaded, and I look forward to being persuaded again and again.” Ed Welch


137. “The Christian life . . . 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” (p. 151).


138. “All of our natural intuitions tell us that Jesus is with us, on our side, present and helping, when life is going well. This text says the opposite. It is in "our weaknesses" that Jesus sympathizes with us. The word for "sympathize" here is a compound word formed from the prefix meaning "with" joined with the verb to suffer. "Sympathize" here is not cool and detached pity. It is a depth of felt solidarity such as is echoed in our own lives most closely only as parents to children. Indeed, it is deeper even than that. In our pain, Jesus is pained; in our suffering, he feels the suffering as his own even though it isn't--not that his invincible divinity is threatened, but in the sense that his heart is feelingly drawn into our distress. His human nature engages our troubles comprehensively. His is a love that cannot be held back when he sees his people in pain.”


139. “Look to Christ. He deals gently with you. It’s the only way he knows how to be. He is the high priest to end all high priests. As long as you fix your attention on your sin, you will fail to see how you can be safe. But as long as you look to this high priest, you will fail to see how you can be in danger. Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness.” p.57


140. “There are two ways to live the Christian life. You can live it either for the heart of Christ or from the heart of Christ. You can live for the smile of God or from it. For a new identity as a son or daughter of God or from it. For your union with Christ or from it. 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.”


141. “As we zero in on the affectionate heart of Christ, how do we ensure that we are growing in a healthy understanding of the whole counsel of God and a comprehensive and therefore proportionate vision of who Christ is?


142. “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.


143. “While Christ is a lion to the impenitent, he is a lamb to the penitent.”


144. “Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe” (p. 19).


145. “Goodwin completes his sentence like this: Christ’s “own joy, comfort, happiness, and glory are increased and enlarged by his showing grace and mercy, in pardoning, relieving, and comforting his members here on earth.”1 A compassionate doctor has traveled deep into the jungle to provide medical care to a primitive tribe afflicted with a contagious disease. He has had his medical equipment flown in. He has correctly diagnosed the problem, and the antibiotics are prepared and available. He is independently wealthy and has no need of any kind of financial compensation. But as he seeks to provide care, the afflicted refuse. They want to take care of themselves. They want to heal on their own terms. Finally, a few brave young men step forward to receive the care being freely provided. What does the doctor feel? Joy. His joy increases to the degree that the sick come to him for help and healing. It’s the whole reason he came. How much more if the diseased are not strangers but his own family? So with us, and so with Christ. He does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That’s the whole point. It’s what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged out through the other side in order to provide a limitless supply of mercy and grace to his people.”


146. That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which Divine Mercy passes but homes in which Divine Mercy abides. It means the things about you that make you cringe most, make him hug hardest. It means his mercy is not calculating and cautious, like ours. It is unrestrained, flood like, sweeping, magnanimous. It means our hunting shame is not a problem for him, but the very thing he loves most to work with. It means our sins do not cause his love to take a hit. Our sins cause his love to surge forward all the more. It means on that day when we stand before him, quietly, unhurriedly, we will weep with relief, shocked at how impoverished a view of his mercy-rich heart we had. (179-180)


147. “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.”


148. “Perhaps it isn’t sins so much as sufferings that cause some of us to question the perseverance of the heart of Christ. As pain piles up, as numbness takes over, as the months go by, at some point the conclusion seems obvious: we have been cast out. Surely this is not what life would feel like for one who has been buried in the heart of a gentle and lowly Savior? But Jesus does not say that those with pain-free lives are never cast out. He says those who come to him are never cast out. It is not what life brings to us but to whom we belong that determines Christ’s heart of love for us.”


149. “He drew near to us in the incarnation so that his joy and ours could rise and fall together—his in giving mercy, ours in receiving it.”


150. “The atonement accomplished our salvation; intercession is the moment-by-moment application of that atoning work.”


151. “It is one thing to know the doctrines of the incarnation and the atonement and a hundred other vital doctrines. It is another, more searching matter to know his heart for you. Who is he?”


152. “We all tend to have some small pocket of our life where we have difficulty believing the forgiveness of God reaches. We say we are totally forgiven. And we sincerely believe our sins are forgiven. Pretty much, anyway. But there's that one deep, dark part of our lives, even our present lives, that seems so intractable, so ugly, so beyond recovery. "To the uttermost" in Hebrews 7:25 means: God's forgiving, redeeming, restoring touch reaches down into the darkest crevices of our souls, those places where we are most ashamed, most defeated. More than this: those crevices of sin are themselves the places where Christ loves us the most. His heart willingly goes there. His heart is most strongly drawn there. 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.”


153. “These are all gloriously true. In this chapter I’d like to add just one more to this list: the Spirit causes us to actually feel Christ’s heart for us.”


154. When you sin, do a thorough job of repenting. Re-hate sin all over again. Consecrate yourself afresh to the Holy Spirit and his pure ways. But reject the devil’s whisper that God’s tender heart for you has grown a little colder, a little stiffer. He is not flustered by your sinfulness. His deepest disappointment is with your tepid thoughts of his heart. Christ died, placarding before you the love of God.


155. “The message of this 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.”


156. “The more darkness and pain we experience in this life, the more resplendence and relief in the next.”


