Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

The Best News

What is the Best News that God, the Bible, and Christianity have to offer?

God created this world, and it is magnificent.  But is that the Best News?

Hell is more infinitely terrible than our simple brains can fathom, and in Jesus, God gives us a “get of hell free” card.  But is that the Best News?

Heaven is as infinitely great as hell is infinitely terrible and then some, and God tells us in His Word that by putting our faith in His Son we can spend eternity in heaven.  But is that the Best News?

God loves us and wants us to be happy, and as our Father He wants to bless us with every good thing and every perfect gift.  But is that the Best News?

Those are all included in the great news that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but John Piper would say that none of those things qualify as the Best News that God, the Bible, and Christianity have to offer.  Piper would say that the Best News is that, through Christ, we are able to have an intimate knowledge of God and enjoy Him forever.  And after listening to his two-part message called “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ”, I joyfully concur. 

What I love about John Piper is how Biblically solid he is and how he always strives to exult Jesus Christ.  Because he backs up what he says with the Word of God (and usually with multiple texts), it is often impossible to both accept that the Bible is the Word of God and logically disagree with Piper.  And because he strives to ceaselessly exult Jesus, I rarely leave his books or sermons without a desire to imitate him in that fashion.

 The “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ” messages were intended to give his audience the best way to Godly sexuality, but the Supremacy of Christ was indubitably the central theme.  And the Supremacy of Christ is essential to both living the Christian life and combatting the sins of this world.  Therefore, although the message was intended to encourage Godly sexuality, the messages can definitely be applied to all areas of the Christian life. 

You can hear part 1 here:  http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByDate/1657_Sex_and_the_Supremacy_of_Christ_Part_1/

And part 2 here:  http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByDate/184_Sex_and_the_Supremacy_of_Christ_Part_2/

October 27, 2007 Posted by | Bible, Blessed, Blessings, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Delight, Desiring God, Doers of the Word, Faith, Father, Giver, God, Heart, Infinite, John Piper, Life, Lord, Pleasure, Prosperity, Religion, righteousness, Satisfaction, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, The Law of the Lord, The Resurrection, the Word of God | Leave a comment

Doers of the Word?

Psalm 1

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.”

James 1:22 – “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

According to Blaise Pascal, by way of John Piper’s “Desiring God,” all men seek their own happiness.  He does not divide men into two categories the way that Psalm 1 does.  Therefore, both wicked men and righteous men seek their own happiness.  The difference is found in the means to the end; the end being their own happiness.

So how are the means of the righteous and the means of the wicked different as they seek their own happiness?  “[The righteous man’s] delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”

The difference in whether your way will perish or prosper is whether or not you delight in the Lord and His law and meditate on it day and night.  By that measure I am wicked far more often than I am righteous.

I am studying “Desiring God” with my good friend and hero Travis Cardwell, and Piper’s thoughts in his book are obvious and Biblically solid.  But, they are difficult to put into practice.  I see the magnificence of God everywhere in this world.  I see the unthinkable mercy that God showed to me even though I turned my back on Him for years and sought to live my life without Him.  I see that just as hell is overwhelmingly terrible, God is infinitely glorious because He gave me a way to avoid hell- even though hell is the only thing I deserve from Him.

And I love Him when I am thinking about Him and when I do meditate on Him, His law, His creations, and all of His blessings.  Those are times when “desiring God” comes easily. 

And yet how quickly my simple mind forgets.  And how my simple heart seeks satisfaction in the simple pleasures of His creations and His gifts, all the while ignoring the infinite blessings, prosperity, and pleasures of the Giver.  And so my question is, “How do I put Piper’s theories into practice all the time, rather than only when it comes easily?”

The answer, I believe, is found by combining Psalm 1 with James 1:22.  My delight must be in the law of the Lord.  And I must meditate in it day and night.  And, I must be a doer of the word, and not merely a hearer who deludes myself.

August 25, 2007 Posted by | Bible, Doers of the Word, Faith, God, Heart, James, Psalm 1, Religion, righteousness | 4 Comments