Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Seeing the Heart of Christ

Dannah Gresh: When we sin, it’s important to remember that God isn’t stingy with His mercy and grace!

Dane Ortlund: He’s not “middle class” in mercy. He’s not giving of it, but careful not to dole out too much. He is a billionaire in the currency of mercy!

Dannah: Welcome to the Revive Our Hearts podcast with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for July 29, 2021. I’m Dannah Gresh.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Wow, it’s hard to believe that July is almost over! July has been Kindness Month here at Revive Our Hearts. I hope that you’ve been participating in the Kindness Challenge, that you’ve been expressing the kindness of Jesus to friends and family in perhaps some fresh ways.

In fact, I love the thought of thousands of Revive Our Hearts listeners all around the world sharing the kindness of Christ with those around them. And now that we’re coming to the end of the month, I hope that this won’t be the end of kindness in your life, because, to the degree that we’ve experienced the kindness of Christ, to that same extent we’re going to be motivated to share His kindness with others. As we wrap up this emphasis on kindness this month, we want to end it by talking about the one and only source of true kindness, and of course that’s Jesus.

There have been a lot of books written on the holiness and the justice of God; in fact, I’ve written a book on God’s holiness. That [concept] is so important for us to get. It is true that God is holy, holy, holy! But I think sometimes we forget that God also has a tender heart of compassion and kindness toward us.

As we were thinking about this emphasis on kindness during the month of July, I knew that we wanted to talk with the author of a book that I read in 2020 that was so deeply impacting on me and hundreds of thousands of others as well.

I’m holding it in my hand; it’s by Dane Ortlund. It’s called, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. Now, that’s all of us, right? We’re all sinners, and we’re all sufferers. We sin and we suffer the effects of sin in this world.

Dane Ortlund has written this powerful book exploring the heart of Jesus as it’s revealed in the Scripture toward those who suffer and those who sin. And as I read through this book in early 2020, I found myself just underlining sentence after sentence, phrase after phrase, writing in the margins saying, “Yes!” 

The book is just such a beautiful expression Dane has written of the heart of Jesus toward those who sin and those who suffer. We all need that heart! So whether you’re one of the many who have already read that book, or maybe you are just hearing of it for the first time, I want to encourage you to just open your heart today as we listen to the author of that book talk about the heart of Jesus.

Dane is a pastor in the Chicago suburbs. He’s married to Stacey, and they’re the parents of five children. Recently, my co-host, Dannah Gresh, sat down with Dane to talk about what it means that Jesus is gentle and lowly, and why that matters to each of us.

So Lord, I pray that you would open our ears, open our hearts. I’m thinking of a listener who’s driving on a freeway right now, or one who has just come out of a difficult conversation with a prodigal child, one who has just maybe received word that they’ve lost their job, or they’ve just given into the same temptation again . . . and they’re just weary! They’re sad; they’re heavy hearted; they’re tired of the struggle! 

And, oh Lord, I pray that in these next moments you would infuse fresh grace and life and hope into each listener’s heart, as only You can do. I pray in the name of Jesus, the Friend of Sinners! Amen.

Now, let’s listen to Dannah Gresh as she talks with Dane Ortlund.

Dannah: I am delighted to talk to you, Dane! You know, I have a close friend who has spent really the last five years fending off a terrible addiction to sin. And in the course of that, she’s also been sinned against.

I’m not sure why this happens, but I have to say it breaks my heart. Some people in the body of Christ really are quite “allergic” to sinners! When we have one in our fold that really becomes complicated, they can experience what my friend did: the rejection of the church.

As I was watching her cling to her faith, I asked her one day, “What helped you?” (Because I happen to have another close friend in a really similar situation). And you know what she told me? What helped her was meditating on the kindness of Christ. 

And then she said, “There’s this book that really helped me!” And she told me, “Read Gentle and Lowly. It’s by Dane Ortlund.” So, I did! And I want you to know that I’m not in that same sort of place of chronic, addictive sin; I’m not in a place of real bondage, and I’m not experiencing any rejection in church, but I didn’t realize how much I needed this message!