157. “Christ is love covered over in flesh.” – Thomas Goodwin


158. “To be justified is to be declared righteous in the sight of God, fully legally exonerated in the divine court, based entirely on what another (Jesus) has done in our place. But our hearts are wired in such a way that we constantly drift from a moment-by-moment belief in this full exoneration. That heart resistance to complete acquittal before God based on what Christ has done became codified in medieval and then Roman Catholic theology. The Reformers such as Luther and Calvin recovered and rightly recentralized the doctrine of justification, and every generation since then has had to rediscover this doctrine afresh for themselves. It is the most counterintuitive aspect of Christianity, that we are declared right with God not once we begin to get our act together but once we collapse into honest acknowledgment that we never will.”


159. “On the cross, we see what God did to satisfy his yearning for us. He went that far. He went all the way. The blushing effusiveness of heaven’s bowels funnelled down into the crucifixion of Christ. Repent of your small thoughts of God’s heart. Repent and let him love you. ”


160. “With Christ, our sins and weaknesses are the very resumé items that qualify us to approach him. Nothing but coming to him is required--first at conversion and a thousand times thereafter until we are with him upon death.


161. “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. This is hard work. It takes a lot of sermons and a lot of suffering to believe that God’s deepest heart is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger.”


162. 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.


163. “Gentle and lowly.” This, according to his own testimony, is Christ’s very heart. This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing. If we are asked to say only one thing about who Jesus is, we would be honoring Jesus’s own teaching if our answer is, gentle and lowly…This is not who he is to everyone, indiscriminately. This is who he is for those who come to him, who take his yoke upon them, who cry to him for help.


164. “Thomas Goodwin said, “Christ is love covered over in flesh.”


165. “For those not in Christ, this life is the best it will ever get. For those in Christ ... this is the worst it will ever get.”


166. “He rises up and defends your case, based on the merits of his own sufferings and death. Your salvation is not merely a matter of a saving formula, but of a saving person. When you sin, his strength of resolve rises all the higher. When his brothers and sisters fail and stumble, he advocates on their behalf because it is who he is. He cannot bear to leave us alone to fend for ourselves.” p.91


167. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So begins A. W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy.1 One way to understand the purpose of this study of Christ’s heart is that it is an attempt to make our mental image of who God is more accurate.”


168. “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. "Remember," said the Puritan John Flavel, "that this God in whose hand are all creatures, is your Father, and is much more tender of you than you are, or can be, of yourself." Your gentlest treatment of yourself is less gentle than the way your heavenly Father handles you. His tenderness toward you outstrips what you are even capable of toward yourself.”


169. “Meek. Humble. Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.”


170. “Contrary to what we expect to be the case, therefore, the deeper into weakness and suffering and testing we go, the deeper Christ’s solidarity with us. As we go down into pain and anguish, we are descending ever deeper into Christ’s very heart, not away from it.”


171. “Go to him (Christ). All that means is, open yourself up to him. Let him love you. The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1.


172. “The felt love of Christ really is what brings rest, wholeness, flourishing, shalom—that existential calm that for brief, gospel-sane moments settles over you and lets you step in out of the storm of of-works-ness.”


173. “[Jesus] will love you to the end because he cannot bear to do otherwise. No exit strategy. No prenup. He’ll love you to the end.”


174. “Well – the thing is, it isn’t just my past. It’s my present, too.”


175. “Jesus can no more bring himself to stiff-arm you than the loving father of a crying newborn can bring himself to stiff-arm his dear child. Jesus’s heart is drawn out to you. Nothing can chain his affections to heaven; his heart is too swollen with endearing love.” p.55


176. “Made in God's own image, we desire order and fairness rather than chaos. But that impulse, like every part of us, has been diseased by the ruinous fall into sin. Our capacity to apprehend the heart of God has gone into meltdown. We are left with an impoverished view of how he feels about his people.”


177. “All our weakness—indeed, all of our life—is tainted with sin. If sin were the color blue, we do not occasionally say or do something blue; all that we say, do, and think has some taint of blue.”


178. “The heart, in biblical terms, is not part of who we are but the center of who we are. Our heart is what defines and directs us. . . . The heart drives all we do. It is who we are” (pp. 18-19).


179. “For those united to him, the heart of Jesus is not a rental; it is your new permanent residence. You are not a tenant; you are a child. His heart is not a ticking time bomb; his heart is the green pastures and still waters of endless reassurances of his presence and comfort, whatever our present spiritual accomplishments. It is who he is. 1”


180. A compassionate doctor has traveled deep into the jungle to provide medical care to a primitive tribe afflicted with a contagious disease. He has had his medical equipment flown in. He has correctly diagnosed the problem, and the antibiotics are prepared and available. He is independently wealthy and has no need of any kind of financial compensation. But as he seeks to provide care, the afflicted refuse. They want to take care of themselves. They want to heal on their own terms. Finally, a few brave young men step forward to receive the care being freely provided. What does the doctor feel? Joy. His joy increases to the degree that the sick come to him for help and healing. It’s the whole reason he came. How much more if the diseased are not strangers but his own family? So with us, and so with Christ. He does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That’s the whole point. It’s what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged out through the other side in order to provide a limitless supply of mercy and grace to his people.


