What Sums You Up?
1/27/2009 | Author: RCW
I am beginning to teach a college and young adult Bible study class on Sunday. For curriculum, I am using John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life.

The premise is so very basic, but the message somehow seems to be so needed among those in our churches today. I am not sure why the enormous disconnect (between church on Sunday and the rest of the work week Monday through Saturday) continues to be so prevalent, but when I look around, it has every indication of being an epidemic.

Here is the message:

Life is so precious. You have but one to live. A simple but unforgettable proverb used to rest above the sink where I once did dishes to help pay for my theological education. I was often caught up in worship as I scrubbed. It read: "Life is like a shiny penny. You may spend it however you wish, but you may only spend it once."

John Piper shares of a similar jingle which was hung prominently in his home and continually brought him inspiration as a young man:
"Only one life, 'Twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last."

What this "jingle" DOES NOT mean is that only Bible study, prayer, time at church, mission trips, and the like count for worthwhile or even "eternal" pursuits. What is DOES mean is that anything that you do for Christ...a worshipful act of any sort - whether it is reporting for your job 15 minutes early on a Monday just to be sure and set a Christian example of a godly work ethic, or changing your baby's diapers so that your spouse doesn't have to because you want to love them with Jesus' own sacrificial love, etc. - only what's done for Christ will last. This clarification is so important because it helps us not to see life divided into compartments of "sacred" time and "secular" time, but to embrace ALL of our life - every single circumstance or activity - as "sacred" time. May every moment be unto Him!

One of the many things I love about one of my own alma maters, Wheaton College (which for the record is where John Piper went to school as well back in the 60's ), is its motto: "For Christ and His Kingdom."

The Bible says: You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

So, what is the verdict? Is your life "counting" by bringing glory to God? Or are you wasting it by worshipping and pursuing other things? Where does your relationship and growth in Christ fit into your priorities? Make HIM your single passion and suddenly real, abundant, eternal life will begin.


P.S. For additional related thoughts on this subject matter, there is a wealth of literature. A good start is the book of Proverbs or the book of James, perhaps even Ecclesiastes. The book entitled The Call by Os Guinness is pure gold. You can also see my previous entry here. In the world of literature, there is a phenomenal short work by Samuel Johnson about a prince named "Rasselas" who has to choose a way of life (readable online here). I read it in a literature class in college and it has never left me. These are only a few for starters.
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On January 27, 2009 at 11:16 PM , Erin Wilkins said...

What a great reminder to live your life on purpose. And a great post just hours before your Birthday. What a wonderful time to sit down and evaluate how life is really going. You are an inspiration!
P.S. I'm bringing up the diaper changing example when we have kids. :)