Gentle & Lowly Book Club - Session 3

Hello again, my friends!  

I hope this Sabbath finds you rested and at peace, even amidst the busyness that late September always seems to bring our way.  I'm so glad you're joining with me in creating space for reflection on chapters 13 - 18 of Dane Ortlund's Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.


The Spirit's role ... is to turn our postcard apprehensions of Christ's great heart of longing affection for us into an experience of sitting on the beach, in a lawn chair, drink in hand, enjoying the actual experience.  The Spirit does this decisively, once and for all, at regeneration.  But he does it ten thousand times thereafter, as we continue through sin, folly, or boredom to drift from the felt experience of his heart.

The one who rules and ordains all things brings affliction into our lives with a certain divine reluctance.  He is not reluctant about the ultimate good that is going to be brought about through that pain; that indeed is why he is doing it.  But something recoils within him in sending that affliction.  The pain itself does not reflect his heart.   He is not a platonic force pulling heaven's levers and pulleys in a way that is detached from the real pain and anguish we feel at his hand. 

God's thoughts are so much higher than ours that not only does he abundantly pardon the penitent; he has determined to bring his people into a future so glorious we can hardly bring ourselves to dare hope for it ... God's heart for his people is building toward a crescendo as the generations roll by, preparing to explode onto human history at the end of all things.  Our joyous restored humanity will surge forward with such spiritually nuclear energy that the creation itself will erupt in raucous hymns of celebration.

What do you perceive him to be in your sin and your suffering?  Who do you think God is - not just on paper but in the kind person you believe is hearing you when you pray?  How does He feel about you?  His saving of us is not cool and calculating.  It is a matter of yearning - not the yearning for the Facebook you, the you that you project to everyone around you.  Not the you that you wish you were.  Yearning for the real you.

God is always inviting us into something deeper and more vibrant.  What is He calling you to as the final quarter of 2021 begins?

Next Sunday we'll wrap up our discussion.  I hope you'll be back to reflect with us!
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