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XL

“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose . . . ! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honor, though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. . . . O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.”

John Piper translating Augustine (The Confessions, Book 9)

XXXIX

The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!

Luke 17:6 (NLT)

In other words, the issue in your Christian life and ministry is not the strength or quantity of your faith, because that is not what uproots trees. God does. Therefore, the smallest faith that truly connects you with Christ will engage enough of His power for all you need. Moving trees is a small thing for Christ. The issue is not perfection for Christ, but connection to Christ. So take heart, the smallest seed of faith connects with all of Christ’s mercy.

Piper, J. (2004) Life as a Vapor, 52

XXXVIII

(Boasting About Tomorrow) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16 (ESV)

So what is the point? The point is that… it matters whether a true view of life informs and shapes the way you think, and how you speak about your plans. Your mind-set matters. How you talk about your plans matters… Scripture puts a premium on how we think and how we talk. This is not surprising. Above all the animals humans are created in the image of God with thought and language beyond all comparison. This gift is not gratuitous. It is meant to make the glory of God known. If He wills we live. If He wills we act. We have minds and tongues to speak this truly for all the world to hear.

Piper, J. (2004) Life as a Vapor, 28-30