Book Review: Gentle and Lowly by Dane C. Ortlund

Book Review: Gentle and Lowly by Dane C. Ortlund
The cover image for the book was taken from its Amazon buy page under Fair Use doctrine.

Gentle and Lowly by Dane C. Ortlund is a book dedicated to discussing the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers.

This book is beautiful. The message is full of compassion and Biblical guidance from a Puritan point of view. It touches on the need for salvation, but it focuses on what it means to have salvation. It teaches that it can not be lost. It teaches the patience and steadfast loving kindness of God through Christ.

I don’t want to get too deep in the the specifics of the book, but I do want to highlight the portion discussing John 6:37. I have never before reading this book and a more clear, wonderful, and encouraging explanation of salvation and love.

This is image was taken from The Gospel Coalition website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I’d offer this book to anyone. I’d give it to newly saved. I’d give it to people. I’d give it to people who are considering Christianity but may not be ready yet. I’d even give this book to people I’d never imagine would turn to Christ. This is the kind of book you had to someone and say, “Here. This is what it means to be Christian.”

It’s not expansive by any means. Ortlund sticks closely to the doctrine of salvation and how far Christ’s love for us goes. This is why it’s a message that can be so dynamic. Obviously, Christianity has areas that people can discuss and debate if they so choose. But start here. Start with a person, who so deeply loves you, he’d come down from Heaven and put on flesh just so he can be punished for your sake. Indeed, we must all follow Christ and serve Him, but I start with his love.

Sonnets For My Savior 50

Sonnets For My Savior 50

Giving Father

Praise the Lord, who never fails to answer prayers.
Praise the Lord, whose mercy is endless.
For He knows and listens to all your cares.
His steadfast love is boundless.

Be persistent,
for God gives justice to those who cry out day and night.
God is never inattentive or distant.
He never fails to care for his chosen or do what’s right.

He has heard my pleas.
He has answered my heart’s calls.
His generosity brings me to my knees.
His power has raised up kings and thrown down walls.

I’m not worthy to receive such kindness,
so I offer my praise with a heart full of gladness.



The Other Brother

What did he serve for?
Was it because his heart longed to do good?
Or did he hope his work would earn him more?
Was his anger over not getting what he thought he should?

Does correct behavior make a good son,
or is it the heart that brings truth to light?
No amount of good deeds lead to God’s heart being won.
Service offered in love is the practice that is right.

How much better was the one than the other?
One demanded then while the other hoped for more later.
But desire led one to be jealous of his brother.
Wouldn’t it be better to set one’s eyes on something greater?

Don’t become envious of those who return to your Father’s door,
for you are with Him always, and all He has is yours.



Compared to

Compared to other men,
I may seem righteous.
Compared to other men,
I might be considered pious.

Compare to a killer,
I am peaceful.
Compared to an adulterer.
I may not seem lustful.

But compared to our perfect, holy God,
I am filthy.
Compared to a perfect, just God,
I am guilty.

Rather than glorify yourself with your comparison to humanity,
Look up to the LORD and see the need for humility.



His Gentle Rebukes

Praise God for the guilt I feel,
for I know this is how His spirit speaks to me.
One way to know my salvation is real
is how detestable sins grow to be.

I feel remorse when I realize
how empty sin really is.
Fear of His wrath is what begins to make me wise.
Each sin I turn from helps me know that I am His.

When I feel convicted,
I know he is calling me back.
His rules no longer make me feel restricted.
His gentle rebukes are what keep me on track.

I pray to always avoid temptation’s seduction.
Instead help me to listen for His Spirit’s instruction.



And 70 Times More

Time after time, I’ve stumbled.
Time after time, You’ve forgiven me.
Your mercy has me humbled.
Your grace has changed the man I used to be.

Time after time, I’ve been sinned against.
Let me reflect the patience you have shown.
Why should I become incensed,
for my sins prevent me from casting a single stone.

Let me forgive regardless of the offense.
Let me forget any amount owed.
For my debt to you was so immense,
but still, from You, forgiveness flowed.