181. “Repent of your small thoughts of God’s heart. Repent and let him love you.”


182. “J. I. Packer once wrote that “a half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.”


183. “Ephesians 2:7 is telling you that your death is not an end but a beginning. Not a wall but a door. Not an exit, but an entrance.”


184. “Remember, the Spirit is a person. He can be grieved, for example (Is. 63:10; Eph. 4:30). What would it look like to treat him as such in our actual lives? What might it look like to open up the ents of our hearts to receive the felt love of Christ as fanned into warm flame by the Holy Spirit? We bear in mind here the Spirit will never fan the flames of the felt love of Christ beyond the degree to which Christ actually loves us; that is impossible. The Spirit simply causes our apprehension of Christ's heartful love to soar closer to what it actually is.”


185. Do you know what Jesus does with those who squander his mercy? He pours out more mercy. God is rich in mercy. That’s the whole point. Whether we have been sinned against or have sinned ourselves into misery, the Bible says God is not tightfisted with mercy but openhanded, not frugal but lavish, not poor but rich.


186. “It is the most counterintuitive aspect of Christianity, that we are declared right with God not once we begin to get our act together but once we collapse into honest acknowledgment that we never will.”


187. “To become a Christian is to become alive to beauty.”


188. “Slow to anger.” The Hebrew phrase is literally “long of nostrils.” Picture an angry bull, pawing the ground, breathing loudly, nostrils flared. That would be, so to speak, “short-nosed.” But the Lord is long-nosed. He doesn’t have his finger on the trigger. It takes much accumulated provoking to draw out his ire. Unlike us, who are often emotional dams ready to break, God can put up with a lot. This is why the Old Testament speaks of God being “provoked to anger” by his people dozens of times (especially in Deuteronomy; 1–2 Kings; and Jeremiah). But not once are we told that God is “provoked to love” or “provoked to mercy.” His anger requires provocation; his mercy is pent up, ready to gush forth. We tend to think: divine anger is pent up, spring-loaded; divine mercy is slow to build. It’s just the opposite. Divine mercy is ready to burst forth at the slightest prick.”


189. “There is only one other place in the Bible where we have the exact phrase “as high as the heavens are above the earth.” In Psalm 103 David prays:”


190. “If you are part of Christ’s own body, your sins evoke his deepest heart, his compassion and pity. He takes ‘part with you’—that is, he’s on your side. He sides with you against your sin, not against you because of your sin. He hates sin. But he loves you. We understand this, says [Thomas] Goodwin, when we consider the hatred a father has against a terrible disease afflicting his child—the father hates the disease while loving the child. Indeed, at some level the presence of the disease draws out his to heart to his child all the more.” p.71


191. “Perhaps you have difficulty receiving the rich mercy of God in Christ not because of what others have done to you but because of what you've done to torpedo your life, maybe through one big, stupid decision or maybe through ten thousand little ones. You have squandered his mercy, and you know it.


192. “But I don’t know if I can break free of this any time soon.”


193. “The Best Quotes from Your Future Self Will Thank You“


194. “We are factories of fresh resistances to Christ’s love. Even when we run out of tangible reasons to be cast out, such as specific sins or failures, we tend to retain a vague sense that, given enough time, Jesus will finally grow tired of us and hold us at arm’s length.”


195. “Consider your own life. When the relationship goes sour, when the feelings of futility come flooding in, when it feels like life is passing us by, when it seems that our one shot at significance has slipped through our fingers, when we can’t sort out our emotions, when the longtime friend lets us down, when a family member betrays us, when we feel deeply misunderstood, when we are laughed at by the impressive—in short, when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces us. With us. Solidarity. Our”


196. Beneath our smiles at the grocery store and cheerful greetings to the mailman we were quietly enthroning Self and eviscerating our souls of the beauty and dignity and worship for which they were made. Sin was not something we lapsed into; it defined our moment-by-moment existence at the level of deed, word, thought, and, yes, even desire—“carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.” We not only lived in sin; we enjoyed living in sin. We wanted to live in sin. It was our coddled treasure, our Gollum’s ring, our settled delight. In short, we were dead. Utterly helpless. That’s what his mercy healed. -176


197. “What an honor must it be,” preached Edwards, “to a creature who is infinitely below God, and less than he, to be beautified and adorned with this beauty, with that beauty which is the highest beauty of God himself, even holiness.”


198. “We will be less sinful in the next life than we are now, but we will not be any more secure in the next life than we are now. If you are united to Christ, you are as good as in heaven already.”


199. “Calvin - the theologian most famous for teaching on divine providence - saw that the mystery of providence is not what Isaiah 55 is really after. He notes that some interpret the phrase "my thoughts are not your thoughts" to be a sheer distancing between God and us, expressing the enormous gulf between sacred divinity and profane humanity. Yet Calvin saw that, in fact, the flow of the passage is in exactly the opposite direction. There is indeed a great distance between God and us; we think small thoughts of God's heart, but he knows his heart is inviolably, expansively, invincibly set on us.”


200. “As God did not at first choose you because you were high, he will not now forsake you because you are low.” (John Flavel)


201. “We will be less sinful in the next life than we are now, but we will not be any more secure in the next life than we are now. If you are united to Christ, you are as good as in heaven already.”


