A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You
For 33 years, John Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He has written more than 50 books, is the founder and teacher of DesiringGod.org, and currently is chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Following that impressive list of credits, readers might ask themselves what they should expect from Piper’s newest devotional, A GODWARD HEART. Here, he has brought together a lovely compilation of some of his finest writings into a devotional format that will speak both to the scholar and the layperson alike.
Biblically rich and aesthetically beautiful, Piper presents readers with 50 devotionals on a wide variety of subject headings and topics pertinent to the Christian living in an often seemingly godless world. Each reading includes a mix of everyday stories gleaned from Piper’s own life or others he has met along the way and specifically targeted biblical principles and verses for excellent Christian conduct. Piper’s own transparent heart about his personal shortcomings will convince readers early on that their own struggles are no different from the rest of humanity --- a comforting thought to be sure.
"Hopefully, this won’t be Piper’s last, for each essay will spark a hunger for more in-depth discussion and exploration on the topics he has presented."
Piper opens this rich text with a word to the reader that shares how God often changes a life not through the entirety of a book but through a single paragraph. So it is with life. The author says, “You may have read the same paragraph before, perhaps just the other evening. But this time God put his finger on it and turned the lens just one more focusing notch. What this means is that I should pray as a writer and you should pray as a reader. I write, you read, but God gives the sight.”
Just a few of the topic samplings included in this thoughtfully written text are: what does it mean to seek the Lord; glorifying the grace of God; how is God’s passion for His glory not selfishness; be careful, lest the light in you be darkness; discerning idolatry in desire; the sorrows of fathers and sons; if you can be godly and wrong, does truth matter; what love does and does not do; how do you “give” God strength; submission and headship in the home where I grew up; why require unregenerate children to act like they’re good; and the deceitful and deadly health-and-wealth teaching.
This edition of A GODWARD HEART is a continuation of A GODWARD LIFE, Books One and Two; PIERCED BY THE WORD; LIFE AS A VAPOR; and TASTE AND SEE. Hopefully, this won’t be Piper’s last, for each essay will spark a hunger for more in-depth discussion and exploration on the topics he has presented. As always, he delivers accurate biblical teaching as he simultaneously challenges Christians to grow daily in their pursuit of transformation into the image of Christ.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on January 23, 2014