Friday, December 30, 2005

Gazing on His beauty forever!!!!

With all the talk about the church, Christmas and even the extremes of offering the opportunity to win a house to get people to come to church I thought I would go back to some things John Piper mentioned in his new book: God is the Gospel.

He proposes that the best and final gift of God’s love is the enjoyment of God’s beauty. This comes from Psalm 27:4 where the psalm reflects on the how David saw that the greatest gift God gave was the ability for David to be with God forever and gaze on His beauty. This a long shot from what is offered every Sunday in so many churches, thankfully not all. We offer freedom from pain, addiction and many other things. All of these may be true but can not be guaranteed. Why do we not focus on the one thing that is guaranteed and that is those who are followers of Christ will be able to gaze on the beauty of the Lord forever. My guess is that all too many churches see this as boring and not exciting enough to draw people.

There is the crux of the problem: First is that it is not us that draw people to God, but God Himself who does so, as the natural inclination of the unregenerate man is to run as far from God as possible. Secondly, is that the actions of so many reveal a shallow understanding of the beauty of God. We are so enamored with the temporal excitement of this world that we think that it is necessarily so in heaven. The church is today all too much enamored with itself rather than God and it is not always in the words said but is seen all too often in the actions of the church and its people.

One question asked in the book is: Do you feel more loved because God makes much of me or because, at the cost of His Son, He enables me to enjoy making much of Him forever. How you answer this says much about where God is truly placed in ones life. It is not just how we answer this verbally but also how we answer it in actions. When church is focused more on us and not God we say that we are central.

I will write more on this in the upcoming months as this has been weighing on me because it truly seems that to take the path of making much of God over much being made of us puts one on the wrong side of the pragmatic ways of the day.

1 comment:

RevyRev said...

Amen. I look forward to your future posts on how this biblical vision of God should transform the ministry of the local church. I too am reading God is the Gospel and it has been both wonderful and convicting.