Love Made Manifest

ARTWORK FOR EASTER SEASONIf you reject him,
he answers you with tears;
if you wound him,
he bleeds out cleansing;
if you kill him,
he dies to redeem;
if you bury him,
he rises again to bring resurrection.
Jesus is love made manifest.

– Charles Spurgeon

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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

Nothing else will work

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The Gospel is the proclamation of free love; the revelation of the boundless charity of God. Nothing less than this will suit our world; nothing else is so likely to touch the heart, to go down to the lowest depths of depraved humanity, as the assurance that the sinner has been loved—loved by God, loved with a righteous love, loved with a free love that makes no bargain as to merit, or fitness, or goodness. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us!” (1 Jn. 4:10).

As the lord of the vineyard, after sending servant upon servant to the husbandmen in vain, sent at last his “one son, his well-beloved” (Mk. 12:6), so, Law having failed, God has dispatched to us the message of His love, as that which is by far the likeliest to secure His ends.

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With nothing less than this free love
will He trust our fallen race.

He will not trust them with law, or judgment, or terror (though these are well in their place), but He will trust them with His love! Not with a stinted or conditional love, with half pardons, or an uncertain salvation, or a tardy peace, or a doubtful invitation, or an all but impracticable amnesty—not with these does He cheat the heavy laden; not with these will He mock the weary sons of men.

. . . He knows that there is nothing
in heaven or earth so likely to produce holiness,
under the teaching of the Spirit of holiness,
as the knowledge of His own free love.

It is not law, but “the love of Christ,” that constrains! “The strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56), so the strength of holiness is deliverance from the Law (Rom. 7:6). Yet are we not “without law” (1 Cor. 9:21), neither yet “under the law” (Rom 6:14), but “under grace,” that we should “serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

–Horatius Bonar
God’s Way of Holiness

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

Love to live on

Live on Christ’s love while
ye are here, and all the way.

–Samuel Rutherford (1600 – 1661)

Heaven could not hold Him

It is as if Jesus had said: ‘The truth is, I cannot live without you. I shall never be quiet till I have you where I am, that we may never part again. Heaven shall not hold me, nor my Father’s company, if you are not with me – my heart is so set upon you. And if I have any glory, you shall be part of it too.”

–Thomas Goodwin (1600 – 1680)

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