Dear Church Family,
As we anticipate beginning a new year I find myself reflecting on this past year. Through all of the good, bad, hard, and enjoyable moments God never stopped showing us his faithfulness. One of the results of my own year end reflection was a reminder of two resources I found particularly helpful to my own spiritual formation. You might say these are Shaun’s “top two” resources – one an audio sermon the other a book – and they are both by John Piper.
Top Sermon from 2017:
The sermon “Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering” – Meditations on the Life of Charles Simeon was preached by John Piper during the 1989 Bethlehem Conference for pastors. It is a sermon preached to pastors so it includes some biographical information about Charles Simeon to frame up the topic. But the rich doctrine and Bible truths about suffering, escaping emotional fragility, and the roots of spiritual endurance are pure gold. God has seen fit to use this sermon to advance my own spiritual formation each time I returned to it. I heartily recommend you spend the ~90 minutes to listen to it.
Top Book from 2017:
Of all the books I read this year John Piper’s “Future Grace” – The Purifying Power of the Promises of God stands above the rest. This was a difficult choice because I also read “Desiring God – Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” which nearly won the prize. Perhaps reading both books in the same year allowed the Bible truth explained in the books to reverberate back and forth and work more deeply into my soul. Regardless, if I have to choose just one top book it is “Future Grace.” The book is divided into 31 not-too-long chapters designed to be read each day of a month. In it you will hear Piper explain how God helps break the power of sins like anxiety, despondency, greed, lust, impatience, etc. I assure you, if you choose to read this book in 2018 it will do you spiritual good and enable you to do others good.
What about you?
Do you have a top sermon or book from 2017? Go ahead and post it below in the comments.
– Shaun Walker
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