Lately I have been reading a great book by John Piper, “When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy”.
I’m only on chapter 3 and usually anytime a nugget of truth encapsulates my spirit–I get out my pencil or highlighter and start marking up a book so that I will remember what struck a chord in my heart. Yesterday, it was this…
A person who has no taste for the enjoyment of Christ will not go to heaven. “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed” (1 Cor. 16:22). “Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:37). “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Loving Jesus, not just “deciding” for Him or “being committed to Him” or affirming all the right doctrines about Him, is the mark of a true child of God. Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me” (John 8:42). …First there is love, then there is the effect–obedience. The obedience is not identical with love.
Well after reading that little paragraph– I stopped and pondered a minute–what is my motivation at this very moment to serving Christ? Is it out of duty and committal–or is it out of Love? My reasonn for a joy missing in my life is because I serve Christ out of duty and not love–I am simply committed to Him for the sake of being committed –it is a duty. It’s no wonder I have such rebellion in my heart and loss of joy.
So as the Psalmist prayed–I also pray…
Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
And then I ponder some more… well if it’s out of duty that I serve You…am I really saved? a scary thought. So what then is the assurance of salvation?