Thoroughly Bruising

In preparation for Sunday’s message, I have been digging into Piper’s newest book, “Bloodlines”. As always, his writing is easy to read and hard to swallow. The spiritual nutrition he serves up is prime, but the reader is almost always left in a state of conviction.  This passage, in particular, was bruising.

“Apathy is passionless living.  It is sitting in front of the television night after night and living your life from one moment of entertainment to the next.  It is the inability to be shocked into action by the stead-state lostness and suffering of the world.  It is the emptiness that comes from thinking of godliness as the avoidance of doing bad things instead of the aggressive pursuit of doing good things.

If that were God’s intention for the godliness of his people, why would Paul say, “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12)?  People who stay at home and watch clean videos don’t get persecuted.  Godliness must mean something more public, more aggressively good.

In fact, the aim of the gospel is the creation of people who are passionate for doing good rather than settling for the passionless avoidance of evil.  “[Christ] gave himself for us… to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).  The gospel produces people who are created for good works (Eph. 2:10), and have a reputation of good works (1 Tim. 5:10, and are rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:18), and present a model of good works (Titus 2:7), and devote themselves to good works (Titus 3:8, 14), and stir each other up to good works (Heb. 10:24).”

A numb soul is easier to identify than you may think. It can be found at the heart of a fruitless life.

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11 thoughts on “Thoroughly Bruising

  1. Insert Lump in throat. You are leaving me thinking about my own life and how I could indeed go out on that limb a little more…love it!

  2. Wowzer! That hit a lot close to home. What a great challenge for myself and my children/family. Let’s pop the Christian bubble and let the aroma of Christ reach a lost world!! Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. …reminds me of Scotty Peck’s book –The Road Less Traveled. It also is bruising but it leaves one knowing that the righteous life is not the easy path, nor is is so difficult that it cannot be traveled with The Holy Spirit as one’s guide and strength. I look forward to your message Sunday.

  4. Apathy is a life without Jesus. I thank Jesus for our modern day radicals. David Platt quickly comes to mind. The one that inspires me the most that is now with Jesus is Keith Green. I try to listen to one of his songs each day. Oh and there is this guy, Eugene Brandt. Jesus created community so that we have each other to be encouragers and to reproduce reproducers. I praise Jesus for this blog so that He can allow each of us to “spur” each other on. Thanks Eugene for being obedient to the call! Looking forward to Sunday my brother!

  5. Once again, Piper and you, Eugene Brandt, go straight for the soul and how we live out this life of faith. Apathy is easy, engagement takes time and energy and often provides little tangible, positive rewards. At least on this side of Heaven. It takes a “Body”, not a village, to stay engaged and active. Thanks for the encouragement we get from you and Fellowship Bible Church.

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