This is the first in a series to honor men who have been helpful by their examples.
For this series I’m guessing anyone could predict two of the men who have had tremendous influence on me, so I’ll start with one of them.
Though I work for Desiring God and have been to lots of conferences where he has spoken and read a bunch of his books, I primarily think of John Piper as the pastor of my church. He has never been Dr. John Piper to me; Pastor John fits nicely.
And he’s done many hard things that pastors are called to do:
- He wrote us a letter in 1995 when our son was born.
- He called me at home in 1997 after we lost our second child to miscarriage.
- He was part of prayer meeting for Dianne when her cancer was diagnosed in October 2004.
- He showed up at the hospital before surgery to pray for Dianne again in March 2005.
Do you see a pattern? There wasn’t anything glamorous or easy about any of those things; all are marked with pain.
So, you might be thinking, the lesson is that men do hard things. That is certainly true, but that isn’t the primary lesson here.
Why did he do it? Because he believes all the promises of God are true, he sees Jesus as greatest treasure and he wants me to see Jesus like that, too.
The result is that I trust this Jesus who helps men do hard things. Jesus helps men persevere. Jesus never leaves us. Jesus can always be trusted.
And that is why I have hope today. If the lesson were merely to toughen up, take a deep breath and grit your teeth for 80 years until you die, I think I would already be dead.
No, he taught me (and demonstrated) that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. He showed me how much the Father delights in the Son, and how much the Son delights in the Father, and how great it is that we get to delight in Father, Son and Spirit! But only if we cling to Jesus as our righteousness – we do not honor God if we look to ourselves or anyone else for the kind of freedom that only Jesus can provide.
And we can know these things because God gave us a book, and that book is full of the God-centeredness of God as the greatest news there could be because there is nothing better or greater or more beautiful or more satisfying than God himself.
So, thank you, Pastor John, for helping me to delight in the God-centeredness of God and to understand the importance of his word. I am helped daily by your pointing me to Jesus as greatest treasure.
This is definitely something I want the next generation to remember!