Monday, October 12, 2009

Glory To God In Every Situation

Is Jesus important to you?

Philippians 1:20  For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.

21  For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22  But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23  I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24  But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

25  Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26  And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

Living to magnify Christ is costly. This is not surprising. He was crucified. He was treated like a devil. And he calls us to follow him.  –John Piper

Nobody enjoys suffering and it can be very difficult to believe that suffering is a good thing, it can it even be a valuable tool to show us more of God's glory. In his book “Don’t Waste Your Life” John Piper says that suffering is part of God’s design in this world.

Suffering reveals the horror of sin for the world to see but it also contrast the beauty of Christ and the awesome hope that we have. How would we value the Lord’s mercy and value his love so much if we didn’t see a depraved, broken world around us that is the opposite of what we see in Christ? If everything in the world was so lovely then Christ wouldn’t be so awesome to us, we would take his benefits for granted, his glory wouldn’t be so great. 

We are supposed to value Christ higher than anything, according to the apostle Paul, Jesus beauty shines the brightest when he is found to be more valuable than health and wealth and even life itself.

For there is no greater joy than joy in the greatness of God. And if we must suffer to see this and savor it most deeply, then suffering is a mercy. And Christ’s call to take up our cross and join him on the Calvary road is love. -John Piper

We all have an organization chart in our heads that shows what is most valuable to us, the most valuable person or thing is at the top and we decide what we will cherish. Whenever something is of tremendous value to you, and you cherish its beauty or power or uniqueness, you want to draw others’ attention to it, you want them to see how wonderful it is. That is why Paul’s all-consuming goal in life was for Christ to be magnified, Christ was of infinite value to Paul, and so Paul longed for others to see this value. That is what it means to magnify Christ—to show the magnitude of his value.

If we only trust Christ to give us gifts and not himself as the all-satisfying gift, then we do not trust him in a way that honors him as our treasure. We simply honor the gifts. They are what we really want, not him. So biblical faith in Jesus must mean that we trust him to give us what we need most—namely, himself. That means that faith itself must include at its essence a treasuring of Christ above all things. -John Piper

How much value do I place on Jesus? Do I see him as the ultimate gift to fill my greatest need? Is he so valuable that I can die to my selfish desires and live to show off the extent of his glory?

Help me Lord to appreciate the awesomeness of you, help me to make you famous by showing your goodness and love to a hurting world, they need to see your glory and live their lives for you.