Seeking is the greatest expression of praise and worship. By persistently seeking God, we declare that he is supremely desirable. To see God is to glorify God, that is, to declare his supreme worth. We might declare with our lips that God is worthy of all praise, but we demonstrate what is truly worth the most to us by what we pursue. The psalms in which people seek God, even from the most alienated positions, are truly psalms of praise and worship, perhaps even more so than those that explicitly make declarations of praise and worship.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 96.
We naturally appreciate and thank God for what he has done for us. But it is too easy to be preoccupied with our benefits and overlook what God’s grace means to him. We are saved by grace because that is appropriate to God’s nature and purposes, bringing him glory as it brings us salvation. We are alerted to that at the very beginning of the epistle by the words “to the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6).
Walter l. Liefeld, Ephesians, page 87.
To embrace God is to allow his desires to rule in our hearts.
To know God is to share his joy and therefore also his grief. If any person is
to love God, he or she must be prepared to grieve over the things that grieve
God. To come to God is to have our hearts broken by God’s sadness, not only for
the world he loves but also for us. To be embraced by God is to be shattered by
the revelation of all that grieves God in our lives. It is to be devastated by
the reality that we are the cause of the greatest suffering in the
universe: the suffering of God.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 40.
Biblical faith is not a religion to observe or a code of
ethics to follow. It is not even primarily a task to fulfill. Biblical faith is
a relationship to enjoy. It is as simple as that.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 20.
is a sign that there is something wrong with our relationship with God. The
solution to disobedience, therefore, is not simply to start “doing the right
things.” If the fruit is bad, we don’t focus on curing the fruit; we cure the
tree. This is why so many Christians go around and around in circles when
trying to deal with personal sin. They deal with it by trying harder not to sin
It never works. Something has to change in the heart. Inevitably, the problem
comes down to some kind of relational breakdown, often between themselves and
others, and always between themselves and God.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, p. 22-23.
God did His greatest work while Jesus felt most abandoned by God.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
Everything He had done since that “silent night” in Bethlehem, and everything He was about to go through, was to this end: to give eternal life to the men and women given by the Father to the Son. He immediately defined it, for our sakes, with this: “This is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”
Stephanie Quick, To Trace a Rising Son, p.101
My gravest warning for a pioneer (though this applies to any
believer) is the hazard of duty without beauty. If Jesus Himself needed to
withdraw from crowds to be with His Father, and could not manage a ministry of
relief and humanitarian aid without a plumb line of prayer, we certainly cannot
either, and should not try.
Stephanie Quick, To
Trace A Rising Sun, p. 215.
I am convinced, that for all the demands and all the needs
and all the opportunities to love and minister and serve, the challenge of our
hearts throughout the rest of this age is not primarily to love ourselves and
our neighbor. That is a secondary challenge. The challenge of our hearts in
this age is to love our Maker, our Husband, and no other.
Stephanie Quick, To
Trace A Rising Sun, p. 214-215.
One of the most fascinating of all the preacher’s tasks is to explore both the emptiness of fallen man and the fullness of Jesus Christ, in order then to demonstrate how he can fill our emptiness, lighten our darkness, enrich our poverty, and bring our human aspirations to fulfillment. The riches of Christ are unfathomable.
John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 154.