I didn’t realize that I had lost touch with the kindness and the gentleness of Jesus. And so, your book Dane, has been a healing balm that I didn’t even know I needed. I’m just so thrilled to invite our Revive Our Hearts sisters to experience what I did in the pages of Gentle and Lowly. So let’s dive in!

Dane: Sounds good! Thank you, Dannah.

Dannah: You base your entire book on Matthew 11:29. I’ve got to ask, what drew you to that passage of Scripture? 

Dane: Well, it’s the only passage where Jesus tells us what His heart is, which is arresting in itself. In the one place where Jesus tells us what His heart is, what the two adjectives He plugs in there are, I wouldn’t guess that it would be what we, in fact, find there.

As I was reading old, dead theologians, they were drawing attention to it. I thought, “Huh! That one verse is worth a book! It’s worth a lifetime of books and reflections!” So I just wanted to do a deep dive into it.

Dannah: Well, let’s read it. In fact, let’s read Matthew 11:28–30; let’s get the whole thing, and we’ll dive into those two adjectives that you just said Jesus used to describe Himself. 

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat? Because you want to know what Jesus used to describe Himself! Dane, would you read the passage for us?

Dane: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Dannah: It’s a passage many of us are familiar with, and we’re going to dive into it today. As you’ve said, Dane, Jesus uses two words to describe Himself. What are those two words?

Dane: Well, “gentle” and “lowly,” and that is really astonishing! Wouldn’t we expect Him to say something like, “I am exalted and dignified,” or, “I am loving and gracious.” I mean, actually we could pick many other true things. But when He’s talking about His own heart, apparently He wants us to feel the weight of . . . He gets way down low with us in total supreme accessibility. 

And that is so profound, isn’t it Dannah? Because I don’t believe that! I roll out of bed every morning deeply resisting that! So we need sort of to put our hearts . . . One of my elders would say, “We need to put our hearts in the Crock-Pot, not in the microwave, of a text like that our whole lives long!”

Dannah: I love that, that’s beautiful. Okay, let’s “go into the Crock-Pot.” Let’s take these two words and unpack them. I’ve been in a verse or two where I thought I understood what the word meant, and it didn’t mean that.

So, “I am gentle.” What did Jesus mean when He said that?

Dane: It means He is tender. It means He does not handle us the way many of our parents did. It means He’s not an above average coach or life coach or inspirational speaker. He’s not lobbing down pep talks. He doesn’t handle us roughly. He doesn’t manipulate us, not even a little bit.

He’s gentle with us. In other words, without a bit compromising His holiness, His divinity, He is supremely accommodating to us. It’s like as if I’m talking to a four-year-old at our church. Here this little one’s coming at me. A lot of times, I’ll get down on my hands and knees or at least crouch down and get eye-to-eye level with them. And that’s not in any way compromising my adulthood. It’s just getting on their level so we can relate, so they feel heard and loved and listened to. 

So when Jesus says He is gentle, He’s saying, “I will never handle you roughly.” That’s what His heart is.

Dannah: What a beautiful thought! You know, I got chills a moment ago when you said something to the effect of, “Jesus isn’t going to treat us the way that our parents did.” There’s somebody that really needed to hear that today, because we can really get stuck trying to understand God—especially as a Father—when we haven’t been handled gently by our mother or our father.

So, gentle, He is gentle. He’s going to treat us in a way maybe that others weren’t capable of because they weren’t treated gently. Right?

Dane: That’s right.

Dannah: What does it mean when He says, “I am lowly”? 

Dane: It means He’s not a politician that we need to go through layers of security to get to. He’s at our level, so to speak. He’s way up high, and He’s way down low. It’s natural and intuitive for us to think, “Christ is the great, divine, glorious, Revelation chapter 1 Christ, who is reigning in heaven, who is going to come back one day with a two-edged sword coming out of His mouth!”

