God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s love as the gift of Himself is written by John Piper and can be summed up like this: It’s all about God’s Glory.
Over the years I have come to appreciate and savour Pipers teaching and insights. He has a ministry of pointing us to God, helping us to delight in God, and making sure we see that everything is about God. This book is not his most comprehensive on the subject (that would be Desiring God and Future Grace), rather it is a collection of in-depth meditations on the subject of God’s Glory.
The strength of the book is that it is totally biblical and logical. It really is logic on fire. He takes you on a tour of the Bible to show you that the best thing in life is God – that the greatest blessing that God gives us, is God Himself.
Now, if I’m honest, I think I have always been more interested in the gifts than the Giver, forgetting that the Giver is the greatest Gift. Piper asks a very penetrating question: could we imagine enjoying heaven without God? Indeed, when we think of heaven, what is the first thing we think about? Is it God? Or is it a loved one, or world peace, or the eradication of cancer? When we look at our hearts under the microscope of Scripture, we see that we may have become gift focused instead of Giver focused.
I think of the book as being summed up by two 3:18 passages:
1 Peter: For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
God is the Gospel, He is the reason we are saved…to be brought to Him.
2 Corinthians: And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Indeed, He is the God we are being conformed to, and we are transformed by His glory.
Piper asks a great paragraph that gives you an idea of where the book leads you to meditate:
‘God’s best gift is not the gift of self-esteem. God’s best gift is God – for our everlasting and ever-increasing enjoyment. Being loved by God is the exhilarating deliverance from the hall of mirrors we once thought would bring us happiness – if we could just like what we see. Heaven is not a hall of mirrors. Or maybe we should say, heaven is a world in which all created things have become mirrors, and all of them are tilted to a 45 degree angle. everywhere we look – in every creature – we see the reflection of God.’
Which reflection do you see?
If you want to be a God glorifying mirror…buy this book.