Good News of Great Joy by John Piper is an advent devotional. I read two Piper devotionals this advent season. Both were good. I happened to like this one a little bit more than the other. But really, they build on each other and complement each other well. Piper's passion for the Lord is contagious, I think. And this one is a lovely gift to treat yourself with each season.
I love how each reading is short and straightforward, and not easily dismissed. Each gives readers something weighty--or meaty--to contemplate.
For example, "Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight." And, "If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God?" And last but not least, "be much in the Scriptures, and memorize the great passages! “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!” (Jeremiah 23:29) Gather ‘round that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights."
My absolute favorite quote:
You can read every fairy tale that was ever written, every mystery thriller, every ghost story, and you will never find anything so shocking, so strange, so weird and so spellbinding as the story of the incarnation of the Son of God. How dead we are! How callous and unfeeling to his glory and his story! How often have I had to repent and say, “God, I am sorry that the stories men have made up stir my emotions, my awe and wonder and admiration and joy, more than your own true story.”
Other favorite quotes:
Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.
O, don’t let all the sweet things of this season become substitutes of the final great, all-satisfying Sweetness.
His birth was not a coming into being of a new person, but a coming into the world of an infinitely old person.
We make progress in overcoming our sin when we have hope that our failures will be forgiven. If you don’t have hope that God will forgive your failures, when you start fighting sin, you give up.
Christ will really help us in our fight. He really will help you. He is on your side. He didn’t come to destroy sin because sin is fun. He came to destroy sin because it is fatal. It is a deceptive work of the devil and will destroy us if we don’t fight it. He came to help us, not hurt us.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible