God’s obstinate love

river to the sun

Love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds . . . it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more . . .

Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love’s kind, must be destroyed.

And our God is a consuming fire.

―George MacDonald
Unspoken Sermons

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Published in: on 11/16/2014 at 15:08  Leave a Comment  
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Not a mild benevolence

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The love of God
is not a mild benevolence;
it is a consuming fire.
To those who resist it
it becomes an eternal torment.
To those who are willing
to face its demands,
it becomes a fire
that cleanses and purifies…

–Bede Griffiths
The Golden String

Furious love

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“So, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, with all God’s holy people you will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; so that, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond knowledge, you may be filled with the utter fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Do we really hear what Paul is saying? Stretch, man stretch! Let go of impoverished, circumscribed, and finite perceptions of God. The love of Christ is beyond all knowledge, beyond anything we can intellectualize or imagine.

It is not a mild benevolence but a consuming fire.

Jesus is so unbearably forgiving, so infinitely patient, and so unendingly loving that He provides us with the resources we need to live lives of gracious response.

Does it sound like an easy religion?

Love has its own exigencies. It weighs and counts nothing but expects everything. Perhaps that explains our reluctance to risk. We know only too well that the gospel of grace is an irresistible call to love the same way. No wonder so many of us elect to surrender our souls to rules rather than to live in union with Love.

–Brennan Manning
The Ragamuffin Gospel

His love is a consuming fire

When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some ‘disinterested’ . . . concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love.

You asked for a loving God: you have one.

The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect’, is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes.

How this should be, I do not know:
it passes reason to explain why any creatures,
not to say creatures such as we,
should have a value so prodigious
in their Creator’s eyes.

It is certainly a burden of glory not only beyond our deserts, but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring…

–C.S. Lewis (emphasis added)

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