Loving Jesus More Than Life This Thanksgiving

Hey TD,

During this Thanksgiving week, I would like to ask … no … I would like to urge and plea with you to take your normal Thanksgiving routine and up it, deepen it, transform it,  … whatever you want to call it; but in some way, shape, or form, I would like to challenge you to make a concerted effort to give your thanks to our Lord with more than words.  Let Him receive your effusive words of thanks, for sure, but let Him receive thanks that are so thankful, that it results in some action that you joyfully and whole-heartedly do that honors Him and helps Him feel closer to YOU.

“… have we ever given thought as to how close God feels to us?”

 

I know that we always gauge the level of our relationship with God by how close we feel to the Lord, but have we ever given thought as to how close He feels to us?  Let’s spend some extra effort this Thanksgiving drawing nearer to the Lord and giving Him the gift of time.

Some suggestions for this include:

  • Planning a time for a more special time with the Lord during your personal devotions/Bible study, preparing for and treating your time with Him like you do when you meet with someone special.  Perhaps dress up for the occasion or meet with Him at a special place.  Special things often happen at special places and events!
  • Write Him a letter of gratitude and appreciation (not the same as journaling)
  • Serve someone in a way you normally wouldn’t/don’t in Jesus’ Name – on His behalf, with His flavor, essence, generosity, and warmth.
  • Share of His goodness and beauty to friends/people who haven’t yet seen or beheld Him as good and beautiful yet.
  • Create something for Him that highlights and honors Him – poetry, music, art, crafts, etc.
  • Commit to extra diligent study and understanding of Him and His things – i.e. review TD material (messages, studies, blog essays/videos/podcasts), review SS material, read a book, listen to a message or teaching series, etc.

In this spirit, I offer you the 12-minute video above from one of my favorite Bible teachers, John Piper,  on “Loving Jesus More Than Life.”  Enjoy.

Arthur

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Dying Well

Hey TD,

There are few events like a funeral that can set the vision of our lives straight.  John Piper said this,

I thank God for funerals. Or to put it more personally, I thank God for the ministry of the dying in my life. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15) … I would rather preach at a funeral than at a wedding, not because I love death more than I love marriage, but because the gospel of Christ crucified and risen shines more brightly at a funeral. At a wedding there are so many earthly reasons to feel happy. At a funeral, if the gospel of Christ is not true – if the blood and righteousness of Christ are not sufficient to make us acceptable to God – then there are few reasons to be happy. The effect of death on my life in the ministry has been profound, and I thank God for it and for all those who in their dying taught me so much.”

Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth are literary giants in the world of Christian publishing, and are the literary agents for many of Christendom’s biggest authors, including RC, Ravi, and Joni.  In fact, Bobbie was one of Joni’s best friends … was.  They used to sing hymns together every chance they got … used to.

Bobbie past away last month from a two-year battle with cancer.  I have never seen anyone die so well from cancer as Bobbie did.  The radiance of Christ always came through her, but never so much as these last two years.  She was possessed … by Christ.

My family has had the privilege of knowing the Wolgemuths over the years.  Bobbie even had Daniel and Angela sing with her on stage during one of Joni’s conferences.  They radiate Jesus.  We had a chance to pray with Robert a few days after Bobbie’s passing while we were in Florida last month with Ravi’s ministry, and he was trying to encourage US!  Please pray for his days ahead.

You NEED to watch the portion of the Bobbie’s memorial service above (already queued for you), beginning from her granddaughter singing to the end of her daughters’ eulogy.  It is inpsiring and provides a vision for us on how to live life well daily in Jesus’ presence.

Notes of interest:

– the pianist for her granddaughter is the same pianist that accompanied Bobbie 48 years ago when Bobbie sang the same song, when Robert first saw Bobbie.

– at the very beginning of the service are wonderful paintings she drew (many have hymns woven in)

– world-renowned preacher, Alistair Begg, gives a short but powerful gospel message later in the service – at 1:07:56

– a few weeks before her passing, Robert took video of Bobbie taking a walk in her neighborhood, singing Trust and Obey – at 1:48:53

– Arthur

What Will You Give Jesus! Day 7

What a blessing it was to witness your gifts to Jesus tonight at “A TD Christmas”!  You guys rock!  More importantly, I’m pretty sure I can say that Jesus was blessed, and there’s nothing greater you can do than to bless Jesus.

Today, we are pleased and excited to share John Piper’s dramatic reading of his gripping poem, “The Inn Keeper.”  Daniel and I were mesmerized and left shaking our heads in wonder.  It is THAT good. – Arthur

John Piper: Desiring God

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In continuing our TD summer series this Friday, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Robert will lead us in studying the life and ministry of John Piper, one of the most influential Christian leaders of the last 30 years.  His ministry is powerful, God exalting, and satisfaction producing. Here’s what Robert has to say:

“The first serious Christian book that I read was ”Desiring God”, by John Piper. It has remained one of my favorites since then, because it opened my eyes to see how God-centered the Bible really is and how the God of Scripture should be desired, loved, and enjoyed, not just known intellectually. Come catch a greater glimpse of how ”God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” as we learn about the life and biblical convictions of John Piper.”

We urge you to watch the message below, before coming to TD, explaining his most famous conclusion, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”  Also, the TD Year-End Banquet message, as well as the rest of the summer messages on the lives of RC Sproul, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Ravi Zacharias are now online on the TD website, under Messages. See you Friday! – Arthur