Archive for the ‘John Piper’ Category

Something To Do On A Friday Night

Gather your friends…I hope this is good.

John Piper @ Mars Hill tonight @ 10pm EST

better than getting sloshed.

“No, Mr. President”

John Piper speaks candidly.  What do you think?

Economic Stimulus Payment & Christ

By John Piper

For a moment, forget the political puzzle of getting money backwhen the country is nine trillion dollars in debt. The more immediate question is: How will you make much of Christ with your “economic stimulus payment”? The president says it will be in the mail in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Clue: Nobody in the world will see you spend your money on yourself and conclude that Christ is your treasure. They will assume you are just like them, no matter how loudly you thank God for this boon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend it on yourself (the way we do with most of what we earn). Not everything we do can look different from the world—eat, pay utilities, fill up the car, wear clothes (even thrift-store clothes). And yes, we hope (somehow) that spending on ourselves in some way contributes to our being more Christ-exalting people.

But do we really need this money? Very few do. We would have gotten on fine without it. If we didn’t know it was coming, we wouldn’t even be feeling the desires we are feeling right now.

May I encourage you to be radically creative and hedonistic. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And those crazy Macedonians in a “severe test of affliction” and in “extreme poverty” had an “abundance of joy” that overflowed in a “wealth of generosity.” They even begged Paul “for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4). They really believed what Jesus said. Really.

Before the check comes dream of some person or ministry which might make much of Christ because you treasured him above your next home project.

The reason God created money and enabled us to earn it is so that we could show by the way we use it that money is not our treasure, Christ is. That’s why the checks are coming. So we can make Christ look great.

“Be content with what you have, for he has said,
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Taken from http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1203_economic_stimulus_payment__christ/

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Great idea!  So in light of this, think of a way that the money you are getting back can bring glory to God and honor Christ.  I think that there are many ways to do this – paying debt (Romans 13:8), giving to the poor (Luke 14:12-14), giving to your church, etc…  But lets make this an opportunity to bring glory to God!

Any more ideas?

Make War.

Powerful.

What’s your attitude towards the sin in your life?  Passive?

John Piper makes a powerful statement in this video regarding spiritual warfare.  Is Satan the cause of all of our problems?  Or are we?

“Nobody goes to hell because of Satan.  One will go to hell because of sin! 

Our lust is what leads us to sin.  Here are James’ words on the matter: 

James 1:14-16 – But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

The Sluggard Says, There Is a Lion Outside! I Shall Be Slain

This is one of the entries of John Piper’s Book “Taste and See” which I was reading recently.  I thought that this entry was particularly helpful and inlighting.  I know I often struggle with laziness and Piper emphasizes the battle that is going on our minds at times when we are lazy.  This might be helpful to you too.

Proverbs 22:13 – The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”

This is not what I expected the proverb to say. I would have expected it to say “The coward says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!'” But it says, “sluggard,” not “coward.” So the controlling emotion here is laziness, not fear. But what does laziness have to do with the danger of a lion in the street? We don’t say, “This man is too lazy to go do his work because there is a lion outside. The presence of a lion does not produce laziness, it produces fear. So what’s the point of the proverb?

The point is that the sluggard creates imaginary circumstances to justify not doing his work, and thus shifts the focus from the vice of his laziness to the danger of lions. No one will approve his staying in the house all day just because he is lazy. But they might sympathize with him and approve his staying home if there is real danger outside. So, to hide his laziness and justify himself, he deflects attention away from the truth (laziness) to an illusion (lions).

If we would be wise people – people on the way to being “sages” – we must understand how our sinful human hearts and minds work. One profound Biblical insight we need to know is that our heart exploits our mind to justify what the heart wants. That is, our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right. It is an illusion to think that our hearts are neutral and incline in accordance with cool rational observation of truth. On the contrary, we feel powerful desires or fears in our heart, and THEN our mind bends reality to justify the desires and fears.

This is what the sluggard is doing. He deeply desires to stay at home and not work. There is no good reason to stay at home. So what does he do? Does he overcome his bad desire? No, he uses his mind to create unreal circumstances to justify his desire. He may even believe the creation of his mind. Deception can cross from moral depravity to mental derangement – from deceiving others to deceiving ourselves.

Thus Proverbs 26:16 says, “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer.” Now why is that? Does laziness make a person haughty? Not necessarily. But it does make them resistant to any truth that exposes their laziness. So when seven men say, “There is no lion in the street,” the sluggard cannot concede. He must insist that his own answer is wiser: There is a lion in the street. Otherwise his laziness is exposed for what it is. Thus truth is sacrificed on the altar of self-justification.

It is an old tale. From Cain (Genesis 4:9) to Clinton, truth has been sacrificed to desire, and the mind has been shrewdly employed by the darkened heart to shroud its passions. We are all given to this. Our only hope is the transforming work of God in our hearts to free us from the bondage of a hardened heart that produces a futile mind (Ephesians 4:17-18; Romans 6:17).

This is what we saw last Sunday in Romans 1:18: “They hold down the truth in unrighteousness.” Truth is held hostage by the unrighteous commitments of the heart. The unrighteous heart then employs the mind to distract and deceive. As Jesus says, “Everyone who does evil hates the Light” (John 3:20). Doing the evil we love makes us hostile to the light of truth. In this condition the mind becomes a factory of half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions and lies – anything to protect the evil desires of the heart from exposure and destruction.

O growing sages of Bethlehem, consider and be wise.

Pastor John

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org – for original article link, click here.