How Can We Help Others Love God More Than His Gifts?
The following is an edited transcription of the audio.
How can we help others love God more than his gifts?
Two things come to mind:
1) People need to be shocked with the reality that they won't make it to heaven if they don't love the Giver more than the gift. The heaven that they think will make them happy without him won't be the heaven they go to one day, because they'll never make it. They'll be in hell.
We all need to be shocked. The Bible uses the threat of judgment to get our attention. We aren't saved by being afraid of hell, but we are shaken out of our idolatries to consider the alternative, namely Christ.
2) Once you shock someone you might explain to them that the reason they love the ideas of rejoining their relatives, having all of their aches and pains taken away, no more mental stress, endless pleasures of the body, etc.—the reason these are all such powerful desires is that they have experienced them all, tasted them, and they all feel good. But if these things are desired more than Jesus, then that person probably hasn't tasted deep fellowship with him.
So I would begin to display to them—through relationship and through teaching—the beauties, glory, wonder, power, and extraordinary excellence of Jesus Christ. And I would ask the Holy Spirit to illumine their mind so that they fall in love with Christ more than his gifts.
I might also take them to Habakkuk 3:17-19 where it speaks about rejoicing in God even if there is nothing in the field, nothing in the stall, and no food on the table. And I would say, "To live is Christ and to die is gain. If you have him and nothing else then you have more than if you had everything else and not him."
© 2015 Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines
Share the Joy! You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org