Holy Amazement

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We are never nearer Christ
than when we find ourselves 
lost in a holy amazement 
at his unspeakable love.

–John Owen,
(1616 – 1683)

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Awaiting The King

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Jesus is the greatest Lover of all. He loved and pursued a bride, and laid down his life so that she could be His. He was fully aware of all the undesirable things about her, but loved her deeply and faithfully. She was not faithful to him. She turned her heart to other lovers. She did not wait for him but gave herself to those who only took advantage of her.

The Heavenly Lover went so far as to suffer all the consequences of her waywardness. He paid with his own blood to rescue her out of her adulterous enslavement. He purchased for her a pure white wedding dress which covers her sin and shame. It was made of the finest material—His own righteousness. He loves a bride with a sordid past and purposes to make her pure. He loves a bride who had lost her attractiveness and He purposes to make her beautiful.

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He went to prepare a place for her and one day will return for His beloved and take her to dwell with him forever. More than two thousand years have transpired as he patiently awaits the day when he will consummate the marriage at the greatest wedding celebration of the universe.

Never has there been a Lover whose love is as deep, as strong, as faithful, and as true, and no privilege can compare with being the object of his affection. This bride has a destiny marked out for her that is glorious beyond words. She has been swept up into a high and holy calling. She lives with a heavenward gaze in a world that does not know her King, as she awaits His glad return.

–J. O. Schulz

 

Artwork credit: James Nesbitt

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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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

Wonderful, plentiful grace

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Christ’s boundless grace confronts our deep necessities. Christ’s promised presence confronts our sad and gloomy loneliness. Jesus thus filled with grace so overflowing, with love so tender, with sympathy so exquisite, with power so illimitable, with resources so boundless, with a nature so changeless, stands before us and says to each trembling heart, “Fear not!”

―Octavius Winslow
Evening Thoughts

The Divine Romance

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“And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.”
(Isaiah 62:5)

Every time God chooses an image for himself, he is saying something about us. Do you know what the bride looks like to the bridegroom as she walks down the aisle? She wears the most beautiful garments and jewels, and when he lays his eyes on her, he is absolutely delighted in her. And he wants to give her the world. How dare Jesus Christ use a metaphor like this, evoking this powerful human experience? Could it be that he loves his own like that? That he delights in you like that? Yes, he does. How different would your life be if you lived in moment-by-moment existential awareness of that?

–Timothy Keller
The Wedding Party

Image: James Nesbit

Knowing and relishing

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The heart of the Bible’s message, muted in the Old Covenant but shouted aloud in page after page of the New, is the improbable, astonishing, breathtaking good news that I am the one Jesus loves. . . .

At great cost, all by his own doing, Jesus makes me his own, loves me without condition, forgives me without remainder, places his own name on me, puts his own Spirit in me, and goes ahead to prepare a place for me. He’s made me a chosen people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, one who belongs to God.

I am the one Jesus loves.

As are you.

. . . It is the wellspring of all we do and all we are. All life and ministry is overflow. And the inflow is this one thing: knowing and relishing and never forgetting that I am the one Jesus loves.

–Mark Buchanan
I Am the One Jesus Loves

Loved where we are

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Resting in Jesus in not applying a spiritual formula to ourselves as a kind of fix-it. It is the essence of repentance. It is letting our heart tell us where we are in our own story so that Jesus can minister to us out of the Story of his love for us. When in a given moment, we lay down our false self and the smaller story of whatever performance has sustained us, when we give up everything else but him, we experience the freedom of knowing that he simply loves us where we are. We begin just to be, having our identity anchored in him. We begin to experience our spiritual life as the “easy yoke and light burden” Jesus tells us is his experience.

–Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance

The relentless love of Christ

The relentless love of Christ is evident each step of the way but it is best seen as he goes to the cross. The disciples boast, sleep, flee and finally deny, but he loved them to the end. He was betrayed but he loved the betrayer. He was abandoned but he loved those who abandoned him. When the ear of one of his captors was cut off, he restored it to wholeness. He was mocked and tormented and he loved his mockers and his tormentors. He was scourged and he loved his scourgers. He was denied and he loved his denier. He was crucified and he loved his executors. A thief appealed to him and was given the gift of paradise. And before anyone thought of asking for forgiveness he said, “Father, forgive them.”

-adapted from John S. Spong

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