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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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LOVING THE LORD YOUR GOD

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30 ESV)

Many say they love God but offer Him only a divided heart. They believe they can love the Lord and seek to please their selfish desires in the same moment. However, God lays claim to the whole heart.

We are to love God with all our soul (spirit). The spirit is where our loftiest sacred practices begin. The spirit is vital to the life of faith and communicates the love or lack of love we have for God. There are lots of people who do Christian things on the outside but inwardly they have not changed. Loving God with all your soul is loving Him with all your inner being. Continue reading

GOD’S KINDNESS

John Calvin:

John CalvinFor God, who is the highest righteousness, cannot love the unrighteousness that He sees in us all. All of us, therefore, have in ourselves something deserving of God’s hatred . . . But because the Lord wills not to lose what is His in us, out of His own kindness He still finds something to love. (Institutes 2, 16, 3)

LOVE THAT PASSES KNOWLEDGE

Charles Hodge:

Charles Hodge“It is the love of Christ, i. e. his love to us which passes knowledge. It is infinite; not only because it inheres in an infinite subject, but because the condescension and sufferings to which it led, and the blessings which it secures for its objects, are beyond our comprehension. This love of Christ, though it surpasses the power of our understanding to comprehend, is still a subject of experimental knowledge. We may know how excellent, how wonderful, how free, how disinterested, how long-suffering, how manifold and constant, it is, and that it is infinite. And this is the highest and most sanctifying of all knowledge. Those who thus know the love of Christ towards them, purify themselves even as he is pure.” (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians)

STIRRING THINGS UP

Michael Horton:

Michael Horton“Jesus was not revolutionary because he said we should love God and each other. Moses said that first. So did Buddha, Confucius, and countless other religious leaders we’ve never heard of. Madonna, Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Dali Lama, and probably a lot of Christian leaders will tell us that the point of religion is to get us to love each other. “God loves you” doesn’t stir the world’s opposition. However, start talking about God’s absolute authority, holiness, Christ’s substitutionary atonement, justification by faith apart from works, the necessity of new birth, repentance, baptism, Communion, and the future judgment, and the mood in the room changes considerably.”

 

 

THE LOVE OF GOD

D. A. CarsonD. A. Carson:

“The love of God in our culture has been purged of anything the culture finds uncomfortable. The love of God has been sanitized, democratized, and above all sentimentalized.” (The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, 11)

THE ETERNAL LOVE OF GOD

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn cup; long before the echoes awoke the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long before the light flashed through the sky, God loved His chosen creatures. Before there was any created being — when the ether was not fanned by an angel’s wing, when space itself had not an existence, where there was nothing save God alone — even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His heart moved with love for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul. Jesus loved His people before the foundation of the world — even from eternity! And when He called me by His grace, He said to me, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.’” (Autobiography, I: 167)

LOVE OF THE BIBLE

Bishop J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle:

The love of the bible will show itself in a believer’s readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him patient under provocation, forgiving when injured, meek when unjustly attacked, and quiet when slandered. It will make him hear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often, all for the sake of peace. (Practical Religion)

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