Okay, we believe that, but that’s actually kind of intuitive for us. Of course, He’s like that! But, is He also lowly? Actually, it’s the word translated elsewhere in the New Testament, “humble.” What does Christ have to be humble about?

Well, the point is, it’s simply that He has no problem, He’s not reticent, to come down to our level. It’s not like we are dialing up Jesus Christ, and we’re put on hold. It’s not like we have to take a ticket, like at the meat deli section of the grocery store, and wait for five or ten other people to go through the line first.

He is ever present and accessible and available and open to us. That’s what it means by, “He is lowly.” And again, this defies our intuitions. This is a Christ that we all deeply resist believing is there. 

Dannah: Why is that? Why do we resist this? I mean, it’s what we really want, right? But we resist it, you’re right.

Dane: It is, and I don’t know. I mean, we’re sinners, we’re weird! I include myself in that. Here I have my Bible right in front of me as we’re speaking right now. One way to understand the Christian life as I understand it—I know you guys do too, at Revive Our Hearts—it’s a lifelong journey in letting this Book—cover to cover—fix me, correct me, change me, fix my bad theology.

My bad theology might not only be that I don’t have a good grasp, say, of the sovereignty of God or something like that. It might also be bad theology that I don’t actually believe Jesus is lowly and gentle in heart. So, I need this Book to fix me!

And I don’t know, maybe it’s deeply ingrained in us as you said earlier, Dannah, because of the way a dad or a mom treated us. Maybe it’s because of the way a boss, an employer, a friend has treated us. I don’t know. But it’s like we’re spring loaded to stiff arm an accessible, lowly, and gentle Christ.

Surely one thing the Fall did, in Genesis 3, is it entrenched in our minds dark thoughts of God and of Christ, that are only dug out over a lifetime of time in the Scriptures.

Dannah: Yes, I identify with that. On my, I guess, good days, I would like to think I have a sweet relationship with Jesus and that I do experience that gentleness, the encounter of lowliness, to some degree.

But you know, the days that I’m sinful—which is a lot of them, I might add—it’s not that I have sin-free days, many of them, at least that I’m aware. But on those days I go into this autopilot mentality. It’s really easy for me to see a punishing Jesus, an angry Jesus, a disappointed Jesus. Maybe disappointed would be the word that I most would see on that day.

It’s like when I sin, I blow this fuse in my spirit. You just used the word “darkness,” the lights go out. I can’t see when I sin, and I have to intentionally flip the switch to remember this good, gentle, lowly Jesus. 

I have to tell myself that He loves me, even here, even today, even in the middle of this sin. Do you think that I’m the only one that feels that way on sinful days? I go into the autopilot of the more judgmental, finger-pointing Jesus—which I don’t think He even exists, but that’s where I go.

Dane: Of course, we all do. What you’re saying maps onto my own heart and life, Dannah, and all of us. We’re right there with you. We can be believers, and we’ve been walking with the Lord for decades, but it can remain natural to us to believe God loves us, Christ loves us. He forgives us, we are His, but He’s tolerating us!

It’s a benign smile, but you know when we are sinning, [we think] His embrace cools a little bit, it relaxes just a little bit. And what the Puritans convinced me of from the pages of Scripture, is that actually—wonder of wonders!—it is in my deepest, darkest regions of shame, regret, and anguish that the heart of Christ is drawn strongest!

We just look at the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and we see by His actions that is who He is, that is what He was drawn to do all over again, all the time. But then we somehow distance that from our own lives. 

This is a Christ I can enjoy following, being a disciple to, if actually when I’m stumbling most. He is nearest and closest in His heart!

Dannah: Okay, so if you’re just meeting Dane Ortlund for the first time, you should know that he loves the Puritans! I don’t know how to say it. You’re like a fan of the Puritans, Dane. You read his book, you’ll understand that.

But I’ve got to tell you, when I was reading it, I was shocked!, because I have this image of the Puritans being sort of judgmental. It was shocking to me that as you read their work thoroughly, they had an understanding of the gentleness and the lowliness of Jesus in a way that we have really missed.