202. “Everything that is lovely in God is in Christ, and everything that is or can be lovely in any man is in him: for he is man as well as God, and he is the holiest, meekest, most humble, and every way the most excellent man that ever was.”


203. “Do not minimize your sin or excuse it away. Raise no defense. Simply take it to the one who is already at the right hand of the Father, advocating for you on the basis of his own wounds. Let your own unrighteousness, in all your darkness and despair, drive you to Jesus Christ, the righteous, in all his brightness and sufficiency.”


204. “The Spirit turns the recipe into actual taste.”


205. Were Jesus’ expressions of compassion and anger at odds with one another? “The two (compassion and anger) rise and fall together. A compassionless Christ would never have gotten angry at the injustices around him ... it is the father who loves his daughter most whose anger rises most fiercely if she is mistreated.”


206. “Go to him. All that means is, open yourself up to him. Let him love you. The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1. Whatever is crumbling all around you in your life, wherever you feel stuck, this remains, un-deflectable: his heart for you, the real you, is gentle and lowly. So go to him. That place in your life where you feel most defeated, he is there; he lives there, right there, and his heart for you, not on the other side of it but in that darkness, is gentle and lowly. Your anguish is his home. Go to him. “If you knew his heart, you would.”2”


207. “If we never come to him, we will experience a judgment so fierce it will be like a double-edged sword coming out of his mouth at us (Rev. 1:16; 2:12; 19:15, 21). If we do come to him, as fierce as his lion-like judgment would have been against us, so deep will be his lamb-like tenderness for us (cf. Rev. 5:5–6; Isa. 40:10–11). We will be enveloped in one or the other. To no one will Jesus be neutral.”


208. “Un médico compasivo viaja a lo profundo de la jungla para brindar atención médica a una tribu primitiva que padece una enfermedad contagiosa. Le han enviado su equipo médico. Ha diagnosticado correctamente el problema y los antibióticos están disponibles. Es rico y no necesita ningún tipo de compensación financiera. Pero a medida que trata de brindar atención, los afectados se niegan. Quieren cuidarse a sí mismos. Quieren ser sanados en sus propios términos. Finalmente, algunos jóvenes valientes dan un paso adelante para recibir la atención que se les brinda gratuitamente. ¿Qué siente el doctor? Alegría. Su alegría aumenta en la misma medida en que los enfermos acuden a él en busca de ayuda y sanidad, porque esa es la razón por la que viajó. ¿Cuánto más si los enfermos no son extraños, sino su propia familia? Así es con nosotros y Cristo. No se frustra cuando acudimos a Él con angustia, necesidad y vacío buscando un perdón renovado. Ese es Su propósito. Es lo que vino a hacer.”


209. What of the believer’s future? “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.”


210. “The message of this 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. Perhaps nowhere in the Bible is that point made more clearly than in Isaiah 55. "There is nothing that troubles our consciences more," said John Calvin on this passage, "than when we think that God is like ourselves.”


211. “The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1.”


212. “What helium does to a balloon, Jesus’s yoke does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible loneliness. He doesn’t simply meet us at our place of need; he lives in our place of need. He never tires of sweeping us into his tender embrace. It is his very heart. It is what gets him out of bed in the morning.” p.23


213. “In order for you to fall short of loving embrace into the heart of Christ both now and into eternity, Christ himself would have to be pulled down out of heaven and put back in the grave.”


214. God speaks of his people as “his dear son” and “his darling child” (Jeremiah 31:20). “Does your doctrine of God have room for him speaking like that?”


215. “One thing to get straight right from the start is that when the Bible speaks of the heart, whether Old Testament or New, it is not speaking of our emotional life only but of the central animating center of all we do. It is what gets us out of bed in the morning and what we daydream about as we drift off to sleep. It is our motivation headquarters. The heart, in biblical terms, is not part of who we are but the center of who we are. Our heart is what defines and directs us. That is why Solomon tells us to “keep [the] heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23).2 The heart is a matter of life.”


216. “The felt love of Christ really is what brings rest, wholeness, flourishing, shalom - that existential calm that for brief, gospel-sane moments settles over you and lets you step in out of the storm of of-works-ness. You see for a moment that in Christ you truly are invincible. The verdict really is in; nothing can touch you. He has made you his own and will never cast you out.”


217. “Consider what Jesus is saying. A yoke is the heavy crossbar laid on oxen to force them to drag farming equipment through the field. Jesus is using a kind of irony, saying that the yoke laid on his disciples is a nonyoke. For it is a yoke of kindness. Who could resist this? It’s like telling a drowning man that he must put on the burden of a life preserver only to hear him shout back, sputtering, “No way! Not me! This is hard enough, drowning here in these stormy waters. The last thing I need is the added burden of a life preserver around my body!”


218. “The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ. No prerequisites. No hoops to jump through.”


219. “La razón por la que sentimos que la ira divina puede ser exagerada es porque no sentimos el verdadero peso del pecado.”


