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Thursday, December 21, 2017

"The Dawning of Indestructible Joy" (John Piper)

TITLE: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent
AUTHOR: John Piper
PUBLISHER: Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2014, (96 pages).

This is the season of Advent, where Christians are preparing their hearts to celebrate Christmas. One way to help us retain our sense of focus and attention on Jesus is through daily devotionals. Christmas is a time of joy. There is no need, no excuse, and no necessity to be glum about things. The eternal fullness of God's joy makes our temporal struggles on earth insignificant. Piper admits that he tends to be "dull, spiritually drowsy, halfhearted, lukewarm" and this book is partly a personal stirring up of the soul to wake up to the dawn of joy. For we don't need a lot of new stuff. We need a timely reminder about the reason for joy. This book is a 30-day reminder. Reminders such as:

  • How Jesus came on a "search-sand-save mission" that we be beneficiaries of His atoning work of grace
  • How we can be set free from the tyranny of money and power to embrace the One who is above all powers
  • Christmas is not about giving presents but receiving all of Christ, that we may learn the heart of all giving, and forgiving
  • Christmas proclaims the Truth of God's love, and this lasts forever and ever
  • Our truest treasure is far beyond anything we could ever imagine
  • We are reminded about the joy of Christian service
  • The promises of God will always be fulfilled, in God's time.

My Thoughts
December is often filled with tempting jingles and sounding music at malls and shopping centres. Marketers are very adept at coming up with enticing sales and seductive product offerings to make us think about consumerism in an already saturated materialistic society. Like the old hymn: "This world is not my home," Many conservatives would shun enjoyment of things on earth and to constantly think of heaven. Piper believes otherwise, that both heaven and earth are to be embraced. In fact, he admits that his "Desiring God" platform is an unabashed form of "Christian Hedonism" as described by "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." This book about joy is Piper's unique way of learning to experience the fullness of God's joy on earth when we have that heavenly joy in us. For most of us, we simply need reminders. We need to be awakened to the beauty of joy. We need historical truth to be brought alive to existential reality. After all, Christians of all people, ought to be the happiest and joyful people in this world. Come Christmas, let all believers sing and shout for joy, knowing that the Lord has come, and the Lord will come again.

Dr John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Crossway Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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