Sunday, September 19, 2021

Gentle & Lowly Book Club - Session 2

Hey Dear Friends, 
welcome back to
Book Club!

This week, we're comparing notes & observations 
from chapters 7 - 12 of Dane Ortlund's
Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ
for Sinners and Sufferers

Christ's heart is a steady reality flowing through time.  It isn't as if his heart throbbed for his people when he was on earth but has dissipated now that he is in heaven.  It's not that his heart was flowing forth in a burst of mercy that took him all the way to the cross but has now cooled down, settling back once more into kindly indifference.  His heart is a drawn to his people now as ever it was in his incarnate state.  And the present manifestation of his heart for his people is his constant interceding on their behalf.
Let Jesus draw you in through the loveliness of his heart.  This is a heart that upbraids the impenitent with all the harshness that is appropriate, yet embraces the penitent with more openness than we are able to feel.  It is a heart that walks us into the bright meadow of the felt love of God.  It is a heart that drew the despised and forsaken to his feet in self-abandoning hope.  It is a heart of perfect balance and proportion, never overreacting, never excusing, never lashing out.  It is a heart that throbs with desire for the destitute.  It is a heart that floods the suffering with the deep solace of shared solidarity in that suffering.  It is a heart that is gentle and lowly.
Perhaps we feel that to the degree we emphasize Christ's compassion, we neglect his anger; and to the degree we emphasize his anger, we neglect his compassion.  But what we must see is that the two rise and fall together.  A compassion-less Christ could never have gotten angry at the injustices all around him, the severity and human barbarity, even that flowing from the religious elite.  No, "compassion and indignation rise together in his soul."  It is the father who loves his daughter most whose anger rises most fiercely if she is mistreated.
He is with us, as one of us, sharing in our life and experience, and the love and comfort that are mutually enjoyed between friends are likewise enjoyed between Christ and us.  In short, he relates to us as a person.  Jesus is not the idea of friendship, abstractly; he is an actual friend.


Book Club continues next Sunday as we focus on chapters 13 - 18. 

Christmas is coming, people!  And I know no better gift than Gentle & Lowly {and maybe the journal?!}
Kindle  -  $9.99
Hardcover  -  $14.79

As an Amazon Affiliate, I may receive a small financial reimbursement when you use these links to make a purchase.  Thank you!


  1. I loved this concept of the loveliness of Jesus' heart drawing us in, ever closer to Him. I am overwhelmed by the vastness of that kind of love, one we can never realize in fullness, richness and glory. Yet, we know this to be true. How can the Lord be anything but beautiful?
    Blessings, Linda!

  2. That quote about emphasizing either His anger or His compassion, when actually they are inter-twined, stood out to me, too.

    The chapter on friendship is still mulling in my brain. It may lead to its own post!

    Here are a couple of others that stood out to me:

    "We should not overly domesticate Jesus here. He is not just any friend. A few chapters earlier in Revelation we see a depiction of Christ so overwhelming to John that he falls down, immobilized (1: 12–16). But neither should we dilute the humanness, the sheer relational desire, clearly present in these words from the mouth of the risen Christ himself" (p. 177, Kindle version).

    "He does not forgive us through his work on the cross and then hope we make it the rest of the way" (p. 84, Kindle version).

    “Do not minimize your sin or excuse it away. Raise no defense. Simply take it to the one who is already at the right hand of the Father, advocating for you on the basis of his own wounds. Let your own unrighteousness, in all your darkness and despair, drive you to Jesus Christ, the righteous, in all his brightness and sufficiency" (p. 93, Kindle).

    1. Barbara, your thoughts made me realize yet again how hard it is sometimes to find the right words to describe our God, the Trinity. We can search and search, but when all is said and done, we'll never be able to come close to describing His majesty. And probably never will, even after we meet Him face to face and fall down on our knees in awestruck worship.


  3. This book sounds wonderful! And, that video of those little girls singing about Jesus just melted me. God bless you!

    1. Aren't they cute?! As I finished up the post, that old chorus came into my head ... and it still hasn't left.

  4. "A compassion-less Christ could never have gotten angry at the injustices all around him, the severity and human barbarity, even that flowing from the religious elite. No, "compassion and indignation rise together in his soul." It is the father who loves his daughter most whose anger rises most fiercely if she is mistreated." Thank you for bringing this quote to mind again, Linda. It is so comforting. It makes His compassion for us even deeper and more special, doesn't it? Love and blessings to you!

    1. 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.'
      2 Corinthians 1:3-4


  5. Aargh. Google keeps eating my comments on your blog 🤨. The statement about compassion struck me. It makes me wonder how much compassion we as Christians really have. We don’t get angry about the injustices perpetrated against minorities. We get up in arms about one missing white woman in Wyoming, and fail to realize 710 indigenous women and children have disappeared in the same stage in the last ten years.

    1. Yes, compassion for those 'not like me' seems to be waning and in short supply. We tend to get all up in arms about things of little importance in the light of eternity, while real life demands are all around us waiting to be tended to well.

      More than ever we need to be His hands and feet. And care what about what matters most to Him. Loving each other as He has loved us.

      I'm glad you're here today, Anita.

  6. Linda, that last quote about Jesus being an actual friend resonated so strongly with me when I read Gentle & Lowly that I underlined it AND starred it!! And this, a few lines later: "He walks with us through every moment. He knows the pain of being betrayed by a friend, but he will never betray us. He will not even so much as coolly welcome us. That is not who he is. That is not his heart." So powerful.

    I also loved the parts about being "saved to the uttermost" and how Jesus lives to intercede for us: "One way to think of Christ's intercession, then, in simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now. ... Our prayer life stinks most of the time. But what if you heard Jesus praying aloud for you in the next room? Few things would calm us more deeply."

  7. Oh wow, yes this, Lois -->'But what if you heard Jesus praying aloud for you in the next room? Few things would calm us more deeply.'

    Again, wow.

    Thank You, thank You, Jesus.