John Piper has been the Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980. He is the author of over 50 books, several of which have been Christian bestsellers including this one.
The core of this book comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which states, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” Very simply put, God paid a great penalty for you. Because of his literal sacrifice you should spend your time, your wealth and life serving God.
It is clear throughout this book that Piper highly respects the missionaries and pastors who dedicate their lives to fulltime service of Jesus Christ. But, he does not insist all Christians must be in fulltime ministry in order to be God honoring. He does, however, insist no matter where God has each believer that we acknowledge God placed us there for his purposes. An accountant, taxi driver, teacher, lawyer or housewife has been placed in that job, at that location, at that time in history to glorify God and spread His saving message, love and mercy.
As sinners we are well experienced in finding ways to distract us from serving God. We find countless ways to justify why our plans, our rest, and our recreation are more important than God’s design for us. We have been created by God to live only to exhibit his absolute superiority in every aspect of life. Our life is a waste if we do not, at all times, display his glory. We have been fashioned by God to work for his benefit, not to please ourselves. A Christian who does not live his life with the all-encompassing purpose to glorify God has wasted the sacrificial gift that has been given to us.
Piper’s book is a radical departure from our comfortable, twenty-first century, Western brand of Christianity. His conclusions will rock the foundations of many readers’ contented lives. But, Christ intended his gift and his message to be radical. Piper’s book is not new theology; it is a 2,000-year-old truth that many of us have consciously chosen to ignore.