Wednesday, November 11, 2009

keeping the cross central in the fight for joy

Every year I rediscover the gospel. Every year it sweeps over me again like a breaking wave. Every time it's startling, as if I've discovered it for the first time, so that I wonder if I could possibly have understood it before.

I hoard the memories like treasures cast up by the waves. A talk on Gethsemane which left me in tears. A mind-bending book on the theology of the cross. A realisation, late one night, that I'm free from the iron bands of legalism, loved by God and free to live in love.

What are your memories? What were the moments when the cross and resurrection of Christ impacted you?

There can be no joy without the cross. As Piper says, without it any happiness is self-deluded, small and shrunken, dancing before the Titanic crashes. With it, all obstacles to joy are removed and all joys are made possible. ...

We're about to launch into the wonderful chapters where Piper unveils the practical strategies we can use in the fight for joy. But he's made it clear: these strategies are worth nothing if they don't direct our eyes to the glory of God in Christ.

All strategies in the fight for joy are directly or indirectly strategies to see Christ more fully. ... This is the most foundational strategy in the battle for joy - the strategic battle to see. In all the strategies commended in this book for how to fight for joy, this is always the aim of each. Directly or indirectly every strategy is a strategy to behold the glory of Christ and become enthralled with his beauty above all. (pp.60, 66-67)

You can read the rest at EQUIP book club - just click here.

image is from stock.xchng

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