Archive for November, 2016

Sermon 11-20-16: “Generosity, Part 6: Giving and Grace”

November 24, 2016

generosity-sermon-series-graphic

The following is the sermon I delivered on our church’s annual Stewardship Commitment Sunday. In it, I challenge the church to give a tithe, ten percent of our income. This is by far the most explicit appeal I’ve ever made for tithing. If we understand that the most important mission of our church is to save people from hell, and the money we give is used by God to support that mission, how can we not be generous? Besides, as I argue in this sermon, our money isn’t our own to do with as we please: it comes from God and belongs to God.

Sermon Text: Luke 16:1-14

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

Yesterday, Joe Thomas Sr., a running back for South Carolina State University, set a new NCAA record for Division I football with his performance. He rushed—are you ready for this? He rushed for three… yards against Savannah State University, on his only carry of the day. It doesn’t seem like three yards should be such a big deal, much less a new college football record.

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But it was. And when I read about it yesterday, his great accomplishment made me want to cry.

Why? Because Joe Thomas Sr. is 55 years old! Fifty-five! How could that not bring a tear to my eye! He gives me hope! It means I still have nine years to get ready and get in shape and get on the field!

Joe Sr. has been on the team for the past four years—at least on the practice squad. A part of that time included playing—or at least practicing—alongside his son, Joe Thomas Jr., who now plays for the Green Bay Packers. But Joe Sr. himself had never realized his dream of playing big-boy college football in an actual game—until yesterday. Which was literally his last opportunity. It was senior day, the last game of the season. And Joe Sr. is also, well, a senior, graduating soon with an engineering degree.

I read the article about him last week, which discussed how badly he wanted to play in a game—to earn his varsity letter, to make history as the oldest player. It seemed unlikely. His coaches didn’t think it would happen. This was his last chance. Time was running out. 

Time was running out… That’s a theme in today’s scripture.

Time is running out for the manager about whom Jesus tells this parable. This manager was the equivalent of a CFO who was hired by a wealthy man to keep his books, to run his businesses, to run his estate. This manager made all the financial decisions, and he apparently made some foolish or dishonest ones. His master finds out about his mismanagement and tells him he’s going to fire him—but first he asks him to bring in the books or ledgers—to give an account for how well or how poorly he’s managed his master’s estate. Read the rest of this entry »

“Expectation is a planned resentment”

November 22, 2016

I read the following from the November 22 entry in The Mockingbird Devotional. I’m including the first paragraph here, so I can remind myself of it from time to time:

Alcoholics Anonymous has a popular saying: “Expectation is a planned resentment.” We expect to get the promotion at work, and when we don’t, we are resentful. We expect our fellow motorists to follow traffic laws (and common sense), and when they cut us off, we are resentful. We expect our spouse to meet all our needs, and when they don’t, we are resentful. We expect the church to be a functional, loving institution, and when it isn’t, we are resentful. Yet resentment is useless, like a weapon aimed at a target that always, somehow, boomerangs back at the shooter. And over time, resentment can turn into bitterness, or worse, hate.[†]

To these examples of unmet expectations that turn to resentment, we can add plenty more. I myself have been, at times, a raging cauldron of resentment—whose culprit, I now see, was an unmet expectation, a sense that life wasn’t going the way it ought to go; that life wasn’t fair; that I wasn’t getting what I “deserved.” Worse, I felt as if other people were getting something I wanted, which they didn’t deserve.

Last week, I wondered aloud how we can “enjoy God forever,” as the first article of the Westminster Shorter Catechism says. One way, surely, is to surrender to God our expectations: If I recognize I have no right to anything good, I can receive the good that comes my way as nothing but pure gift.

Wouldn’t that be something? Don’t you want to live that way? Wouldn’t you be happier if you could live that way?

On second thought, let’s hold on to one expectation only: that God will continue to love us and work through every circumstance for our good. Let’s replace every other expectation with that one. Let’s learn to say, “This may not be what I planned. This may not be what I wanted. But it is what God wanted for me at this moment. God will give me the grace to handle it. And God will use it for my good.”

There’s probably a Thanksgiving message in there somewhere.

