11 Quotes From “How Great Is Our God”

Scholars, tradesmen, politicians, theologians, pastors, and martyrs—all have spoken or written about the greatness of God over the past two millennia. In How Great Is Our God we are treated to a sampling of these writings. Check out my full book review by clicking here, and then enjoy this first set of quotes.

“Oh, that everyone would strive to put down, in themselves, mastery and honor, so that the Lord of heaven and earth might be exalted!” —George Fox

“Those who are poor in spirit are men and women who have realized that things mean nothing, and that God means everything. …

“Poverty is not a good thing. Jesus would never have called blessed a state where people live in slums and do not have enough to eat, and where health deteriorates because conditions are all against it. It is the aim of the Christian gospel to remove that kind of poverty. The poverty which is blessed is the poverty of spirit, when people realize their own utter lack of resources to meet life, and find their help and strength in God. …

“So, the first beatitude means: O the bliss of those who have realized their own utter helplessness, and who have put their whole trust in God, for thus alone can they render to God that perfect obedience which will make them citizens of the kingdom of heaven!” —William Barclay

“Christ pronounces those to be happy who, chastened and subdued by afflictions, submit themselves wholly to God, and, with inward humility, turn to Him for protection.” —John Calvin

“Christ does not merely affirm that mourners are not unhappy. He shows that their very mourning contributes to a happy life, by preparing them to receive eternal joy, and by furnishing them with motives to seek true comfort in God alone.” —John Calvin

“Teach me to seek Thee, and reveal Thyself to me, when I seek Thee, for I cannot seek Thee, except Thou teach me, nor find Thee, except Thou reveal Thyself.” —Anslem

“I realize that I shouldn’t be surprised at God’s doing things that I can’t explain. I shouldn’t doubt His existence just because I find that I sometimes can’t understand why or how He has made something. I know that my nature is weak and limited and that God’s is limitless, incomprehensible, and infinite. From this, I can infer that He can do innumerable things for reasons that are unknown to me.” —René Descartes

“Truly the love of God and of this world may never be together in one soul, but whichever love is stronger puts out the other.” —Richard Rolle

“Two periods stand out in Christ’s life: His entrance into public ministry at His Baptism, and the culmination of it at His Passion. At both He had a fierce encounter with the devil. This should give you an idea of how the master tempter works. The more public your place, and the more eminent your service for God, the greater the probability that satan is at that very moment hatching some deadly scheme against you. If even the cadet corps need to be armed against satan’s bullets of temptation, how much more the commanders and officers, who stand in the front line of battle!” —William Gurnall

“Men should avoid taking their own vengeance, but avenge injury of God, with the intention to change. … Thus Moses, mildest man of all, killed many thousand of his people, for they worshipped a calf as they should worship God. And thus in our works of mercy lies much discretion….” —John Wycliffe

“God alone remits sin through Jesus Christ, His Son, and alone our Lord.

“Anyone who assigns this to creatures detracts from the honor of God and gives it to him who is not God; this is real idolatry.

“Therefore the confession that is made to a priest or neighbor shall not be declared to be a remittance of sin, but only seeking for advice.

“Works of penance coming from the council of human beings do not cancel sin; they are imposed as a menace to others.

“Christ has borne all our pains and labor. Therefore whoever assigns to works of penance what belongs to Christ errs and slanders God.” —Zwingli

“There is nothing better than to count up the worth of Christ; to take Him up and weigh Him again and again: and after this to have none other to court your love, and to woo your soul’s delight, but Christ.” —Samuel Rutherford 

Lots and lots of additional quotes are coming from this book. Some of them will be posted here, and several will be shared on my Tumblr and Twitter accounts.

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Thursdays With Oswald—Becoming Bread

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Becoming Bread

     It is the plough that prepares the ground for sowing the seed. The hard way through the field is the same soil as the good ground, but it is of no use for growing corn because it has never been ploughed. … 

     “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The way through the field which has been battered hard by men’s feet is an illustration of the human heart. The human heart should be the abode of God’s Holy Spirit, but it has been trampled hard by passions until God has no part in it, and the plough has to come into the desecrated place. … 

     Standing corn has to be cut down and go through the process of reaping, threshing, grinding, mixing and baking before it is good for food; and sanctified souls must be told that their only use is to be reaped for God and made into bread for others. It is time we got away from all our shallow thinking about sanctification. … 

     The sound of millstones is music in the ears of God. The worldling does not think it music, but the saint who is being made into bread knows that his Father knows best, and that He would never allow the suffering if He had not some purpose. … 

     “Be content, ye are His wheat growing in our Lord’s field. And if wheat, ye must go under our Lord’s threshing instrument, in His barn-floor, and through His sieve, and through His mill to be bruised, as the Prince of your salvation, Jesus, was (Isaiah 53:10), that ye may be found good bread in your Lord’s house” (Samuel Rutherford). … 

     When by the sanctifying power of the grace of God we have been made into bread, our lives are to be offered first of all to Jesus Christ. … The saints who satisfy the heart of Jesus make other saints strong and mature for God. 

From The Sacrament Of Saints

Do you want to be useful for God? Then you must let Him prepare you to be bread that He can use to nourish others. Chambers reminds us that this preparation process entails the painful processes of ploughing, reaping, threshing, grinding, mixing and baking. But God knows best! He only allows this pain so that He can use you to bless others.

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