The Goal of Life - Gladly Making Others Glad in God
Our fellowship group at church is studying a John Piper series - Don't Waste Your Life. We followed the study - The Treasure Principle with this series. It just seemed to make sense to follow a study that pressed us on where and how we spend our resources that God has entrusted to us with one that digs deeper into the heart.
This week's chapter that we are studying is the title of this blog. It is really good.
Pastor Erik's sermon on Sunday really pressed this whole week in on me. I have so many people around me to share the gospel with. Why don't I do it????? Why am I not bold in my faith. Hasn't God done a REMARKABLE work in my life? Shouldn't I shout this from the rooftops?
Here are some items from the lesson that really stuck in like a dagger to me...
Do we lean toward Mercy?
Do we default to grace?
Do we have a forgiving spirit?
Without these we will walk away from need and waste our lives.
Piper states that the motive for a forgiving person should be that we have been forgiven by God when we did not deserve it. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" Ephesians 4:32
Forgiving is essentially God's way of removing the great obstacle to our fellowship with him.
If we experience forgiveness as the free and undeserved gift of joy in God, then we will be carried by this joy, with love, into a world of sin and suffering. Our aim there will be that others, through Jesus Christ, will find forgiveness and everlasting joy in God.
We cannot make anyone glad in God
Joy in God is a fruit of the Holy Spirit - It is the work of God. It is the effect of God's grace. Joy is awakened in the heart of God when God graciously opens our eyes to see the glory of Christ in the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4)
It is the effect of God's grace: "We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity" 2 Corinthians 8:1-2
:Joy in God is awakened in the heart of God when God graciously opens our eyes to see the glory of Christ in the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4)"
Without thus joy in God, there would be no salvation. So when we speak of making someone glad in God, we include the plan and grace of God "which he have us in Christ Jesus before the ages began" (2 Timothy 1:9). I include the all-sufficient redeeming work of Christ in death and resurrection (Romans 3:24-26). We include the divine work of the new birth that gives is a new nature (John 3:3-7 and 1 Peter 1:3 and 23). We include the God-given change of mind called repentance that turns away from sin and turns to God for help (2 Timothy 2:25; Acts 3:19 and 26:20). We include the faith in Jesus Christ that embraces him as the savior and Lord supreme treasure of life (Philippians 3:7-9). We include the progressive change into Christlikeness called sanctification (Romans 6:22; 8:29). We include the entire life of love that counts it more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20: 35).
When we speak of gladness in God, therefore, I mean a gladness that has roots in God's eternal decree, was purchased by the blood of Christ, springs up in the newborn heart because of God's Spirit, awakens in repentance and faith, constitutes the essence of sanctification and Christlikeness, and gives rise to a life of love and a passion for redeeming the world after the image of God. Gladness in God is a massive reality planned and purchased and produced by God in the lives of his elect for the Glory of his name.
I will post the link to Erik's sermon once it is online - it was awesome. How quickly I forget where the Lord has brought me and what he has brought me from......