This morning I was encouraged by today’s devotional reading in New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I’ve been enjoying the daily readings from this volume for the past few months, and even though I only pick up the book every few days or so, the message is powerful and encouraging.
Today’s reading was about the grace of God. Grace, Mr. Tripp says, is a powerful means of God’s work to accomplish all sorts of good things in our lives. The list of things that God’s grace can do included:
- Help you make better decisions in life
- Help you forge a healthier marriage
- Make you less anxious and more courageous
- Pilot you through disappointment and give you joy even when you’re suffering
That’s only a few items from the description of a “harvest” of grace. I have to say, I was super-encouraged just by reading through these powerful examples. But Mr. Tripp points out that none of this is the ultimate goal of God’s grace. Instead, God’s ultimate goal for grace is to focus our worship on Himself.
…Sin kidnapped our worship, and grace works to restore it to its rightful owner — God. It is only when God is in his rightful place in our hearts that everything else is in its appropriate place in our lives, and only powerful grace can accomplish this.
This goes along with the few pages I’ve slowly processed this afternoon from John Piper’s Reading the Bible Supernaturally, where he states that the ultimate purpose of all reading of the Bible is “…that God’s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation.” In the few pages I read, John Piper pointed out that God’s holiness effectively sets Him apart from everything else, making God the most rare and infinitely valuable Being for all of time and eternity.
Rare, Valuable, and Precious
When I thought about super-valuable and rare things, it made me consider examples of rare artifacts from history, or precious stones and diamonds (which are only valuable because of their scarcity). We might also think of more modern things that are assigned value because they are rare (e.g. only so many were produced) and hard to find. A coworker of mine recently told me about a race car that he and a friend refurbished, that now could be worth millions… if he hadn’t sold it years ago. Rarity produces value, and so this concept of God being the ultimately rare and valuable treasure is definitely a new concept for me to consider. What’s most frustrating in my life is how easily I lose sight of the value of God and begin to think of Him and His love for me in a stale, boring way; without the wonder and awe that He always deserves.
And so I’m grateful for today’s encouragement from a devotional book that again refocused my mind on God’s grace that is at work in my life to fulfill the ultimate goal of restoring my worship to its rightful place: for God and Jesus Christ alone.