Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas. Nancy Guthrie, editor. 2008. Crossway. 142 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus features twenty-two devotional readings perfect for Advent. Contributors include George Whitfield, Joseph "Skip" Ryan, Martin Luther, John Piper, Tim Keller, Martyn-Lloyd-Jones, J. Ligon Duncan III, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Saint Augustine, J.I. Packer, John Calvin, Alistair Begg, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Francis Schaeffer, J.C. Ryle, James Montgomery Boice, R.C. Sproul, R. Kent Hughes, and Joni Eareckson Tada.

Each entry is short--two to four pages in length--which make them perfect reading for this busy season when every minute seems spoken for. Each entry is Scripture-focused which makes for a great reminder each and every day to keep our hearts and minds on Christ during this Christmas season.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
  • What can we do to employ our time to a more noble purpose than reading of what our dear Redeemer has done and suffered; to read that the King of kings and the Lord of lords came from his throne and took upon him the form of the meanest of his servants; and what great things he underwent. This, this is a history worth reading, this is worth employing our time about: and surely, when we read of the sufferings of our Savior, it should excite us. ~ George Whitefield
  • Did Jesus come into the world to save us from death, and shall we spend no part of our time in conversing about our dear Jesus? ~ George Whitefield
  • Christmas only points forward to Good Friday and Easter. It can have no meaning apart from that, where the Son of God displayed his glory by his death. Grace is a person; truth is a person—Jesus, come to you in the flesh. ~ Joseph "Skip" Ryan
  • We must both read and meditate upon the nativity. If the meditation does not reach the heart, we shall sense no sweetness, nor shall we know what solace for humankind lies in this contemplation. The heart will not laugh nor be merry. As spray does not touch the deep, so mere meditation will not quiet the heart. There is such richness and goodness in this nativity that if we should see and deeply understand, we should be dissolved in perpetual joy. ~ Martin Luther
  • What God gave us at Christmas was not just his Son. He gave us a truth—a truth that transforms us when we take it in. What God gave us at Christmas is a whole new life. ~ Tim Keller
  • What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do. ~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Glory is to God what wet is to water. His glory is like the heat of a fire. in other words, it is the emanation, it is the effulgence, it is the brightness, it is the product of his presence, it is the revelation of himself. Anytime God discloses himself, he manifests his glory. ~ John MacArthur
  • A Savior is what we most need. If I’m not yearning for a Savior, I’m the irrelevant one. The greatest thing God could do for us is to give us a Savior. God himself defines true relevance here, because our basic problem in life is not financial or political or intellectual or psychological. Our basic problem is moral. If God spreads joy wherever he goes, we spread trouble wherever we go. Look at the history of the world. The vast majority of people on the face of this earth just want to be happy. We don’t mean any harm. We just want to live our quiet little lives and be left alone. And if nearly everybody feels that way, what’s gone wrong? Why is the world in such a mess? you and I are the problem. Our good intentions are not strong enough to control our evil impulses. We need a Savior to rescue us from ourselves. And God, with great understanding and compassion, has given us what we most deeply need—a Savior in Jesus Christ. We who have come into Christ are not always going to be the way we are now. The world is not always going to be the way it is now. The Savior has come. Evil is doomed. Our best days still lie ahead. ~ Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. 

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