Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“Love to the Uttermost” by John Piper
Book Recommendation by Pastor Tim St. John
Since it was published in 2014, reading “Love to the Uttermost” during passion week has been a precious tradition for our family. As Piper says, “there’s nothing intrinsically holy about particular days, but for most of church history Christians have set aside eight days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday for solemn focus (Romans 14:5-6).” Just as it is vital to set aside time each day to pursue God through prayer and meditation on his Word, it is necessary to dedicate days to remembering the greatest events in human history. We need to reflect on Christ’s journey to the cross and let his love freshly hit our senses and wake us up to what life is truly about.
This short devotional begins with Palm Sunday and takes the reader through the resurrection. Each page beautifully presents the heart of Christ and his love that pursued us to the uttermost. This book is also available as a free ebook from Desiring God. Click here for a free download of Love to the Uttermost.
Here are a couple quotes to help you see the soul nourishing qualities of this work:
- “Jesus was not accidentally entangled in a web of injustice. The saving benefits of his death for sinners were not an afterthought. God planned it all out of infinite love to sinners like us, and he appointed a time.” (11)
- “The physical pain of the cross did not become physical pleasure. But Jesus was sustained through it all by joy. He really, really wanted to save us. To gather for himself a happy, holy, praising people.” (15)
As we heard this past Sunday, humility is God’s weapon against darkness. We are never positioned better to hope in God and the power of the resurrection than when we are low and humble.
Humility is a trait we want more of in our life, but one that often comes through painful means. Yet God cultivates it in His children for our benefit, because it stirs our hearts to lean on His wisdom and goodness.
One way we seek the interest of others is befriending people. We know relationships can be messy and costly, but, in the end, God uses it to make us more like Christ.
The aim of the Christian life is not simply to expand our knowledge of God or nail down a set of disciplines. We aspire in the habits of grace to love and become like the God of grace.
One of the great and overlooked blessings of being a Christian is that it liberates us to ask for forgiveness. We need not cling to our pride, because our identity is in the fact that we are sinners saved and forgiven by the grace of God.
We can easily be overwhelmed by all the ways we need to grow or the duties we need to fulfill. Yet the way to do the work of a lifetime is over a lifetime, laboring each day to be faithful for all that God gives us.
We store up treasures in heaven, because our greatest treasure is Christ. God has entrusted us with so many resources–money, skills, relationships, etc–that we might use them and aim them towards heaven.
TGC conference is coming up in a few weeks. They’ve put together a playlist to match the theme of the conference. Whether you’re attending or not, these songs can encourage you to see how Jesus is greater.
Jonathan Ogden will lead worship sessions from time to time. This one focuses on how Christ and our relationship is what makes the gospel so precious.
We’ve been having short videos everyday to meditate on the Passion Week. Here are additional books and sermons to further prepare your hearts.
Don’t miss this week’s TFTT series on the Holy Week. This will wrap up our video devotionals and we hope it has helped in meditating on God’s truth.