Most of the biblical history consists of people waiting for God to do something. And often they waited in very dire circumstances that made the wait all the more difficult. They were held in the tension between the divine promise and the seeming absence of any implementation of that purpose.
Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places, page 92.
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.
There is a tendency among Christians to be engrossed in an attempt to determine God’s will for each decision in their lives. Many such decisions can be made with more precision and more legitimate reason, however, if they are measured against the long-range will of God that is revealed throughout God’s Word. Instead of seeking specific verses for turning points in our lives, we will be far better equipped to make sound decisions if we have a grasp of God’s revealed will for the Christian, for the church and for the world. This requires a sweeping understanding of Scripture as a whole. That does not mean we cannot pray for guidance day by day; it does mean that there should be a spiritual maturing in our lives that gives us a solid foundation for making biblically informed decisions.
Walter L. Liefeld, Ephesians, p. 45.
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
The only hope for people lies not in giving them an example of how to behave but in the preaching of Jesus Christ as the Saviour from sin. The hearts of all get hope when they hear that.
Oswald Chambers, Disciples Indeed, page 309.
Today this message [to repent and turn to God] is vital to the eternal destiny of not only ethnic children of Abraham, the Jews, but also that largest of hidden people groups, nominal Christians. If 75-80 percent of the world’s Christians are Christian in name only, then one billion people need to be awakened out of their “smug assurance of salvation by biological birthright.”
William J. Larkin, Jr., Acts, p. 70
When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. The Court of Chancery is indefensible—like mankind. The Inquisition is abominable—like the universe. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action. The pessimist can be enraged at wrong; bust only the optimist can be surprised at it.
G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, pages 33-34.
It is imperative, then, that we behold the Person of Jesus as revealed through every page of Scripture from beginning to end. What we discover about Him will orient our lives around His light like planets around the blazing sun; inevitably, revelation of who He is will lead us to make decisions that don’t make sense unless we will be raised from the dead.
Stephanie Quick, To Trace a Rising Sun, page 19-20.
[Alexander] Duff and his friends were provoked by men like William Cary, who’d sailed to the other side of the world to tell people who didn’t know about Jesus about Jesus. They dug into the Scriptures, read a bunch of missionary biographies, prayed together, ate together, and wrestled through it all together. Many of them concluded the burden of responsibility for stewarding the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom fell upon them simply because they were members and ambassadors of the Kingdom. None felt called to preach or pioneer. They just couldn’t shake the testimony of the Word of God that Jesus was worth it and the unreached deserve it.
Stephanie Quick, To Trace a Rising Sun, page 10.
Matthew speaks of more than personal repentance; he evokes the Old Testament hope of the salvation of God’s people, including the justice and peace of God’s kingdom. For Matthew, and for us, salvation from sin cannot end with a prayer. Matthew promises salvation not only from sin’s penalty but also from its power. Christ’s followers are not merely heirs of his coming kingdom but servants of the King, committed to exemplifying the values of that future world in the midst of this present evil age.
Craig S. Keener, Matthew, p. 63-64.