The Leaves

A leaf. Behold a single leaf. So fragile, it tears like paper, crushes in your hand to a moist stain, sharply fragrant. Dry, it burns swift and crackling as newsprint, pungent as gunpowder. Yet a leaf may withstand hurricanes, stubbornly clinging to its limb.

Hold it open in your palm. It is perfect as a newborn’s smile. Pinch its stem between thumb and forefinger and hold it to the light. Eden bleeds through. Its veins are like bone work in silhouette. This single leaf, joined to the tree, drinks poison from the air, drinks it serenely as Socrates downing his cup of hemlock, and refuses to return in kind, instead spilling out life-giving oxygen. This leaf tilts to catch the sun, its warmth and radiance, to distill the heat and light down to the shadows, down to the roots, back up to limbs. To shade the earth. To feed you and me.

A leaf. God makes these season after season, one after the other, billions upon billions, from the Garden to the New Jerusalem, most for no eye but His own. He does it faithfully, or else I would not live to tell about it, or you to hear. Keep reading...

Keywords: Buchanan,\

The Fruit of Hope: Love (Quote by John Piper)

"If I am emphasizing a future- and heaven-oriented focus somebody might object and say, 'John, if you focus on that, you're going to produce a way of thinking that creates an escapist mentality. You're going to cause people to be so heavenly-minded that they're no earthly good.' We must ask, therefore, 'Is that true?' When Christians set their hearts earnestly and intensely on the hope of the Glory of God, on the hope of seeing Jesus, on the hope of being free from sin, on the hope of no longer getting sick anymore, on the hope of having an eternity of happy tomorrows--if we have our hearts set on that hope in the future--does it create an escapist mentality? Does it cause our minds to be so much in heaven that we neglect the pressing needs around us?...

"...The Bible portrays just the opposite. The Bible teaches and shows that a strong confidence in the promises of God and passionate preference for the joys of heaven over the joys of earth is precisely the power that breaks the bondage of worldly selfishness...and ends with the fruit of love.

"I don't think that the problem today is that too many people are passionately in love with the joy of heaven; name three. The problem is not that professing Christians are retreating from the world in order to read the Bible half the day and sing worship songs the other half while the world goes to Hell. That is not the problem. The problem with the Church is that professing Christians are reading the Bible ten minutes a day, earning money half the day, and spending the rest of the time enjoying and fixing what they spent their money on. It is not heavenly mindedness that hinders love. It is worldly-mindedness that hinders love."

Keep reading...

Keywords: money,piper,sermon,priority,love