The Dawning of Indestructible Joy

The Dawning of Indestructible Joy

Devotional readings to help us focus on what really matters at Advent

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Helping us refocus on what's truly important, John Piper leads us through twenty-five short meditations on Advent.

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Description

The Christmas season is often one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. It's all too easy to lose sight of what makes it special.

Helping us refocus on what's truly important, John Piper leads us through twenty-five short meditations on Advent. The devotionals – drawn from his extensive teaching and preaching ministry – lead readers to ponder afresh the birth of Jesus, Israel's long-awaited Messiah and the Saviour of the world.

Reflecting on several scriptural texts, this accessible volume aims to direct individuals, families and churches to the most glorious dawning of indestructible joy the world has ever seen: the incarnation of the Son of God.

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Contents

  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction Praying for Fullness This Christmas (John 1:14–16)
  • December 1 The Search-and-Save Mission (Luke 19:10)
  • December 2 Prepare Your Heart for Christ (John 5:44)
  • December 3 Draw Near to the Savior (Heb. 13:20–21)
  • December 4 What Advent Is All About (Mark 10:45)
  • December 5 Why Christmas Happened (1 John 3:5, 8)
  • December 6 God’s Passion for God at Christmas (John 12:27–28)
  • December 7 He Comes to Bless Us (Acts 3:22–26)
  • December 8 God Can Be Trusted (Acts 3:22–26) 31
  • December 9 Why the Son of Man? (John 1:51)
  • December 10 What Christmas Came to Destroy (1 John 3:8)
  • December 11 The Celebration of God’s Love (John 3:16)
  • December 12 The Glory of the Word Made Flesh (John 1:1)
  • December 13 Christmas Cut History in Half (Acts 3:24)
  • December 14 The Mercy He Promises (Rom. 15:8–9)
  • December 15 Our Truest Treasure (Matt. 2:10)
  • December 16 Freed to Be Part of God’s Family (Mark 10:45)
  • December 17 He Came to Serve (Mark 10:44)
  • December 18 Graciously and Tenderly Frustrating (Rom. 3:25–26)
  • December 19 The Gift You Cannot Buy (Acts 17:24–25)
  • December 20 Receive His Reconciliation (Rom. 5:11)
  • December 21 Get Your Eyes Ready for Christmas (Matt. 16:15–17)
  • December 22 Something Worth Singing About (Heb. 8:4–10)
  • December 23 Our Deepest Need at Christmas (Mic. 5:4–5)
  • December 24 Enjoy All the Promises of God (Mic. 5:2–4)
  • December 25 Grace: The Dominant Note of Christmas (John 6:51)
  • Conclusion A Savior Is Born! God Gets the Glory, You Get the Peace (Luke 2:11–14)
  • A Word of Thanks

Specification

Author John Piper
ISBN 9781783591787
Format Paperback
First published 2014
Dimensions 144mm x 195mm x 7mm
Language English
Pages 96
Publisher IVP

Other information

Preface

I feel like the apostle Peter at the end of his life, as he wrote his second letter. Twice he told his readers why he was writing to them. In the first chapter he said, “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 1:13). Then, in the last chapter, he said it again: “I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 3:1).

His aim was first to remind them. And then, by reminding them, to stir them up. That’s what this little book of Advent devotional readings is for—reminders and stirrings.

The Greek word for “stir up” is used most often for waking someone from sleep. That’s the way it’s used, for example, in Mark 4:39: “[Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind.” Peter assumes that his Christian readers need to be wakened. I know I continually need awakening. Especially when Christmas approaches.

I am prone to be dull, spiritually drowsy, half-hearted, luke­warm. That is the way human beings are, including Christians, even about great things. Peter knows it and is writing to “awaken” or to “stir up” his readers so that they don’t just know but also feel the wonder of the truth.

That’s why I have written these devotions. What you and I need is usually not a brand-new teaching. Brand-new truths are probably not truths. What we need are reminders about the greatness of the old truths. We need someone to say an old truth in a fresh way. Or sometimes, just to say it.

What Peter really means, and what I mean, by being “awakened” or “stirred up” is to feel some measure of the joy God intends for Christmas to bring. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Not small joy. Not modest joy. But “great joy.” If we don’t feel this when we ponder the incarnation of the Son of God, we need “awakening.” We need to be “stirred up.”

I have called Christmas—and this little book—“the dawning of indestructible joy” because the joy Jesus was bringing into the world was like no other kind in history. Once we have it, it cannot be destroyed. Jesus said, “No one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22).

The joy that Jesus came to bring is from outside this world. It is the very joy that Jesus himself has in God the Father—which he has had from all eternity and will have forever. There is no greater joy than the joy that God has in God, because God is the greatest object of joy, and God has the greatest powers to enjoy.

Jesus said, “I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). His joy was the very joy of God. He promises to put that in us. That is what the Holy Spirit does. He pours out the love of God in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), and with it the joy of God in God. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy . . .” (Gal. 5:22). This is “great joy.” And it cannot be taken away. It is indestructible.

Ah, but it can go to sleep. That’s why Peter says, “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder” (2 Pet. 1:13). Yes. It is very right. Because, oh, how wrong, how sad, when we stand before great wonders and feel nothing. It is right, therefore, that he write and I write to awaken and stir up our affections for the greatest wonder of all: the arrival and the work and the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in this world.

May the Spirit of God use these words to open your eyes afresh to the glories of Christ and give you a new taste of your indestructible joy.

Customer reviews

“Not my favourite”

Not the most inspirational Advent devotional we have used and not particularly family orientated. Better suited for individual use and reflection.


20/12/2016

“Exvcellent”

This was a helpful devotional to use during Advent, which we were able to encourage the whole church to use. Each daily reading was simple and clear with good application and challenge.


05/01/2015

“Great”

As a pregnant Mum with 2 small children I really enjoyed using this book in the run up to Christmas. I felt like I'd fed on God's word despite the devotions being quite short. I was really glad I'd used them. Helpful bitesize devotions.


31/12/2014

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