Blog and writing news, Christian hedonism, Enjoying God, Sanctification, Worship

The One Design of the Christian Life: Enjoying God

One design you are to pursue to the end of time – the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view. Let every affection, and thought and word, and action, be subordinate to this. Whatever you seek or shun, whatever you think, speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end, as well as source, of your being.”

John Wesley, Plain Account of Christian Perfection.

Through my many years as a Christian, I’ve found that this is the real crux, the real design, and the real goal of the Christian inward life. While we have many responsibilities and desires, it always leads back to this one thing – enjoying God in this life and the life to come.

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Life-Ecstatic (Faith), Sermons

A Better Life: Not The Point

Football and Beer

Last Sunday I preached at my church (Church on the Square) a message entitled Choose the Better Life or Choose the Better Hope.

Here it is for those who would like to download it -> 05 Feb 2011 – Choose a Better Life or Better Hope

(Right click and choose ‘save-target-as’ to download it rather than stream it.)

The world’s philosophies and everything we are taught in this world revolves around having a better life. Everything is about making our life better, getting what we want, making things better for ourselves.

But this isn’t just a problem in the world but also in the church. When we walk into a Christian bookstore the best-sellers are often the latest self-help book that centres on making our life better in some way.

We are not called to seek a better life but to seek and pursue a Better Hope – Jesus Himself. He is to be our treasure and our all in all. But often the pursuit of a Better Life is disguised in Christian lingo and hides behind good sounding things like having a better marriage, a solid family, etc. These things aren’t bad to want and God wants us to even have them, but when they become our core focus and desire they become our treasure, and we are commanded by God that He and He alone should be our treasure. If we treasure anything else we are in the area of idolatry.

And so He should be our treasure because actually there is no joy in this world that compares to Him. But we might not be able to agree with that statement until we’ve actually experienced Him for ourselves, until we have tasted and seen that He is good.

We need our eyes opened to see Him and glory in Him. When we chase after the Better Life our lives get aggravating and full of anxieties. We try hard to make things work, to find the latest formula for our life, and the Bible is not meant to be used as a book to give us the formula for a better life; rather, it’s there to open our eyes to see Jesus and rather have our hearts changed to seek the Better Hope. We were not created to bear the burden of making life work but rather created to enjoy God forever.

That’s what the sermon is about. Hope you enjoy! I’ve tried to fix the sound as it is quite soft but I’m not having much luck. So you might need to put it up a bit.

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Blog and writing news

Why Enjoyment is the Point of a ‘Quiet Time’

Wish I was there

One of the reasons why Christians should set aside some time during the day, every day, for God, is to make our pursuit of pleasure for the day God Himself. This time set aside for God is often called a ‘quiet time’.

This is usually an intimate time we spend with God that can overflow into prayer for others, but is mainly just about spending time with God (like when Adam used to spend time with God walking in the cool of the day in the book of Genesis).

However, it seems that many of us have largely made the point of this ‘quiet time’ about growth (growing as a Christian) and we’ve made the by-product of growth enjoyment of God.

But it should actually be the other way around. The point is enjoying God and the by-product of such enjoyment is growth.

This is what worship is about. The more one enjoys God the more they will grow, and then usually the more they grow the more they will want to enjoy God.

But making growth the point transforms it into a type of duty. There is a difference between saying “I must have a quiet time, I must worship God” and saying “I really need to have a quiet time, I need (to worship) God.” One is based on duty, the other based on longing and knowing where to be fulfilled.

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