The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever.
The first chapter of his book explains this statement in great detail, titling the chapter as The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism. For me, I don’t think the word happy is a good word to use, but hey, I’m not the scholar here. This subject though, it’s one that does take a bit of time to completely understand (as Piper demonstrates through the life of Jonathan Edwards), but the verse I think explains it most claerly is:
I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me
declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’
It may be hard to understand (once considerable thought has been put into it), but as Piper closes, it is a great blessing. The fact that we have a God who can’t be thwarted, one who we are safe with. Also it shows that whatever mistakes we make, God doesn’t think, “Darn, that messes up my plans for tonight…“- He’s sovereign!
This doctrine is most difficult to understand when there are tough times. I understand that most who read this don’t know what I even look like, let alone know me personally. But I would value prayer for my school Christian Union at this time. Being the leader of the group, it’s overwhelmingly disconcerting when no-one turns up to the meetings! I’ve learnt from close Christian friends of mine that I must understand that Christians have important things to do other than the Christian Union… but something smells fishy about this. I totally agree with them, that they can’t make it, but when it goes week in week out, changing the date to fit people’s itineries, with long nights preparing for the meetings, only for disappointment.
I know God’s telling me to keep on, but how and to whom. The most worrying thing is that I will be leaving the school in May, and unless God raises someone up soon, the CU will inevitably die. But, see, this is where I need to turn around and say to myself; “Dan, God is Sovereign – don’t you get it? God has a plan for that school, you have completed your time there and maybe prepared the way for something much greater, maybe not on a large scale, but in the hearts of those who have come in the past – all the unbelievers who “dropped by” one day. The seeds have been planted – let God carry on his work. You must trust in him”. (I too suffer from long monologues inside and sometimes outside of my head like that doctor from Scrubs…)
Remember – God is Sovereign.
Feel free to comment, it would be good to hear your view Mr Reader!
The first sermon was about Pride and how we can deal with it as Christians. It really taught me alot, showing the correlation between the actions of the ancient people creating the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) and issues of pride today. It was really interesting to note that however we try and impress other people, or God for that matter, it literally is nothing compared to what God can do. Anyway don’t let me steal Piper’s steam, listen to the sermon here, or just check out the page here
The second sermon was the most challenge, Envy. If we’re all honest we struggle with envy, something that Piper makes plain right at the start of the message. Based around Psalm 37:1-7, Piper describes how Envy leads to unbelief. Very challenging, and it came just at the right time after I recently had an imense feeling of envy towards Christian peers who seemed to have a better Christian life and a better life in general. Listen to the sermon here, or read it on the webpage here.
I pray you’ll be challenged by what God says in these sermons. True Christianity is no spectator sport.
Gwanwyn is on its way and us heliophiliacs are finally feeling good about life again! Living in Wales, especially, the weather doesn’t allow more than a couple of hours of sunshine a month. SAD’s been kicking in and keeping to good exercise just seems like a cold shower in the snow. It’s half term next week and I hope to make the most out of it. I’ve already planned a little route that’s about 18 miles, nothing spectacular but just to get the ball rolling.
Fair play, I have been making some sort of effort over the past few days, I’ve finally dropped the Christmas turkey and have been swimming, running, walking, skipping, cycling like never before. The greatest feeling that I’ve discovered over the past week is coming out of the leisure centre after swimming your arms off, with the wind in my hair, the sun brightening my face, the smell of freshness and the feeling of gratification for working hard the past hour.
As well as sorting out my physical self, I’ve also been trying to build up my spiritual self. This involves aiming to read God’s Word everyday, praying and listening getting to know the difficult doctrines! At the moment, I’m looking at the Doctrine of Sin, listening to Wayne Grudem explain his massive work, Systematic Theology – a massive 1264 pages of sound Christian doctrine. It can be pretty tough at times, but “through prayer and supplication” it’s slowly being revealed to me by God.
I think the toughest area for me at the moment is living in a society that totally disregards the Word, but worse than that, living in a society of Christians that are asleep! Totally unaware of their surroundings and sleeping soundly to the tune of their own lives – “I’m alright Jack!”. The Bible tells us that life is nothing compared to the grand scheme of things:
“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].” — James 4:14
We’re not on this earth for long, and God has put Christians on this earth to spread his Gospel. “Why can’t he do it himself?” Nobody knows! Even the greatest Christians asked “Why me? I’m a failure!” As Christians we need to stop making excuses like Moses did, and get off our backsides because time is just too short.
Hope I brightened up your day!