I’ve just started digging into Piper’s “God is the Gospel.”  I got it for Christmas…yes…I’m aware it’s JULY, but I have a lot of good books to get thru.  I love Amazon’s “Wish List”…when birthdays or Christmas roll around, my family just checks the list and picks a book.  Sweeeet.

Piper poses a few pointed questions (Ow. Stop.) right on pg 1 of the Introduction.  (Seriously, Pastor John…next time, just get right into it…stop beating around the bush…). Emphasis – mine.

The acid test of Biblical God-centeredness – and faithfulness to the Gospel- is this:  Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because at the cost of this Son, he enables you to enjoy making much of him forever? Does your happiness hang on seeing the cross of Christ as a witness to your worth, or as a way to enjoy God’s worth forever? Is God’s glory in Christ the foundation of your gladness?

Like I said, Pastor John…please just come right with it…

HOLY MOSES. My highlighter is overheating already and I’m on page 1 of the INTRODUCTION for cryin’ out loud.

He waits a few pages and then pulls the pin on another mind-grenade:

Would you be happy in Heaven if Christ were not there?

Amazing.  Just pull the towel off of me when I get out of the shower why don’t you.  YIKES.

In my yearly Bible read, I’m up to Isaiah, and the rule of King Hezekiah.  I really liked Hezekiah…he’s got potential.  He reopened the temple, refocuses his people on the LORD, he even keeps seeking the LORD first when those pesky Assyrians are threatening.  But in Isaiah 37-39 we see some amazing stuff.  Not only does 1 angel of the LORD wipe out 185,000 people…and the LORD grant ole Hezekiah an extra 15 years…we see after all that Hezekiah’s heart take an ugly turn when the King of Babylon strolls in and Hezekiah acts like this is an episode of MTV Cribs.  He shows off all of HIS riches, possessions, all the bling bling.  Yup…it’s all me, dude.  I got all this, check me out.

Isaiah comes to him and is like “What the heck was THAT about?  You showed him EVERYTHING?”  Isaiah then breaks the bad news to King Hez that Babylon, since they have such a taste for all your riches…are going to come back one day and carry all that stuff off to their kingdom.  Yeah…thanks for giving them the inside tour.

We see Hezekiah’s heart is really out for his glory, not God’s in the end.  Dang.  I really liked him too.

I do this a lot, I have to admit.  Not necessarily give foreigners tours of all my riches (that would be a pretty quick tour), but more often thank not I think I find my hope in this Earth and ME, or and not God and himself as the one to take all my joy and glory in.

I should be making much of God, because thru Christ he enables me to make much of HIM, and yes…it will be sweet to be in Heaven with Christ…after all, He is the guest of honor, without him…I’m definitely not getting past the bouncers.

-M

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3 thoughts on “Please stop beating around the bush, Pastor Piper

  1. These days Christianity seems more like a club for self-improvement where the focus is on me, me, me and what God is going to do for me. I think of the rich, young man who says he wants to follow Christ. Christ’s response: “You sure about that? Go sell everything and come back. Then we’ll talk.” (I paraphrase.)(Matt 19:21-22) We know that wasn’t the answer he was looking for because he exits stage left in tears. The point is, if we’re looking for comfort and maybe to fix a few faults here and there, following Christ is not for us.. We must follow Christ’s example and pick up our crosses, mortify our desires and our wills and die. How often? Everyday.(Mark 8:34-38)

    The kicker is this. The more we use Christianity to advance our well-being the less we are blessed. It is only when we put Christ as the center and sole object of our faith do we receive the power through His Spirit to live a holy and pure life. It is when we forsake our joy, our comfort and our lives that we find the richness and fullness of His blessing. Without the grace of the cross we are unable to do that which Christ has called us to. Therefore, we must embrace Him not for ourselves, but so that His glory shines forth into the world.

  2. hmmm… I think we need to schedule some pulpit time for a certain ‘rueling elder’. Perhaps we might get a taste and see the goodness of God in Jesus Christ and…hey, maybe even gush forth to worship in spirit and truth. And while I fight to control the tongue that would stack the soapboxes 5 high, I do know that ‘God knows’! God knows what his church is up to and He is still the God of the Gospel and He alone works in us powerfully to transform us into the image of His dear son. So… all that to rejoice that there’s still hope!!! and AMEN to Gal 2:20! My death was necessary that I might live…yet not I, but Christ!

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