Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Joy of the Soul

"An action is moral...only if one has no desire to perform it, but performs it out of a sense of duty and derives no benefit from it of any sort, neither material nor spiritual. A benefit destroys the moral value of an action." These are the words of Immanuel Kant but, sadly, this is what most of Christianity looks like to the world. We do our "Christians duties" so often from the motive of duty rather than having a delight in our Savior. Often our praying, reading, church going, bible studies, fellowship and so on go no deeper than the fact that we are supposed to do these things. Dr. Piper speaks about this issue:

"Every Sunday morning at 11 A.M., Hebrews 11:6 enters combat with Immanuel Kant. 'Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.' You cannot please God if you do not come to Him for reward! Therefore, worship that pleases God is the hedonistic pursuit of God. He is our exceeding great reward! In his presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Worship is the feast of Christian Hedonism."

I would say Hebrews 11:6 applies to all of life. We are worshippers who worship every second of every day. The question becomes: Who or what are you worshipping? Only those who are drawing near to God because they believe in him find an eternal reward. God is the eternal reward. His satisfactions and delights and joys never come to end. He offers the only pleasures that grow stronger with time. Every other pleasure outside of God will fade away because we were created to be satisfied by our Creator. As Christians, may we come into his presence with great joy as we are reminded of his great love for us in Christ Jesus.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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