David Zahl, “November 22” in The Mockingbird Devotional (Charlottesville, VA: Mockingbird, 2013), 388.

Sermon 11-13-16: “Generosity, Part 5: Money and Mission”

November 18, 2016

generosity-sermon-series-graphic

Unlike James and John in Luke 9:51-56, we would never ask the Lord to bring the fire of God’s judgment onto unbelievers. Yet when we fail to share the gospel—whether out of indifference, fear, or benign neglect—aren’t we effectively doing the same thing? Among other things, this sermon explores the connection between our mission as disciples and the money we give to support it.

Sermon Text: Luke 9:51-56; 18:18-30

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

Today’s scripture always makes me uncomfortable because I identify with this Rich Young Ruler. I worry that, like him, I would find it impossible to sell all of my possessions and give the money to the poor. Frankly, I like my middle-class American income and lifestyle, and I wouldn’t want to sacrifice that. So I worry that the biggest difference between me and the Rich Young Ruler is that Jesus never asked me to give up everything—thank you, Jesus! Because I’m sure it would be hard!

Jesus is frequently asking us to do difficult if not impossible things.

For example, after the week that we just went through as a nation, I’m reminded that loving and forgiving and praying for our enemies might be as difficult for us to accomplish as giving away all our money! I’m reminded that resisting the temptation to “practice our righteousness in front of others to be seen by them”[1]—to say things or post things on social media that demonstrate how good and virtuous and righteous we are—that’s also about as difficult as giving away all our money.

Honestly… I read posts from Christians last week on both sides of the political spectrum that called into question the authenticity of another Christian’s faith—because they happened to vote differently from someone else. Some progressive Christians said, in so many words, “These people who voted for Trump need Jesus!” And you know what? They’re right. Trump voters do need Jesus… and so do Clinton voters. Other, more conservative Christians said, in so many words, “If you’re a Democrat, you’re going to hell!” And to their credit, a lot of Democrats are going to hell—apart from the gift of forgiveness and eternal life that God gives us through his Son Jesus! By all means! And guess what? A lot of Republicans are, too.

And that’s my point: Let’s keep our eyes on the ball! Satan loves the way he’s divided Christians in this presidential election. He’s distracted us from our mission! And he loves it!

After all, we often have such passion, such a sense of urgency—we feel such conviction—when it comes to telling people how wrong they are to support this or that presidential candidate… We just have this burning desire to tell them exactly how we feel. We can’t contain ourselves! We just feel like we’re going to explode unless we tell other people why they’re wrong!

But brothers and sisters, where’s this same passion, this same sense of urgency, this same conviction, when it comes to telling other people about Jesus Christ—and how they can have their sins forgiven, and how they can be saved… for eternity? And how they can be given power to live a new and better life now! Where’s the passion for that?

I know we can get fired up about the one thing. Why not the other? Which is more important? Read the rest of this entry »

Wesley’s Revision of The Shorter Catechism, Part 3: How do we “enjoy God”?

November 17, 2016

jwc_the_shorter_catechism_front_cvr_smTo refresh your memory, the first article of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which Wesley endorsed without revision, is the following:

Question 1. What is the chief end of man?

Answer. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

A couple of years ago, on William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith podcast, Dr. Craig described a sermon he had recently heard, which attacked the commonplace idea that love is more “decision” than feeling:

I attended Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada. One of the pastors there is Erik Thoennes who is a Professor of Theology at Biola University. He is a very insightful theologian and a wise man. His text for his sermon was Hebrews 13:1, “Let brotherly love continue.” He gave a whole sermon on just those few words. The sermon was just filled with all sorts of nuggets of wisdom that I found very provocative and helpful. One of them was his criticism of the view that love doesn’t involve emotions. One will very frequently hear it said that love is not a feeling, love is a decision. This will often be said in marriage counseling situations, for example, where you may not feel love for your spouse anymore but you make a decision, “I will love her” (or “him”) and we will work through this problem.

Kevin Harris: Make a commitment.

Dr. Craig: Or with someone else that is particularly disagreeable – a boss or family member or even perhaps a persecutor. It is very often said that when we are commanded to love others – even love our enemy – that this is a decision. It is not some sort of emotional feeling. Thoennes was disagreeing with that, which has become I think sort of the conventional wisdom. He said this can lead to the attitude, “Well, I have to love you but I don’t have to like you.” So, you can regard other people in such a way that you don’t really have any affection or feeling for them, but you treat them in a loving way. He said that’s true – that with many people, we never can get past that point in our lives. There will be people for whom we never have the chance to really build an emotional bond of affection.

Kevin Harris: But we love them anyway.

Dr. Craig: Yes, we treat them in loving ways. We make a decision to act in a loving way toward them whether we have those feelings or not. And he recognized that. But he said if you think that that is all that love is – that that is the end goal of love – then he says you have fallen short. He says a full and mature love will involve a genuine affection for the other person. This is a reflection of the way that God loves us. He said that he’s afraid that many people may think of God’s love for them as a love that is without affection. They think, “Well, God loves me but he doesn’t really like me.” When you think of what that would do in your relationship to God, I think you can imagine how debilitating that would be if you think that God really doesn’t like you as a person. But he sort of tolerates you and loves you because he has to. It is almost as though if love were not an essential property of God, if he were freed from the necessity of loving you, then he really wouldn’t love you if he didn’t have to. Read the rest of this entry »

Wesley’s Revision of The Shorter Catechism, Part 2: Holiness as a means to an end

November 15, 2016

jwc_the_shorter_catechism_front_cvr_smLast Sunday’s sermon text was the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Luke 18:18-30. There, Jesus tells a wealthy young man to give away 100 percent of his money and wealth in order to be saved. Why does Jesus tell him to do this? Because Jesus understood that this man’s money was an idolatrous obstacle that prevented him from giving his heart to Jesus and following him as Lord.

We can speculate why this was true: The man’s wealth gave his life meaning and purpose. It gave him his sense of self-worth. It probably made him feel loved, because as long as he had money, he was attractive to other people. So the Rich Young Ruler served money as a master—and as Jesus warns elsewhere, we can’t serve two masters, God and Mammon.

We need to have a single-minded focus, instead, on loving and serving God alone.

Obviously, everyone isn’t like this young man. Other people have other idolatrous obstacles that stand in the way of their relationship with Christ. Take, for example, the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4: In effect, she asks Jesus what she must do to be saved. Yet Jesus doesn’t say, “Sell all of your possessions and give the money to the poor.” Why? Because her idol wasn’t wealth; it was relationships—romance, her love life. So unless or until she repented, she also wouldn’t be saved.

Jesus’ command to give away everything, therefore, was specific to this particular man and may not apply to most of us. In the New Testament we have rich people whom Jesus doesn’t ask to give away everything—Joseph of Arimathea, for instance, who gives his tomb to the disciples to be used for Jesus’ burial. Luke’s gospel tells us that women of means were financially supporting Jesus and the disciples. The Book of Acts tells us about a faithful disciple named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods, who was rich.

The problem isn’t wealth per se, and it may not be an idol for everyone—or at least it’s less of an idol than other things.

In my own life, while I don’t deny that I sometimes have an idolatrous attachment to money and possessions, I also know that a bigger idol for me is my attachment to the praise of others. I want glory.

Twenty years ago, my first job out of college was in sales. I was mentored by an older, well-seasoned, and successful salesperson named Alec. He told me more than once that money wasn’t a big motivator for his success: “I want recognition,” he said. Given my own modest commission checks at the time, I thought that was crazy. Now, however, I totally know what he means. Unfortunately.

If the chief end of us human beings is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, I can do neither so long as I’m greedy for my own glory. This is why sanctification—our Methodist emphasis on holiness—can’t be optional. Sin stands in the way of the most important thing we do, the very reason we exist.