If I’ve forgiven my brother 70 time before,
let me forgive him still 70 times more.



His Love For Us

We break every rule He has set.
We only call to Him when we have a want or are in need.
We demand of Him anything we can get.
We’ve no interest in His will, only our own greed. 

If we were treated thus?
Would we not feel frustration?
Would we say such people love us?
Would we not demand compensation?

Even as we committed these acts,
Christ died for us.
Even as our sins are piled in high stacks,
Christ paid the price for us.

His love for us is shown in this:
Despite our wrongs, Christ gave himself up for those He calls His.



Who Will Be Exalted

Sit at the lowest table seat.
Let the host come move you to a higher place.
Pray as if Heaven’s place your eyes can’t meet.
Let the loving finger of God lift up your face.

Kneel and pray for forgiveness.
Do not stand and justify yourself with comparisons to man.
Let your Father, who sees in secret, offer you his kindness.
Let your Father, who hears in secret, lift you up, for only He can.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who seek,
for they shall find Christ, and receive more than their worth.

Those who humble themselves will be raised high.
Those who exalt themselves will be cast down by their own pride.

Sonnets For My Savior 48

Sonnets For My Savior 48

Cling To Them

More precious than any gem or stone,
his promises are the truth we cling to.
Countless times You have shown
the glorious things that You can do.

Peace, joy, salvation, and provision,
all these things you’ve granted to us.
Great is your power, and perfect is your vision.
All these you use to sanctify us.

We can cling to these when we feel stagnant.
We can rely on them when we want to grow.
His promises are found within His words and commandments.
From his promises, His blessings will flow.

Trust in God, and always hold tight.
This is the path to a life that is right.



His Love For Us

He healed and bore our illnesses.
He taught us the proper way.
His power increases with our weaknesses.
The good shepherd came to find us when we went astray.

He gave us everything
when we deserve only punishment.
He endured our suffering
so God’s will would come to fulfillment.

He humbled Himself for us.
He became sin for us.
He bled for us.
He died for us.

He returned for us.
All this, He did to demonstrate the love He has for us.



Be Still And Wait

The storm raged,
but the trusting servant was still.
His enemies had him caged,
but he had faith in the LORD’S will. 

As wicked men flaunted their treasure,
he wasn’t jealous or envious.
For the wicked are always punished in God’s measure.
God always helps the faithful become victorious.

While others were mocking and seeking to do harm,
the righteous trusted in God and did good.
The Lord will surely use his mighty arm
to aide all those who have done as they should.

Those who delight in the Lord will walk in God’s ways,
and all such servants will inherit the land in the coming days. 



Wisdom’s Call

Embrace the call of wisdom.
Cherish it more than silver or gold.
Those who would enter God’s kingdom,
should seek to make wisdom his to hold. 

Do not spurn it
or hide from its gentle admonishment.
Earnestly seek it,
for from God, it is sent. 

Those who have it are blessed,
and their treasures grow.
Those who rely on it will find rest.
Those who have it should share what they know.

Those who fear the LORD have it.
Those who turn from evil demonstrate it.



To Whom All Things Belong

All that you have, he gave to you.
All that you have, he can take from you.
The things you cling to never belonged to you.
The things you covet will never belong to you.

He created all things.
He owns all things.
For His purpose, are all things.
By His grace, he provides all things.

God entrusted these things to us.
We are his chosen stewards.
If we care for what He’s given us,
He will certainly increase our rewards.

Indeed care and nurture all He gives to you,
but never forget whom it all belongs to.



What You Consume

If anger is what you consume,
anger is what you will produce.
The habit you assume,
is the characteristic you will use. 

What you plant in your heart
is what your heart will grow.
If a meal of frustration is in what you take part,
then frustration is all you will know.

Instead consume God’s Word,
for it is the bread of life.
Do not let God’s truth go unheard,
for ignorance brings only pain and strife.

Consume the good food that brings truth and love,
Let His Holy word be the only thing you’re full of. 



