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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Friday, August 04, 2006

No, Thank You John Piper

Two days ago, John Piper wrote a lengthy article in his most recent “fresh words” called “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” in which he shares his gratitude to God, the elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church, the church family of BBC, and Tyndale House where he stayed. Having read this open letter and being moved by it, I am responding with an open letter of my own to John Piper called “No, Thank You John Piper.”

As I shared just recently on my blog, there is not another man alive today which God has used to change my life and conform me into the image of His Son than John Piper. Having read many of his books, listened to dozens of his sermons, and kept up with his ministry at BBC and Desiring God, I feel as though I have known Piper for a long time; however, after having read his most recent fresh words, I feel like I know him so much more.

It is not often that you get to hear the ins and outs of men like Piper, MacArthur, Dever, or Sproul. When you see that they are writing several books a year while pastoring churches and speaking in conferences, one must wonder what their life is like for them. It is as though they seem to have six more hours in the day than the rest of us and a drive to sustain them in full-on pursuit when many have sat at ease on the recliner or headed to hole #4 on the local golf course in the GPS guided golf cart. Ironically enough, earlier this week I decided to stick in my CD player in my car a set of messages by Piper when I first heard him in 2000 at a Christmas Conference held by Campus Outreach. Once again, I relived those messages which still rivet my heart and cause me to long for Jesus to be glorified in me and see His joy extended to the world around me. In his article, Piper shares about his travels, conversations, family time, and leisure activities—all which are so profoundly helpful in getting a better and more balanced glimpse into this man’s life.

I read about his profound love and commitment to Noel and the funny reenactment of his hilarious illustration of coming to the door with flowers (if you haven’t listened to his sermons, it wouldn’t make sense).

I read about his remarkable love for Talitha as he shared about their family time at the dinner table and family devotions at the bedside which was the place of “daddy’s blessing and song.”

I read about his commitment to maintain his body as a vessel of the Lord in exercise and jogging which was accompanied with prayer for the villages and colleges.

I read about his nurturing of his own soul and the time spent in prayer and Bible study before the starting of the day—a day which was comprised of eleven hours of study and writing at desk #8 in the library of the Tyndale House.

I read about these 66 hours a week spent in writing two books: one called What Jesus Demands from the World and another addressing N.T. Wright’s view of justification.

I read about his speaking engagements, books which influenced him, and getting beat in the game of Squash.

What I appreciate so much about this article is that it was a window in the life of a man who refuses to waste his life at an age when so many are seeking to retire from theirs. I am grateful to have before me a man who runs harder as the finish line approaches rather than looking to buy a hotdog in the bleachers. Finally, I am convicted and challenged to use this one life God has given me to make each moment count for the glory of God and the display of His beauty to a blind and deaf world in desperate need of Jesus. So if you don’t mind, I would like to say, “Thank you, John Piper” for the encouragement and faithful witness of sovereign joy which has extended to my heart in a passion for the supremacy of God in all things. May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ cause the weight of his glory to so grip our hearts and lives that we cannot but treasure the infinite worth and surpassing value of Him who is “better than what life can offer now and death can take later.”

3 Comments:

Blogger Nick Kennicott said...

I would like to echo your words of thanks and the reality of John Piper's ability to put life changing truth into my life. There is no one who has even come close to connecting me to Christ the way that he has.

It's interesting that you mention his refusal to "retire." I just finished listening to his sermon series where he was preaching at a conference to baby boomers and how he BLASTED the notion of relaxing, retiring, and spending your days on a boat, playing softball, and collecting shells. The passion of Piper is amazing as he embodies the very thing he so loudly proclaims - the joy and satisfaction that we all shall find in Christ.

8/04/2006 11:12:00 AM

 
Blogger Ant said...

And I would second (or third?) that. It's really good to get a glimpse into how someone like Piper lives his life. I suppose it's all part of his being an example to us. We are led by what people teach, and by their example - how they live their lives. Because of all the great technology we have today, it's possible to benefit from the teaching of those we will rarely get close to. Therefore little snippets like this help us see something of the example of how someone's faith works itself out in real life.

8/07/2006 10:46:00 AM

 
Blogger ed elliott said...

all admirers of John Piper are soulful friends of mine...

8/14/2006 04:33:00 PM

 

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