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The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Quite simply, I lose sight of the gift.
A few years ago, I came to the settled belief that Jesus truly was the Son of God. And that first Christmas, with that new/old truth secured, was an awe-inspiring experience. I was keenly aware of salvation wrapped in swaddling clothes. And I worshiped.
Steadily, though, that awe has dissipated a bit; life has gotten in the way. Cynicism has crept back in.
I think that is why I chose to read John Piper's new devotional book this year (a review copy was given to me by Crossway publishers), even though it is not even October. I want a fresh understanding of indestructible joy. And I found it not only in the words that Piper wrote, but in the scripture to which his words pointed.
All of scripture points to Christ. Therefore, we cannot isolate the events on the night of Jesus' birth without examining them in light of the context in which they exist. Piper, as always, does an excellent job of this. He pulled from the passages that explain who God is, and why Jesus came, and what that means for us today, instead of just focusing on the details of that singular night. In his doing so, Piper challenges his readers to see all of God.
My only criticism is that each chapter was small-too small. I understand that the intent was to provide devotional type readings, to be read in small amounts of time daily through the month of December. However, it seemed that Piper would just barely open up a thought, and then it would be concluded to hurry on to the next day. I found myself longing for more words and more questions. Not necessarily a bad thing, because it forces me to have to seek answers to my questions myself, from scripture. Always a good thing. Yet I still would have liked to sit under Piper's teaching a little longer on these passages.
Still and all, the premise of this book is solid, and the words are good and true. I suspect I will revisit this volume when we hit December 1 this year.
But one books stands out as a close to ideal Christmas advent gift to use year after year in preparing our hearts for the advent of our Lord. This is John Piper's new little paperback, THE DAWNING OF INDESTRUCTIBLE JOY (Daily Readings for Advent); Crossway. The advantages of this book are many: it is short (2 short pages per day), it is very readable, it is motivational, it is clear, it is Christ-centered (as it should be), it is based upon a Scripture text for each day. And it is a joy to read.
In a day when materialism and the cluttered lives and frantic pace of the cultural bacchanalia tends to ruin many of your personal experiences of Christmas, this book is different. It will actually draw your mind and emotions back to the 'reason for the season'. They originally were parts of Christmas Sermons preached by Dr. Piper over his many years at Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis, MN.
Here are the titles & Scriptures for the daily readings:
INTRODUCTION--Praying for Fullness This Christmas (John 1:14-16)
1st--The Search and Save Mission--Luke 19:10
2nd--Prepare Your Heart for Christ--John 5:44
3rd--Draw Near to the Savior--Hebrews 13-20-21
4th--What Advent Is All About--Mark 10:45
5th--Why Christmas Happened--1st John 3:5. 8
6th--God's Passion for God at Christmas--John 12:27-28
7th--He Comes to Bless Us--Acts 3:22-26
8th--God Can Be Trusted--Acts 3:22-26
And so forth until Christmas Day!
I plan to use it for my wife and myself this Advent season. Why not join me?!
Your Book Servant,
Pastor Steve Martin