Now that I’ve heard many Piper sermons and have even seen him speak at the 2008 T4G conference, I have really grown to appreciate this man’s ministry. I have been excited by him to behold the glory of God. I have actually heard Dr. Piper speak and read some things he has written, and even when I start out disagreeing with him I normally have to concede to his point by the time I finish. He is an exegete, and I cannot find many of his things I disagree with when I consider carefully. And he always accomplishes the goal of giving God much glory as far as I’ve seen. His whole ministry is focused on this and directing others to take joy in God and to make Christ their treasure.
I recently heard this quote by Dr. Piper: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your treasure?” I think this sums it all up. I heard this quote when I was listening to my new favorite book in audio form—Desiring God. I cannot more highly recommend this book. This book is about making much of God and making the pursuit of your life to seek joy in God in everything you do. I think this is a high calling that every child of the King should be adopting.
We should most definitely seek to achieve the highest form of pleasure in this life, and this pleasure is to be found nowhere but in God. If we seek pleasure in anything else, we are disobeying many of God's commands. This also extends to serving others and is stated very well in Desiring God like this: “Love is the overflow of joy in God gladly meeting the needs of others.”
I realize that many people do not care for John Piper, and I have a friend who seemed to have some helpful insight into why this might be. He said that they are either (1) Jealous of the following that Piper has, (2) Are not saved, or (3) They have simply not experienced this enjoyment in God. I’m not really sure how you can separate the last two, but when I realized as I was listening to this book that I was not enjoying God as I once was I was overcome with grief. I had to plead with God to forgive me and to recreate in me this passion for Him to overflow into every area of my life. So, if John Piper exudes a joy in God that spreads to others then I think that he’s not as bad as some would make him out to be.
I must say in closing that I would not commend a man like this in most cases, but John Piper is not one who seems to be out to promote himself. If there ever was a man who pointed away from himself and to God it’s him. He certainly does carry himself well (I thought he was about 6 feet tall, but he’s about 4’10”!) and speak captivatingly, but all of these gifts are being used to point others to Christ over any miniscule pleasure this world has to offer. So, I will gladly commend John Piper to anyone in the hopes that they will catch a passion for the glory of God in all things and join the ranks of the Christian Hedonists who are provoking others to do the same.
Thank God for John Piper! And thank God I’m a Christian Hedonist too!