Saturday, February 23, 2008

Desiring God - Scripture

I picked this book up again today. It took me a while to read it the first time (back in college when Bobby suggested I read it). Now I pick it up and read a chapter here and there. There are three I want to read right now - this is the first: Scripture, Worship, & Marriage. I love going back and re-reading books that I read so long ago. This is why I highlight and underline in my books - I can see how far I've come in my thinking and what the Spirit has worked in my mind since I read it the last time. Of course - I think this is Piper's main work - most of his other books summed up in this one. If there was only one (not counting his biography series) to read - this would be it.
Someone said of me one time that I "loved the Bible". After reading this chapter I see how far I have to go. Spirit - work in me an affinity for the Word - the Words of Life and love and power to cancel every sin in my life. Only the Spirit.
I wanna be Ezra and Jeremiah - not in their prophet status - but in their devotion and determinedness to soak in the Word. I want to be like Phyllis who is the person in my life who has known and claimed so much Scripture - to let Scripture shape my life (not the other way around).
"Moses says in Dt 32.46-47: lay to heart all the words which I enjoin upon you this day, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no trifle for you, but it is your lift. The Word of God is not a trifle; it is a matter of life and death. If you treat the Scripture as a trifle, you forfeit life." I pray one day, if the Lord grant me the blessing of being a mother, that I might impart words of LIFE everyday to them - by singing it to them while they are still unborn, by reading it to them during their nap time, by reading it to them before bed time (like Brad and Lindsay do for Shep and Annie), by having it around the house like Phyllis and Kathy do.
"And there is no true joy without faith. 'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.' (Rom 15.13) 'I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your advancement and joy of faith (Phil 1.25).' How else can we sustain our joy in dark hours except by the promises of God's Word that he will work it all together for our good." My joy and peace doesn't lie in my circumstances. I can't believe in things in that are going on in my life - that is not where my faith lies. My faith can only be placed in One Unchangeable! And no matter how God answers my prayers or where He directs me - I know Rom 8.28 is the truth.
"The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience."
"How crucial is the Word that breaks the power of counterfeit pleasures
." This is what I pray for my girls - that they would find so much joy in the Word that they might see how unsatisfying the world is. As the quote on the bottom of my email is "until sin is bitter, Christ will not be sweet."
Knowing God's will has been a topic of conversation for me recently - here is what Piper has to say about it in this chapter:
"Of course, the Bible does not answer every question about life. Not every fork in the road has a biblical arrow. We have need of wisdom in ourselves to know the path of lasting joy. But that too, is a gift of Scripture...The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. People whose minds are saturated with God's Word and submissive to his thoughts have a wisdom that in eternity will prove superior to all the secular wisdom in the world."
Even though Phyllis taught me the importance of the Word - it wouldn't do me much good if I didn't take it in and read it for myself. "But what many Christians fail to realize is that we can't draw the sword from someone else's scabbard." The Word must dwell in us. We can't live by the preaching of the Word on Sundays alone - we have to study it for ourselves.
May the reading of this prick your heart if this is a discipline that you need to ask the Spirit to work in you!

1 comment:

janel said...

amen to that final Piper quote re: wisdom. i pray for that for both of us, and all my friends who are women of God.

and amen to learning how far we have to go!