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Archive for the ‘Piper, John’ Category

"Christian relationships have this as their goal: to help each other stay satisfied in God."

– John Piper

"Now how can I be the greatest blessing to the people around me?” The answer is: Get up in the morning. Go to the Word of God and, like George Mueller said, “Get your heart happy in God before you meet other people."

– John Piper

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Suppose you are in a car race and your enemy, who doesn’t want you to finish the race, throws mud on your windshield. The fact that you temporarily lose sight of your goal and start to swerve, does not mean that you are going to quit the race. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong race track. Otherwise the enemy wouldn’t bother you at all. What it means is that you should turn on your windshield wipers and use your windshield washer.

When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked. At first blow, our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether, by grace, we set in motion a process of resistance—whether we  fight back against the unbelief of anxiety. Will we turn on the windshield wipers and will we use our windshield washer?

… The windshield wipers are the promises of God that clear away the mud of unbelief, and the windshield washer fluid is the help of the Holy Spirit. The battle to be freed from sin, as we have seen, is “by the Spirit and by faith in the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). The work of the Spirit and the Word of the truth. These are the great faith builders.

Without the softening work of the Holy Spirit, the wipers of the Word just scrape over the blinding clumps of unbelief. Both are necessary—the Spirit and the Word. We read the promises of God and we pray for the help of his Spirit. And as the windshield clears so that we can see the welfare that God plans for us (Jer 29:11), our faith grows stronger and the swerving anxiety smooths out.

Source: John Piper, Future Grace

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Shrivelled souls

God’s people are laid wasted because our souls have shrivelled up to the size of a TV sitcom.

source: John Piper

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John Piper has written a book called "Spectacular Sins and their global purpose in the glory of Christ". Chapters include the fall of Satan, Adam’s disobedience, the tower of Babel, the sale of Joseph as a slave in Egypt, Israel’s asking for a king and Judas Iscariot.

The three quotes below aren’t the most important in the book but relate specifically to some of the things I am thinking about at the moment.

Never doubt that God is totally for you in Christ. If you trust him with your life, you are in Christ. Never doubt that all the evil that befalls you – even if it takes your life – is God’s loving, purifying, saving, fatherly discipline. It is not an expression of his punishment in wrath. That wrath fell on Jesus Christ our substitute (Gal 3:13; Rom 8:3). Only mercy comes to us from God, not wrath, if we are his children through faith in Jesus. "The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives" (Heb 12:6). (page 51)

When Satan aims to destroy Job and prove that God is not his treasure, he must get permission from God before he attacks Job’s possessions and his family with destruction, and before he attacks his body with sickness. In Job 1:12, God says to Satan, “Behold, all that [Job] has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.­ That is, “You have my permission to attack, but you will not go beyond the bounds that I set.­

In Job 2:6 God gives Satan permission to go so far and no farther: “The LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.­ And when the story is complete and the inspired writer is summarizing all that happened, he does not even give Satan so much as a mention. He sees only God’s overarching supreme hand in all that Satan did: “[Job’s brothers and sisters] showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him­ (Job 42:11). Satan’s causality in all Job’s suffering was not ultimate. That is why the writer can simply leave him out of account and say that the Lord was the final and decisive wisdom that ordered these things. Satan was not ultimate. God was.

Satan is the great tempter. He wants us to sin. Luke tells us that Satan was behind Peter’s denials. He tempted him to deny Jesus. But could he do that without God’s permission? Listen to what Jesus says to Simon Peter in Luke 22:31-32. It is very similar to the way Satan and God interact in Job: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to. . . sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.­

Satan could not do what he wished with Peter without God’s permission. And when he had it, just as with Job, God had set him a boundary: “You will not destroy Peter. You will only make him stumble tonight.”­ Which is why Jesus says, “When [not if!] you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”­ Jesus, not Satan, has the upper hand here. And Satan is allowed to go so far and no farther. (pages 46-48)

[Joseph’s brothers] are utterly oblivious to God’s invisible hand in their action. They do not know that in the effort to destroy this dreamer, they are fulfilling Joseph’s dreams. Oh, how often God works in this way! He takes the very sins of the destroyers and makes them the means of the destroyers’ deliverance. (page 78)

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A Christian sermon connects with the bigger redemptive-historical narrative of God’s actions in saving sinners and in strengthening sinners.

It also relates to Christian discipline – discipline that is dependent on the Holy Spirit, discipline that is not earning your salvation, discipline that is the fruit and not the root of your acceptance with God. And all of that takes you to the cross.

Source: Modified from comments made by John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/2356_does_every_sermon_have_to_be_about_jesus/

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People lift their hand to rebel against the Most High only to find that their rebellion is unwitting service in the wonderful designs of God.

– John Piper

Click on the verses below

Psalm 115:3

Psalm 135:5-7

Proverbs 16:33

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The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.

(Matthew Henry –Nehemiah 8:9-12 c.f. Psalm 135:1-4; Psalm 97:8-12; Mark 14:12-31)

John Piper responds by saying, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long term, than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God.”

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