The JOY of Loving Others: Desiring God - Book Review
“So what is love? Love abounds between us when your joy is mine and my joy is yours. I am not loving just because I seek your joy, but because I seek it as mine.. . . love is what exists between people when they find their joy in each other’s joy.” –John Piper
Desiring God, by John Piper, presents a unique view of loving others.
Piper shares how loving others (God's way and by God's grace) is not merely an act of obedience to be sacrificially enduredfor the benefit of others; instead, loving others is a lifestyle that's meant to be enjoyed. The chapter on this topic emphasizes how loving others actually brings us happiness and even how this happiness is something we should desire and pursue.
It's really a remarkable focus, especially in relation to our calling as Mission-Minded Families to local and global missions.
Loving others (and being obedient to God's Great Commission) is not just about hardship and sacrificial burdens. Loving others, God's way, is designed by God to be enjoyed. Just think about it! God created us to take pleasure in doing good and to be cheerful givers. Love is not a burden to be borne or an obligation to fulfill; love is a gift and a blessing.
God has created us to enjoy loving and giving to others. Love is what we were born for and what we live for! Loving God and loving others is our life . . . and our JOY!
LOVE is what we do FOR FUN!!!
Of course, sacrificial love, will sometimes be difficult and hard. Yet even in the most extreme example of the passion of Jesus enduring the cross, Christ's motivation was "...for the joy that was set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2).
Oh, that we, as Mission-Minded Families would "catch" this focus in our hearts and in our spirits. God has created us to love Him and to love others.
To "DARE TO OBEY" is not some horrible sacrifice to be borne. It's not a dreary obligation. Obedience to God's Great Commission is a joy!
Loving others . . . is what we LOVE to do!
Here are related quotes, verses, and mission examples.
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."--Micah 6:8
"In some sense the most benevolent, generous person in the world seeks his own happiness in doing good to others, because he places his happiness in their good. His mind is so enlarged as to take them, as it were, into himself. Thus when they are happy, he feels it; he partakes with them, and is happy in their happiness. This is so far from being inconsistent with the freeness of beneficence, that, on the contrary, free benevolence and kindness consists in it." --Jonathan Edwards
"In His presence there is fullness of joy at His right hand are pleasures forevermore." --Psalm 16:11
"Will I spend myself on behalf of those in front of me? And people say, “Don’t you get tired?” and yes, I do. But I’m face to face with Jesus in the dirt, and the more I bend the harder and better and fuller this life gets. And sure, we are tired, but oh we are happy. Because bent down low is where we find fullness of Joy.” --Katie Davis
"Love . . . rejoices with the truth." --I Corinthians 13:6
Of the people the Apostle Paul led to Jesus Christ, he said, "You are our glory and joy" (I Thessalonians 2:20), and in another place he said, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved" (Romans 10:1).
"We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia. In a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity." --II Corinthians 8:1-2
"'I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight,' declares the LORD." --Jeremiah 9:24.
"God loves a cheerful giver." -- II Corinthians 9:7
"...the giver God loves is the one whose joy in Him overflows 'cheerfully' in generosity to others...If we are indifferent to whether we do a good deed cheerfully, we are indifferent to what pleases God. For God loves a cheerful giver." -- John Piper
"Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others." --John Piper
“Joy is not gush. Joy is not mere jolliness. Joy is perfect acquiescence ~ acceptance, rest ~ in God’s will, whatever comes.” --Amy Carmichael
"Delight yourself in the LORD!" --Psalms 37:4
"...For I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all." --II Corinthians 2:2
"True love is when both people think they have the better half of the deal."--Brody Bond
(Isn't that a fun quote?)
Oh, that we would truly LOVE (God's way and by God's grace) -- to the extent that we begin to truly experience God's JOY and His DELIGHT.