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Taste and See

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Taste and See


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"Taste and see that the Lord is good" Psalm 34:8

The soul tastes truth like the tongue tastes food. Spiritual hunger cries out for rich, substantial nourishment. It is remarkable how much meat these 140 daily portions contain. Skillfuly presented by pastor John Piper, this devotional of contemporary meditations on biblical reality will whet your appetite for more of God himself and refresh you in your daily communion with Christ.

A follow-up to the popular A Godward Life, Taste and See has been revised with twenty fresh entries to the original 120 daily meditations. The new entries broach current and controversial subject matter, such as partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. Piper asks the hardest questions and finds wonderfully poignant but practical and applicable truths from the Bible. Pastors and lay leaders particularly will appreciate the three indexes included (by subject, person and scripture). They don't need to look any further to find a pertinent illustration or tidbit of inspiration!

NOTE: This devotional contains 140 readings instead of the usual 365/366.

From the Introduction

...I know that I am not Calvin or Edwards—I said this in Book One--but I do love the Bible and try to steep my mind and heart in it year after year. So what I have written here is partly meditations on biblical reality and partly applications to contemporary life. I hope that what pervades all the readings is a savoring of the supremacy of God. Jonathan Edwards said, 'The creation of the universe is nothing but God's manifestation of his own perfection and excellency.' This is true. And so the aim of all life is to see and savor and show this perfection and this excellency.

--John Piper from Introduction to Taste and See

Sample Text

The Exuberant Omnipotence of God

Reasserting God's rightful place in all of life

Where is God in your daily newspaper or in your talk radio or the network TV programming or Time and Newsweek or the theater or the public school classroom? God is the most important reality in the universe. But he is almost totally ignored. And if not, he is as likely belittled as reverenced. Yet he is the most crucial factor in every issue facing the nation. There would simply be no nation without God. But he is disregarded by our cultural leaders in almost all they do. Disregard for God is the greatest evil in the West today. It is as though an ant on his anthill should disbelieve in the earth.

If the church is going to reassert God's rightful place in the soul of man and the center of life, we will need a sharpened focus of who he is and what he is like. One of the reasons our witness to God's reality is minimal is that our understanding of God's reality is minimal. In the name of quick and relevant impact we minimize the very greatness that would be his renown. Without this, we will not boldly and graciously reassert his rightful place in all of life.

What we need is a big picture of a great God who is utterly committed to joyfully demonstrating his greatness in doing us good. That is, we need to see the majesty of God and know the splendor of God overflowing toward us with exuberant omnipotence. It is not enough to believe that God is big and strong and fearsome—which he is. We must experience this magnificence as the explosion of God's uncontainable zeal to satisfy his creatures by showing them himself.

We need the vision of God that Jonathan Edwards had already at age twenty when he preached the sermon entitled, "Nothing upon Earth Can Represent the Glories of Heaven." He reveled in the God of this sermon so much that he preached the same message in at least six towns outside his own parish of Bolton. The "doctrine" of the sermon he stated like this: "The godly are designed for unknown and inconceivable happines." This he discerns from the purpose of God to glorify himself in creating the world and from his conviction that "this glory of God, [consists] in the creature's admiring and rejoicing [and] exulting in the manifestation of his beauty and excellency. For God has no glory actively from those that behold his glory and takes no pleasure in it; but the essence of [the] glorifying of God consists, therefore, in the creature's rejoicing in God's manifestation of his beauty, which is the joy and happiness we speak of" (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 14, ed. Kenneth Minkema [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997], 144). In other words, the certainty and greatness of the happiness of God's people is as sure as God's zeal for his own glory.

This is the vision we need. And we would do well to meditate on some of the texts that capture the wonder of God's exuberant omnipotence in doing good to those who hope in him.

  • The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. (Zephaniah 3:17-18, RSV)
  • I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good...with all my heart and soul. (Jeremiah 32:40-41, RSV)
  • The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show his might on behalf of those whose heart is blameless toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9, RSV)
  • The LORD will again take delight in prospering you. (Deutoronomy 30:9, author's translation)
  • For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory. (Psalm 149:4, RSV)
  • His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:10-11, RSV)
  • Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant! (Psalm 35:27, RSV)
  • My God will supply all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
  • In the coming ages he [will] show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7, RSV)
  • You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My delight Is In Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you...As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:4-5, RSV)

God's omnipotent exuberance to do us good is one of the most freeing discoveries a human can make. Oh, that we might believe it and savor it and bring it to mind again and again until it is our very nature to feel the truth that "the godly are designed for unknown and inconceivable happiness." Unremitting confidence in this truth would surely transform our attitudes and keep us steady in the face of great adversity.

Selected text from Taste and See Copyright (c) 1999 and 2005 by Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved. Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (c) 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation, unless noted otherwise.

About the Author(s)

John Piper, pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980, is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. It was during that time that he met the woman he would go on to marry, Noel Henry. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under one of the most influential teachers of his life, Dr. Daniel Fuller.

Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College before sensing an irresistible call to preach. He became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church where he has been ministering ever since. His preaching and teaching is featured daily on the radio program, Desiring God.

A bestselling author in his own right, more than two million volumes of Piper’s works have sold, including The Passion of Jesus Christ, Desiring God, The Pleasures of God, Life as a Vapor, and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Pierced by the Word.

John Piper and his wife, Noel, have four sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren, and make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Laridian, PocketBible, and MyBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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