Thursday, December 1, 2011

Desiring God

northen 4       Desiring God is a book I recently finished and would strongly recommend to all readers. That does not mean the book is perfect, for it is not, I will point out what I disagree with in this book but nonetheless it is a very good book.

      Many people I know don't like to book but have never read the book. So we really don't know what the book talks about. Their two main reasons why people won't read this book the first reason is it was written by John Piper and many people don't like him. We are all entitled do you like and don't like but please don't let this keep you from reading this book. The second reason ,and probably more prominent, is that this book is “the meditations of a Christian hedonist” and this turns people off almost immediately.  There are a few reasons why I would suggest reading this book the first is that it is Biblical!!!! ( Definition: hedonist the pursuit or devotion for pleasure)

     The back of the book there are 12 pages of Bible references but John Piper makes reference to, and many of them are extensive passages dealing with multiple verses not just one or two taken out of context. But if you would please think with me and these few passages Ps 73:25,26  “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” We can see the desire is not a bad thing it can be a bad thing depending on what it is that I desire to be very, very good thing. Ps 1:2  “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” One could make the argument but delighting in something is not the same as taking pleasure in it, I would disagree I think they are the same. But nonetheless Scripture answers that question as well Ps 16:11 “ Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Ps 36:7,8  “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.“ I Actually don't like blog posts that go on forever so try to make this as short as possible but I feel like I must give at least one more example from Ephesians 5:28 this is a great passage concerning marriage ending coming to a conclusion to this passage Paul writes “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Here Paul clearly says but a certain kind of self love is a very good thing. No Christian would deny but you were to love your wife, and few Christians would deny that went to were married they become one, Bush you would ever realize that loving your wife his loving yourself for you are both one.

    the final reason why think people should read this book if you've ever been blessed by John Piper or his ministry you should read this book. The greed in which John Piper thinks is poured out in this book so needless to say it's not something that should be read quickly it's something that should be grappled with. I would consider it nothing less than a theological dissertation.

     But like I said neither the man nor the book is perfect. The biggest issue that I had with the book is concerning the second chapter and his view of the treasure in the field and Pearl of great Price. Probably the just of my disagreements boils down to the fact that following his interpretation man pursues God first, although John would never adhere to this, this is where his thinking leads to. This was so bad but I almost didn't finish the book. I do not wish to sugarcoat this to make it more than it is nor do I wish to downplay it in its flaws.

   My suggestion for reading this book his first read the preface, introduction, in Chapter 1. And then take two weeks off read the book of Philippians read some from the Psalms than come back. You could skip the second chapter entirely if you want to, it is not entirely a waste of time just mostly, so if you decide to read it really quickly then proceed to the third chapter the best lecture on worship I've ever read. And read chapter 4 as well. Which deals with love,  and took me the longest to agree with him about. Just to give you a flavor what is in this chapter think about in 1Co 13:3  “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” The question that I had before it ever picked up this book is why was Paul concerned about it being profitable for himself? Think on that for and while. This is what children can earn chapter 4. Then take another break of two weeks think about these things. When you come back proceed to read chapters 5 through 7 so the most hedonistic things that are said in this book was not written by John Piper and I've completely changed the way sit down and have my devotions for now I set down my devotions so that mean my God, the joyous relationship throughout the day. The chapter concerning prayer one of the best things I gleaned from this chapter and let us not be too busy for God that we were on the God of the glory that he deserves through answering our prayers. Simply put he is the Doctor we are the sick patient instead of us always trying to clean the doctor's office let him diagnose us. Take two weeks off and read the rest of the book at your leisure. I fear that this blog post is getting too long but in closing I would like to add the final paragraph in desiring God.

