Back in February of this year, I floated an idea for women to read good books and blog about them together. The response from LV readers was greater than I expected! And in March we started reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. We finally finished it (after 21 weeks!) in August.
21 weeks is a long time in internet weeks.
I hadn’t given much thought to which book to suggest for our next group venture. My only certain thought was that I didn’t want it to take as long as TEW.
Last week, Mark Tubbs and I were corresponding about books and he suggested reading Future Grace together. I’ve been wanting to read it again for the longest time. And the opportunity to read it along with his posts at Discerning Reader will be edifying.
I know Future Grace is ten chapters longer then The Excellent Wife; however, Future Grace is designed to be read in one month. One chapter per day. Piper writes in the introduction that he kept the chapters relatively short for that purpose. He writes, “Every book worth reading beckons with the words, ‘Think over what I say.’ ” Piper’s books do require thinking; however, he helps the reader along in several ways. His writing is very logical. I can’t think of any book of his in which he doesn’t first tell the reader where he is going. As we read, you’ll find that he anticipates problems and questions, which he answers thoroughly. He is one author who does not fear an apparent contradiction.
It has been my practice, long before I started blogging, to think and write in my own words what a book stirred in my mind, thus absorbing its ideas, making them my own. I’ve found Piper’s books to be challenging, mentally and spiritually, and paradigm-shattering. I hope to be able to share what I mean by that as we read and write about this book together.
You may have no idea who John Piper is or what this book it about. I’ll let Piper explain.
The ultimate purpose of this book is that God be prized above all things…On the other side of the coin, the aim of this book is to emancipate human hearts from servitude to the fleeting pleasures of sin. Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it holds out some supreme promise of happiness. That promise enslaves us until we believe that God is more to be desired than life itself (Psalm 63:3). Which means that the power of sin’s promise is broken by the power of God’s. All that God promises to be for us in Jesus stands over against what sin promises to be for us without him. This great prospect of the glory of God is what I call future grace. Being satisfied with that is what I call faith. And therefore the life I write about in this book is called Living by Faith in Future Grace…I pray that you will hear and follow the call to find your joy in all that God promises to be for you in Jesus. And I pray that the expulsive power of this new affection will go on freeing you from the fleeting pleasures of sin and empower you for a life of sacrificial love. If, in this way, we prove that God is prized above all things, then living by faith in future grace will be to the praise of his glory. For God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
In this book, Piper provides eight practical chapters addressing how to fight with future grace the sins of anxiety, pride, misplaced shame, impatience, covetousness, bitterness, despondency and lust.
Do you prize God above all things?
Are you living free or are you still living as a slave?
Do you find yourself fighting well one day and then, some time later, find yourself right back in a pit?
Do you ever find yourself thinking, God must be so tired of forgiving me for this? Or Can I be forgiven for this sin again? How could God still love and accept me?
Do you ever feel like giving up the fight against sin?
Do you want to understand the relationship between saving faith and your sanctification?
Do you wonder what it means to find your greatest satisfaction in the person of Christ?
I hope you’ll read with me!
We begin with Chapter 1 on October 1.
Future Grace can be purchased from all your favorite online stores, including Desiring God Ministries, Westminster Books, and Amazon. You can also read Chapters 1-3 online for free at Desiring God’s website.