Thursday, February 22, 2007

Christians should be the most content, most satisfied people in the world - right? As we look upon and walk in this fallen world, the slavery and entangling of sin is evident. The Lord has mercifully chosen us before the foundation of the world as His children, and in that, we are free from the sting of death and slavery to sin. So...why do we not consistently live as those are truly without want, as those who find their only and ultimate satisfaction in the Lord Jesus Christ? If this is the true happiness, then why am I not so content on a daily basis?

Well, it could be because I look to the things of God rather than to the Provider Himself who has given such gifts. Maybe it's because I strive to achieve perfection--in the various areas of school, work, and structured schedule--masked by claiming that I just want to be a good steward. Maybe it's because I look in the mirror at a young woman who just never quite measures up, while writing in my journal--and in words of encouragement to others--that we were meticulously created in His image and according to His sovereign plan. These confessions have been on my heart for several days, and rather than continuing to dwell on them to seemingly no end, I sat in my bed a couple of nights ago before turning the light out and wrote out these things. I spend so much time each day reading for my classes, and realized that I spend minimal time reading devotionally. This includes meditating on the Word for non-academic purposes and reading something from a strong, yet humble author who articulates the truths of God both beautifully and precisely. So rather than cram in the last few pages of a book for class, I opened to the first page of Dr. John Piper's God is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself. Below are the quotes I've taken from the pages, as well as the Scripture references which pertain to such a life-giving, thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying truth.

  • "If the enjoyment of God Himself is not the final and best gift of love, then God is not the greatest treasure, His self-giving is not the highest mercy, the Gospel is not the good news that sinners may enjoy their Maker, Christ did not suffer to bring us to God, and our soul must look beyond Him for satisfaction. . . if His love for us is at bottom His making much of us, who is really being praised? We are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-centered. We are willing to boast in the cross as long as the cross is a witness to our worth. Who then is our pride and joy?" p.12-13
  • "How do we understand the Gospel and the love of God? Have we shifted with the world from God's love as the gift of Himself to God's love as the gift of a mirror in which we like what we see?" p.15
  • Psalm 70:4 - May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, "God is great!"
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 - In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Think on these things.



Amber said...

Such an honest post about a sin that so easily pervades the Christian's life, many times undedected, protected by a facade of Truth and good intentions--selfish idolotry. Thank you for your honesty and challenging reminder, my friend.

Gretchen said...

Great post. You are absolutely right about reading devotionally. I think it is a priority that can be tossed by the wayside for more "scholarly" pursuits.

I haven't read that book, but it sounds great!