In his century-old notes on Wesley’s Revision of the Shorter Catechism, James MacDonald draws this connection between the first article of the Shorter Catechism and holiness:

That which obscures the glory of God in the world is sin; hence the chief end of man is to obtain deliverance from this malignant darkness of sin, which is infected by the poisonous breath of the adversary. The man who is cleansed by the blood of Christ from all inbred and actual sin is called in Scripture language… perfect or mature… This is the aim and consummation of all the purpose, counsel, covenants, decrees, election, and predestination of God. If the Shorter Catechism is freed from the encumbrance of the metaphysical theories of predestination that have clung to it, it will go straighter to its mark in directing man to his chief end: that holiness which glories God on earth, and enjoys him to all eternity.[1]

1. John Wesley, Wesley’s Revision of the Shorter Catechism (Franklin, TN: Seedbed, 2016), 34-5.

“Telling fire to come down from heaven”: Seeing ourselves in James and John

November 11, 2016
From the Crossway tract, "Hope for Hard Times"

From the Crossway tract, “Hope for Hard Times”

I wanted to include the following point in last Sunday’s sermon, but I ran out of time. The scripture, you may recall, included Luke 9:51-55. In this episode, Jesus and his disciples are passing through a Samaritan village on their way to Jerusalem. The Samaritans refuse to let them stay in their town.

So James and John have a brilliant idea: “Lord, do you want to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

This is not without biblical precedent. There’s an event described in 2 Kings in which King Ahaziah sends soldiers to arrest the prophet Elijah. The commanding officer says to Elijah, sitting on a hill, “O man of God, the king says to come down.” And Elijah says, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your men.” And that’s exactly what happens. Twice. It would have happened a third time, but the commanding officer begs Elijah for mercy and God relents.

To their credit, James and John know that Jesus is much greater than Elijah. So why shouldn’t the fire of God’s judgment fall on these Samaritans who’ve rejected Jesus, just as it fell upon the enemies of Elijah?

Regardless, as sensible as this suggestion may have seemed to the brothers, Jesus rebukes them. And their suggestion rightly offends us today. We hear this story and feel morally superior to James and John. After all, we would never want the fire of God’s judgment to come down and consume people who reject Jesus Christ. Right?

Let’s not answer too quickly.

After all, at this moment, there are tens of thousands of people within a few miles of our church who are currently rejecting Jesus Christ. What do we believe will happen to them if they persist in unbelief and reject Christ’s free gift of salvation?

If we refuse to share the gospel with them—either out of of fear, indifference, or benign neglect—aren’t we saying through our actions that we’re O.K. with the fire of God’s judgment falling on them—if not right away, then at least in the distant future?

As I’ve preached recently, many of us, including myself, need to change. We need to make witnessing—by which I mean sharing the gospel through words in addition to actions—our top priority.

Let’s begin by heeding Jesus’ words in Luke 10:2: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Let’s pray that the Lord will send laborers into the harvest in our community.

When I last blogged about witnessing, by the way, I said that I was recruiting a “Witness Team” from our church to share the gospel, hand out tracts and Gospels of John, and pray with people at our annual Trunk or Treat event. I’m pleased to say that it was very successful: we shared the gospel with dozens of visitors who came to the festival.

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A couple of members of our Witness Teach sharing the gospel with visitors to our annual Trunk or Treat.

We will continue this effort at the beginning of December at our annual live nativity.

Sermon 11-06-16: “Generosity, Part 4: Generosity and Ministry”

November 10, 2016

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A few years ago, the newly crowned World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist, said that if you spend your life chasing championships, “there will always be a next thing.” In other words, we will never be satisfied. In today’s scripture, by contrast, Jesus challenges three would-be disciples to be satisfied… in him alone. And so he challenges us. Is Christ enough for us? Or do we want or need something else?

Sermon Text: Luke 9:49-10:2

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

Well, he was only off by one year—I’m referring to the screenwriter of Back to the Future II. As you may have heard, he nearly predicted the World Series victory of the Chicago Cubs. The movie, if you recall, showed it happening in 2015 instead of 2016, but still… Pretty close. Of course, it makes me feel old either way. Because I saw Back to the Future II in the theater when it came out, and like everyone else of my generation, 2015 seemed like a long, long way off! Where did the time go?

But great win for the Cubs. Great win for World Series Most Valuable Player Ben Zobrist, whose one-out, opposite-field double down the third base line in the tenth inning helped put the Cubs ahead for good.

