Friday, January 11, 2008

Taste and See

"Not long before his death on September 27, 1982, I visited Dr. Wilford Widen in the hospital. He looked up at me from his bed with a smile and said, 'Pastor John, the greatest thing in the world is to be saved.' Those words are the abiding legacy of a great saint who gave oversight to the Sunday school at our church for forty years and led the building campaign for on of our buildings.

Do you feel this? If not, perhaps the reason is that you never really felt very lost and desperate before the judgement of God or threatened by an eternity of conscious torment in hell. Oh, how we love being saved after we have just come close to being killed. Perhaps by a powerful ocean undertow. Or by getting a finger caught in the drain at the bottom of a swimming pool. (Yes, filled with water! I can remember it well). Or almost walking out in front of a car that speeds by just three feet from you at forty miles an hour, but your wife's voice catches you in the split second before you step into death. Or a remission from a long battle with cancer. Or release from a prison camp in the Gulag after sixteen years of expecting death. Or after surviving a plane crash when others perished.

Oh, how we love life at those moments and cleave to everything precious. So it is when you taste the preciousness of being saved from sin. Not just the words. Not just a fact learned from the Bible, but really feeling that you are justly damned and hopelessly lost and cut off from God and life and joy. Then to learn that God has made a way. That he will forgive you, That he will accept you and love you and work all thing for your good. That all your sins can be forgiven and cast into the deepest sea and never brought up against you anymore. Oh, the preciousness of being saved from sin and judgement and hell!"

John Piper


1 comment:

Lana said...

These words from Mr. Piper are so true. Thanks for spurring us on with these words.