Sunday, April 24, 2011

joy

“Surely this is the way we should understand the sufferings and death of Christ. They have to do with me. They are about Christ’s love for me personally. It is my sin that cuts me off from God, not sin in general. It is my hard-heartedness and spiritual numbness that demean the worth of Christ. I am lost and perishing. When it comes to salvation, I have forfeited all claim on justice. All I can do is plead for mercy.” -John Piper- The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons He Came to Die
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“My hard-heartedness and spiritual numbness…”  Have you ever thought about spiritual apathy being a sin?  We are commanded to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds…  Yet daily, we choose, over and over again, to love other things more than we love Him.  I think we sometimes tell ourselves that if we love God more than our pleasures, He will surely take them away.  What if He calls us to the far reaches of the earth to serve Him, removing us from our families and friends and comforts?  Loving God fully MUST mean having NO earthly pleasures.  How wrong we are!  God delights in giving us pleasure, and He knows that we are MADE for Him.  Everything we “love” in this world leaves us wanting, never fully satisfied.  He knows that if we will just find our JOY in Him, we will be completely fulfilled.  It breaks His heart that He stands ready to receive us and give us true joy, yet we continually tell Him, “It’s ok, God, I have this other thing that I will give myself to.  I don’t need you.”  The key here, the key that we all seem to miss, is that being satisfied in Christ makes all earthly pleasures, the ones that He gives us, just that much more wonderful.

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