Food for thought from J.P.

A few days ago, Stephanie and I escaped to Barnes and Noble to get some quiet time and dig into the Word a little bit. I discovered a new devotional from John Piper called “Life as a Vapor”. It has lots of short, food for thought tidbits to chew on. Here are a few excerpts from my reading over the past couple of days:

From “A Word to the Reader”:
You exist forever. There is no use protesting that you did not ask to exist and would like not to. That is not an option. You and God are both in the universe to stay — either as friends on His terms, or else enemies… Which it will be is proven in this life, and this life is a vapor…

Closing prayer from “Does it Matter What Others Think?” :
Father, at times the way of Christ is complex to our sin-stained and finite minds. Forgive us for the times we have justified our vanity in the name of a good reputation. O, Lord, grant us, in this brief life, the wisdom and courage to please others, or not to please others, for the sake of Christ alone, and not our own praise…

From “Suffering, Mercy, and Heavenly Regret” :
But all this leaves me trembling that I not throw away the one short life that I will look back on for all eternity. Just think of it. You have one life. One very short life. Then an eternity to remember. Does not the suffering in this world seem inexplicable to you? Is not this great, global (and intensely personal) suffering a call to magnify the mercy of Christ by how we respond? Is not suffering a seamless fabric, stretching into eternity for unbelievers? And therefore, are not Christians the only people who can respond with helpful relief to the totality of misery?

Closing prayer from “Suffering, Mercy, and Heavenly Regret” :
Father in heaven, have mercy on the misery of this world. Forgive us for our part in causing the pain of others. Waken us as never before to the preciousness of Your mercy bought by the blood of Christ. Fix our hopes so full on the job of heaven that we become the freest of all people on earth. May our everlasting memories of Your grace make us glad of all You changed and all You forgave…