Ben Zobrist, 2016 World Series MVP

Ben Zobrist, 2016 World Series MVP

Aside from being an outstanding utility infielder who’s now won not one but two world championships, Zobrist is also an outspoken Christian. In 2013, he gave his testimony at Lipscomb University. He said that up until he got to the Major Leagues, his life was “all about sports. Even though he was a Christian, baseball was number one in his life, not Christ. “The bottom line,” he said, “was I needed to repent of this great need that I had to achieve and succeed at this earthly level.” Because, he said, if your goal is winning championships, “there’s always going to be a next thing. I don’t want to be like that. I want to rest and be at peace. That peace only comes from Christ.”

Did you hear that? Apart from Christ, we will always have a next thing—something else, out there—some new goal, some new award, some new achievement, some new recognition, some new relationship—that keeps us striving, keeps us worrying, keeps us restless, keeps us doubting ourselves… unless or until we attain that thing that our heart desires. At which point, we’ll find it’s not enough. We’ll find that there’s still something else that we need. “We will always have a next thing,” Ben Zobrist said. And he’s exactly right. Read the rest of this entry »

The trouble with “leaving everything else” to God

November 10, 2016

love_extravagantly_meme

This showed up on a clergy colleague’s Facebook profile. Here’s the response I was tempted to post:

“Everything else”? Good heavens, what’s left?

My point is, apart from the God to whom we “leave everything else,” how do we do any of these things? This meme exemplifies the Pelagian tendency within United Methodism writ large. This is why the message of my previous post about the gospel’s being good news rather than good advice is sorely needed: Christ has done for us what we can’t do for ourselves. If that’s not our starting point, we will make ourselves miserable—or at least difficult to live with.

My prescription? Read Romans 7, stat!

Keller: Christmas means good news, not good advice

November 10, 2016

hiddenchristmasIt’s that time of year again: when I read something new related to Advent and Christmas to inspire me for the upcoming season—especially in preparation for all the sermons and devotionals I’ll need to create.

This year it’s Timothy Keller’s new little book, Hidden Christmas. Halfway in, it’s excellent.

For instance, here he’s careful to distinguish the gospel as good news, rather than merely good advice:

Advice is counsel about what you must do. News is a report about what has already been done. Advice urges you to make something happen. News urges you to recognize something that has already happened and to respond to it. Advice says it is all up to you to act. News says someone else has acted. Let’s say there is an invading army coming toward a town. What that town needs is military advisers; it needs advice. Someone should explain that the earthworks and trenches should go over there, the marksmen go up there, and the tanks must go down there.

However, if a great king has intercepted and defeated the invading army, what does the town need then? It doesn’t need military advisers; it needs messengers, and the Greek word for messengers is angelos, angels. The messengers do not say, “Here is what you have to do.” They say rather, “I bring you glad tidings of great joy.” In other words, “Stop fleeing! Stop building fortifications. Stop trying to save yourselves. The King has saved you.” Something has been done, and it changes everything.[1]

He goes on to say that the biblical Christmas texts are not moralizing stories like Aesop’s Fables, which tell us how to live. Rather, they are descriptions of actual events in history. “The birth of the Son of God into the world is a gospel, good news, an announcement. You don’t save yourself. God has come to save you.”

I would argue that other religions and many churches, when they talk about salvation, understand it and proclaim it as advice. Salvation is something you have to wrestle and struggle for, you have to perform. It comes only if you pray, obey, or transform your consciousness. But the Christian Gospel is different. The founders of the great religions say, in one way or another, “I am here to show you the way to spiritual reality. Do all this.” That’s advice. Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, comes and says, “I am spiritual reality itself. You could never come up to me and, therefore, I had to come down to you.” That’s news.[2]

The distinction, Keller says, between Christmas as news, versus Christmas as advice, “changes everything.” What does it change for you?

1. Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas (New York: Viking, 2016), 21-2.

2. Ibid., 23.

Wesley’s Revision of The Shorter Catechism, Part 1: “The chief end of man”

November 8, 2016

jwc_the_shorter_catechism_front_cvr_smWhile I was in Chicago last month at the inaugural Wesleyan Covenant Association meeting, I browsed a vendor’s table set up by Seedbed, the publishing arm of Asbury Seminary, Methodism’s premier orthodox, evangelical seminary. An attractive series of paperbacks caught my eye: “The John Wesley Collection.” They include essential writings of John Wesley, alongside Wesley’s revisions of other writings that he believed would edify fellow Methodists.

