Cap-Quotes: Desiring God – Chapter 1

Cap-Quotes: Desiring God – Chapter 1

The following are a number of significant quotes from John Piper’s seminal book, Desiring God. All of these are from chapter one; the chapter our church is discussing during our Mid-Week Fellowship tonight. I put a few of my thoughts in brackets and italics. Sorry, no page numbers – I’m using my kindle app. The ultimate ground of Christian Hedonism is the fact that God is uppermost in His own affections: The chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy Himself forever. …we are more accustomed to think about our duty than God’s design. And when we do ask about God’s design, we are too prone to describe it with ourselves at the center of God’s affections. [I would say that we are more accustomed to think about our duty to the exclusion of God’s design; merely thinking on God’s design won’t do the trick either]. God’s saving designs are penultimate, not ultimate….The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God’s allegiance to us, but to Himself. [Not to say that God’s saving designs are less important in the grand scheme. But his saving purposes have an end beyond themselves, namely, bringing God glory – and those saving purposes are essential to that end.] “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). The implication of this text is that God has the right and power to do whatever makes Him happy. That is what it means to say that God is sovereign….if none of His purposes can be frustrated, then He must be the happiest of all beings. The hardened disobedience of...
Helpful Books for Deepening Discipleship

Helpful Books for Deepening Discipleship

Studying the Scriptures directly is the most helpful pursuit you could pursue in deepening your discipleship in Christ. Reading and talking through a book of the Bible or pursuing a particular subject in Scripture is most helpful. A book like David Helm’s One to One Bible Reading is a very helpful resource to that end. At the same time, using biblically driven books on various subjects to stimulate your thinking and conversation are very helpful tools to use as well. In this post I will list a few books that I think any small group of Christians could begin to use to strengthen their walks with Christ. Obviously this is no exhaustive list. You can probably think of better and more books to add. Please suggest some others. These are some I have personally used and found effective. In choosing books to use, it would be helpful to stimulate your thinking by choosing different books in different sorts of categories. I will arrange some of my suggestions according to a few categories. Christian Living Desiring God, John Piper Future Grace, John Piper Trusting God, Jerry Bridges The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges The Cross-Centered Life, C. J. Mahaney Humility, C. J. Mahaney Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney When People Are Big and God is Small, Edward Welch The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer Call to Spiritual Reformation, D. A. Carson A Gospel Primer for Christians, Milton Vincent Theology/Church Life Why We Love the Church, Kevin DeYoung The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur 9Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever Knowing...
Tips in Reading and Discussing a Book Together

Tips in Reading and Discussing a Book Together

One helpful way to spur others on to growing deeper in your discipleship is meeting together with other Christians. I’ve previously given some suggestions on what such a regular gathering might consist. One tool to deepen discipleship in a regular meeting with others is to choose a book to read together and discuss it. What is involved in such a commitment? Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of reading a book (outside Scripture) together. Commitments in Reading Material Together Determine exactly how much you will read and discuss each week. Make sure everyone involved is committed to complete the reading each week. Commit to not only read, but think through specific applications of what is being read. Commit to read the material chosen carefully, not merely complete the portion agreed upon each week. Don’ts for Good Discussion Don’t commit to something you cannot consistently contribute to significantly. Don’t allow each other to remain general in what they are applying to what they are reading. Don’t merely read quotations that you thought were good. Why were they good? How are they impacting you? Don’t only consider applications for yourself – but consider applications for the church and how what you are reading could build up others. Don’t dominate the time so that others can’t participate. Be mindful. Do’s for Good Discussion Mark up the book you are reading, including notes in the margin to remind yourself how/why what you marked has impacted you. Quickly glance over the the assigned section of reading and your marks before the discussion. Determine the most impactful element of the...
How Will You Read Your Bible This Year?

How Will You Read Your Bible This Year?

What is your approach to systematically reading through Scripture this year? You don’t necessarily have to have an annual plan that gets you through the whole thing in one year, but most find it most beneficial to have an intentional approach to Bible intake. Here’s a few suggestions: Jim Ellif offers an approach that will give you an excellent, slow, methodical approach to what I think is an excellent way to engage with Scripture in an in-depth manner. I would recommend this plan if you don’t have a significant in-depth approach to Bible study. I love reading through Scripture each year.  My regular teaching of Scripture has me studying Scripture at a slow and in-depth pace. I find it very helpful to have a reading plan that takes me through all of the Bible in a year, reminding me of the big picture of each book and of the Bible as a whole. If you are considering an annual trek through the Scriptures, you may find some of the other approaches linked here to be of use. Here are a number of Bible reading plans: Begin in Genesis and read about 4 chapters a day, 5 on Sunday.  I forget where I first heard about this one, but it was the first plan I used years ago, and it proved very helpful. Discipleship Journal Annual Plan.  I’ve used this plan for about the past four years. It keeps you in the Gospels all year, the Old Testament writings all year, and also takes you through the rest of the Old Testament and New Testament within the year.  I like staying...
Are You Reading Your Bible? More Bible Reading Plans

Are You Reading Your Bible? More Bible Reading Plans

It’s January 3 – you may already be behind in a new systematic approach to reading the Bible. No worries. Really – don’t fret over it. But do begin. If you need some direction, here is an updated post of a number of helpful Bible reading plans you can begin with. I love reading through Scripture each year.  If you are considering an annual trek through the Scriptures, you may find some of the other approaches linked here to be of use. Here are a number of Bible reading plans: Begin in Genesis and read about 4 chapters a day, 5 on Sunday.  I forget where I first heard about this one, but it was the first plan I used years ago, and it proved very helpful. Discipleship Journal Annual Plan.  I’ve used this plan for about the past four years. It keeps you in the Gospels all year, the Old Testament writings all year, and also takes you through the rest of the Old Testament and New Testament within the year.  I like staying in the Gospels throughout the year, meditating on the life of Christ in small portions, while moving more steadily and quickly through the rest of Scripture.  The drawback is being in 4 different locations within the Bible each day.  Some find it difficult to maintain the context of each section. M’Cheyne  Plan. This one has been around awhile and was made available by Robert Murray M’Cheyne.  It takes you through the entire Bible in one year, with reading in the morning and in the evening. Family Plan.  This annual plan gives you a portion of the Scripture...
Mid-Week Minutes 5.4.11

Mid-Week Minutes 5.4.11

Taking a few mid-week minutes to think about how to enhance our fellowship with each other. Books linked here: One-to-One Bible Reading, David Helm Reverberation, Jonathan Leeman Sermon Manuscript from Sunday, May 1, 2011 on Church Discipline What makes a church discipline matt 18.15-20 View more documents from Summit Woods Baptist...
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