Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Dangerous Duty of Delight

Hello, everyone,
I hope you can read my yellow type! I am ready for yellow flowers and lots of yellow sunlight! I am ready for Spring! It seems to be coming, slow but sure, here in the midwest. I am grateful.
I wanted to write to you about a little book I am reading. The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper. An amazing little book, it is actually part of a larger book by Mr. Piper titled, Desiring God.
In this little book, Mr. Piper tells us about a Biblical command that is usually neglected. This is stated very clearly in Deuteronomy 28:47-48, "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart.,..therefore you shall serve your enemies." This is known as Christian Hedonism. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure. Christian Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure that is God ward. Very interesting. The passage previously quoted tells us what God thinks about this pursuit...He expects it and commands it.
Because the children of Israel did not serve the Lord with gladness, they would be punished by serving their enemies. I think we can perhaps also apply this in regards to temptation.
If we are truly seeking after God in a joyful manner, we will be much less likely to fall into temptation. I believe one of the biggest reasons we fall into temptation and snares, is when we have no joy in Christ. This is too bad, for the Psalmist gives us the place where we can find real pleasure..."In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11) C. S. Lewis wrote that we are satisfied far too easily with the things of this earth. I believe that is true.
If we are satisfied with Christ and are finding joy in Him, why would we be tempted with the sinful things of this earth?
I have not completed the book, yet. I would love to hear some comments on the subject of Christian Hedonism. What do you think? Is it possible to serve Christ with gladness? Or are we relegated to serving Him only out of duty, hoping for joy as a byproduct?

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