“What immediately leaps to our mind when we see the word holiness?” asks Dane. “Austerity. Coldness. Grim-faced. Jaw-set. In one of his early sermons Edwards says, ‘Holiness is a most beautiful, lovely thing. Men are apt to drink in strange notions of holiness from their childhood as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour thing.’ But Edwards says there is nothing in holiness but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely. Sin is mire and filth. Holiness is sweet, lovely, delightful, serene, calm. That corrects me. Holiness is calming. It is the only route by which I can actually enjoy my life, because I am not delighting in the world’s fraudulent offers of happiness. Holiness is quietly thrilling. Where else would you want to live but in the brightness of holiness?” Desiring God
Sin is the insanity of forsaking the pursuit of your pleasure in God. Here’s the text: Jeremiah 2:12-13: “Be appalled O heavens, be shocked. Be utterly desolate, says the Lord. For my people have committed two great evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters and have hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Tell me, what is evil? The definition of evil, that which appalls the universe, that causes the angels of God to say, “No! It can’t be!”…what is it?
It is looking at God, the fountain of all-satisfying, living water, and saying “No thank you,” and turning to the television, sex, parties, booze, money, prestige, a house in the suburbs, a vacation, a new computer program, and saying “Yes!” That’s insane! And it causes all heaven to be appalled, according to Jeremiah 2:12.
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Inspired by something I read recently, I’ve been reflecting on this great question. I love quotes and books, could inhale them all day long. Here are a few of my favorite words…
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl, Matilda
“Get alone with God and preach His Word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.” John Piper
“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been born in God’s thought and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.” C.S. Lewis
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart,’ said she afterwards to herself. ‘There is nothing to be compared to it.” Jane Austen
“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” Søren Kierkegaard
“I am a pilgrim in this world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in quiet habitation.” Charles Spurgeon
“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs, when you give a person, just enough comfort, to be themselves.” Atticus
“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this world a better place?” Winston Churchill
“I have heard the gospel a thousand times, in a thousand forms. No matter, preach it to me again. I hunger, I tire, I sigh. Preach it to me again; it is my food, it is my rest, it is my sweet embrace. Preach it to me again, will you have me starve by the lack of it? Tell me of my sin, I beg, tell me of the Son. Tell me of our Fountainhead; tell me what He’s done.” Paolo Arimado
“Love is helping people toward the greatest beauty, the highest value, the deepest satisfaction, the most lasting joy, the biggest reward, the most wonderful friendship, and the most overwhelming worship—love is helping people toward God.” John Piper
What about you? If you have a few minutes to share your favorite line, poem or book….
“Since God’s love for us is the soil in which love for God grows, identifying his grace in all the Scriptures is not simply an interpretive scheme. It is supremely practical. For regular exaltation of the gospel is what ignites love for God in the hearts of believers. We identify the grace pervading Scripture in order to fan into flame our zeal for the Savior. Our goal is not merely good interpretation but stimulation of a profound love for God that bears holy fruit, as pleasing the One we love above all brings our most profound and compelling joy.” ESV Gospel Transformation Bible
Here’s a list of a few of my recent reads, including a few favorite passages from each. I’d love to hear about what you are reading!
The True Vine, Andrew Murray
“Let us realize that we can only fulfill our calling to bear much fruit by praying much. In Christ are hidden all the treasures that the people around us need. In Him, all God’s children are blessed with all spiritual blessings. He is full of grace and truth. But, prayer, much prayer, strong believing prayer, is needed to bring about these blessings. And let us equally remember that we cannot appropriate the promise without first living a life given up for men. Many try to take the promise and then look around for what they can ask. This is not the way, but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the need of souls, and the command and power to save them will come to claim the promise.”
“You are the branch. — You need be nothing more. You need not for one single moment of the day take upon you the responsibility of the Vine. You need not leave the place of entire dependence and unbounded confidence.”