Life is a River

“The life of this world is not a lake. It is a river. And it is flowing downward to destruction. If you do not listen earnestly to Jesus and consider him daily and fix your eyes on him hourly, then you will not stand still, you will go backward. You will float by” (John Piper, “The Danger of Drifting from the Word,” preached on April 28, 1996.  You can read it here).

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).

By Enjoying Him Forever

John Piper opens his classic work, Desiring God, with these very thought provoking and helpful words. Perhaps they will induce you to read the book.

You might turn the world on its head by changing one word in your creed. The old tradition says,

The chief end of man is to glorify God
enjoy him forever.

“And”? Like ham and eggs? Sometimes you glorify God and sometimes you enjoy him? Sometimes he gets glory, sometimes you get joy? “And” is a very ambiguous word! Just how do these two things relate to each other?

Evidently the old theologians didn’t think they were talking about two things. They said “chief end,” not “chief ends.” Glorifying God and enjoying him were one end in their minds, not two. How can that be?

That’s what this book is about.

Not that I care too much about the intention of seventeenth century theologians. But I care tremendously about the intention of God in Scripture. What does God have to say about the chief end of man? How does God teach us to give him glory? Does he command us to enjoy him? If so, how does this quest for joy in God relate to everything else? Yes, everything! “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The overriding concern of this book is that in all of life God be glorified the way he himself has appointed. To that end this book aims to persuade you that

The chief end of man is to glorify God
enjoying him forever.

Thy Will Be Done

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.

― C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Mud Pies

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (C. S. Lewis).