Dane: Oh, they did, they sure did, yes. They took sin seriously, and it’s not totally without reason that there is that stereotype or caricature of them. But the best of the Puritans understood how to take the Scripture in one hand and our fallen, fearful human hearts in the other and connect the two. 

Their books and sermons are simply building bridges between the two to give oxygen and life and calm to our frantic, frenetic, sinful hearts. They knew how to do that in a way that was because of their orthodox theology. It was not compromising anything. It’s not like they were emphasizing the love and mercy of God at the expense of His holiness and justice. No, it was a both/and.

But they simply pressed real hard in both directions. I think we have neglected the one side of that—the love, mercy, and grace side of what the Puritans give us, and especially the heart of God and of Christ which comes out in many of them.

Dannah: Well, let’s talk about that love/mercy side. I love how you almost made that one word. There’s probably a message there for my heart, anyway. Let’s talk about mercy since it’s on those days that, I think, when we’re sinful that we have a harder time engaging with this gentle and lowly Jesus. So, talk to me about the mercy of Christ.

Dane: Well, mercy is what pours out naturally from God and from Christ when we have sinned, when we His people have sinned. God is love all the time to His people! Mercy is something that is more occasional, that comes to us when we are in need of it. 

So the Scripture speaks of God being “rich in mercy” in Ephesians 2 (v. 4). That’s really worth a whole lifetime of reflection. He’s not “middle class” in mercy. He’s not giving of it, but careful not to dole out too much. He is a billionaire in the currency of mercy! He loves it when we make withdrawals from that fortune.

Actually, the logic of the New Testament is, for example in the end of Romans 5, end of Romans 6, when we make withdrawals from His fortune, it grows! It is not lessened: “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” (see Rom. 5:20) So that is deeply consoling for my mercy-needing daily life!

Dannah: Okay, that is deeply consoling to me, but let me ask a contrary question. You’re saying that He loves it when we make a withdrawal from His riches of mercy, but doesn’t that mean we have to sin to make a withdrawal from His riches of mercy?

God doesn’t love it when we sin, so help me out here. There might be some people listening who say, “Be careful, Dane! You’re walking on some thin ice there.” What would you say to them?

Dane: I would say, I don’t love it when my kids sin and screw up. I don’t want that for them, that’s not my heart. But when they do, there’s a certain way in which my heart goes out to them in a way it wouldn’t if they were not messing up. That’s all.

We understand this as parents. We understand the way we can look at a beloved one. When they are getting messy, there’s a way in which our heart goes out to them in a new way. So, that’s all.

I do not want to say—may I never say or communicate or be heard to be saying—that God is pleased when we sin or that He rejoices in some way. No! Let’s honor and obey the Lord for sure, and do so with all our might, by His grace for His glory.

But, His heart is drawn out to . . . I mean, Dannah, we don’t have to worry about, “Oh, well, do I need to go sin more in order for His heart to come out?” No. We’re going to sin, that’s not a problem! We will do it. Let’s not try to do it, let’s try not to. But we will, and when we do, take heart! His heart is drawn out to us.

Dannah: Yes. I had many years where I didn’t believe that those riches—that mercy—was for me. Now, I came to know the Lord as a young girl, a very little girl, but in my teen years I wouldn’t say I departed far from Christ, but I made some really bad decisions and broke my heart with some sinful choices.

It was really about ten years where I had this lie in the back of my head that the mercy of Christ was adequate for you and for her and for him and for everyone else, but it wasn’t enough for the sin and the secrets of my heart.

It was understanding this mercy, this concept of the riches of His mercy, and studying the letters to the church of Corinth . . . In fact, 2 Corinthians 1:3 calls God, “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

That verse and the surrounding verses became the healing balm for my heart, to dare to believe: “Oh, yes, that rich vat of mercy, that’s for me!” He is the Father of mercies!

Dane: Amen! There is a certain holy, right audacity that healthy Christians have, to allow themselves to feel forgiven. I’m not for a moment suggesting moral compromise, but simply to allow our hearts all the way down to feel rinsed, clean. 

The problem for us believers, the problem for the church, the problem for any human isn’t, do they have too much sin? Do they have too great a need for mercy? The problem is, will they see their need for it? Our problem is when we don’t open up the vents of our heart to let it in, when we believe we can kind of make it ten percent of the way or halfway on our own.

But when we just open ourselves up to it, that’s not a problem for Him. That’s all He needs to work with!

Dannah: Two things come to my mind when you say that, “opening up your heart.” One reason we don’t open it is because we really are unaware of our sinful nature. We are believing lies that “such and such isn’t a sin,” or that, “God doesn’t have control of this part of my life.” That’s one reason we don’t open up our hearts to the vent of His mercy.

But the reason I didn’t open my heart to the vent of His mercy is because of shame. I felt so ashamed by my choices and my decisions. What was happening during that time is that, instead of believing that God is the Father of all mercies, I was experiencing what another book of the Bible tells us, is that Satan is the father of all lies. (see John 8:44)

And I was believing, “God could never use you, because look what you’ve done!” I was believing, “God’s mercy is big enough for you [someone else], but He could never clean up this mess!” “Yes, I’m forgiven, but I’m never going to probably feel whole.” I was believing these kinds of lies. For that reason, I wasn’t opening up that vent to receive from the riches.

What would you say to a woman who is like, “Oh, I identify with that! I am there right now! I know in my head I’m forgiven; I just can’t feel it!” What advice would you give to a woman who is experiencing that?

Dane: Wow! Well, the twin anguishes of the human heart are guilt and shame. Guilt is about what we have done. Shame is deeper; it’s about what we are. Each of us has our own journey and we’ve done different stupid things and so on. But in some ways, shame can be harder to give a gospel bath to than guilt. 

Guilt is more objective. Shame is more subjective. Guilt is more black-and-white; shame is just like this fog—a bog that we’re walking through. The twin glories of the Christian gospel are that we are: yes, on the one hand, justified, and all of our guilt is eradicated once and for all, but also, we are re-dignified. 

This is actually the doctrine of glorification in the New Testament: we’re given our dignity back. I am given back “Dane!” I’m given back, in Christ, the Dane I was destined to be, not yet perfectly, but truly. And there’s no going back.

That’s true for every woman listening who feels when she wakes up at 2:30 a.m. in the dark and replays the tape of something that happened twenty-five years ago and is so afflicted with shame and it just is like a blanket over her.

She can hold onto the gospel truth from the Scripture that in Jesus Christ, as we are united to Him, we are given back our full dignity. This sister can hold her head high and walk through this fallen world, not based on her making up for what she did in the past or what was done to her in the past, but because of what Jesus says about her. She’s a daughter of God, and she is Jesus’ younger sister. His destiny and glory now defines her. She’s been given that white robe and it’s un-dirtiable. So, this is a deeply comforting truth from the gospel!

Dannah: It’s so comforting! You know, you’re pouring out healing on our hearts, on my heart today, on the heart of my sister as she listens today. It’s a kindness! That’s what I’m thinking. Here we are at the end of Kindness Month here at Revive Our Hearts.

I feel like many times in the church, I see people who have been serving. They’ve been Sunday school teachers, they’ve been on committees. And suddenly we find out, “Oh, there is a secret!” And suddenly, they’re sinful, and they’re broken.

And instead of responding in kindness and gentleness and humility . . . If our secrets were known, we do tend to respond with a distancing sometimes. Sin is complicated! Mercy is complicated; grace is messy!

Okay, let’s call it what it is, right? So, when I’m in that place and I need that, I’m time-consuming for a friend and vice versa. I think it’s a great kindness to slow down and be gentle and lowly and have the heart of Christ.

In fact, Matthew 11:28 and 30 does reference the kindness of Christ. Tell us about that, because it’s really eye-opening as we receive this mercy from Christ and realize that He’s inviting us not only to be fully healed, but into the work of passing that healing onto others.

