(HT: Justin Childers)
The preacher must impersonate the gospel. Its divine, most distinctive features must be embodied in him. The constraining power of love must be in the preacher as a projecting, eccentric, an all-commanding, self-oblivious force. The energy of self-denial must be his being, his heart and blood and bones. He must go forth as a man among men, clothed with humility, abiding in meekness, wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove; the bonds of a servant with the spirit of a king, a king in high, royal, in dependent bearing, with the simplicity and sweetness of a child. The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if
“Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap and be faithful even unto death? Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ’s sake — flinging them away for love of him? Where are those who will live dangerously and be reckless in his service? Where are his lovers — those who love him and the souls of men more than their own reputations or comfort or very life? Where are the men who say ‘no’ to self, who take up Christ’s cross to bear it after him, who are willing to be nailed to it in college or office, home or mission field, who are willing, if need be, to bleed, to suffer and to die on it? Where are the adventurers, the explorers, the buccaneers for God, who count one human soul of far greater value than the rise or fall of an empire? Where are the men who
The righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1 “Two things urgently needed in ministers, if they would attempt great advances for the kingdom of Christ, are zeal and resolve. Their influence and power for impact are greater than we think. A man of ordinary abilities will accomplish more with zeal and resolve than a man ten times more gifted without zeal and resolve. . . . Men who are possessed by these qualities commonly carry the day in almost all affairs. Most of the great things that have been done in the world, the great revolutions that have been accomplished in the kingdoms and empires of the earth, have been primarily owing to zeal and resolve. The very appearance of a intensely engaged spirit, together with a fearless courage and unyielding resolve, in any person that has undertaken leadership in any human affair goes a long way toward accomplishing the intended outcome. . . . When people see a
From John Piper: Here is one of the most insightful and influential quotes on preaching I ever read. It’s from Jonathan Edwards: I don’t think ministers are to be blamed for raising the affections of their hearers too high, if that which they are affected with be only that which is worthy of affection, and their affections are not raised beyond a proportion to their importance, or worthiness of affection. I should think myself in the way of my duty to raise the affections of my hearers as high as possibly I can, provided that they are affected with nothing but truth, and with affections that are not disagreeable to the nature of what they are affected with.
This post is dedicated to the faithful members of Bethel Church in East Hanningfield, Uk. We are about to study John Piper’s book , ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’ as a fellowship. My prayer is that we will be gripped by Christ’s amazing grace and be motivated by his glory to live for his glory – come what may! Here’s a taster for you:
“If God desires every knee to bow to Jesus and every tongue to confess Him, so should we. We should be ‘jealous’ for the honor of His name—troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed, and all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honor and glory which are due to it. The highest of all missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is, especially when we contemplate the wrath of God), but rather zeal—burning and passionate zeal—for the glory of Jesus Christ. Only one imperialism is Christian, and that is concern for His Imperial Majesty Jesus Christ, and for the glory of his empire or kingdom. Before this supreme goal of the Christian mission, all unworthy motives wither and die.” —John Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, Ill:
Worship Spectacles Produce Spectators, Not Worshipers. Jared Wilson quotes Skye Jethani’s book The Divine Commodity: This philosophy of spiritual formation through the consumption of external experiences creates worship junkies — Christians who leap from one mountaintop to another, one spiritual high to another, in search of a glory that does not fade. In response, churches and Christian conferences are driven to create ever-grander experiences and more elaborate productions to satisfy expectations. Ironically, these worship spectacles, according to Sally Morgenthaler, are failing to produce real worshipers. She writes: We are not producing worshippers in this country [USA]. Rather we are producing a generation of spectators, religious onlookers lacking, in many cases, any memory of a true encounter with God, deprived of both the tangible sense of God’s presence and the supernatural relationship their inmost spirits crave. Ministries that focus on manufacturing spiritual experiences, despite their laudable intentions, may actually be retarding spiritual growth by making people experience-dependent.
More than any other message I heard at T4G last year, this one affected me the most. You can watch the whole sermon here.
From Ray Ortlund: Horatius Bonar, writing the preface to John Gillies’ Accounts of Revival, proposes that men useful to the Holy Spirit for revival have been marked in these nine ways: 1. They were in earnest about the great work on which they had entered: “They lived and labored and preached like men on whose lips the immortality of thousands hung.” 2. They were bent on success: “As warriors, they set their hearts on victory and fought with the believing anticipation of triumph, under the guidance of such a Captain as their head.” 3. They were men of faith: “They knew that in due season they should reap, if they fainted not.” 4. They were men of labor: “Their lives are the annals of incessant, unwearied toil of body and soul; time, strength, substance, health, all they were and possessed they freely offered to the Lord, keeping back nothing, grudging nothing.” 5. They were men of patience: “Day after day
This ‘sermon jam’ of John Piper was compiled from a message at ‘Together for the Gospel’ 2008. I was there! It’s as stirring now as it was then. You can hear the whole message, How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice, here. (HT: Allsufficientgrace)
Justin Childers posts some of his favourite Jim Elliot quotes: “God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.” “Father, let me be weak that I might loose my clutch on everything temporal. My life, my reputation, my possessions, Lord, let me loose the tension of the grasping hand.” “I covenanted with the Father that He would do either of two things: either glorify Himself to the utmost in me or slay me. By His grace I shall not have His second best.” “O Christ, let me know Thee–let me catch glimpses of Thyself, seated and expectant in glory, let me rest there despite all wrong surging round me. Lead me in the right path, I pray.” “Father, take my life, yea, my blood if Thou wilt, and consume
How’s your focus, discipline, determination, perseverance, and motivation today? 1Cor. 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 1Cor. 9:25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
From Adrian Warnock: “… to win a soul, it is necessary, not only to instruct our hearer, and make him know the truth, but to impress him so that he may feel it. A purely didactic ministry, which should always appeal to the understanding, and should leave the emotions untouched, would certainly be a limping ministry. “The legs of the lame are not equal,” says Solomon; and the unequal legs of some ministries cripple them. We have seen such an one limping about with a long doctrinal leg, but a very short emotional leg. It is a horrible thing for a man to be so doctrinal that he can speak coolly of the doom of the wicked, so that, if he does not actually praise God for it, it costs him no anguish of heart to think of the ruin of millions of our race. This is horrible! I hate to hear the terrors of the Lord proclaimed by men
There are many Christians out there who believe there’s a real danger of being “so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.” They try to correct this overemphasis on future hope by turning their thinking to the world and its suffering, reasoning that anyone who is overly focused on salvation and being with God after death will fail to try to help people in the here and now. John Piper explains why the opposite of this is actually the case: So don’t make the mistake of thinking that future-oriented, future-sustained joy limits present usefulness. It doesn’t limit it. It liberates it. If your future is glorious and sure (which it is in Christ!), you don’t live for money or power or fame. You don’t have to grasp and snatch and chase pleasures that are slipping through your aging fingers. You are free to live for others now. You are free to be another kind of person than the kind that lives
Sam Storms – “Zeal is a colossal waste of energy if its aim is anything other than Christ. Spirituality is a sham if Christ is not its substance. Passion, no matter how intense or well-intended, is a meaningless vapor in the human soul if it is not awakened by the beauty and splendor of Christ and has for its goal the glory and praise of Christ. There simply is no value in religious activity that is not Christological at its core.” (HT: Rick Ianniello)