A Matter of the Heart

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Above all else, the Christian life is a love affair of the heart. It cannot be lived primarily as a set of principles or ethics. It cannot be managed with steps and programs. It cannot be lived exclusively as a moral code leading to righteousness. In response to a religious expert who asked him what he must do to obtain real life, Jesus asked a question in return:

“What is written in the Law? . . . How do you read it?”
He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:26-28)

The truth of the gospel is intended to free us to love God and others with our whole heart. When we ignore this heart aspect of our faith and try to live out our religion solely as correct doctrine or ethics, our passion is crippled, or perverted, and the divorce of our soul from the heart purposes of God toward us is deepened.

–Brent Curtis & John Eldredge
The Sacred Romance

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Published in: on 03/29/2018 at 8:50  Leave a Comment  
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A Prayer for God Seekers

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O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire thee
with our whole heart; that,
so desiring, we may seek,
and seeking find thee;
and so finding thee
may love thee; and loving thee,
may hate those sins from
which thou has redeemed.
Amen.
–Anselm of Canterbury,
(1033-1109)

Finding God

5ebd1769bf115773ad83803b29ea4bacOnly in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.  –Karl Rahner

Baseball, Heaven and Hell

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The self is like a baseball. Throw it back to the divine pitcher who pitched it to you in the first place, and the game of love goes on. Hold it, and the game is over. That is the difference between Heaven and Hell.

—Peter Kreeft,
The God Who Loves You

Published in: on 01/15/2016 at 17:28  Leave a Comment  
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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)

Knowing God

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We do not know God
by defining him
but by being loved by him
and loving in return.

–Eugene Peterson

Delighting in Christ

Beautiful-Sunset-Mountain-Wallpapers-3-300x300Anyone can use the word, of course, but without Christ holiness tends to have all the charm of an ingrown toenail. For, very simply, if holiness is not first and foremost about knowing Christ, it will be about self-produced morality and religiosity. But such incurved self-dependence is quite the opposite of what pleases God, or what is actually beautiful.

God is not interested in our manufactured virtue; he does not want any external obedience or morality if it does not flow from true love for him. He wants us to share his pleasure in his Son. What is the greatest commandment, after all? “Love the Lord your God” (Mt 22:36–37). That is the root of true God-likeness. Nothing is more holy than a heartfelt delight in Christ. Nothing is so powerful to transform lives.

–Michael Reeves
Christ Our Life

It is a promise

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The final secret, I think, is this: that the words “You shall love the Lord your God” become in the end less a command than a promise. And the promise is that, yes, on the weary feet of faith and the fragile wings of hope, we will come to love him at last as from the first he has loved us–loved us even in the wilderness, especially in the wilderness, because he has been in the wilderness with us. He has been in the wilderness for us. He has been acquainted with our grief.

–Frederick Buechner
A Room Called Remember

Life is rooted in love

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Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit. It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing provided it recurs to its beginning, returns to its origin, and draws always from that Fountain which is perpetually in flood.

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Of all the feelings and affections of the soul, love is the only one by which the creature, though not on equal terms, is able to respond to the Creator and to repay what it has received from Him. For when God loves us He desires nothing but to be loved. He loves for no other reason, indeed, than that He may be loved, knowing that by their love itself those who love Him are blessed.

–Bernard of Clairvaux
(1091 – 1153)

A great compliment

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That God is jealous for our love
is the greatest compliment
he could possibly pay us.

–Abraham Kuyper
(1837 – 1920)

Published in: on 07/07/2013 at 14:42  Comments (1)  
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Love is a God thing

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To love another person
is to help them love God.

–Soren Kierkegaard
(1813 – 1855)

Published in: on 01/09/2013 at 22:21  Leave a Comment  
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It started with Him

Standing on fence

We could not seek God at all,
if he had not already found us;
we could not love him,
if he had not first loved us . . .

–Helmut Thielicke, (1908 – 1986)

The great thing to remember

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On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for him. Nobody can always have devout feelings; and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian love, either toward God or toward man, is an affair of the will.

But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, his love for us does not.

–C. S. Lewis

Do you love Me?

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An extraordinary transaction takes place between Jesus and Peter on the Tiberian seashore. The most plaintive words ever spoken take the form of a heart-stopping question: “Do you love Me?” As we lay aside our fuzzy distractions and actively listen, we hear the suffering cry of a God never heard of before. What is going on here?

No deity of any world religion
has ever condescended to inquire
how we feel about that god.

The pagan gods fired thunderbolts to remind persons who was in charge. The Rabbi in whom infinity dwells asks if we care about Him. The Jesus who died a bloody, God-forsaken death that we might live, is asking if we love Him!

–Brennan Manning

The way to wellness

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We shall not be well so long
as we love and admire anything more
than we love and admire God.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 11/30/2012 at 7:44  Leave a Comment  
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Back to wholeness

God did not tell us to follow Him
because He needed our help,
but because He knew that loving Him
would make us whole.

–Irenaeus (ca. 125-202)

More than galaxies

It is a gracious thing
in our relationship
with the heavenly Father
to find that He loves us
for ourselves and
values our love more
than galaxies of
new created worlds.

–A. W. Tozer
(1897-1963)

Real prayer

Real prayer comes
not from gritting our teeth,
but from falling in love.

-Richard Foster

Made to be loved

We were made,
not primarily that we may love God
(though we were made for that too),
but that God may love us.

-C. S. Lewis

Knowing is loving

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. . . if we knew him we would love him. “God is love,” as St. John said. He who does not love him does not know him, for how can we know love without loving him? Therefore it stands to reason that all those who only fear God, do not know him.

–Fenelon
(1651-1715)


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