       “The chief end of man is to glorify God. And it is truer and suffering than anywhere else that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. My prayer, therefore, is that the Holy Spirit will pour out on His people around the world a passion for the supremacy of God in all things. And I pray that he would make it plain that the pursuit of joy in God, whatever the pain, is a powerful testimony to God's supreme in all satisfying worth. And so may it come to pass as we “fill up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions” (Col 1:24 ) that all the peoples of the world proceed alone of Christ and magnify his grace in the gladness of faith.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

Called twice

path Ti has been forever since my last blog post but life is far different now that I'm out of Bible college… but that's not the reason for this blog post, I recently attended desiring God's national conference on missions and a reoccurring theme was that “there is no special missionary call, we have all been called” while I understand exactly what these people mean (they mean that there's not going to be a bolt of lightning that strikes us in the head tying us that we need to go to the mission field) I was reading in Romans1:1 and it says that “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God” now correct if I am wrong but it seems to me that Paul was called twice. Both words (called and separated) have the idea to be appointed to a purpose.But separate also has the idea to be marked off from others by boundaries. I think both are true we have been called to salvation from the world, and there are those who have been called out of normal Christianity to have a special life of sacrifice and service (let me be quick to say that the normal Christian life is glorifying to God and I mean no way to downplay it but I want us to realize that our missionaries should be paranormal.) What are you thoughts to missionaries receive a specific call or not?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life is no mistake!


Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

I have been thinking about this passage from a long-time and here are some of my thoughts. At the precise exact moment in time the Roman empire came to power, and at the exact moment in time seizures sent forth a decree to tax the world, at the exact moment in time Christ was born in Bethlehem, at the exact moment in time there was a governor named Pontius Pilate who came to rule, at the exact moment in time Caiaphas the high priest was a high priest, these were no mistakes on the contrary they were divinely planned people who came to rule.

But I find there is much more than just this you see God's hand was intricately involved in each and every one of these incidences, but there was a tree that was planted and this tree was guarded by God for this tree has a special-purpose this tree grew because God wanted to grow four it would one day bear Christ. Can you imagine forging the knife that you knew would be very knife that would kill you. There were also wild thorns which grew and were guarding by God for they would form the crown that will be placed upon Christ. There was an animal that was born and lived so that it would die to form a cat of nine tails that would beat Christ. The greatest hardship the universe has ever known has not been the absence of God's hand, but is in fact the very presence of God.

But how does this affect our life today? Realizing that Christ's trial was no accident, but rather the trial of Christ was the very instrument that brought glory to God. As you and I look at our trials and hardships of today May we realize that God is present in our very trials and he will be guiding and directing as he always does. May we further realize that my trial maybe for the benefit of somebody else. So let us not complaining but rather glory in our infirmities for when we are weak Christ is strong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ephesian 1:18

Eph 1:18  “…that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”

so I was sitting in class when uncle Phil was talking about this amazing passage of scripter I came up with this statement to try and bring this amazing truth into one statement this is the result. God desired to fulfill His divine purposes, so He chose for Himself and inheritance that would bring Him the utmost glory, and that inheritance which had been chosen to fulfill Divine pleasures is the saints, you and me. Let this truth sinking in and impact our lives when we realize this may we fall to our knees and thank God for what he has done.

Monday, February 28, 2011

How much is God needed?

helping-handI asked myself this question how is our greatest enemy and I heard someone say that “the biggest enemy which we have today is the devil” in a very dogmatic statement. So it forced me to ask myself two questions; first if this statement is true than the greatest act of God would be to protect me from the devil, because whatever my greatest enemy is would buy necessity have to be the greatest “need” that I would have for God.  Second question “is the devil our worst enemy?” The simple answer is “no” that is not the worst enemy which possess. I believe that the worst enemy that we have is our self! I come to this conclusion from an understanding of the deprived of man. Once an understanding of this Biblical truth than we will have the answer to “how much do we really need God?” So here we go.

let us begin with scripture Rom 5:10  “For if, when we were enemies…to God…” When the term “enemy” is used it is an active sate of heat toward God. but what is it that brings us to this point where we hate God? The answer is found in first John where there are three things which do this there is “the world”, “the flesh”, and “the devil”. When we come to the world we cannot say that the world is the biggest enemy which we have, because even when the world was in a perfect state and there was no evil influence upon humanity we still fell in to sin. Most people would automatically jump to the conclusion that the devil made us sin in the Gardena of Eden and that he is the greatest enemy that we have, but I don't think so. All the devil had to do was simply implant thoughts into our head and then he let us fall all on our own. I believe that “we” are the worst enemies which we have! And I believe this for a number of reasons the chief reason would be found in the statement Rom 1:21  “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” It is often assumed that this statement is given to the unbelieving world, and I certainly agree that it does apply to the unregenerate, but I believe the first time this sin took place was in the Garden of Eden when man had not fallen. We knew that God was the source of infinite satisfaction and happiness, then we committed the greatest travesty ever conceivable we trade infinite satisfaction for finite satisfaction, thus making ourselves our greatest enemy against God.

