On loving God …

I hope you are enjoying summer. One of the things I tend to do more in summer is read because the TV shows are reruns unless you’re into losing weight, finding new talent, or getting married to some loser. I’ve entered the world of an e-reader (just like Star Trek) and e-books and search Barnes and Noble for great deals or better yet FREE books. Admittedly, there’s a lot of junk out there and some downright trashy stuff; but occasionally a gem is found, and so I download it. I’m currently reading a free e-book, Towards a Healthy Church by Tracy Tyson who describes himself as follows:

“The Lord Jesus Christ has saved me, although I was an undeserving rebel against Him. I desire to follow Him and see His Name glorified in the earth. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, 3 boys, and a baby on the way. I teach elementary students at a Christian school in New Mexico. I love Jesus because He first loved me.”

Sounds like a good beginning, and so I’m into the first chapter entitled, “Love,” and I encounter this quote by John Piper in the section about loving God …

“The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the lei-sure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there? ”
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

I started thinking, “Heaven’s not heaven without Jesus,” and yet so many people want all the blessings of heaven without following Jesus in their daily lives. When it comes to loving God, do we love Him for what we can get from Him? … or for who He is? It’s a sobering question, and yet one vital to our relationship with Him. I did some more research and found another quote by Piper from the same work:

“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlast-ing joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

I encourage you to deepen your relationship and your love with the God who loves you more than you’ll ever realize this summer, and to seek first His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). As you do that He will not bless you; but He will transform you through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in ways that you never imagined.  Seeking to love God more …

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