Quotations for Crossroads

1) A comprehended God is no God. – John Chrysostom

2) “God’s emotional life is infinitely complex beyond our ability to fully comprehend. For example, who can comprehend that the Lord hears in one moment of time the prayers of ten million Christians around the world, and sympathizes with each one personally and individually like a caring Father (as Hebrews 4:15 says He will), even though among those ten million prayers some are broken-hearted and some are bursting with joy? How can God weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice when they are both coming to Him at the same time – in fact are always coming to Him with no break at all? Or who can comprehend that God is angry at the sin of the world every day (Psalm 7:11), and yet every day, every moment, He is rejoicing with tremendous joy because somewhere in the world a sinner is repenting (Luke 15:7, 10, 23)? Who can comprehend that God continually burns with hot anger at the rebellion of the wicked, grieves over the unholy speech of his people (Ephesians 4:29-30), yet takes pleasure in them daily (Psalm 149:4), and ceaselessly makes merry over penitent prodigals who come home?”
– John Piper

3) The saints in heaven…will not be so enlarged as to be capable of contemplating at once, or in detail, the whole excellence of His nature. To comprehend infinite perfection, they must become infinite themselves. Even in Heaven, their knowledge will be partial, but at the same time their happiness will be complete, because their knowledge will be perfect in this sense, that it will be adequate to the capacity of the subject, although it will not exhaust the fullness of the object. We believe that it will be progressive, and that as their views expand, their blessedness will increase. But it will never reach a limit beyond which there is nothing to be discovered, and when ages after ages have passed away, He will still be the incomprehensible God.
– John Dick

4) As well might a gnat seek to drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. A God whom we could understand would be no God. If we could grasp Him, He could not be infinite. If we could understand Him, He could not be divine. – C.H. Spurgeon

5) “What do we learn about God’s glory from this account? What is it about the crossing of the Sea, the salvation of the Israelites and the destruction of the Egyptians, which lends itself to God’s glory? As background, we need to recall who Pharaoh was. He was the most powerful human ruler in existence. He had the power of life and death. He was vastly wealthy with armies at his beck and call. With his wealth and power, he would have been considered glorious to human eyes. Let us also recall who Pharaoh and the Egyptians thought he was—god. Pharaoh was an important god in Egyptian religious thinking. So his glory, as thought of by the Egyptians, would have extended to his purported divinity. In a word, the crossing of the sea was understood as the continuation and pinnacle of God’s war against the Egyptian gods that began during the plagues (Ex. 12:12). Pharaoh’s presumption (hard heart) would not allow him to surrender to Moses’ demands, and so the conflict escalated until the point of the action at the sea. Indeed, this fit with God’s plan. Not only did Pharaoh harden his heart, but God hardened it as well (Ex. 9:12). It was part of his plan to display his glory to the world (Ex. 9:16). God’s glory was thus displayed by shattering the pretentious glory of Egypt and its Pharaoh by the dramatic means of separating the sea to allow the Israelites to go through to safety and to close it in judgment on the Egyptians. God’s saving and judging actions thus demonstrate his glory with the result that the Israelites worship him: I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. (Ex. 15:1)” – Tremper Longmam III

6) What is the preeminent passion in God’s heart? What is God’s greatest pleasure? How does the happiness of God manifest itself? In what does God take supreme delight? I want to suggest that the preeminent passion in God’s heart is His own glory. God is at the center of His own affections. The supreme love of God’s life is God. God is preeminently committed to the fame of His name. God is Himself the end for which God created the world. Better still, God’s immediate goal in all He does is for His own glory.

