Good Wednesday morning friends. We continue to hope that you are having a fun, restful, and Christ-drenched summer, that He would be even more satisfying than long days at the pool, or ice-filled cups of sweet tea and lemonade. One of the greatest mistakes we can make in the Christian life, is to think that Jesus's main purpose in our lives is to make us "healthy, wealthy, and wise." No-rather, He came to rescue a people for Himself, so that He might become the all-satisfying treasure and pursuit of our lives. Pastor John Piper puts it this way:
Being satisfied in God (or anything) always seems easier when all is going well. But when things you love are being stripped out of your hands, then the test is real. If God remains precious in those moments, then his supreme worth shines more brightly. He is most glorified.
This week, rather than a message to read, we've shared a story with you from a ministry named Desiring God. It's a love story between a husband and his wife, but it might be different than what you expect. As you watch, consider Jesus and ask, "Right now-am I treasuring Christ as greater than all things in my life?"
Hear Pastor Piper again as he introduces this story: "The most meaningful testimonies I receive are when people tell me that it was a vision of the sovereignty and goodness of God that got them through the most difficult times of their life. Here is one of those testimonies. I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things."
You can find more resources like this at www.desiringgod.org.
Memorial Day is here, school is nearly done, and the days are growing longer and hotter. The firstfruits of summer have arrived.
As the summer season approached in 1995, Pastor John reminded his church of the spiritual benefits of summer, along with the annual temptations to spiritual laziness in his article, “Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer” (May 31, 1995).
Every season is God’s season, but summer has a special power.
Jesus Christ is refreshing, but flight from him into Christless leisure makes the soul parched. At first it may feel like freedom and fun to skimp on prayer and neglect the Word, but then we pay: shallowness, powerlessness, vulnerability to sin, preoccupation with trifles, superficial relationships, and a frightening loss of interest in worship and the things of the Spirit.
Don’t let summer make your soul shrivel. God made summer as a foretaste of heaven, not a substitute. If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fianceé, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake-glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come — “things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Don’t fall in love with the video preview and find yourself unable to love the coming reality.
Jesus Christ is the refreshing center of summer. He is preeminent in all things (Colossians 1:18), including vacations, picnics, softball, long walks, and cookouts. He invites us in the summer: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This is serious summer refreshment.
Do we want it? That is the question.
Christ gives himself to us in proportion to how much we want his refreshment. “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, RSV). One of the reasons to give the Lord special attention in the summer is to say to him, “We want all your refreshment. We really want it.”
Resources on the spiritual value, and temptations, of summer
-by Tony Reinke, for the Desiring God blog. For more articles like this, go to www.desiringgod.org
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