Millions of people are wasting their lives pursuing dreams of happiness that don't rise above a good marriage, nice kids, a successful career, a nice car, fun vacations, nice friends, a fun retirement, a painless death, and (hopefully) no hell. John Piper calls this a tragedy in the making. He argues that we were created for joy. We were designed to have one life-encompassing passion. In this book he describes his own journey in discovering this great, single passion. And He pleads that at all costs we pursue our joy in the crucified Christ, who is the glory of God. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost. Don't buy seductive, tragic promises of worldly joy. Don't waste your life.
Powerful stuff. Inspiring. Encouraging. A necessary pep-talk from a coach that's going to give it to you straight and not mince words. It's half-time and the game is on the line.
"He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
"Because I was created by God & for His glory...My desire is to make knowing & enjoying God the passionate pursuit of my life." Louie Giglio
"We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ."
"the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
No one ever said that they learned their deepest lessons of life, or had their sweetest encounters with God, on the sunny days. People go deep with God when the drought comes. That is the way God designed it.
There is more of God's glory to be seen and savored through suffering than through self-serving escape.
But when all is said and done, the promise and design of God for people who do not waste their lives is clear. "All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). And when persecution pauses, the groanings of this age remain. "We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23). We will groan one way or the other. As Paul said, "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Paul had learned what love is. Love is not Christ's making much of us or making life easy. Love is doing what he must do, at great cost to himself (and often to us), to enable us to enjoy making much of him forever.
On the far side of every risk-even if it results in death-the love of God triumphs. This is the faith that frees us to risk for the cause of God. It is not heroism, or lust for adventure, or courageous self-reliance, or efforts to earn God's favor. It is childlike faith in the triumph of God's love-that on the other side of all our risks, for the sake of righteousness, God will still be holding us. We will be eternally satisfied in him. Nothing will have been wasted.
Affliction raised his sword to cut off the head of Paul's faith. But instead the hand of faith snatched the arm of affliction and forced it to cut off part of Paul's worldliness. Affliction is made the servant of godliness and humility and love. Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
Sometimes I use the phrase "wartime lifestyle" or "wartime mind-set." … It tells me that there is a war going on in the world between Christ and Satan, truth and falsehood, belief and unbelief. It tells me that there are weapons to be funded and used, but that these weapons are not swords or guns or bombs but the Gospel and prayer and self-sacrificing love (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). And it tells me that the stakes of this conflict are higher than any other war in history; they are eternal and infinite: heaven or hell, eternal joy or eternal torment (Matthew 25:46).
I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home."
when the trifling fog of life clears and I see what I am really on earth to do, I groan over the petty pursuits that waste so many lives-and so much of mine.
Oh, that young and old would turn off the television, take a long walk, and dream about feats of courage for a cause ten thousand times more important than American democracy-as precious as that is. If we would dream and if we would pray, would not God answer?
if your work creates a web of redemptive relationships and becomes an adornment for the Gospel of the glory of Christ, your satisfaction will last forever and God will be exalted in your joy.
Missions exists because worship 'doesn't. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and the goal of missions.
We are hypocrites to pretend enthusiasm for overseas ministry while neglecting the miseries at home.
Missions and mercy are inextricable because the very Gospel we take to the nations models and mandates mercy to the poor at home.
Help us to see that if we try to guard our wealth, instead of using it to show it's not our god, then we will waste our lives, however we succeed.
I was really hoping I had a review from when I first read this book about eleven years ago, because it's hard to try to sum in for a review. Piper covers a lot of ground, and the first few chapters of this book were intellectually demanding and tough for my small group to take in. But in the end, he does get practical, using a lot of Scriptural support to talk about how we spend our time, money, what our witness should be like at work, and participating in missions. There's a lot here to challenge and convict, and we were glad we stuck with it.
However, this book is a helpful reminder that our lives should be used for the glory of God. We are always on duty in His service and cannot afford to waste our time.