20 septembra, 2009

The Hidden Smile of God

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.


12 septembra, 2009

Reason #36

Christ Suffered and Died...
To Create a People Passionate for Good Works

When God’s forgiveness and acceptance have freed us from fear and pride and greed, we are filled with a zeal to love others the way we have been loved. We risk our possessions and our lives since we are secure in Christ. When we love others like this, our behavior is contrary to human self-enhancement and self-preservation. Attention is thus drawn to our life-transforming Treasure and Security, namely, God.

(John Piper; Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die)

09 septembra, 2009


I’m reading a book from John Piper called The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. It’s kind of like a devotional book. John Piper found in the Bible at least fifty reasons why Jesus came to die and made a book out of it. I really enjoy reading this book. Now I want to share with you something from the Reason #22, Christ Suffered and Died . . . To Bring Us to God. At the beginning he starts that God is the gospel and that gospel means “good news”. And this is what he says right after this introduction:

But what is the ultimate good in the good news? It all ends in one thing: God himself. All the words of the gospel lead to him, or they are not gospel. For example, salvation is not good news if it only saves from hell and not for God. Forgiveness is not good news if it only gives relief from guilt and doesn’t open the way to God. Justification is not good news if it only makes us legally acceptable to God but doesn’t bring fellowship with God. Redemption is not good news if it only liberates us from bondage but doesn’t bring us to God. Adoption is not good news if it only puts us in the Father’s family but not in his arms.

Doesn’t it happen to us so many times? We think of God as the Savior, Forgiver and Redeemer (what is totally true) but among all this we sometimes forget to think of Him as of the One that loves us. Yeah, we say that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son... but we focus too much on WHAT God does and not so much on WHY He does what He does. That it’s His love for us that drives Him to sacrifice His own (and only!) Son. I’m not saying here and it doesn’t matter what God does nor that we should not care. But what I’m saying here is that what he does is just as important as why he does that. If we don’t have this we’re missing a half of puzzles in our picture. We can tell what is (probably) on the picture but not having the rest of the puzzles makes it impossible to see the big (and it really is big) picture.

So what is the answer? WHAT or WHY? I believe that both. One makes the other complete. We can partly know WHAT God did but we won’t able to really grasp the meaning of the act unless we know WHY He did so. And vice versa, we can know WHY would God do something in our lives but after we know WHAT He does we can really enjoy and appreciate the fullness of His love.

Knowing that Jesus died for us so we live is not all. It’s a part of the picture but we’ll never really understand unless we know that He did so because He loves us! The same way we can know that God loves us. But we need to see an act of His love for us in order that we can really be loved. Not just knowing but feeling as well. And what’s a better proof of love then dying for you (John 15:13). There’s none.

So let’s not adore God only for the wonderful (and great) things He’s doing for us but let’s also adore Him for why He does them – namely because He loves us.