Man in an un-fallen state was not able to sustain in holiness. We find that Man is not alone this particular state. We read in scriptures that even Angels are unable to sustain holiness. In the passage 1Ti5:21 it refers to God sustaining “…the elect angels…”. So what is the purpose of this post? Well here it is and I hope it makes sense to more people than justly me. No created being no matter how perfect is able to sustain in holiness, for God is the only self-sustaining being ever. So every being that is desiring to stay in a state of holiness and remain just. must buy necessity have to have God’s maintaining sovereign hand upon his life or we would all become subject to low and deprived minds. So the answer to the question how deprived is a man, this depravity starts with the fact that God is not an intricate part of my life, so my greatest enemy is not the world and it is not the devil, it is myself. Finally the answer to how much is God needed? God is needed in every area that my will can be exercise because my “free will” is my greatest enemy! May God completely over take my will and I have his will instead of mine. For when I find myself after exercising my “free will” it is always against God’s. Lord help me in my terrible condition and save my soul from myself.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Is God Pleased with man?

This is a Question That is either not asked that all, or at the very least not asked near enough; it is “is God pleased with man?” And more specifically “is God pleased with me?” First thing I want us to see is that this is a topic about divine pleasure and God's pleasures are not man's pleasures. God's pleasures are perfect man's pleasures are polluted. Sin is anything that does not align itself with God and who He is; that includes pleasure. So when I take pleasure in something that God hates, that is sin! So I hope that we all understand this is extremely important. I want to be pleased with what God is pleased in. So we go to the source in which we can find all the answers for life, including the answer to the question of “to whom is God please?” The Bible. In Zec 8:17 “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.” And in Isa 61:8 “For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering…” Pro 6:16 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:”

I Hope that is apparent from these verses that God hates sin. This should not be the most frightening thing to come across to you or I, a far more exceedingly important question for us is “our we sinful or not?” Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” this is not just slightly wicked but desperately wicked. Meaning extremely displeasing to our God.; The wickedness of man is repeated over and over again throughout Scripture is woven in Scripture in its entirety, but one of the most concise examples of this is in Rom 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Now we should be worried for the supremely powerful God has an infinite amount of hatred towards sin in which mankind not only lives in and thrives upon, but we find our pleasure in. Is there a way for us to escape the wrath of God? Yes there is, and strangely enough it is found in His perfect, infinitely satisfying , holy pleasures. For it is without controversy that some of the greatest pleasures of God are found in Himself, namely Christ.

In Isaiah 53 we find the most amazing pleasures can ever be found in the whole of Scripture. Taking this section of Scripture and slowly moving through it and want us to see how one of the greatest pleasures that God has we heated. Isa 53:2-10 “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.( God saw the most beautiful things that ever existed, we saw no beauty in Him. What God was as satisfying, you and I didn’t even want.) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Not only did we simply just not want Him, but we treated Him worse than not wanting Him, we had an active attitude of rejection towards Him.) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Even in a gracious act of cleansing us from our sin, we continued persecuting Him)…Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” God was pleased with the suffering of Christ because it appeased His wrath for our sin. This is absolutely foundational without this truth of the pleasure of God and the sacrifice of Christ there would be no hope for you or me, because there is an appeasement for sin there is hope for us. But just because there is an appeasement for sin does not mean that mean you are bringing pleasure to God in any way. But this tremendous pleasure of God in Christ is not over. Mat 3:17” And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mat 12:18 “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased…” Mat 17:5 “…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased...” God finds eternal pleasure in the infinitely worthy being of Christ. Now this is finally good news for you and for me. For what way we turn to the book of Romans 8:29 and we find these word “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son….” the work of sanctification comes about when we are being pressed into the mold of Christ. And when this takes place God looks down upon me and no longer see Stephen Clement but see Christ! In a final conclusion we can see that God is pleased with no man, save for Christ, so when God looks down upon our life may He not see our life but Christ's life. The answer to the question “to whom this God pleased?” Is one that only you can answer. May your answer be yes.