We swapped the glory of the eternal God for a fabricated greatness we’ve forged on our own, one that never seems to be enough. We were created to image God, to resemble and reflect his glory, but we’ve seen it, suppressed it, and sold it, and now we’re left with an emptiness that nothing else can fill.
That’s the problem of sin. We’ve gotten rid of the very thing that gives us lasting pleasure.
Jonathan Parnell, Never Settle For Normal, p. 50
Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”
Andy Stanley, Global Leadership Summit, August 10, 2017
if obedience is not asking more of us that we are, then it won’t lead us to more of Jesus. Obedience that doesn’t need him won’t have him. But really, there’s no such thing as obedience like that.
Jonathan Parnell, Never Settle For Normal, p. 124
If you were here to stop and ask yourself why you are not as Pious as the Primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you, that it is neither through ignorance or inability, but purely because you never really intended it.
Quoting William Law
C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p. 61
I offer my personal definition of disciple-making. It is simply this: “Out of my love for God, using my gifts and talents, to multiply the character and priorities of Christ in as many people as possible.”
Dann Spader, 4 Chair Discipling, pp. 126
When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is also that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life – particularly human life – such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may “break” a horse or even a child without harming a hair on it head. Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others – to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a “biophilic” person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a “necrophilic character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity.
Scott Peck, People of the Lie, p. 42-43
The extent of our sacrifice coupled with the depth of our joy displays the worth we put on the reward of God. Loss and suffering, joyfully accepted for the kingdom of God, show the supremacy of God’s glory more clearly in the world than all worship and prayer.
John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 232
For thousands of people and pastors, however, the event of worship on Sunday morning (that is, the worship service) is conceived of as a means to accomplish something other than worship. We “worship” to raise money; we “worship” to attract crowds; we “worship” to heal human hurts; we “worship” to recruit workers; we “worship” to improve church morale. We “worship” to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; we “worship” to teach our children the way of righteousness; we “worship” to help marriages stay together; we “worship” to evangelize the lost among us; we “worship” to motivate people for service projects; we “worship” to give our churches a family feeling, and so on.
If we are not careful, when we speak of aiming at these things “through worship,” we bear witness that we do not know what true worship is.
John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 228-229
Missions exists because worship doesn’t. The ultimate issue addressed by missions is that God’s glory is dishonored among the peoples of the world. When Paul brought his indictment of his own people to a climax in Romans 2:24, he said, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” That is the ultimate problem in the world. That is the ultimate outrage.
The glory of God is not honored.
The holiness of God is not reverenced.
The greatness of God is not admired.
The power of God is not praised.
The truth of God is not sought.
The wisdom of God is not esteemed.
The beauty of God is not treasured.
The goodness of God is not savored.
The faithfulness of God is not trusted.
The commandments of God are not obeyed.
The justice of God is not respected.
The wrath of God is not feared.
The grace of God is not cherished.
The presence of God is not prized.
The person of God is not loved.
The infinite, all-glorious Creator of the universe, by whom and for whom all things exist-who holds every person’s life in being at every moment (Acts 17:25)-is disregarded, disbelieved, disobeyed, and dishonored among the peoples of the world. That is the ultimate reason for missions.
John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 206
God had respect to himself, as his highest end [or goal], in this work [of creation]; because he is worthy in himself to be so, being infinitely the greatest and best of beings. All things else, with regard to worthiness, importance, and excellence, are perfectly as nothing in comparison [to] him.
Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World, p. 140
quoted by John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 204