Christian Hedonsists, Not Christian Humanists (featuring guest author J. Aaron White)

(Image courtesy of https://www.apostolic.edu.)
I always know when I've struck literary gold.  While reading a book, if I come across a sentence or a concept that moves me greatly, I frantically reach for my trusty highlighters and begin painting the page an obnoxious corn yellow or Pepto Bismol pink.  I know many of you can relate, so stop laughing at me.

... [M]y pickaxe recently made contact with a treasure trove of thought-provoking sentences in John Piper's classic work on world missions, Let the Nations be Glad!  To set the scene, let me share one of the nuggets that made my mental gears turn:

"... they worship the created rather than the Creator..."

(Image courtesy of http://www.weirtonnaz.com.)
As many of you know, our son Asher Richard was born in February of this year.  He was diagnosed almost immediately as having a heart murmur, which led to the discovery of a "medium to large" hole in his heart - a VSD for those of you who are medically literate.

Both he and our family have endured many trips to the hospital in Madison for tests, consultations, and check-ups.  A couple months ago, a doctor confirmed a good report to us: Asher's hole was not getting larger; in fact, it was getting relatively smaller as he grew!

What does it mean to glorify God?

(Image courtesy of http://i.imgur.com/EqNVAum.jpg.)
The first answer to the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a historical document that is theologically timeless, states: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."  But what does that mean?  How does one attain to this commonly repeated Christian summation of life, "glorify God"?

First, we would do well to look at the second answer to the second question in the Catechism to find the answer: "The Scriptures contained in the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him."  This helps us get closer to answering the question.  We know that we must find the answer to how we may glorify God in God Himself.

A Piece in the Puzzle


(Image courtesy of https://www-images.christianitytoday.com.)
"And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38).
The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter eight is one of my favorite stories, for it reveals the reality of evangelism, a duty every Christian should engage.

Yet, evangelism is not the purpose of the church.

On the contrary, worship of God is the sole purpose of the church - the collective, universal people of God.

Tired and Crying for Help!

(Image courtesy of http://strokeconnection.strokeassociation.org.)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  Through you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:3-9).
My prayers lately have consisted of, largely, three words: "Lord, help me."  I have not stamina or energy to continue to meet the demands of life, it seems.  I am doing all that I can just to stay afloat at work, at home, and at church.  Life seems like it is going one-hundred miles per hour and I am swirling in the middle of the vortex, gasping for air and grasping for help.  "Lord, help me" is about all I can utter at this moment.

However, it doesn't need to be that way.