Friday, October 1, 2021

Gentle & Lowly Book Club - Finale

Dear Gentle Companions ~

Thanks for investing the time to reflect on Dane Ortlund's powerfully peaceful work, Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.  

This was not one of those volumes to race through, but to savor.  I found myself laying the book down many times to let the beauty of Christ's lovingkindness soak deep into my soul.  Please give yourself freedom to pace yourself as you finish ... or start ... this soothing, reassuring book.

One day at a time, one paragraph at a time.  All by His grace and pleasure.

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love,
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
  Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
- Whittle -
1840 - 1901


Whether we have been sinned against or have sinned ourselves into misery, the Bible says God is not tightfisted with mercy but openhanded, not frugal but lavish, not poor but rich.  That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which divine mercy passes but homes in which divine mercy abides.
{179}

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God didn't meet us halfway.  He refused to hold back, cautious, assessing our worth.  That is not his heart.  He and his Son took the initiative.  On terms of grace and grace alone.  In defiance of what we deserved.  When we, despite our smiles and civility, were running from God as fast as we could, building our own kingdoms and loving our own glory, lapping up the fraudulent pleasures of the world, repulsed by the beauty of God and shutting up our ears at his calls to come home - it was then, in the hollowed-out horror of that revolting existence, that the prince of heaven bade his adoring angels farewell.
{191}

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When you sin, do a thorough job of repenting.  Re-hate sin all over again.  Consecrate yourself afresh to the Holy Spirit and his pure ways.  But reject the devil's whisper that God's tender heart for you has grown a little colder, a little stiffer.  He is not flustered by your sinfulness.  His deepest disappointment is with your tepid thoughts of his heart.
{194}

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Our fallenness now is not an obstacle to enjoying heaven.  It is the key ingredient to enjoying heaven.  Whatever mess we have made of our life - that's part of our final glory and calm and radiance.  That thing we've done that sent our life into meltdown - that is where God in Christ becomes more real than ever in this life and more wonderful to us in the next.
{210}

What have you learned or rediscovered about Jesus?
Linda

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as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small 
financial remuneration if you use the link above 
to purchase this book

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22 comments:

  1. It sounds like a beautiful book!

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  2. I found this entire book to be transformational for me, Linda. I have finished reading it, but it will be one I will rediscover again and again as I continue my walk with Jesus. He is more real to me now than ever before.
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Transformational is the perfect word, isn't it, Martha.

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  3. One thing I've learned 'bout Jesus
    (and I must clear the air):
    He's so eager to receive us
    that He don't play fair.
    He's nullified our sentence
    and ignores our estimation
    that must do penance,
    hair-shirt self-flagellation
    for all of the sins and harms
    that we've daily committed;
    instead He stands with open arms
    and says we are acquitted
    with no need now for punishment
    nor pride in stern self-judgement

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    1. Yep, somehow our bent toward pride always creeps into everything, even our faith. God have mercy.

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  4. I love this book so much. We are reading it with our Sunday School class right now. It’s a gift.

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    1. You are a gift and I'm so glad you hopped over to visit this morning, Angela! My sister told me last night that one of the small groups at her church is using G&L this fall. I'm grateful that this message about Jesus' character and grace is getting around yet again.

      The story of His love never grows old.

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  5. I can see why you would need to savour and not rush through this book! I found myself lingering over the quotes you shared. Thank you for sharing a piece of it with us. I will need to hold space in my reading life for your next book pick!

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    1. You're right, Lynn ... it's a lingering kind of book. I love that 'hold space in my reading life' expression. Such a beautiful, respectful way to approach the books we make time for.

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  6. Hi Linda,

    I haven't read this book, but I just wanted to pop by to say thank you for visiting my blog.
    I've always had a soft spot for funky socks!

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  7. Whether we have been sinned against or have sinned ourselves into misery, the Bible says God is not tightfisted with mercy but openhanded, not frugal but lavish, not poor but rich. That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which divine mercy passes but homes in which divine mercy abides.
    {179}


    I read the above and it made me want to lie and rest by a sweet flowing brook. Love the way it is worded and phrase to show as best one can with words the mercy and grace of God. Beautiful written, will be buying this. Thank you Linda for posting this.

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    1. Hi Betty! When I read your words, 'it made me want to lie and rest by a sweet flowing brook,' Psalm 23 came to heart and mind. Thank you for expressing so beautifully the impact Christ has on those who trust Him fully.

      You have provided a fitting benediction for Sabbath and I thank you, friend ...

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  8. Sounds like a wonderful book Linda. I hope that your week is lovely. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. I just finished chatting with you on the Single-Tasking post!

      ;-}

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  9. Thanks you for spurring me on to read this "maybe I'll get to it some day" book. Even after years of being a Christian and knowing better, there's still a tendency to think God loves us more when we're "good" -- as if we could ever be good enough. I guess we're hard-wired that way. I'm thankful He persistently reminds us, sometimes through books like this, that He loves us no matter what, that He is "rich in mercy."

    A couple of quotes from this section that stood out to me:

    The last two you shared.

    “The mercy of God reaches down and rinses clean not only obviously bad people but fraudulently good people, both of whom equally stand in need of resurrection.”

    “Nothing can now un-child you. Not even you.”


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    1. Barbara, you've reminded me how quickly those "maybe I'll get to it some day" reads pile up ... either literally or in our heads. So many options keep coming at us and for those of us who only can only focus on one book at a time, that list only grows longer.

      Sometimes I wonder if I should make it my goal to reach for those titles that have been waiting far too long for my attention. But then a new book crosses my radar and those 'maybe' books get pushed away yet again.

      What's a reader to do?!

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  10. Linda, once again I'm finding it hard to choose just one quote. But how can I not include this: "He eagerly suffered for us when we were failing, as orphans. Will he cross his arms over our failures now that we are his adopted children? His heart was gentle and lowly toward us when we were lost. Will his heart be anything different toward us now that we are found? ... Our very agony in sinning is the fruit of our adoption. A cold heart could not be bothered. We are not who we were. ... Nothing can now un-child you. Not even you. Those in Christ are eternally imprisoned within the tender heart of God. We will be less sinful in the next life than we are now, but we will not be any more secure in the next life than we are now. IF you are united to Christ, you are as good as in heaven already." Yes and amen!

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    1. 'His heart was gentle and lowly toward us when we were lost. Will his heart be anything different toward us now that we are found?'

      Oh what grace, what relief, what hope, what love the Father has lavished on us, this, the forgiveness of our sins.

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