April 27, 2011 by Tony Reinke
Categories: Book reviews | Contentment
The following excerpt is taken from Stephen Altrogge's new book, The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence (Crossway, 2011), pages 65–66:
In the gospel we have full, free, open access to God. This isn’t “come once a year, kill a lamb, and hope you don’t die” access to God. We don’t need to whip ourselves into a twirling religious frenzy or to light sticks of incense. There’s no need to walk ten miles with broken glass in our shoes or wash ourselves clean in a sacred river. We can come into the presence of God at all times and at all places.
This is the greatest benefit of the gospel. Forgiveness of sins, a new heart, and eternal life are only a means to this magnificent end. Jesus Christ ushers us into the presence of God, and it’s in the presence of God that we find our soul’s deepest satisfaction. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
A speedboat, job promotion, or beautiful, loving spouse who likes long walks on the beach can’t bring fullness of joy. Eternal pleasures can’t be purchased with a platinum credit card. Full, overflowing, eternal joy and pleasure are found only in the presence of God, and in the gospel we have access to his joyful presence....
If we’re not consistently spending time in the presence of God, we won’t be content.
For more background on The Greener Grass Conspiracy, watch the trailer here: