I started reading this book (One Thing, by Sam Storms) a few years ago but put it down, as I was tempted to do again this time, because the first two chapters are just odd to read.... seems too much like I'm reading a different author's book. Strange, though not bad, because after all it's an excellent message to resound. But, this time I've begun to get past those first few chapters and I'm enjoying the book more now. Here's just a few quotes that I've really appreciated.
The book is subtitled "Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God." I really enjoy dwelling with thoughts on what Storms wrote about the strength and service of beauty in our lives: "Being spiritually smitten by divine beauty isn't simply an experience of joy that satisfies (though he just finished some good pages explaining that it does do this abundantly well), it also sustains the soul through the fire of trial and loss and persecution. Beauty not only evokes pleasure, it imparts perseverance." (p 56, emphasis & explanation mine)
He describes how worshipping God is "magnifying" God like looking through a telescope, "by focusing on something indescribeably huge and massive and causing it to appear as it really and truly is." Unlike a microscope that magnifies by distortion... and gives us the idea that worship is like blowing balloon. But "Worship is not like blowing up a balloon. God is not honored by human inflation, as if the breath of our praise enhances and expands his visibility and worth. To think that apart from our praise God remains shrunken and shriveled is to dishonor him who 'gives to all mankind life and breath and everything' (Acts 17:25). (p 33)
And I love these words that Storms retells from Augustine, he called God "my Father, supremely good, beauty of all things beautiful." (p53)
Oh that our hearts and lives would be changed to dwell more richly, deeply, penetratingly on the beauty of God!
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, who he has redeemed from trouble!" Psalm 107:1-2