Tag Archives: john piper

Wasting Your Life?

So I’ve been having thoughts that I’m positive are unpopular.

I read a book a few years ago by everybody’s favorite Calvinist (or not), John Piper. The book is provocatively titled Don’t Waste Your Life.

Piper’s premise in Don’t Waste Your Life is simple – all of us were created in the image of God and bought by Jesus’ blood to bring glory to God. You’re either a Christ-follower, or God is calling you to be one. Those who accept that calling will live lives that glorify God, and those who don’t will waste their lives chasing after things that don’t ultimately matter.

Words etched into a plaque that hung above his mother’s kitchen sink when he was young shaped his thinking from an early age:

Only one life,
‘Twill soon be past.
Only what’s done,
For Christ will last.

So here’s what I’ve been pondering: when Christ-followers inhabit the New Heaven and New Earth, what will we reminisce about?

Will our thoughts be dominated by past headlines? Will we reminisce about the deeds and policies of former politicians, kings, and princes? Will we debate which technological advancements played the greatest role is shaping past society?

Or could it be the only things we will judge worthy of remembrance were those things done in the name of Jesus Christ? Could it be that those are the only things that will, in an ultimate sense, have a lasting impact?

I like Apple products. I appreciate being able to reap the benefits of the technological revolution spawned by the inventions of a brilliant mind. I am a fan of creativity, and believe it to be a characteristic of God infused in a humanity created in His image.

But will any great inventor’s inventions, in themselves, amount to a hill of beans in eternity?

Will we reminisce about them in the New Heaven and New Earth?

Or did the architect behind Apple Computers, despite his great impact on everyday life, waste his own?

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Loving People Means Pointing Them to the All-Satisfying God

“Now back to what it means to be loved. The idea has been almost totally distorted. Love has to do with showing a dying soul the life-giving beauty of the glory of God, especially his grace. Yes … we show God’s glory in a hundred practical ways that include care about food and clothes and shelter and health. That’s what Jesus meant when he said, ‘Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).

Every good work should be a revelation of the glory of God. What makes the good deed an act of love is not the raw act, but the passion and the sacrifice to make God himself known as glorious. Not to aim to show God is not to love, because God is what we need most deeply. And to have all else without him is to perish in the end. The Bible says that you can give away all that you have and deliver your body to be burned and have not love (1 Corinthians 13:3). If you don’t point people to God for everlasting joy, you don’t love. You waste your life.”

– John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, pgs. 33-34.

Mr. Piper is on to something.

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John Piper on Jesus & Truth + Priest Encouraging Impoverished to Steal

Couple of items I’d like to share with you today.

First, I ran across a good article from John Piper on Christianity.com today. In it, John points out four aspects of Jesus’ “bearing witness to the truth:” 1) Speaking the Truth, 2) Being the Truth, 3) Dying to Establish the Truth, and 4) Sending Us to Witness to the Truth. It’s short and worth the read – check it out.

Second, this story made me chuckle today. A priest in England encouraged poor congregants to steal over the holidays. Here’s an excerpt:

Father Jones told the congregation: ‘My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.  I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or  because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.

‘I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.

‘I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.

‘I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.’

He added that he felt society had failed the needy, and said it was far better they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options such as prostitution, mugging or burglary.

He continued: ‘My advice does not contradict the Bible’s eighth commandment because God’s love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.’

The local police disagreed:

‘First and foremost, shoplifting is a criminal offence and to justify this course of action under any circumstances is highly irresponsible.

‘Turning or returning to crime will only make matters worse, that is a guarantee.’

I see the priest’s point and understand where he’s coming from, but believe this is bad advice.

… but wait a minute – if they end up in jail, they’ll get three squares a day, right?

Hey, maybe this priest is on to something!

Read the full story here.

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