The Way

No ceremony can make me clean.
No words can redeem me.
Only Christ can intervene.
Only Christ can set me free.

No good deed can erase my wrongdoing.
No amount of money can save me.
Only Christ is worth pursuing.
Only Christ can lead me.

My heart must be pure.
Appearances are meaningless.
Only Christ can ensure
a life that’s peaceful and endless.

I rely on Christ to cleanse me.
I rely on Christ to sustain me.

Sonnets For My Savior 38

Sonnets For My Savior 38

Heavenly Father

Let me teach as You have taught.

Let me love as You have loved.

Let me raise my sons as I ought.

Let them feel instructed not judged.

Let me be patient, as You are patient.

Let me be merciful, as You are Merciful.

I believe this is the purpose for which I was sent.

Work through my hands so I may be fruitful.

You are the example I can never perfectly replicate.

You are the perfect Father, I wish to faithfully represent.

Everything You do, I wish to emulate.

Honoring You is my intent.

You’ve blessed me with the task of raising these boys.

Let me do so, LORD, with Your grace, mercy, and poise.



Things That Pull My Eyes From You

This world is full of temptations.

Money and fame.

I know that If I turn to those distractions,

I alone carry the blame. 

Money isn’t worth the treasures you give,

but I’m tempted to chase after it.

Cash won’t give me the true life I seek to live.

Please protect me so I wont become preoccupied with it.

The love of the world isn’t real,

but I often wish I had it.

Nothing compares to how Your love makes me feel.

Please help me stay focused on it.

I confess these thing sometimes pull my eyes from You.

Please forgive me and help me to glorify You in all I do.



Abide in Love

He is love.

Abide in this, and you abide in Him.

We know sons of the Lord above,

Because we love each other as we love Him.

You can’t love God and hate your brother.

Any who says otherwise lies.

If We can’t feel love when we see one another,

We can’t love God, who we can’t see with our eyes.

Those who have love have no need to fear.

Perfect love casts fear out.

Those who hold the Lord dear

Have His love, and they need not doubt.

Let all brothers live with love inside them,

For those who have love will always have Him.




Trust is shown in obedience.

Militaries rely on personnel who do as they’re told.

Why then delay or seek lenience?

Why resist and pretend you are bold?

God is above all,

And he places our leaders over us.

Failing to answer the call

Only displays the rebellion inside us.

God is wise. 

All he does is for His glory and our good.

If we want Him to bless our lives,

We must submit to his authority and do as we should.

Just as a loving parent teaches and leads his children,

We show God our love by doing as we are bidden.




Light came with a word.

Man was made from dust.

Every thing that has ever occurred,

He has used for good, for He is just.

Every star was placed with care.

Every planet was set to spin just so.

He’s done more than we are aware.

He’s given us more than we’ll ever know.

The same God who placed every blade of grass,

numbered the hairs on your head.

There is no one who can surpass

the God who carefully placed every grain of dirt on which you tread.

There is no one who could ever be greater,

than our God, our Father, our Creator.




Rejoice, little children;

you are forgiven.

Rejoice, little children.

You have life through the gift Christ has given.

Rejoice, young men;

you have over come the evil one.

Rejoice, young men;

you are forgiven for all you do or have ever done.

Rejoice, fathers;

you know Him who is from the beginning.

Rejoice, fathers;

you are cleansed, and do not practice sinning.

Rejoice, all mankind;

Christ has died for you, and through Him, you have peace of mind.



Deeds, Not Words

Let us not love in word or talk

but in deed and in truth.

Any man can speak, but some men’s words are worth any stock.

Some men keep lies hidden behind every tooth.

Many worship with their lips,

but their hearts are far from Him.

A man who dances around the truth eventually trips.

A man can’t claim he loves anything if he turns from it on a whim.

Love is an action one takes.

Love is sacrifice.

Love is when every decision one makes,

is for the better of whom he loves no matter the price.

If your love is true,

let it be displayed in everything that you do.