220. “Él te amará hasta el fin porque no puede soportar hacer lo contrario. No existe una estrategia de salida. No hay un acuerdo prenupcial. Te amará hasta el fin: «Hasta el final de tu vida, hasta el final de tus pecados, hasta el final de tus tentaciones, hasta el final de tus miedos».7”


221. “Who do you think God is – not just on paper but in the kind of person you believe is hearing you when you pray? How does he feel about you? His saving of us is not cool and calculating. It is a matter of yearning – not yearning for the Facebook you, the you that you project to everyone around you. Not the you that you wish you were. Yearning for the real you. The you underneath everything you present to others.”


222. The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1.


223. “There is no love so great and so wonderful as that which is in the heart of Christ. He is one that delights in mercy; he is ready to pity those that are in suffering and sorrowful circumstances; one that delights in the happiness of his creatures. The love and grace that Christ has manifested does as much exceed all that which is in this world as the sun is brighter than a candle. Parents are often full of kindness towards their children, but that is no kindness like Jesus Christ’s.”


224. “Who is Jesus, in those moments of spiritual blankness? Not: Who is he once you conquer that sin, but who is he in the midst of it? The apostle John says: he stands up and defies all accusers. “Satan had the first word, but Christ the last,” wrote Bunyan. “Satan must be speechless after a plea of our Advocate.”3 Jesus is our Paraclete, our comforting defender, the one nearer than we know, and his heart is such that he stands and speaks in our defense when we sin, not after we get over it. In that sense his advocacy is itself our conquering of it.”


225. “In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is, we are not told that he is “austere and demanding in heart.” We are not told that he is “exalted and dignified in heart.” We are not even told that he is “joyful and generous in heart.” Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.”


226. “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. This is hard work. It takes a lot of sermons and a lot of suffering to believe that God’s deepest heart is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger.” The fall in Genesis 3 not only sent us into condemnation and exile. The fall also entrenched in our minds dark thoughts of God, thoughts that are only dug out over multiple exposures to the gospel over many years. Perhaps Satan’s greatest victory in your life today is not the sin in which you regularly indulge but the dark thoughts of God’s heart that cause you to go there in the first place and keep you cool toward him in the wake of it.”


227. “You don’t need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required; he says, “I will give you rest.” His rest is gift, not transaction. Whether you are actively working hard to crowbar your life into smoothness (“labor”) or passively finding yourself weighed down by something outside your control (“heavy laden”), Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.”


228. “Time and again it is the morally disgusting, the socially reviled, the inexcusable and undeserving, who do not simply receive Christ’s mercy but to whom Christ most naturally gravitates.” p.27


229. “Jesus is not Zeus. He was a sinless man, not a sinless Superman. He woke up with bed head. He had pimples at thirteen. He never would have appeared on the cover of Men’s Health (he had “no beauty that we should desire him,” Isa. 53:2). He came as a normal man to normal men. He knows what it is to be thirsty, hungry, despised, rejected, scorned, shamed, embarrassed, abandoned, misunderstood, falsely accused, suffocated, tortured, and killed. He knows what it is to be lonely. His friends abandoned him when he needed them most; had he lived today, every last Twitter follower and Facebook friend would have un-friended him when he turned thirty-three—he who will never un-friend us.”


230. “His yoke is kind and his burden is light. That is, his yoke is a nonyoke, and his burden is a nonburden. What helium does to a balloon, Jesus's yoke does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness. He doesn't simply meet us at our place of need; he lives in our place of need.”


231. “Thomas Goodwin quotes Jeremiah 31:20 and then deduces that if this is true of God, how much more of Christ. He explains that such a text “may afford us the strongest consolations and encouragements” in the presence of many sins in our lives: There is comfort concerning such infirmities, in that your very sins move him to pity more than to anger. . . . Christ takes part with you, and is far from being provoked against you, as all his anger is turned upon your sin to ruin it; yea, his pity is increased the more towards you, even as the heart of a father is to a child that has some loathsome disease, or as one is to a member of his body that has leprosy, he hates not the member, for it is his flesh, but the disease, and that provokes him to pity the part affected the more. What shall not make for us, when our sins, that are both against Christ and us, shall be turned as motives to him to pity us the more?2”


232. Should we be more measured and reasonable (cautious) in discussing the lavish love of Christ for sinners and sufferers? Ortlund answers: “Would a father with a suffocating child want his child to draw on the oxygen tank in a measured, reasonable way?”


233. God does not reveal his glory as, “The LORD, exacting and precise,” or, “The LORD, the LORD, disappointed and frustrated.” His highest priority and deepest delight and first reaction—his heart—is merciful and gracious. He gently accommodates himself to our terms rather than overwhelming us with his. -148


234. “God’s heart confounds our intuitions of who he is” (p. 167).


235. One way to think of Christ’s intercession, then, is simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now. “It is a consoling thought,” wrote theologian Louis Berkhof, “that Christ is praying for us, even when we are negligent in our prayer life.”


236. For those who’ve truly come to Christ: “God’s love is an ocean without shores or bottom.” (J. Edwards)


237. Christ’s glory is preeminently seen and enjoyed in his love to sinners.


238. “True sanctification, true growth in holiness, is internal. It will manifest itself on the outside; "The tree is known by its fruit" (Matt. 12:33). But the tree creates the fruit; the fruit does not create the tree. Edward Fisher, in his famous Puritan treatise on sanctification, explained that external conformity to rules without an internal reality fueling it is akin to watering every part of a tree except its roots and expecting it to grow. The internal realities of the Christian are what define true growth in Christ.”


