That’s it. That’s the post for today.
Now go out and do it.
That’s it. That’s the post for today.
Now go out and do it.
Focusing on the life of the mind helps us to know God better, love him more, and care for the world. Along with an emphasis on emotions and the experience of God, we also need to practice careful thinking about God. Piper contends that “thinking is indispensable on the path to passion for God.” So how are we to maintain a healthy balance of mind and heart, thinking and feeling?
Piper urges us to think for the glory of God. He demonstrates from Scripture that glorifying God with our minds and hearts is not either-or, but both-and. Thinking carefully about God fuels passion and affections for God. Likewise, Christ-exalting emotion leads to disciplined thinking.
Readers will be reminded that “the mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fires of the heart.”
I love John Piper. His books challenge me in a way that no other author do. I love his passion for the glory of God and to see Christians truly embrace the act of living with Jesus as the treasure of their heart.
That being said, this might have been the Piper book I’ve enjoyed the least. Why? It was so short! I like getting pounded over the head and kicked in the butt when I read his stuff. Think felt like it could have been a chapter in Desiring God. But, with that being my only complaint, it for sure is a book worth reading – and a perfect short book for summer!
If you are a thinking-type Christian, this book is for you. It’s good to be intellectual. To want to know everything about everything and seek to study out the Bible. But you can’t let it stop there. Piper challenges intellects to let that God-given passion for knowledge to transform your heart and your relationship with God. Knowing more about Him should make you love Him more, want to worship Him more, and want to live more radically for him. Bottom line – thinking more about God should make your heart more passionate about God.
If you are a feeling-type Christian, this book is for you. Your heart lights up during times of worship, prayer, and fellowship. But don’t let it stop there. Piper speaks of the fact that God has given you a mind for a reason – use it! The Bible isn’t something to just read and then reflect on. You’re called to go deep, to understand the myriad layers that lie within, and delve deep into the mystery that is the Almighty Father in heaven. Bottom line – loving God should move you to know Him more.
Think is a book for all Christians, no matter where they are at in their walk. It will leave you with a deeper love of a God and a deeper love of learning. It makes you want to engage your mind and heart so much more. Personally, after reading this book, I am so challenge to read. Read the Bible. Read Christian biographies. Read church history. To study the Scripture and really think about it. And to let that knowledge soak deep into my soul and transform the way I live.
What kind of Christian are you – the thinking type or the feeling type? What ways do you challenge yourself in the areas where you are weaker? Why do you think it’s important to both love God with all your heart and all your mind?
If you were following this blog last summer, you will remember the Tough Girl Summer Challenge I issued. The goal of the summer challenge was to make the most of these lazy summer days and do something that matters. If you didn’t do it or if you did it and really enjoyed it, I would highly recommend doing it again.
This year, I’d love to invite you to participate with many high schoolers and college students at my church who are participating in what we call “Summer Reading Intensive.”
The goal? 5 books to stretch your mind, heart, and faith in 3 months. That equals out to one book every two weeks.
Why are we doing it? Simple – we need to read! How amazing is it that we can spend time with heroes of the faith like John Calvin? That we can hang out with fantastic preachers like John Piper and Francis Chan? We’d never miss the opportunity to spend face to face time with these guys – and we can…through books.
Here’s the list of books. Our group is getting together every other week to talk about the book we just read. If you decide to read along, feel free to post your comments, questions, and reflections here. I will post a review of each book after I read it.
Book 1 – Think by John Piper (you can download a free copy here): June 24
Book 2 – Crazy Love by Francis Chan: July 8
Book 3 – Portrait of Calvin by T.H.L. Packer (you can download a free copy here): July 22
Book 4 – The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan: August 5
Book 5 – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: August 19
If you’re a total nerd like me, feel free to join our summer intensive Facebook group. We will have study guides for each of the books (a couple written by yours truly )
So, are you up for the challenge? Ready to work out those mind, heart, and faith muscles this summer? I’d love to have you join me!
P.S. If you decide to do last year’s summer challenge, the FIRST thing on the list is to read five Christian books. Well, isn’t that something…
How are you feeling today, tough girl? Tired? Worn down? Discouraged and disappointed? Maybe even a little guilty or shameful over something or another?
Even if you don’t feel like that today, I’m sure you’ve felt like that before and will feel like that again. It’s days like these that make God seem so distant and joy seem so unobtainable. An insurmountable brick wall cuts off your heart from the Lord’s…and you just don’t feel like trying to get over it anymore.
Do you want to know what that roadblock is? You.
Are you still reading? Because I’m not going to apologize or explain it in a way that is less offensive. Your roadblock to joy and intimacy with Jesus is you.
If you haven’t navigated away from the page yet and stopped your subscription to the blog, read this:
“I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” – Isaiah 57:15
God dwells with us when we are repentant, sorry, and sorrowful. When we come to Him on our knees, admit how badly we’ve screwed up, and ask for forgiveness once again.
“But Crystal,” you may say, “I haven’t don’t anything wrong. I just don’t have any joy.”
To that, I’d like to quote one of my favorite authors, John Piper, from his book Desiring God:
“It is true that our hearts are often sluggish. We do not feel the depth or intensity of affections appropriate for God or His cause. It is true that at these times we must, insofar as it lies within us, exert our wills and make decisions that we hope will rekindle our joy. Though joyless love is not our aim (“God loves a cheerful giver”), nevertheless it is better to do a joyless duty than not to do it, provided there is a spirit of repentance for the deadness of our hearts.”
Joylessness is a sin. Have you ever though of that? We are commanded throughout Scripture to be joyful. To find joy in the Lord. So, if we’re not joyful, that means we are disobeying God’s command, which means we need to repent, which makes us lowly and contrite…
A condition which God loves to revive.
Question: How does looking at joylessness as a sin change your attitude? Who could you share this hard, but incredible, truth with?
Do you ever feel like you’re just sitting around, waiting for your life to begin? Maybe you think it starts after all the drama of high school. Or maybe you’re a college student, just biding your time till you get that degree and the career you’ve always wanted. Or you could be one of those girls dreaming of your wedding, future husband, and kids.
Waiting is wasting.
I just finished up a booked called Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I’ve never been so convicted by a book. (Well, besides the Bible)
John Piper is known for encouraging Christians in the truth that we were created to delight ourselves in God and, in doing that, we bring Him much glory. In this book, he expounds on the fact that if we don’t daily delight in God, if we don’t live each day as a gift from Him and for His glory, we’re wasting our lives.
“God created me – and you – to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion – namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying His supreme excellence in all the spheres of life…The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all people.” – John Piper
Delighting in God doesn’t happen when you graduate high school. It doesn’t happen when you get your first job or get married. It’s today. It’s now. It’s in the next breath that you take.
If you find yourself discontent with where you’re at in life, thinking the next stage will be better, grab this book. Read it and take it in. Let it change your perspective on living.
It’s available for free at www.desiringgod.org, and there’s also a great study guide that goes with it.
So what do you say? Do you find yourself waiting and wasting? Do you want to start living?