Compelled by Grace

SOWER Vincent Van Gogh

It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God. He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven… An unforgiven man cannot work. He has not the will, nor the power, nor the liberty. He is in chains. Israel in Egypt could not serve Jehovah. “Let my people go, that they may serve Me” was God’s message to Pharaoh; first liberty, then service.” It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God. He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven… An unforgiven man cannot work. He has not the will, nor the power, nor the liberty. He is in chains. Israel in Egypt could not serve Jehovah. “Let my people go, that they may serve Me” was God’s message to Pharaoh; first liberty, then service.”

A forgiven man is the true worker; the true lawkeeper. He can, he will, he must work for God. He has come into contact with that part of God’s character which warms his heart. Forgiving love constrains him. He cannot but work for Him who has removed his sins as far as the east is from the west.

―Horatius Bonar,
Holiness and Peace

Artwork by Vincent Van Gogh

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Teach us, Good Lord

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Teach us, Good Lord,
To serve Thee as Thou deservest:
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labor and not to seek for reward
Save that of knowing
that we do Thy will.

–Ignatius of Loyola

Working with God

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To effect the blessedness
for which God made him,
man must become
a fellow-worker
with God.

–George MacDonald
Guild Court

Published in: on 02/07/2015 at 5:42  Leave a Comment  
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A pilgrimage of the heart

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Faith is not the clinging to a shrine,
but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.
Audacious longing, burning songs,
daring thoughts, an impulse
overwhelming the heart,
usurping the mind —
these are all a drive towards
serving Him who rings
our hearts like a bell.

–Abraham Joshua Heschel

Lamebrains and misfits

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“We are fools for Christ’s sake,” Paul says. You can’t put it much more plainly than that. God is foolish too, he says–“the foolishness of God”–just as plainly. God is foolish to choose for his holy work in the world the kind of lamebrains and misfits and nitpickers and holier-than-thous and stuffed shirts and odd ducks and egomaniacs and milquetoasts and closet sensualists as are vividly represented here by you and me…

–Frederick Buechner
The Road Goes On

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