Some of My Favorite John “Piperisms”

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints is all about reading. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book or magazine article or blog post I have or am reading. At times, I may post a book blurb (a wannabe book review) or recommend books to be read by others.


Yesterday was John Piper’s 70th BD and I blogged a tribute for and about him. Today, since the Tuesday theme of this blog tends to be reading, I thought I would meld Monday and Tuesday and give you some of my favorite John Piper quotes from his selected writings or sermons.

On Glorifying God

“God created me – and you – to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion – namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the heart of others.”

Don’t Waste Your Life

On the Health/Wealth and Prosperity Gospel(s)

“The point is: a $70,000 salary does not have to be accompanied by a $70,000 lifestyle. God is calling us to be conduits of his grace, not cul-de-sacs. Our great danger today is thinking that the conduit should be lined with gold. It shouldn’t. Copper will do. No matter how grateful we are, gold will not make the work think that our God is good; it will make people think that our God is gold. That is no honor to the supremacy of His worth.”

Let the Nations Be Glad

On Idolatry

“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the hunger of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife. The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”

A Hunger for God

On the Lack of Praying

“A prayerless Christian is like a bus driver trying alone to push his bus out of a rut because he doesn’t know Clark Kent is on board.”

Desiring God

On the Majesty of God

“Don’t be content to guide people among the foothills of his glory. Become a mountain climber on the cliffs of God’s majesty, and let the truth begin to overwhelm you so that you will never exhaust the heights of God. Every time you climb over a rim of insight there stretches out before you, disappearing into the clouds, a thousand miles of massive beauty in the character of God.”

The Supremacy of God in Preaching

On the Ministry of Preaching

“All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation. You wake up on Sunday morning and you can smell the smoke of hell on one side and feel the crisp breezes of heaven on the other. You go to your study and look down at your pitiful manuscript, and you kneel down and cry, “God, this is so weak! Who do you think I am! What audacity to thing that in 3 hours my words will be the fragrance of life to life. My God, who is sufficient for these things?”

The Supremacy of God in Preaching

On Missions

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”

Let the Nations Be Glad

On the Purpose of Suffering

“I have never heard anyone say, ‘The really deep lessons of my life have come through times of ease and comfort.’ But I have heard strong saints say, “Every significant advance I have ever made in grasping the depths of God’s love and growing deep with him has come through suffering.”

A Godward Life

On the Reaction of Evil at the Cross

“At the all-important pivot of human history, the worst sin ever committed served to show the greatest glory of Christ and obtain the sin-conquering gift of God’s grace. God did not just overcome evil at the cross. He made evil commit suicide in doing its worst evil.”

Spectacular Sins

On Work

“God sends us forth to work as his image-bearers, our ditches are to be dug straight, our pipe-fitting are not to leak, our cabinet corners should be flush, our surgical incisions should be clean, our word processing accurate and appealing, and our meals nutritious and attractive, because God is a God of order and beauty and competence.”

Don’t Waste Your Life

On Worship

“Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (of half-full) of artificial admirers (like people who write generic anniversary cards for a living). On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.”

Desiring God


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