Friday, June 23, 2006

John Piper Sermon Quote About the Name of God

A bit from a John Piper sermon:
I want to try to unfold at least seven implications that I see
in the divine name, I AM WHO I AM.
First, God exists. Or as Francis Schaffer never tired of saying,
God is there. At first this may seem so obvious and so basic that
we wouldn't need to mention it. Well, it is obvious and it is
basic, but the reason we should mention it is that most people live
as if it were not true, or as if it were a truth that makes no
difference in life.

Suppose the President of the United States invited you and a few
of your friends to the White House for a reception. As you enter
the cozy green room the President is sitting by the fire place and
you walk right by him without a glance or a greeting. For the whole
evening you neither look at him nor speak to him nor thank him nor
inquire why he called you together. But every time the one reporter
asks you if you believe in the existence of the President you say,
Of course. You even agree that this is his house and that all this
food came from his kitchen. But you pay him no regard. Practically
speaking you act as if you do not believe he exists. You ignore
him. He has no place in the affections of your heart. His gifts,
not himself, are the center of your attention.

The vast majority of people who say they believe in God treat
him this way. He is like hydrogen. You learned once in school that
it is in the air you breathe, but after that your belief in it has
made no difference in your life. Every time someone takes a poll
you say, Of course, hydrogen exists. Then you return to things that

Put yourself forward a few years to the day when every human
being will give an account of himself before the living God. God
will say to millions of people, "Now it is my understanding that
you said often during your life that you believed in me. You
affirmed my existence. Is that right?" "Yes." And is it not true
that in your life the more honor and importance and virtue and
power and beauty a person had, the more regard he was paid and the
more respect he was shown and the more admiration he received? Is
that not the case?" "Yes." "Then why is it that I had such an
insignificant place in your life since you say you believed in me?
Why didn't you feel more admiration for me and seek my wisdom more
often and spend time in fellowship with me and strive to know the
way I wanted you to make all your every day decisions? Why did you
treat me as though I were like hydrogen?" What, I ask you, what is
the world going to answer? What are thousands of so-called
Christians going to answer, whose faith in God is virtually the
same as their faith in hydrogen?
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