One of these books, which I purchased, was Wesley’s Revision of The Shorter Catechism, literally a revision of the Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1648. As far as I knew from my unorthodox, un-evangelical mainline Protestant seminary education, the Westminster Catechism wasn’t for us Wesleyan Arminians; it was for the Reformed—Presbyterians and the like.

I never knew, prior to purchasing this book, that Wesley had any use for it.

In fact, after revising or omitting articles dealing with the “decrees of God,” sanctification, and the Calvinist understanding of predestination, Wesley recommended its use for Methodist catechumens. (Please note: in spite of his revisions, he left the vast majority of its articles unchanged.)

The book contains not only the catechism with Wesley’s revisions and scripture proof-texts, but also James A. Macdonald’s century-old commentary on it. Without this commentary, of course, the revision would hardly be book-length!

All that to say, starting today, I’m going to begin a new series of blog posts on this book. So let me begin at the beginning:

Question 1. What is the chief end of man?

Answer. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Wesley’s proof-texts in the margin are 1 Corinthians 10:31, Romans 11:36, and Psalm 73:25-28.

Out of the gate, these words challenge and convict me. Not only are we to glorify God, this is the main thing that we human beings are supposed to do. God has created us to give him glory.

We can glorify God whether we think about doing so or not, which is good because—in my experience as a Methodist—most of us spend little time thinking about it. Why?

I wonder if it’s not because of a “stumbling block” to the doctrine that C.S. Lewis discusses in his book Reflections on the Psalms:

We all despise the man who demands continued assurance of his own virtue, intelligence or delightfulness; we despise still more the crowd of people round every dictator, every millionaire, every celebrity, who gratify that demand. Thus a picture, at once ludicrous and horrible, both of God and of His worshippers, threatened to appear in my mind. The Psalms were especially troublesome in this way—”Praise the Lord,” “O praise the Lord with me,” “Praise Him.” (And why, incidentally, did praising God so often consist in telling other people to praise Him?…)[1]

You get the idea: If God were as “virtuous” as we are, he wouldn’t need us to glorify him. And thus—as we too often do with doctrines related to God’s wrath, blood atonement, and hell—we allow ourselves to feel, however faintly, morally superior to the biblical authors.

Of course, unlike any tin-pot dictator, God is the one object that perfectly deserves all of our praise all the time. He doesn’t need it, but we need to do it—for the same reason, Lewis says, that we need to praise a great work of art, only infinitely more so:

The sense in which the picture “deserves” or “demands” admiration is rather like this; that admiration is the correct, adequate or appropriate, response to it, that if paid, admiration will not be “thrown away,” and that if we do not admire we shall be stupid, insensible, and great losers, we shall have missed something… He is that Object to admire which (or, if you like, to appreciate which) is simply to be awake, to have entered the real world; not to appreciate which is to have lost the greatest experience, and in the end to have lost all…

The world rings with praise—lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game—praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars.[2]

Nothing brings us greater delight than to praise what we enjoy. To praise is to “complete” the enjoyment; it is, Lewis writes, “its appointed consummation.”

If this is true of everything that is less than God, how much more true is it of God? Lewis even refers to the catechism:

The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.[3]

Not being an expert on or “fanboy” of John Piper (although I admire him, Calvinist or not, as one of his generation’s most gifted preachers), I suspect this idea is at the heart of his famous maxim, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

If the first article of the Shorter Catechism is true, so is Piper’s maxim. Here’s one Methodist pastor who isn’t ashamed to say so.

James Macdonald’s commentary also relates our Wesleyan understanding of sanctification and perfection to this article. I’ll say more about that in a future post.

In the meantime, ask yourself these questions: “Do I enjoy God? If so, when? Is the enjoyment of God a priority in my life? Why or why not?”

1. C.S. Lewis, “Reflections on the Psalms” in The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis (New York: Inspirational Press, 1986), 177.

2. Ibid., 178-9.

3. Ibid., 180.