John Piper – Choosing a Job

Some questions to ask when considering a job:

  1. Can you earnestly do all the parts of this job “to the glory of God,” that is, in a way that highlights his superior value over all other things? “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  2. Is taking this job part of a strategy to grow in personal holiness? “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
  3. Will this job help or hinder your progress in esteeming the value of knowing Christ Jesus your Lord? “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7).
  4. Will this job result in inappropriate pressures on you to think or feel or act against your King, Jesus? “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
  5. Will this job help establish an overall life-pattern that will yield a significant involvement in fulfilling God’s great purpose of exalting Christ among all the unreached peoples of the world? “Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
  6. Will this job be worthy of your best energies? “Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
  7. Will the activities and environment of this job tend to shape you or will you be able to shape it for the Christ-magnifying purposes of God? “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
  8. Will this job provide an occasion for you to be radically Christian so as to let your light shine for your Father’s sake, or will your participation in the vision of the firm tend by definition to snuff your wick? “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
  9. Does the aim of this job cohere with a growing intensity in your life to be radically, publicly, fruitfully devoted to Christ at any cost? “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34).
  10. Will the job feel like a good investment of your life when these “two seconds” of preparation for eternity are over? “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
  11. Does this job fit with why you believe you were created and purchased by Christ? “Everyone who is called by my name…I have created for my glory” (Isaiah 43:6-7). “You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
  12. Does this fit together with the ultimate truth that all things exist for Christ? “For by him all…have been created by [Christ] and for him” (Colossians 1:16).

Via: Justin Taylor

John Piper – Preparing for Sudden Suffering

Recently I wrote that we seldom know the micro reasons for our sufferings, but the Bible does give us faith-sustaining macro reasons. It is good to have a way to remember some of these so that when we are suddenly afflicted, or have a chance to help others in their affliction, we can recall some of the truths God has given us to help us not lose hope.

Here is one way to remember. Five R’s (or if it helps, just pick three and try to remember them). The macro purposes of God in our sufferings include:

Repentance

Suffering is a call for us and others to turn from treasuring anything on earth above God.

Luke 13:4-5 – Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Reliance

Suffering is a call to trust God not the life-sustaining props of the world.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 – For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Righteousness

Suffering is the discipline of our loving heavenly Father so that we come to share his holiness.

Hebrews 12:6, 10-11 – The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives…. He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Reward

Suffering is working for us a great reward in heaven that will make up for every loss here a thousand-fold.

2 Corinthians 4:17 – This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

Matthew 5:11-12 – Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

Reminder

Suffering reminds us that God sent his Son into the world to suffer so that our suffering would not be God’s condemnation but his purification.

Philippians 3:10 – …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings.

Mark 10:45 – The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Via: Desiring God Blog

Don’t Desire Wealth

I can smell it. It’s like toast or steak or brownies. It doesn’t just draw our desire, it creates desire. Deep drops in the stock market make many people salivate. They know it will rebound. They are sitting on cash. By year’s end their pile could ride the recovery to riches.

For such people I have a word from God. The word is: Don’t desire to be rich. It will kill you. And in a world like ours many will probably perish with you. Paul’s language is more graphic than mine:

There is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.

It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

Via: Desiring God Blog