239. “He doesn’t handle us roughly. He doesn’t scowl and scold. He doesn’t lash out, the way many of our parents did. And all this restraint on his part is not because he has a diluted view of our sinfulness. He knows our sinfulness far more deeply than we do. Indeed, we are aware of just the tip of the iceberg of our depravity, even in our most searching moments of self-knowledge. His restraint simply flows from his tender heart for his people.” p.54


240. “German theologian Jürgen Moltmann points out that miracles are not an interruption of the natural order but the restoration of the natural order. We are so used to a fallen world that sickness, disease, pain, and death seem natural. In fact, they are the interruption.”


241. “Our difficulties draw out a depth of feeling in Christ beyond what we know.” p.49


242. “To put it the other way around: when we hold back, lurking in the shadows, fearful and failing, we miss out not only on our own increased comfort but on Christ’s increased comfort. He lives for this. This is what he loves to do. His joy and ours rise and fall together.”


243. ”But the more of the ugliness in me you discover, the sooner you’ll get fed up with me.”


244. “Lo que estoy tratando de decir en este capítulo es que el corazón de Cristo no solo cura nuestros sentimientos de rechazo con Su abrazo, no solo corrige nuestra percepción de Su dureza con una visión de Su bondad, y no solo cambia nuestra suposición de Su distanciamiento con una comprensión de Su compasión por nosotros, sino que también cura nuestra soledad con Su compañía.”


245. “The world is starving for a yearning love, a love that remembers instead of forsakes. A love that isn't tied to our loveliness. A love that gets down underneath our messiness. A love that is bigger than the enveloping darkness we might be walking through even today. A love of which even the very best human romance is the faintest of whispers.”


246. “It is one thing to describe what your husband says and does and looks like. It is something else, something deeper and more real, to describe his heart for you. So with Christ.”


247. “Merciful and gracious.” These are the first words out of God’s own mouth after proclaiming his name (“the Lord,” or “I am”). The first words. The only two words Jesus will use to describe his own heart are gentle and lowly (Matt. 11:29). And the first two words God uses to describe who he is are merciful and gracious. God does not reveal his glory as, “The Lord, the Lord, exacting and precise,” or, “The Lord, the Lord, tolerant and overlooking,” or, “The Lord, the Lord, disappointed and frustrated.” His highest priority and deepest delight and first reaction—his heart—is merciful and gracious. He gently accommodates himself to our terms rather than overwhelming us with his.”


248. “When we are speaking of Christ’s heart, we are not so much speaking of one attribute alongside others. We are asking who he most deeply is. What pours out of him most naturally?” p.29


249. “Pero la razón por la que debemos preservar la sana doctrina es para cuidar la belleza de Dios, así como la razón por la que utilizamos el lente correcto en una cámara es capturar con precisión la belleza en una fotografía.”


250. “You don’t get it! My offenses aren’t directed toward others. They’re against you.”


251. “The fall also entrenched in our minds dark thoughts of God, thoughts that are only dug out over multiple exposures to the gospel over many years. Perhaps Satan’s greatest victory in your life today is not the sin in which you regularly indulge but the dark thoughts of God’s heart that cause you to go there in the first place and keep you cool toward him in the wake of it.”


252. ... we can vent our fleshly passions by breaking all the rules, or we can vent our fleshly passions by keeping all the rules, but both ways of venting the flesh still need resurrection. We can be immoral dead people, or we can be moral dead people. Either way, we're dead.


253. “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?


254. [Christ’s] Intercession is the constant hitting “refresh” of our justification in the court of heaven.


255. “No, wait” – we say, cautiously approaching Jesus – “you don’t understand. I’ve really messed up, in all kinds of ways.”


256. The central message of Galatians is that the freeness of God’s grace and love is not only the gateway but also the pathway of the Christian life.


257. Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness. -57


258. “This is deeper than saying Jesus is loving or merciful or gracious. The cumulative testimony of the four Gospels is that when Jesus Christ sees the fallenness of the world all about him, his deepest impulse, his most natural instinct, is to move toward that sin and suffering, not away from it.”


259. “A compassionate doctor has traveled deep into the jungle to provide medical care to a primitive tribe afflicted with a contagious disease. He has had his medical equipment flown in. He has correctly diagnosed the problem, and the antibiotics are prepared and available. He is independently wealthy and has no need of any kind of financial compensation. But as he seeks to provide care, the afflicted refuse. They want to take care of themselves. They want to heal on their own terms. Finally, a few brave young men step forward to receive the care being freely provided. What does the doctor feel? Joy. His joy increases to the degree that the sick come to him for help and healing. It’s the whole reason he came. How much more if the diseased are not strangers but his own family? So with us, and so with Christ.”


260. “And if the point of heaven is to show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness, then we are safe, because the one thing we fear will keep us out—our sin—can only heighten the spectacle of God’s grace and kindness.”


261. “Look to Christ. He deals gently with you. It's the only way he knows how to be. He is the high priest to end all high priests. As long as you fix your attention on your sin, you will fail to see how you can be safe. But as long as you look to this high priest, you will fail to see how you can be in danger. Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ we can anticipate only gentleness.”


