Forgetful, we fall away.
We center our faith around the responsibilities that we fulfill or the well-worn habits that frame the seasons, when Christianity, at its core, is not a job description, but, rather, a relationship. Love for God is foundational to all defining realities of the true believer, and if it has ceased to be, John MacArthur says that it’s time to Remember and Return to that love.
While a devotional book should never supplant the place of time in the Scriptures, this collection of thirty-one reflections begins each day with a Bible passage and then goes on to clarify the teaching with a focus on the deepening of a God-ward relationship.
Deep theological truth can be startling when it is presented as a warning, as it is to the church at Ephesus who, after a great beginning under the ministry of Paul the Apostle, had slid away from a rich, loving relationship with God by the time the Revelation was penned. Even in the midst of the Christmas season, when we are treated to a steady stream of reminders of the lengths to which God would go to make a connection with humanity, it’s easy to lose sight of the love of God and our love for Him. When we become “cold, orthodox, and mechanical” in our faith practices, apathy moves in and relationship wanes.
However, when viewed through the lens of God’s love, the process of sanctification becomes the mark of a love relationship, a desire to become like the Beloved.
The rescue of redemption is revealed as a loving sacrifice, made for the sake of reconciliation with a cherished people.
Dipping into a rich reservoir of quotations collected over a lifetime of study, MacArthur shares wisdom from a wide range of thinkers including D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, J.I. Packer, C.S. Lewis, Benjamin Warfield, and F.B. Meyer.
John Owen’s observation gives me all the motivation I need for pondering the love of God at this point in history:
“If our future blessedness shall consist in living where He is, and beholding of His glory, what better preparation can there be for it than a constant previous contemplation of that glory as revealed in the gospel, that by a view of it we may be gradually transformed into the same glory?”
May our love for God continue to increase — for our joy and for His glory.
This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review.
Counting down the days until the beginning of the book discussion group on C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. Watch for a reading schedule on January 5!
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