Saturday, May 10, 2008

Third time is a charm...

I am reading through my favorite book (aside from the Bible) Desiring God for the third time. There are not many books that I've read three times, there's a few, but only the really good ones get a third go-around. I'm still finding myself amazed at how wonderful this book is and how foundational it is to the Christian life.

I've testified before that this book has been instrumental in turning my life upside down (in a very good way). I'm excited beyond words that a few guys at the jail have read all the books I've given them, the last of which is Desiring God (which they only get if they've read through everything else first). One guy who has been through the 4 week class twice and has asked to go through for a third time - and he is currently on his second time reading through this marvelous work. That excites me!

Here are a few tastes from my reading today:

Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) You cannot please god if you do not come to Him for reward! Therefore, worship that pleases God is the hedonistic pursuit of God. He is our exceeding great reward! In His presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Worship is the feast of Christian Hedonism.
- John Piper, Desiring God pg. 102

In the end the heart longs not for any of God's good gifts, but for God Himself. To see Him and know Him and be in His presence is the soul's final feast. Beyond this there is no quest. Words fail. We call it pleasure, joy, delight. But these are weak pointers to the unspeakable experience: "One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4). "In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
- John Piper, Desiring God pg. 87


mwh said...

(1) What other books have you read three times?

(2) What other books do you give the guys at the jail first?

I think the only book I've read three times (besides the Bible) is "The Great Gatsby". Not very spiritual. :-)

Unbreakable Joy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unbreakable Joy said...

The Pursuit of Man, by A.W. Tozer (This is the sequal or prequal to Tozer's The Pursuit of God, I think this was first entitled The Devine Conquest - I think... it may now have a newer name as well) I've read this book at least 5 times.

I've read Piper's Dangerous Duty of Delight mulitiple times (this is short and not difficult to read more than once).

I think I've read the Final Quest and the sequal The Call by Rick Joyner 3 times (positive at least twice - and I'll likely go back for more).

(Do audio books count?) If so I've listened to The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God (and read the book) more times than I know - every time is a tremendous blessing.

Some heads are thicker than others (like mine) and thereby much review is needed...

The inmates first recieved DG's For Your Joy booklet and The Dangerous Duty of Delight, if they read those they'll recieve Don't Waste Your Life w/ the study guide, if they read that they'll get Desiring God.

The Great Gatsby... I've never read it, it must be pretty good if you've been through it 3 times.

mwh said...

I wouldn't call that thick headed; I'd call that intelligent. Most people have read that many books...let alone that many books three times!