Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (Ortlund)

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SKU:
9781433566134
Publisher:
Crossway
Pages:
224
Binding:
Hardcover

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Christians know what Jesus Christ has done—but who is he? What is his deepest heart for his people, weary and faltering on their journey toward heaven? Jesus said he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” This book reflects on these words, opening up a neglected yet central truth about who he is for sinners and sufferers today.

From the first chapter:

This is a book about the heart of Christ. Who is he? Who is he really? What is most natural to him? What ignites within him most immediately as he moves toward sinners and sufferers? What flows out most freely, most instinctively? Who is he?This book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynical, the empty. Those running on fumes. Those whose Christian lives feel like constantly run-ning up a descending escalator. Those of us who find ourselves thinking: “How could I mess up that bad—again?” It is for that increasing suspicion that God’s patience with us is wearing thin. For those of us who know God loves us but suspect we have deeply disappointed him. Who have told others of the love of Christ yet wonder if—as for us—he harbors mild resentment. Who wonder if we have shipwrecked our lives beyond what can be repaired. Who are convinced we’ve permanently diminished our usefulness to the Lord. Who have been swept off our feet by perplexing pain and are wondering how we can keep living under such numbing darkness. Who look at our lives and know how to interpret the data only by concluding that God is fundamentally parsimonious. It is written, in other words, for normal Christians. In short, it is for sinners and sufferers. How does Jesus feel about them?

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. His Very Heart

2. His Heart in Action

3. The Happiness of Christ

4. Able to Sympathize

5. He Can Deal Gently

6. I Will Never Cast Out

7. What Our Sins Evoke

8. To the Uttermost

9. An Advocate

10. The Beauty of the Heart of Christ

11. The Emotional Life of Christ

12. A Tender Friend

13. Why the Spirit?

14. Father of Mercies

15. His “Natural” Work and His “Strange” Work

16. The Lord, the Lord

17. His Ways Are Not Our Ways

18. Yearning Bowels

19. Rich in Mercy   

20. Our Law-ish Hearts, His Lavish Heart

21. He Loved Us Then; He’ll Love Us Now

22. To the End

23. Buried in His Heart Forevermore

Epilogue
Acknowledgments
General Index
Scripture Index

Endorsements

Gentle and Lowly comes from the pen of someone who has not just profited from reading the Puritans—but who, more importantly, has read the Bible under their tutelage. One short book can never be enough to convey all the glory of the character of Christ, but this book deftly unpacks something we often overlook: Christ is meek and lowly in heart and gives rest to those who labor and are burdened. Written with pastoral gentleness and quiet beauty, it teases out what twenty biblical texts contribute to this portrait of the heart of Christ, all of it brought together to bring comfort, strength, and rest to believers.”
D. A. Carson, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition

“In this timely work, Dane Ortlund directs our attention back to the person of Jesus. Centered on the Scriptures and drawing upon the best of the Puritan tradition, Ortlund helps us see the heart of God as it is revealed to us in Christ. He reminds us not only of Jesus’s promises of rest and comfort, but of the Bible’s vision of Jesus: a kind and gracious King.”
Russell Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“The title of this book immediately evoked within me a sense of longing, hope, and gratitude. The message it contains is a balm for every heart that feels pierced by sin or sorrow—whether from within or without. It is an invitation to experience the sweet consolations of a Savior who moves toward us with tenderness and grace, when we know we deserve just the opposite from him.”
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; Teacher and Host, Revive Our Hearts

“On the rough, rocky, and often dark path between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet,’ there is nothing your weary heart needs more than to know the beauty of the heart of Jesus. It is that beauty that alone has the power to overwhelm all the ugly you will encounter along the way. I have read no book that more carefully, thoroughly, and tenderly displays Christ’s heart than what Dane Ortlund has written. As if I was listening to a great symphony, I was moved in different ways in different passages but left each feeling hugely blessed to know that what was being described was the heart of my Savior, my Lord, my Friend, and my Redeemer. I can’t think of anyone in the family of God who wouldn’t be greatly helped by spending time seeing the heart of Jesus through the eyes of such a gifted guide as Ortlund.”
Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, New Morning Mercies and My Heart Cries Out

“The Puritans breathed Christ-centered practices: they embraced the Bible as a lifeline, exercised it like a muscle, and relied upon it like a bulletproof vest. They knew how to hate their sin without hating themselves because they understood that Christ’s grace is an ever-present Person, a Person who understands our situation and our needs better than we do. They understood that we suffer because of sin. Dane Ortlund masterfully handles a treasure trove of Puritan wisdom and deftly presents it to the Christian reader. Read this book and pray that the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to you as the Puritans understood him, and you will be refreshed to understand God’s grace in a whole new way.”
Rosaria Butterfield, Former Professor of English, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

“‘He is so strong that he can afford to be gentle.’ That old movie line is more than a throwaway sentiment when we consider the theological precision and pastoral heart of Dane Ortlund describing God’s heart toward those who are weak, weary, sin-sick, and despairing. The insights of Gentle and Lowly are truly a river of mercy flowing from the throne of God, through great pastors of the past, and into precious and powerful ministry for today.”
Bryan Chapell, Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

“My life has been transformed by the beautiful, staggering truths in this book. Dane Ortlund lifts our eyes to see Christ’s compassion-filled heart for sinners and sufferers, proving that Jesus is no reluctant savior but one who delights in showing his mercy. For any feeling bruised, weary, or empty, this is the balm for you.”
Michael Reeves, President and Professor of Theology, Union School of Theology, Oxford, United Kingdom

“Only a few pages in I started to realize how unusual and essential this book is—it is an exposition of the very heart of Christ. The result is a book that astonishes us with the sheer abundance and capacity of his love for us. Breathtaking and healing in equal measure, it is already one of the best books I’ve read.”
Sam Allberry, Speaker, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author, Why Does God Care Who I Sleep With? and 7 Myths about Singleness

“Dane Ortlund writes about what seems too good to be true—the Lord delights to show mercy to you and to me—so he works very carefully through key texts and enlists the help of saints past. I was persuaded, and I look forward to being persuaded again and again.”
Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty Member, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

“Dane Ortlund leads us into the very heart of God incarnate—not only what Jesus did for us, but how he feels toward us. That’s right: feels toward us. Anchored in Scripture and drawing on the Puritan Thomas Goodwin, this book is medicine for broken hearts.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“Dane Ortlund helps us rediscover the heart of Jesus that is the very heart of the gospel. This delightful book opens up the sheer immensity of Jesus’s tender love for us. As you immerse yourself in Christ’s very heart, you’ll find your own heart warmed at the fire of the love of God. Ortlund opens up a neglected theme among the Puritans (in bite-sized chunks that won’t overwhelm you), where you’ll discover their grasp of the beauty of Jesus’s love. Your soul needs this book. I highly recommend it.”
Paul E. Miller, author, A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

Author:

Dane C. Ortlund (PhD, Wheaton College) is chief publishing officer and Bible publisher at Crossway. He serves as an editor for the Knowing the Bible series and the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series, and is the author of several books, including Gentle and Lowly and Edwards on the Christian Life. He is an elder at Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois. Dane lives with his wife, Stacey, and their five children in Wheaton, Illinois.