John Piper celebrates a wonderful calling and a great way to live.
1. God is the greatest Reality in the universe.
And pastors swim in that sea with ever-replenished joy.
I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God. (Isaiah 45:5)
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36)
2. Jesus is the greatest Savior, Master and Friend that ever was or will be.
And pastors contemplate and commend him every day.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10–11)
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel. (2 Timothy 2:8)
3. The Holy Spirit is the greatest Helper in the world.
And pastors are driven to have his fullness constantly.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever … It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 14:16; 16:7)
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:5)
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
4. The Bible is the greatest book there is.
And pastors delight to mediate on it day and night.
The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1–2)
5. The gospel is the greatest news ever sent.
And pastors revel in believing it and telling it every day.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3–4)
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (Romans 1:14–15)
6. Corporate worship is the great overflow of life together in treasuring Christ.
And pastors soar with the sacred privilege of fanning that flame.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)
7. Faith is the great union with Christ and the embrace of all God is in him.
And pastors aim at this with every word, since faith comes by hearing.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith. (Philippians 1:25)
8. Hope in future grace is the great furnace of gospel obedience.
And pastors fuel it daily with the promises of God.
For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. (Hebrews 10:34)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6)
9. Joy is the great impulse in pain and pleasure that makes its source in God look great.
And pastors renounce all abuse and live for the holy joy of their flock.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8)
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy. (2 Corinthians 1:24)
10. Love is the greatest act.
And pastors make it the great aim of all their acts.
So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
The aim of our charge is love. (1 Timothy 1:5)