That’s what blows my mind every day when I wake up! I’m like, “Wow, Jesus! You not only healed me, but now you’re using me to heal other women! Wo-w-w-w-!” So take us back to the kindness of Christ.

Dane: Yes, we are not cul-de-sacs of the kindness of Jesus; we’re intersections through which it passes. We will only do that to the degree that we are enjoying His kindness for ourselves. 

And as you rightly just said, Dannah, “Take my yoke upon you, learn from Me” why? ”for I am gentle and lowly in heart,” that’s the core reason, that’s the anchor . . . okay, comma, “you will find rest for your souls.” And why is that? “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

“Easy” is okay as a translation, but it’s the word that is elsewhere in the New Testament translated, “kind.” “My yoke is kind.” It might not be non-difficult. It’s not easy in the sense that you just put on the cruise control and now coast through life robotically, mechanically. Oh, no.

We take this mantle upon us, but the mantle that is on is actually a lifting of us. It is a yoke of kindness. A yoke is a big heavy thing put on you that you have to drag through the field!! And how do you do that? Well, the yoke that He puts on us—unlike every other yoke that we are trying on in this world—is a yoke of kindness.

So as we come to Him . . . I mean, we believe in our hearts that as we come to Christ, He is going to be depleting to us, and He is going to give us homework and a “to do” list, and He’ll be looking over our shoulders and actually, if we really want to live a full life, then we should kind of honor and respect Jesus, but we really need to leave something for ourselves. No.

As we yield everything to Him and totally collapse (that’s one of my favorite words, “collapse”) into His arms . . . because anyone can collapse. You don’t have to climb; you don’t even step; you just fall down into His arms. Anyone can do that if we have the humility to do it. 

If we collapse into His arms, we find Him placing this yoke of kindness; we are in an ocean of kindness. Easy? No, but always kind!

Dannah: Collapse. That describes what I finally did when I was twenty-six years old. I said, “Okay, I’ve been confessing this sin for x-number of years after I confessed it. Okay, I’ve been waking up every day and trying to serve You. Okay, I’ve been baking cookies for VBS because I’m certainly not worthy of teaching!”

“Okay, God.” I finally was like, collapse, “I can’t do it! So I guess I’ll just take the mercy. Do you have some for me?” I sure hope that there’s someone listening right now who is ready to collapse into the gentle and lowly arms of Jesus.

As we were talking about this today, Dane, I have to say, this book is exceptionally intuitive. Yes, I read where you were inspired by this passage in Matthew 11 we’ve been talking about, I read how you got a note from your dad prompting you that this is the only place where Christ describes His own heart. I read where you stumbled onto the Puritan writings and you got all crazy about the Puritan writings. 

But this is too familiar for just that, so let me be bold. I think you’re a man who has been acquainted with the sweet kindness of Christ in juxtaposition with your sin. And so I wonder, how have you experienced the gentle lowly Jesus in your life?

Dane: You’re right. The whole premise of your question is absolutely accurate, Dannah. I could never have written that book, I wouldn’t have had the desire to write the book. I wrote the book to me! I mean, I’m the one who needs that! It was written not only by me but to me. Here’s why.

Sometimes you hear Christian testimonies, and it’s kind of like this, “I used to be a mess, but then I got all sorted out, and now I’m flyin’ high for Jesus!” Well, my story is of past and present failure. So the question is, “How is that sustainable?” Only if there’s a Savior who’s walking with me, and the clock is not ticking for me to improve at a certain rate by a certain time. 

But a Savior is with me and in solidarity with me, interceding for me. He is the Friend—not the tolerator—of sinners and sufferers. If that’s true, then I can do life with Him! So, yes, it is my own bad fathering, poor husbanding, and a whole litany of failures and inability and weakness, inadequacy, stupidity and folly in my past and present life that causes me to have to come back. This is not like a cherry on top. This is a matter of life or death, to have to come back to who He really is in His deepest heart for me. It’s a heart that for much of my life—though a believer—-I didn’t realize just how wondrous it is!

Dannah: It sounds like you have become a man who is comfortable with collapsing.

Dane: Well, I’d better be, because I’m going to need to keep doing it!

Nancy: Oh, I love that picture of collapsing into the arms of Jesus! That’s Pastor Dane Ortlund describing our Lord the way He talked about His own heart. He is gentle and lowly. Dane will be back to pray with us in just a moment.

I want to say how thankful I am that Dane wrote this book. It’s been such a blessing to me and to many of my friends who have read it and talked about it together. I’d like to go back and reread it, because it’s just such a fresh look at our Savior! 

I’d love for every one of our listeners to have this book. I want you to read it, and to just soak in what it means that Christ is rich in mercy toward each of us. Today and tomorrow this book, Gentle and Lowly, is our thank you gift to you for your donation of any size to support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts.

We often tell you that we’re listener supported, and that means that we rely on the giving of friends just like you to continue bringing the message of freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ to women all around the world!

So your gift is greatly needed and much appreciated, especially right now in the heart of the summer when donations typically dip down a bit. So, would you reach out by calling us or visiting our website? You can make a donation and request Gentle and Lowly, the book by our guest today, Dane Ortlund. Our web address is, or call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and your support as we seek to take this gentle and lowly Jesus to the hearts of women around the world!

Dannah: You know, I’m becoming excited about rekindling my friendship with Jesus! And speaking of that, I would like to talk about the fact that this gentle and lowly Jesus was a friend to sinners! And how do we befriend sinners in this sin encrusted world—on social media, in our churches, in our neighborhoods, in our families?

What does it look like to be like Christ when we find them mired in sin? So, Dane, will you come back tomorrow so that we might talk about that a little bit?

Dane: I’ll be glad to!

Dannah: Let’s pray for that woman who needs to collapse into the arms of Jesus today, that really has been believing the lies of the Enemy that the riches of God’s mercy just aren’t enough for her. Maybe she’s been believing that she’s not sinful in an active acting out kind of way, but that her sin—if I could use that word—is having an inaccurate view of the heart of Jesus. Because she does have a finger-pointing Jesus in her heart. It might not have been planted there of her own making, but maybe by this world and how it’s treated her. But she needs to collapse into those safe kind arms of Christ.

Would you pray for her right now that the Lord would help her to just slow down today and do that?

Dane: Of course. Our Father in heaven, we now are interceding for, thinking of, praying for, bringing before You our hearts. I’m praying along with whatever sister is listening that is in anguish, that maybe no one else on planet earth knows about except her!

Would You take the awful malignancy of her shame, guilt, regret, feelings of rejection, of being outside of the center of Your flooding favor. Correct her with better theology that is goodness, that is, “My yoke is kind and My burden is light!” Would You be the Father of all mercies to her?

Right now, let her know that, yes on paper doctrinally, but experience it. Pour out Your Holy Spirit so that she would actually experience in a deeper way than ever before what it is to know Jesus Christ as her deepest ally—one who is in solidarity with her, someone who will never leave her or forsake her! So comfort and console her! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Showing you the riches of God’s mercy! Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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About the Host

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Guest

Dane Ortlund

Dane Ortlund

Dane was called to be the Senior Pastor at Naperville Presbyterian Church in 2020 after being part of the church for thirteen years along with his family: his college sweetheart, Stacey, and their five kids, Zach, Nate, Jeremiah, Chloe, and Ben.  Dane is a graduate of Wheaton College (BA), Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM), and Wheaton College Graduate School (PhD in New Testament).  Prior to coming on staff he worked for ten years in Christian publishing at Crossway in Wheaton. He is the author of several books such as Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God, and Defiant Grace: The Surprising Message and Mission of Jesus.  Dane’s life purpose is to glory in the endless grace of God and to call others to join him there. It’s all about Jesus—and his unspeakable heart for sinners.