10 March 2011

Searching for the Hidden Smile of God

I've just finished reading John Piper's "The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd." What a great work. It really opens up the lives of Brainerd, Bunyan and Cowper to it's readers. However, in Piper's summation he makes of few statements that although I was aware of their truth, nevertheless struck me deeply. Allow me to quote him:

"...But we modern, western Christians have come to see safety and ease as a right. We move away from bad neighborhoods. We leave hard relationships. We don't go to dangerous, unreached people groups. ...Jesus never called us to a life of safety, nor even a fair fight. ...We are soft and thin-skinned. We are worldly; we fit far too well into our God-ignoring culture. We are fearful and anxious and easily discouraged. We have taken our eyes of the Celestial City and the deep pleasures of knowing God and denying ourselves the lesser things that titillate for a moment but then shrink our capacities for great joy. Bunyan's Seasonable Counsel for us is: Take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. 'For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it' (Matthew 16:25)."

Some of that describes me, does it describe you? It's time for a re-think on how we live our lives in light of the truth of the Gospel don't you think?

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