Sam Storms

7) So is God selfish and vain [to pursue His own glory]? No, for while it would be sinful for sinners (like us) to promote our own glory, it would be wrong if God acted for any purpose less than His own glory. Giving preeminence to any purpose other than Himself – since all things are less than God – would make God an idolater. God can give us nothing greater than Himself in all His glory, so it’s to our advantage for God to glorify Himself above all. – Don Whitney

8 ) How could we describe God as righteous and good if He ever failed to pursue and preserve what is supremely valuable and of greatest worth? That is why God must take ultimate delight in His own glory or He would be unrighteous. It is incumbent on everyone to take delight in a person in proportion to the excellence of that person’s glory. Whose glory can compare with that of God’s? If God were not to delight supremely in God He would not be God, or at least He would be an unrighteous one and thus unworthy of our delight. – Sam Storms

9) God’s pursuit of my praise of Him is not weak self-seeking but the epitome of self-giving love! If my satisfaction in Him is incomplete until expressed in praise of Him for satisfying me, then God’s effort to solicit my worship is both the most loving thing He could possibly do for me and the most glorifying thing He could possibly do for Himself. For in my gladness in Him is His glory in me. – Sam Storms

10) “This is not megalomania because, unlike our self-exaltation, God’s self-exaltation draws attention to what gives greatest and longest joy, namely, himself. When we exalt ourselves, we lure people away from the one thing that can satisfy their souls—the infinite beauty of God. When God exalts himself, he manifests the one thing that can satisfy our souls, namely, God. Therefore, God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act, since love labors and suffers to enthrall us with what is infinitely and eternally satisfying, namely, God. Therefore, when God exalts God and commands us to join him, he is pursuing our highest, deepest, longest happiness. This is love, not megalomania.” – John Piper

11) God’s pursuit of his glory and our pursuit of our joy turn out to be the same pursuit. This is what Christ died to achieve. “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). When we are brought to God as our highest treasure, he gets the glory and we get the pleasure. – John Piper

12) God glorifies Himself toward the creature also in two ways: 1. By appearing to…their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in and enjoying the manifestations which He makes of Himself… God is glorified not only by His glory being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart.
– Jonathan Edwards

13) The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.
– C.S. Lewis

14)  “By what right do we become “a royal priesthood”? By the right of the Atonement. Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centred, morbid type of Christianity, not the robust, simple life of the child of God. Until we get into a right relationship to God, it is a case of banging on by the skin of our teeth, and we say – What a wonderful victory I have got. There is nothing indicative of the miracle of Redemption in that. Launch out in reckless belief that the Redemption is complete, and then bother no more about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ said – pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints, pray for all men. Pray on the realization that you are only perfect in Christ Jesus, not on this plea – “O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me.”

How long is it going to take God to free us from the morbid habit of thinking about ourselves? We must get sick unto death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God can tell us about ourselves. We cannot touch the depths of meanness in ourselves. There is only one place where we are right, and that is in Christ Jesus. When we are there, then we have to pour out for all we are worth in this ministry of the interior.” – Oswald Chambers

15) We begin with one fundamental fact about worship: at this very moment, and for as long as this world endures, everybody inhabiting it is bowing down and serving something or someone-an artifact, a person, an institution, an idea, a spirit, or God through Christ. Everyone is being shaped thereby and is growing up toward some measure of fullness, whether of righteousness or of evil. No one is exempt and no one can wish to be. We are, every one of us, unceasing worshipers and will remain so forever, for eternity is an infinite extrapolation of one of two conditions: a surrender to the sinfulness of sin unto infinite loss or the commitment of personal righteousness unto infinite gain. This is the central fact of our existence, and it drives every other fact.

