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Book Review

The Heart of Christ for You

It has been quite the year hasn’t it. None of us could have imagined we would be traversing a global pandemic by staying at home (some of you are cheating I know). And in the midst of the wrecked routines and new normal maybe you have been surprised by some of the things that have helped you get through it all. I know I have.

One of those things for me is the new book from Dane Ortlund on “the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers.” It’s called “Gentle and Lowly” and I think you need to pick up a copy as soon as you can.

Dane is one of Ray Ortlund Jr.’s sons, and the gospel doesn’t fall far from the tree here. What a gift this whole family is to the kingdom as they proclaim Christ.

In this thoroughly digestible book Ortlund interacts with writings from a collection of Puritans and how they would naw on one verse of Scripture and produce volumes in response. Most reflecting on the heart of Jesus toward his people. Taking his cue then from those writers the author opens the word afresh for us weary souls.

Jesus really is all about you and your sin and suffering are occasions for his love and grace toward you to be stoked. Crazy. Crazy good. This book should be mandatory reading for believers that have doubted God’s love for them, or for anyone desiring to be more acquainted with Christ.

Check some choice quotes below:

“Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.” 21

“…the dominant note left ringing in our ears after reading the Gospels, the most vivid and arresting element of the portrait, is the way the Holy Son of God moves toward, touches, heals, embraces, and forgives those who least deserve it yet truly desire it.” 27

“It is not what life brings to us but to whom we belong that determines Christ’s heart of love for us.” 65

“In Jesus Christ, we are given a friend who will always enjoy rather than refuse our presence. This is a companion whose embrace of us does not strengthen or weaken depending on how clean or unclean, how attractive or revolting, how faithful or fickle, we presently are. The friendliness of his heart for us subjectively is as fixed and stable as is the declaration of his justification of us objectively.” 115

“Whom 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 of 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 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. The you underneath everything you present to others.” 166

“…it is the sun of Christ’s heart, not the cloud of my sins, that now defines me.” 187

“Christ’s glory is preeminently seen and enjoyed in his love to sinners.” 207

Grab the book for yourself here.

By Jonathan

Husband. Father. Friend.

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