Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards
Recommendation by Pastor Eric Cai
I have been reading Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits as sermon preparation for our high school series in 1 Corinthians 13 (I recommend the edition published by Crossway, because it does help its readers out with some provided editorial comments in the margins). Preached in 1738 and published a little over a century later in 1852, the book takes a meditative look at the sweeping vistas of love’s characteristics in the apostle Paul’s famous chapter of love in 1 Corinthians 13.
While the book may not be as practical or its language as readily accessible, sometimes we may unexpectedly profit from the writings of previous saints. One of the reasons why contemporary Christianity is so spiritually anemic is because it isn’t accessing nor drawing deeply from the rich theological wells of saints who have gone before us.
Charity and Its Fruits is ripe, no pun intended, with devotional content aimed at expanding our appreciation of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ and enriching our call to love God and one another faithfully. As Jonathan Edwards takes the reader deeper and deeper into each facet of love, the reader is taken deeper and deeper into the very heart of God. Here are some quotes:
- “When God is loved aright he is loved for his excellency, the beauty of his nature, especially the holiness of his nature” (41).
- “Extraordinary gifts of the Spirit are, as it were, precious jewels, which a man carries about him. But true grace in the heart is, as it were, the preciousness of the heart, by which it becomes precious or excellent; by which the very soul itself becomes a precious jewel” (66).
- “If you seek the glory of God and the good of your fellow creatures, it is a sure way to have God seek your interest…You shall be no loser by what you spend for his glory” (177).
In our ambition to do something great for Christ, it is easy to overlook the opportunities God provides right in front of us. As we begin our small group series on caring for one another, this article encourages us to think through ways we can love those God has placed around us.
Even our suffering is administered to us by God’s good hand. In light of this past Sunday’s sermon, here are some ways to respond to our difficulties while acknowledging God is pruning us so we bear more fruit.
What I appreciate the most about this article is simply putting us in a posture of awe at the majesty and glory of God. To know God is not drudgery, but the greatest delight and that provides the impetus for everything else.
Let us remember our hope and dismay is never ultimately in a political leader. Jesus is king, so we place our confidence in Him. If this be true, it should affect how we approach politics.
The value of our work is not necessarily inherent in what we do, but who and how we do it for. From sweeping a broom to brokering a huge business deal, we can honor and worship God.
Part of the joy and responsibility of church leadership is shepherding the flock. Elders are greatly helped when people are willing to seek help in humility and honesty. Reach out!
Definitely enjoying this song. In light of the previous sermons we’ve heard, let the lyrics encourage you to remember the wonderful and invigorating truth of abiding in Christ.
The Gettys released a new album. Enough said. But if you need more information, according to their website, “born out of the thoughts, songs, and prayers the Gettys use to close each day with their own family, this new project features a mixture of lullabies and hymns to help declutter the mind and comfort the heart.”
A tune that’s relaxing and dreamy, here’s a modern spin on Psalm 51, focusing on David’s plea for forgiveness and restoration.
Pastor Steve Viars provides both the biblical principles and practices to help and serve parents who care for children with special needs.
With the election on the horizon, politics are on the forefront of our minds. Crossway has made this free audiobook available to help us to think and navigate through how we can love and be gracious to one another even if we don’t see eye to eye on every political issue.
Recently, Ligonier Ministries hosted this panel discussion between Robert Godfrey, Stephen Nichols, and Burk Parsons on what it looks like to live faithfully today. They provide much to consider how to follow Jesus before a culture that is hostile to Him.
Kevin DeYoung wrote a series of articles dealing with racial tension. He has compiled and edited those posts into a single PDF.