Posted tagged ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’

Reaching the Lives of Those Who Have Wasted It

July 1, 2011

Eleven years ago, John Piper boldly proclaimed these words:

I was a college student then, about to embark on my life as someone called to proclaim the gospel Jesus Christ. Never had I imagined then that I would be living in the communities comprised of tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.

I live and minister 15 minutes from the place John Piper speaks (Punta Gorda, FL).  I have never been in an area that is more challenging to advance the gospel.  In a city of 165,000 people, I am told that we have less than 6,000 people who attend church on any given Sunday, meaning that roughly 5% of our city consider themselves a part of any church.

A large percentage of our city is comprised of retired people who have moved down from New England or states like Michigan or Pennsylvania.  They also bring with them their New England religion, or lack thereof.  They are a people whose hearts have been hardened through the years, jaded and disillusioned by nominal Christianity, and fortify their tragic lifestyle with gates, fences, and security systems.  They have everything this life could offer them, as Piper explains, and they will soon stand before God for a life they have wasted.

It is tempting to believe there is no hope for such people.  After all, how many old people are converted to Christ?  If they are “happy” with all that life offers them, why would they need sea shells, boats, golf courses, AND Jesus?  And all the obstacles that must be overcome to simply have access to these people . . . it seems virtually impossible.  YET, we do not have the luxury to think this way when it comes to the gospel.  We cannot live and act as though the power of the gospel is somehow incapable of overcoming the obstinate and rebellious ways of man.  We cannot surrender the Great Commission because we might have to go the extra mile or make a greater sacrifice in order to bring the gospel to those who think they don’t need it.

What a testimony it would be if God did a sovereign work among those who have realized they have wasted their lives?! What a testimony it would be if they came to treasure Jesus more than their retirement, more than their toys, more than their life of comfort and ease?  What if several became missionaries to their own people who lay aside their shell collection and instead spend their time sowing the good seed of the gospel?

Because Christ is risen, I am filled with hope for my city and Southwest Florida. Though I have very little in common with most of these people, I want to reach them with the gospel that they might treasure Jesus. I want their to be a video for Jesus’ fame that shows the lives of those who have wasted it who are now giving it away for the glory of God.  Yes, I want the tragedy of their lives to become a triumph of the gospel.

DWYL Audio Book

November 2, 2010

This is just a heads up in case you did not know already.  Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper is the ChristianAudio free audiobook download for the month of November 2010.  Also, Desiring God has a free PDF study guide for the book that you may want to get as well.  In any case, don’t waste your November by not getting it!

Background – Lecrae

October 9, 2010

One of the aspects of the Reformed resurgence in my generation has been the development of gospel-centered hip-hop and lyrical theology.  The most influential of these artists is Lecrae, whose new album has been in the top 10 of all iTunes albums since its release last week (quite impressive).  Below is an impromptu music video made in NYC for “Background”.

Another video that blew me away was a 13 year old Chinese girl (Valentina Cho) rapping Lecrae’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” at a karaoke context in Hong Kong!  Check it out.

Here is Lecrae’s original version:

Don’t Buy into a Wasted Life

April 2, 2009

I first heard this sermon of Piper back in 2000, and it was sealed in my memory.  Then in 2007, I walked along the beaches where people’s lives are are summed up in a seashell collection. Although John Piper ruined my vacation, he was used by God to keep me from ruining my life with the American dream.  Today, I live in a city with idols on land and sea, full of wealthy people who have retired to enjoy the American Dream–a people on the verge of eternity sipping lemonade on their yacht without the slightest thought of being swallowed up in a grave no amount of riches can redeem save the blood of Jesus. I need to be reminded of what this video communicates that I should . . .

“[C]onduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

– The Apostle Peter

The Kind of Person I Look Up To

April 2, 2008

92 years old and still passionate about Jesus, still sharing the gospel, still loving the lost. When thieves walk in and threaten your life, will you walk into theirs and give them Jesus? I am pretty confident that this dear lady has not wasted her life, for she was ready to give it away for the sake of Jesus.  Puts a fresh illustration that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” What about us?

HT :: Pops

Don’t Waste Your Work!

March 21, 2008

One of the books that has greatly impacted my life in recent years is Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. In his book, Piper has written a chapter entitled, “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5” (read it online), where he provides six answers to the question, “How can my life count for the glory of God in my secular vocation?” I figured that, in light of our current discussion on missional work, providing Piper’s answers would be quite helpful (especially numbers 3 and 6). Here they are, with a few additional quotes:

1. We can make much of God in our secular job through the fellowship that we enjoy with him throughout the day in all our work.

“In [this] way we fellowship with God, listening to him through his Word and thanking him and praising him and calling on him for all we need. It is an honor to God if you stay in your secular job ‘with God’ in this way. This is not a wasted life. God delights in being trusted and enjoyed. It shows his value.”

2. We make much of Christ in our secular work by the joyful, trusting, God-exalting design of our creativity and industry.

“[T]he essence of our work as humans must be that it is done in conscious reliance on God’s power, and in conscious quest of God’s pattern of excellence, and in deliberate aim to reflect God’s glory.”

3. We make much of Christ in our secular work when it confirms and enhances the portrait of Christ’s glory that people hear in the spoken Gospel.

“[This] is by having such high standards of excellence and such integrity and such manifest goodwill that we put no obstacles in the way of the Gospel but rather call attention to the all-satisfying beauty of Christ. When we adorn the Gospel with our work, we are not wasting our lives.”

4. We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning money to keep us from depending on others, while focusing on the helpfulness of our work rather than financial rewards.

“Christ has lifted the curse of work. He has replaced anxious toil with trust in God’s promise to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) and has thus awakened in us a different passion in our work. We turn with joy to the call of Jesus: Seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness, and the food that perishes will be added to you. So don’t labor for the food that perishes. Labor to love people and honor God. Think of new ways that your work can bless people. Stop thinking mainly of profitability, and think mainly of how helpful your product or service can become.”

“Jesus calls us to be aliens and exiles in the world. Not by taking us out of the world, but by changing, at the root, how we view the world and how we do our work in it. If we simply work to earn a living–if we labor for the bread that perishes–we will waste our lives. But if we labor with the sweet assurance that God will supply all our needs–that Christ died to purchase every undeserved blessing–then all our labor will be a labor of love and a boasting only in the cross.”

5. We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning money with the desire to use our money to make others glad in God.

“[O]ur secular work can become a great God-exalting blessing to the world if we aim to take the earnings we don’t need for ourselves (and we need far less than we think) and meet the needs of others in the name of Jesus.”

6. We make much of Christ in our secular work by treating the web of relationships it creates as a gift of God to be loved by sharing the Gospel and by practical deeds of help.

“[God] has woven you into the fabric of others’ lives so that you will tell them the Gospel. Without this, all our adorning behavior may lack the one thing that could make it live-giving. The Christian’s calling includes making his or her mouth a fountain of life. ‘The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life’ (Proverbs 10:11). The link with eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ. No nice feelings about you as a good employee will save anyone. People must know the Gospel, which is the power of God unto eternal life (Romans 1:16).”

Piper’s conclusion:

“If you work like the world, you will waste your life, no matter how rich you get. But 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.”

>> Related Posts:

* Putting in Time or Preaching the Truth: What’s More Valuable?
* Missional Work
* The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession
* 2:00 a.m. @ Mars Hill
* Elemental Evangelism Summary