Not Loved for Being Good

Love of God:Lewis

Published in: on 04/03/2017 at 3:06  Leave a Comment  
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The Most Profound Idea

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Karl Barth was asked once what was the most profound theological idea he’d ever thought or heard. This is a man who wrote eight thick volumes of systematic theology and many other books besides. What was the most profound thing he’d ever thought or heard?

“Jesus loves me, this I know,” he said, “for the Bible tells me so.”

Those simple words can be the crown of a lifetime of insight, because this love came down, rose up, never stopped, and runs to embrace even you, even me.

–Mark Buchanan,
The Holy Wild

It Changes Everything

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“God loves you”—isn’t that the most well-worn of clichés? It’s just standard filler for the laziest, most obvious and repetitive homilies. Smile. Yawn. Everybody knows that by now, at least everybody who has ever been in a church or read a Bible.

No. Exactly the opposite. It is not familiar. It is shattering. It changes everything. And most Christians do not realize it.

–Peter Kreeft,
The God Who Loves You

Reckless Raging Fury

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There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God
        –Rich Mullins

The Gift of Chosenness

lynnfecteaau-painting-bThe great spiritual battle begins—and never ends—with the reclaiming of our chosenness. Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love. Our preciousness, uniqueness, and individuality are not given to us by those who meet us in clock-time—our brief chronological existence—but by One who has chosen us with an everlasting love, a love that existed from all eternity and will last through all eternity.

–Henri J. Nouwen

The Sun Always Shines

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Measure not God’s love
and favor by your own feeling.
The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day
as it does in the brightest.
The difference is not in the sun,
but in some clouds which hinder
the manifestation of the light thereof.

–Richard Sibbes

Majoring on Minors

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We must certainly be in a novel;
What I like about this novelist
is that he takes such trouble
about his minor characters.

–G. K. Chesterton

Sin and the Love of God

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When we believe
that God is something
other than a lover,
it is inevitable that
we will sin.

–Peter Kreeft

Published in: on 05/09/2016 at 10:08  Leave a Comment  
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Love seeks our wholeness

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To ask that God’s love
should be content with us
as we are is to ask that God
should cease to be God.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 03/02/2016 at 7:19  Leave a Comment  
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Love is not like that

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No man, whether good or bad, can lay claim in strict justice to the love of God, because love is not like that at all. It has to be given as a free gift, or not at all. The sinner who is ready to accept love as a gift from God is far closer to God than the “just” man who insists on being loved for his own merits. For the former will soon stop sinning (since he will be loved by God), and the latter has probably already begun to sin.

–Thomas Merton,
The New Man

Published in: on 02/20/2016 at 4:52  Leave a Comment  
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Beyond Comprehension

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The slender capacity
of man’s heart
cannot comprehend
the unfathomable depth
and burning zeal of
God’s love toward us.

–Martin Luther

Published in: on 02/18/2016 at 6:48  Leave a Comment  
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God’s eternal thought

The Beauty of Mount Bromo Sunset in Java Island

Our sonship rests on a love that never began as well as a love that will never end. In eternity before the beginning of time and obviously before the beginning of us, God chose to make us His children. The gospel was not God’s afterthought or even His forethought; it was His eternal thought.

–Michael P. V. Barrett,
Complete in Him

One Essential Task

blank squareanngur2We . . . have one
business in life
and only one business:
to live inside the
love of Christ,
in union with Him.
     –E. Stanley Jones

Rooted and grounded

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It is a very uncommon thing
to be rooted and grounded
in the love of Jesus.
I find persons
may have the idea,
but are far from having
the real substance.

–George Whitefield
(1714 – 1770)

Published in: on 10/31/2015 at 8:24  Comments (1)  
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Liberating acceptance

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I believe we must know
that we are unconditionally
loved and accepted by God
before we can deal with
the issue of our sins.

–James Bryan Smith

Advance laughing

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Dare to
advance  
in the love
which has
redeemed [you]…
and to laugh at
the preposterous
idea of
“worthiness.”

–Thomas Merton

The first lesson

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No man loves God
except the man
who has first learned
that God loves him.

–Alexander MacLaren
(1826 – 1910)

Living in God’s love

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Live much in
the smiles of God.
Bask in His beams.
Feel His all-seeng eye
settled on you in love
and repose in His
almighty arms.

–Robert M. M’Cheyne

Soak in God’s love

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The great work of our lives
is to rest in the great work of God.
The great work of our lives is to learn to soak
in the love of God, which was finished for you
on a cross . . . 2,000 years ago and which
pours out with new supply
every morning.

–Justin Buzzard

Learning from the Master

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Somehow Jesus had mastered
the ability of loving people
whose behavior he disapproved.
That’s a lesson the church
has not been so good
at learning.

–Philip Yancey

No strings attached

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The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and Muslim code of law — each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.

–Philip Yancey
What’s so Amazing about Grace?

We need to hear His voice

IMG_2587The farther I run away from the place where God dwells the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in manipulative power games of the world.

–Henri Nouwen
The Return of the Prodigal

Published in: on 05/17/2015 at 9:12  Leave a Comment  
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The prophet and the prostitute

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Gomer was always good company — a little heavy with the lipstick maybe, a little less than choosy about men and booze, a little loud, but great at a party and always good for a laugh. Then the prophet Hosea came along wearing a sandwich board that read “The End Is at Hand” on one side and “Watch Out” on the other.

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The first time he asked her to marry him, she thought he was kidding. The second time she knew he was serious, but thought he was crazy. The third time she said yes. He wasn’t exactly a swinger, but he had a kind face, and he was generous, and he wasn’t all that crazier than everybody else. Besides, any fool could see he loved her. Give or take a little, she even loved him back for a while, and they had three children, whom Hosea named with queer names like Not-pitied-for-God-will-no-longer-pity-Israel-now-that-it’s-gone-to-the-dogs so that every time the roll was called at school, Hosea would be scoring a prophetic bull’s-eye in absentia. But everybody could see the marriage wasn’t going to last, and it didn’t.

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While Hosea was off hitting the sawdust trail, Gomer took to hitting as many night spots as she could squeeze into a night, and any resemblance between her next batch of children and Hosea was purely coincidental. It almost killed him, of course. Every time he raised a hand to her, he burst into tears. Every time she raised one to him, he was the one who ended up apologizing.

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He tried locking her out of the house a few times when she wasn’t in by five in the morning, but he always opened the door when she finally showed up and helped get her to bed if she couldn’t see straight enough to get there herself. Then one day she didn’t show up at all.

Hosea & Gomer 3He swore that this time he was through with her for keeps, but of course he wasn’t. When he finally found her, she was lying passed out in a highly specialized establishment located above an adult bookstore, and he had to pay the management plenty to let her out of her contract. She’d lost her front teeth and picked up some scars you had to see to believe, but Hosea had her back again and that seemed to be all that mattered.

He changed his sandwich board to read “God Is Love” on one side and “There’s No End to It” on the other, and when he stood on the street corner belting out…

How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! For I am God and no mortal, The Holy One in your midst. (Hosea 11:8-9)

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Nobody can say how many converts he made, but one thing that’s for sure is that, including Gomer’s, there was seldom a dry eye in the house. (Hosea 1-3; 11)

–Frederick Buechner

His Eternal Thought

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Our sonship rests on a love that never began as well as a love that will never end. In eternity before the beginning of time and obviously before the beginning of us, God chose to make us His children. The gospel was not God’s afterthought or even His forethought; it was His eternal thought.

–Michael P. V. Barrett
Complete in Him

The laughter of the Trinity

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The story . . . begins not with God alone, the Author at his desk, but God in relationship, intimacy beyond our wildest imagination, heroic intimacy.

The Trinity is at the center of the universe;
perfect relationship is the heart of all reality.

Think of your best moments of love or friendship or creative partnership, the best times with family or friends around the dinner table, your richest conversations, the acts of simple kindness that sometimes seem like the only things that make life worth living. Like the shimmer of sunlight on a lake, these are reflections of the love that flows among the Trinity.

We long for intimacy because we are made
in the image of perfect intimacy.

. . . Real love creates a generous openness. Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it? When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away—a sunset, a waterfall, the simple song of a bird—and you think, If only my beloved were here. The best things in life were meant to be shared […] Overflowing with the generosity that comes from the abundance of real love, [God] creates us to share in the joy of this heroic intimacy. One early mystic says were were created out of the laughter of the Trinity.

–John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance

Unstoppable love

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Through the cross,
God showed that
even killing God
cannot put God off
from relating to
and loving us.
He rose again to tell us.

–John Goldingay

The keystone of the spirit

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The love of God
is to the human spirit
what the keystone 
is to the arch;
ruin is the consequence
when it falls from
its place.

–Thomas Erskine

Strong Assurance

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The great basis
of Christian assurance
is not how much
our hearts are set on God,
but how unshakably
his heart is set on us.

–Tim Keller

Love empowers change

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Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.

―Richard Rohr

Published in: on 01/27/2015 at 13:01  Leave a Comment  
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It doesn’t fluctuate

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The mistake
we so often make
is thinking that
God’s interest
and care for us
waxes and wanes
according to
our spiritual
temperature.

–Eugene Peterson ‏

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