Monday, July 7, 2008

What Jesus Demands from the World

Well this was my latest Piper fix, and it was perhaps the best Piper book I've ever read. In What Jesus Demands from the World, Piper presents fifty commands from the very mouth of Jesus and explains how to live out these demands. When I think of Christians like Paul, Peter, James, the writer of Hebrews, I love reading their letters and receiving assistance in this tough Christian walk. But I don't know, it was something about reading this book and reading the actual words of Christ.

I mean, after all we are Christians, not Paulians, or Peterians, or Jamesians. We follow Christ. Not that there is anything wrong with following those men. Paul himself said "Follow me as I follow Christ." I love what they've done for me in my relationship with Christ. I can't imagine having to figure out what they explained so simply(sometimes) on my own. And in essence these are the words of Christ because they are Spirit inspired. But still, these are Jesus very words from God's own mouth!

Many of these demands went totally unnoticed. One demand that really slapped me in the face was the demand that my righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. The few chapters that talk about this demand truly changed my thoughts about living my life for Christ from the inside out, not just outward as the Pharisees. Some other shiners were "Love God with all Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength", "Worship God in Spirit and Truth", all the chapters about loving your enemies, especially "Love Your Neighbor with the Same Commitment You Have to Your Own Well-Being" (a huge blow to the pride) but really, I'd have to cite them all to say which ones I love the most. Besides, I don't want to spoil it. Needless to say, every chapter is worth dissecting to the very punctuation.

What Jesus Demands from the World is definitely one of Piper's easier books to read. He really explains quite simply what Jesus was commanding of his followers.
Many demands are actually different sub-demands from the actual one that Christ said. Each chapter is no more than five pages, a rarity with Piper. Not to say that it isn't loaded with information and Scripture references. It is as Bible-saturated as ever. It is one of Piper's best in my opinion and a book that every true disciple of Christ should read, and not only read it, but to abide in them. After all, didn't Christ also say, "If you love me, keep my commandments"? We don't love Him by keeping His commandments, but because of our love for Him, we can't help but obey. What Jesus Demands from the World is a priceless gem in this pursuit of love.

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