262. “Our heart is what defines and directs us.”


263. “We are called to mature into deeper levels of personal holiness as we walk with the Lord, truer consecration, new vistas of obedience. But when we don’t—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” (p. 92).


264. “Our tendency is to feel intuitively that the more difficult life gets, the more alone we are. As we sink further into pain, we sink further into felt isolation. The Bible corrects us. Our pain never outstrips what he himself shares in. We are never alone. That sorrow that feels so isolating, so unique, was endured by him in the past and is now shouldered by him in the present.”


265. “Christ does not intercede because the Father’s heart is tepid toward us but because the Son’s heart is so full toward us. But the Father’s own deepest delight is to say yes to the Son’s pleading on our behalf.”


266. “I have read no book that more carefully, thoroughly, and tenderly displays Christ’s heart.” Paul Tripp


267. Perhaps Satan’s greatest victory in your life today is not the sin in which you regularly indulge but the dark thoughts of God’s heart that cause you to go there in the first place and keep you cool toward him in the wake of it.


268. “our only hope is that the one who shares in all our pain shares in it as the pure and holy one. Our sinless high priest is not one who needs rescue but who provides it. This is why we can go to him to “receive mercy and find grace” (4:16). He himself is not trapped in the hole of sin with us; he alone can pull us out. His sinlessness is our salvation. But here we are beginning to move over into the work of Christ. The burden of Hebrews 4:15, and of Thomas Goodwin’s book on it, is the heart of Christ. Yes, verse 16 speaks of “the throne of grace.” But verse 15 is opening up to us the heart of grace. Not only can he alone pull us out of the hole of sin; he alone desires to climb in and bear our burdens. Jesus is able to sympathize. He “co-suffers” with us. As Goodwin’s contemporary John Owen put it, Christ “is inclined from his own heart and affections to give . . . us help and relief . . . and he is inwardly moved during our sufferings and trials with a sense and fellow-feeling of them.”5 If you are in Christ, you have a Friend who, in your sorrow, will never lob down a pep talk from heaven. He cannot bear to hold himself at a distance. Nothing can hold him back. His heart is too bound up with yours. 1”


269. “Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms” (p. 19).


270. It is the most counterintuitive aspect of Christianity, that we are declared right with God not once we begin to get our act together but once we collapse into honest acknowledgement that we never will. -78


271. “Sibbes said, “Whatsoever Christ is freed from, I am freed from it. It can no more hurt me than it can hurt him now in heaven.”6 For God to de-resurrect you, to bring his rich mercy to an end, Jesus Christ himself would have to be sucked down out of heaven and put back in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. You’re that safe.”


272. “Dos veces en los Evangelios se nos dice que Jesús se quebró y lloró. Y en ninguno de los casos es por Su propia angustia o dolor. En ambos casos, es tristeza por alguien más: por Jerusalén (Luc. 19:41) y por Su amigo fallecido, Lázaro (Juan 11:35). ¿Cuál fue Su angustia más profunda? La angustia de los demás.”


273. 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. -173


274. “to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.1”


275. “There are two ways to live the Christian life. You can live it either for the heart of Christ or from the heart of Christ.”


276. “Gentle and lowly.” This, according to his own testimony, is Christ’s very heart. This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing. If we are asked to say only one thing about who Jesus is, we would be honoring Jesus’s own teaching if our answer is, gentle and lowly.”


277. “New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham notes that while Psalm 22:1 ("My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" was originally written in Hebrew, Jesus wasn't simply repeating David's experience of a thousand years earlier as a convenient parallel expression. Rather, every anguished Psalm 22:1 cry across the millennia was being recapitulated and fulfilled and deepened in Jesus. His was the true Psalm 22:1 of which ours are the shadows. As the people of God, all our feelings of forsakenness funneled through an actual human heart in a single moment of anguished horror on Calvary, an actual forsakenness.


278. “Time and again it is the morally disgusting, the socially reviled, the inexcusable and undeserving, who do not simply receive Christ’s mercy but to whom Christ most naturally gravitates.”


279. “Are not you amazed sometimes that you should have so much as a hope, that, poor and needy as you are, the Lord thinks of you? But let not all you feel discourage you. For if our Physician is almighty, our disease cannot be desperate and if He casts none out that come to Him, why should you fear? Our sins are many, but His mercies are more: our sins are great, but His righteousness is greater: we are weak, but He is power. Most of our complaints are owing to unbelief, and the remainder of a legal spirit.2”


280. “Jesus Christ is closer to you today than he was to the sinners and sufferers he spoke with and touched in his earthly ministry.”


281. “The world is starving for a yearning love, a love that remembers instead of forsakes. A love that isn’t tied to our loveliness. A love that gets down underneath our messiness. A love that is bigger than the enveloping darkness we might be walking through even today. A love of which even the very best human romance is the faintest of whispers.”


282. “He eagerly suffered for us when we were failing, as orphans. Will he cross his arms over our failures now that we are his adopted children?”