– Harold M. Best. Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts

16) “We were created continuously outpouring. Note that I did not say we were created to be continuous outpourers. Nor can I dare imply that we were created to worship. This would suggest that God is an incomplete person whose need for something outside himself (worship) completes his sense of himself. It might not even be safe to say that we were created for worship, because the inference can be drawn that worship is a capacity that can be separated out and eventually relegated to one of several categories of being. I believe it is strategically important, therefore, to say that we were created continuously outpouring—we were created in that condition, at that instant, imago Dei.” – Harold Best

17) Worship may ebb and flow, may take on various appearances and may be unconscious or conscious, intense and ecstatic or quiet and commonplace, but it is continuous. When we sin, worship does not stop. It changes directions and reverts back to what it once was, even if only for an instant. Repentance-the turning from and (re)turning to-is the only solution. – Harold M. Best

18) “Spiritual sacrifices are sacrifices from Christ and through Christ and for Christ. They get their power from the Spirit of Christ, they get their content from the Word of Christ, and they have their goal in the glory of Christ. And they flow only from a heart devoted to His power and His word and His glory. And that is the only kind of worship God accepts!” – Piper

19) “See what Jesus Christ has made of you who believe in him; by the incorruptible blood and the incorruptible seed, he has brought you into a heavenly priesthood, and you are to-day to stand at the spiritual altar, and “to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Will you not pray, will you not praise, will you not love? These are sacrifices with which God is well pleased.” – Spurgeon

20) “There is never found in our sacrifices such purity, that they are of themselves acceptable to God; our self-denial is never entire and complete, our prayers are never so sincere as they ought to be, we are never so zealous and so diligent in doing good, but that our works are imperfect, and mingled with many vices. Nevertheless, Christ procures favor for them. Then Peter here obviates that want of faith which we may have respecting the acceptableness of our works, when he says, that they are accepted, not for the merit of their own excellency, but through Christ. And it ought to kindle the more the ardor of our efforts, when we hear that God deals so indulgently with us, that in Christ he sets a value on our works, which in themselves deserve nothing.” – John Calvin

21) Did you know that Jesus is our true worship leader? [Christ says to the Father,] “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” (Heb. 2:12 NIV) As followers of Christ, we don’t have to worship by our own power. Jesus Christ Himself, our Mediator, faithfully leads us in God-pleasing worship. See, when we come before the Father, God views our worship as coming from His own Son, with whom He is well pleased. Our efforts may seem bumbling to us, but when we are submitted to our divine Worship Leader, God is also well pleased with us. Our worship is fragrant to God. The fact that our worship is not by our own might, but Christ’s, does away with all human pride about “doing worship right.” We never will. Worship wasn’t our idea. But Jesus knows how to worship God. He is Worship Perfected, and only through our attachment to Him can our worship satisfy God—and it does. – Whaley, Vernon M.

22) “There is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ. This means that God sees and hears all of our offerings perfected. God sees and hears as no human being can, all because our offerings have been perfected by the giver. The out-of-tune singing of an ordinary believer, the hymnic chant of the aborigine . . . the open frankness of a primitive art piece, the nearly transcendent “Kyrie” of Bach’s B Minor Mass, the praise choruses of the charismatic, the drum praise of the Cameroonian-everything from the widow’s mite to the poured-out ointment of artistic action-are at once humbled and exalted by the strong saving work of Christ.” – Harold Best

23)  All our offerings are humbled by the work of Christ because they would be unacceptable to God without him. All our offerings are exalted because when they are joined to the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, God accepts them as though his own Son were offering them. Nothing against skill, practice, complexity, nuance, musicianship, or sincerity, but only the finished work of Christ makes our offerings of worship acceptable in God’s eyes…  What a relief! That doesn’t mean what we do in corporate worship is unimportant. But when we overemphasize our own actions in worship, we can inadvertently create the impression that our contribution makes our worship acceptable to God. We think God is persuaded to listen to us because of our sophisticated musical arrangements, our polished performance, or even our heartfelt sincerity. It’s not the excellence of our offering that makes our worship acceptable but the excellence of Christ. We cannot worship the eternal Father apart from the eternal Son. He was able to offer his own righteous life as a perfect offering because he had no sins of his own to die for (Hebrews 7:26). Even now he intercedes for us, saving us “to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). Our worship is accepted not on the basis of what we have done, but on the basis of what Christ has done.

Kauflin, Bob

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