Posts Tagged ‘ John Piper ’

John Piper on The Perseverance of Raymond Lull

Consider the way Raymond Lull finished his earthly course.

Raymond Lull was born in a wealthy family on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain in 1235. His life as a youth was dissolute, but a series of visions compelled him to follow Christ. He first entered monastic life but later became a missionary to Muslim countries in northern Africa. He learned Arabic and after returning from Africa became a professor of Arabic until he was 79. Samuel Zwemer describes the end of his life like this, and, of course, it is the exact opposite of retirement:

“His pupils and friends naturally desired that he should end his days in the peaceful pursuit of learning and the comfort of companionship.

Such however was not Lull’s wish. . . . In Lull’s contemplations we read . . . “Men are wont to die, O Lord, from old age, the failure of natural warmth and excess of cold; but thus, if it be Thy will, Thy servant would not wish to die; he would prefer to die in the glow of love, even as Thou wast willing to die for him.”

The dangers and difficulties that made Lull shrink back . . . in 1291 only urged him forward to North Africa once more in 1314. His love had not grown cold, but burned the brighter . . . . He longed not only for the martyr’s crown, but also once more to see his little band of believers [in Africa]. Animated by these sentiments he crossed over to Bugia [Algeria] on August 14, and for nearly a whole year labored secretly among a little circle of converts, whom on his previous visits he had won over to the Christian faith. . . .

At length, weary of seclusion, and longing for martyrdom, he came forth into the open market and presented himself to the people as the same man whom they had once expelled from their town. It was Elijah showing himself to a mob of Ahabs! Lull stood before them and threatened them with divine wrath if they still persisted in their errors. He pleaded with love, but spoke plainly the whole truth. The consequences can be easily anticipated. Filled with fanatic fury at his boldness, and unable to reply to his arguments, the populace seized him, and dragged him out of the town; there by the command, or at least the connivance, of the king, he was stoned on the 30th of June 1315.1

So, Raymond Lull was 80 years old when he gave his life for the Muslims of North Africa. Nothing could be further from the American dream of retirement than the way Lull lived out his last days.

-John Piper

To learn more about Raymond Lull I recommend Raymond Lull: First Missionary to the Moslems.

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Pastor’s Heart For the Flock

John Piper’s final closing prayer on his last Sunday (April 25th) prior to his eight month sabbatical which started May 1st. He has committed to praying this or something similar until he returns.

O Lord, as you are often accustomed to do, show your great power in my absence. Send a remarkable awakening that results in hundreds of people coming to Christ, old animosities being removed, marriages being reconciled and renewed, wayward children coming home, long-standing slavery to sin being conquered, spiritual dullness being replaced by vibrant joy, weak faith being replaced by bold witness, disinterest in prayer being replaced by fervent intercession, boring Bible reading being replaced by passion for the Word, disinterest in global missions being replaced by energy for Christ’s name among the nations, and lukewarm worship being replaced by zeal for the greatness of God’s glory.

Lord, when Gideon had thousands of men you said, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judges 7:2). You stripped his army to 300, and with that you conquered the peoples of the East who covered the ground like locusts and whose camels were like the sand of sea (Judges 7:12).

O Lord, take the mighty 300 of Bethlehem and bless this church beyond anything we have ever dreamed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Click here to listen to the sermon.

Grace and Peace

Lecture of the Week; John Piper on Getting Old to the Glory of God

This week’s lecture is by John Piper.  His topic is,”Getting Old to the Glory of God.” Click here to download.

The Love of God – John Piper

On Sunday (April 18, 2010) John Piper preached on the love of God and entitled the message; How Much Does God Love This Church?

I wanted to share a quote from the sermon and provide a link to the sermon if you have an opportunity to listen or view it. I believe the question/quote is enough to meditate on for some days.

Do you feel more loved by God when He makes much of you, or when He, at great cost to His Son, frees you and empowers you to enjoy making much of Him forever? The aim of that question has never been to deny that God makes much of us. He does. The aim has been to help people relocate the bottom of their joy – the decisive foundation of their joy – from self to God.

To listen or watch the sermon click here.

Grace and Peace.

A Few Books for your Consideration

 Given that I serve my local body by running our bookstore, I wanted to point out a few titles that we use a ton at my local church, Grace Bible. I have them listed below by theme. I pray that these are a help to you.

Prayer:
Valley of Vision– this a collection of puritan prayers. I use this book personally in my quit times to help move my thinking towards the lord and the cross before I read my bible. 

A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson– Looks at the prayers of Paul. I have watched this book change the pray lives of men around me.

 Living the Christian Life:
Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges– This is a classic on running the race set before us through the power of the cross.

Sex is not the Prolbem, Lust is by Joshua Harris- This is a book I reread about every 9 months. it is deeply practical by richly biblical. A rare combination. 

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges– This book targets sins we may not think are sins. I have found this book to be a very humbling read. 

Sharing your faith: 
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever– This is the best book on sharing your faith I have ever read. 

To strengthen your Faith: 
Christian Beliefs by Wanye Grudem– This is a systematic theology in miniature. I used it in my daily reading and read it over the course of a month. 

Classics of the Faith: 
Resolutions And Advice to Young Converts by Jonathan Edwards– This is the best introduction to Edwards I know of. This small, put meaty book is a great starting point for anyone interested in Edwards but afraid of his writing style. 

Reading for Those with Little Time: 
Life is a Vapor by John Piper– Short readings. Meaty, heart changing stuff.

Free Copy of This Momentary Marriage By John Piper

Desiring God is offering a free PDF copy of This Momentary Marriage. Click here to get yours copy

Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ’s covenant-keeping love on display. -John Piper

John Piper on An Amazing (Unused?) Means of Change

Last night I was reading old Taste and See articles by John Piper. I came across one called,”An Amazing (Unused?) Means of Change,” and I was stuck by how fresh it read for being from 1993. Here a few quotations from it:

What you set your mind on determines whether the issue is life or death.

One of the most remarkable capacities of the human mind is the capacity to direct its own attention to something it chooses. We can pause and say to our minds, “Think about this, and not that.” We can focus our attention on an idea or a picture or a problem or a hope….Humans have the amazing ability to think about thinking and to choose an object of thought to dwell on. This is a gift from God, part of his image in us. And it is an immensely powerful means of our becoming what we ought to be. Have you been neglecting this great weapon in the arsenal of your war against sin? The Bible calls us again and again to use this remarkable gift. Let’s take it out and shine it up and put it to use.

Our emotions are governed in large measure by what we considerwhat we dwell on with our minds.

Read the whole article here.

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