283. Go to him. All that means is, open yourself up to him. Let him love you. The Christian life boils down to two steps: 1. Go to Jesus. 2. See #1. -216


284. …the wrath of Christ and the mercy of Christ are not at odds with one another, like a see-saw, one diminishing to the degree that the other is held up. Rather, the two rise and fall together. The more robust one’s felt understanding of the just wrath of Christ against all that is evil both around us and within us, the more robust our felt understanding of his mercy…


285. “The Christian life, from one angle, is the long journey of letting our natural assumptions about who God is, over many decades, fall away, being slowly replaced with God’s own insistence on who he is. This is hard work. It takes a lot of sermons and a lot of suffering to believe that God’s deepest heart is ‘merciful and gracious, slow to anger.’ The fall in Genesis 3 not only sent us into condemnation and exile. The fall also entrenched in our minds dark thoughts about God.”


286. “It is impossible for the affectionate heart of Christ to be overcelebrated, made too much of, exaggerated. It cannot be plumbed. But it is easily neglected, forgotten. We draw too little strength from it. We are not leaving behind the harsher side to Jesus as we speak of his very heart. Our sole aim is to follow the Bible’s own testimony as we tunnel in to who Jesus most surprisingly is.” p.29


287. “The Jesus given to us in the Gospels is not simply one who loves, but one who is love; merciful affections stream from his innermost heart as rays from the sun” (p. 27).


288. “The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ.” p.20


289. “Christ. No prerequisites. No hoops to jump through.”


290. If you are part of Christ’s own body, your sins evoke his deepest heart, his compassion and pity. He “takes part with you”—that is, he’s on your side. He sides with you against your sin, not against you because of your sin. He hates sin. But he loves you. We understand this, says Goodwin, when we consider the hatred a father has against a terrible disease afflicting his child—the father hates the disease while loving the child. Indeed, at some level the presence of the disease draws out his heart to his child all the more.


291. “The same Christ who wept at the tomb of Lazarus weeps with us in our lonely despair. The same one who reached out and touched lepers puts his arm around us today when we feel misunderstood and sidelined. The Jesus who reached out and cleansed messy sinners reaches into our souls and answers our half-hearted plea for mercy with the mighty invincible cleansing of one who cannot bear to do otherwise.” p.32


292. “But it is another thing, unutterably more real, to be swept up in his embrace, to feel the warmth, to hear his beating heart within his chest, to instantly know the protective grip of his arms. It’s one thing to hear he loves you; it’s another thing to feel his love. This is the glorious work of the Spirit.”


293. “There is an entire psychological substructure that, due to the fall, is a near-constant manufacturing of relational leveraging, fear-stuffing, nervousness, score-keeping, neurotic controlling, anxiety-festering silliness that is not something we say or even think so much as something we exhale. You can smell it on people, though some of us are good at hiding it. And if you trace this fountain of scurrying haste, in all its various manifestations, down to the root, you don’t find childhood difficulties or a Myers-Briggs diagnosis or Freudian impulses. You find gospel deficit. You find lack of felt awareness of Christ’s heart. All the worry and dysfunction and resentment are the natural fruit of living in a mental universe of law. The felt love of Christ really is what brings rest, wholeness, flourishing, shalom—that existential calm that for brief, gospel-sane moments settles over you and lets you step in out of the storm of of-works-ness.”


294. Jesus Christ is closer to you today than he was to the sinners and sufferers he spoke with and touched in his earthly ministry. Through his Spirit, Christ’s own heart envelops his people with an embrace nearer and tighter than any physical embrace could ever achieve. His actions on earth in a body reflected his heart; the same heart now acts in the same ways toward us, for we are now his body.


295. “There is an entire psychological substructure that, due to the fall, is a near-constant manufacturing of relational leveraging, fear-stuffing, nervousness, score-keeping, neurotic controlling, anxiety-festering silliness that is not something we say or even think so much as something we exhale. You can smell it on people, though some of us are good at hiding it. And if you trace this fountain of scurrying haste, in all its various manifestations, down to the root, you don’t find childhood difficulties or a Myers-Briggs diagnosis or Freudian impulses. You find gospel deficit. You find lack of felt awareness of Christ’s heart.”


296. “If Jesus hosted his own personal website, the most prominent line in the ‘About Me’ dropdown would read: Gentle and Lowly in Heart.”


297. “It is one thing, as a child, to be told your father loves you. You believe him. You take him at his word. But it is another thing, unutterably more real, to be swept up in his embrace, to feel the warmth, to hear his beating heart within his chest, to instantly know the protective grip of his arms. It's one thing to hear he loves you; it's another thing to feel his love. This is the glorious work of the Spirit.”


298. “He cannot bear to part with his own, even when they most deserve to be forsaken. “But I . . .” Raise your objections. None can threaten these invincible words: “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”


299. “When you look at the glorious older saints in your church, how do you think they got there? Sound doctrine, yes. Resolute obedience, without a doubt. Suffering without becoming cynical, for sure. But maybe another reason, maybe the deepest reason, is that they have, over time, been won over in their deepest affections to a gentle Savior. Perhaps they have simply tasted, over many years, the surprise of a Christ for whom their very sins draw him in rather than push him away. Maybe they have not only known that Jesus loved them but felt it.”


300. “Given their sinfulness, they are shocked to find that their sins cause him to be all the more ready to plunge them into his heart.”

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