Saturday 24 April 2010

Mark Dever

I'm reading a book by Mark Dever called "Twelve Challenges Churches Face" and am being blessed by it. He has a lovely gentle way about him that I admire and appreciate. Here is a quote from his book that caught my eye...

Stroke your love for God and desire for his presence and give time to cultivating that self-denying love that actively chip away and exports your heart from the concerns of this world to eternal concerns.


..... I think it's the kind of quote you have to read twice.....

Here is more of his writing biased on love in the Church. Keep reading, it is well worth it...

What is the grace of the Lord Jesus? It is the grace of God available to us in our sins through Christ. Christ came and lived a perfect life. Christ in no way lived a life of hatred to God, nor of disobedience to his will. He obeyed perfectly. He died on the cross as part of his loving, voluntary identification with us, and by his death he accepted God's wrath as a substitute for everyone who would ever repent of their sins and trust n him. God's grace is extended to sinners through Christ.

Do you know this grace? If not, why not begin now with a new life? Ask God to forgive you of your sins for Christ's sake and to fill you with his Spirit. Live for God in obedience to him; live with him now self-consciously as your Lord, and the change will be remarkable. Paul called it a new creation; Jesus called it a new birth. Friends, this is far more important than a pay rise, losing a few pounds, or finding that new job.

My Christian brothers and sisters, are you showing such Christlike love and grace to others? Wife, are you loving your husband? Husbands, are you caring for your wife as you should? Friend, have you reached out to those who are away from home? Son, have you expressed your thanks to your parents? How about you who have been sinned against? What have you done to express honest forgiveness and to further honest reconciliation? Brother or sister, how have you cared for other members who are trapped in their sins? Have you given time to seeing them, spending time with them, praying for them, asking them tough questions, encouraging them, exhorting them, loving them?

I wonder how we as a church think we are ever going to be very good at evangelism or world missions if we are not very good at applying the gospel of Christ to our own hearts and to the relationships we have right in our own churches. It is my prayer that we see more and more evidences of God's love in our congregations.

2 comments:

Jeff Whitfield said...

Great quotes! He's singing my song! Sounds like a book I need to read!

Ruth MacC said...

It's an easy read and challenging. I just finished it. Norman Barr gave it to Niall and I think that in itself is a good reccommondation :0)

It's full of good stuff Jeff and I hope that you do get it some day.