“Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper is the first nonfiction book that I’ve finished this year, which I think is a perfect start-of-the-year mantra. We have one life. We don’t know how and when it will end. And so it is crucial that we live it well–in a way that God, the giver of this life, has designed it to be lived.
Below are some quotes that have personally touched me from each chapter, as well as my learnings and takeaways:
1. My Search for a Single Passion to Live By
I didn’t want a minimal life. I didn’t want to live on the outskirts of reality. I wanted to understand the main thing about life and pursue it.
The world offers a lot of distractions and we often find ourselves caught in a myriad of passions, that we tend to neglect this one single passion that we were created to live by–to pursue and glorify God in every aspect of our lives. Do our passions point to Christ? If we only have one month left to live, how would it affect our choices?
Take time to pause and evaluate your daily activities. Focus on those things that will create a lasting impact. Make Jesus the center of everything.
2. Breakthrough–the Beauty of Christ, My Joy
He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
It is when we find joy in serving and living for Christ that He is most glorified. If we serve only to please others, without gladness in our hearts, then we are not bringing glory to Him. The joy in living for His renown must be so evident in our lives that people would would wonder where this joy is coming from. The way we live our lives must attract people to Christ.
3. Boasting Only in the Cross, The Blazing Center of the Glory of God
God’s will is that the cross always be magnified—that Christ crucified always be our boast and exultation and joy and praise—that Christ get glory and thanks and honor for every good thing in our lives and every bad thing that God turns for good.
Let what Jesus did for us in the cross be the motivation and reason behind everything that we do. There is no greater love than this.
4. Magnifying Christ Through Pain and Death
When everything in life is stripped away except God, and we trust him more because of it, this is gain, and he is glorified.
There will always be struggles. We will be tested in every way possible once we choose to live our lives for Him. There will be times when we have to let go of things that are important to us, and it is when we choose to praise and worship Him despite the loss that we know that He has become our Treasure.
5. Risk Is Right–Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It
Every loss we risk in order to make much of Christ, God promises to restore a thousandfold with his all-satisfying fellowship.
God sees every labor and sacrifice. He will not leave us empty-handed. When we choose to live for Him, He gives us the priceless gift of His presence, so there’s nothing to fear. He is our security.
6. The Goal of Life–Gladly Making Others Gad in God
We must become forgiving people.
We must see people the way God sees them. There’s really nothing that we can boast about. We are all sinners, saved by His grace. And so it is our goal to show others the same love and compassion. God loves each and every one of them, no matter how unlovable them may seem in our human standards.
7. Living to Prove He is More Precious Than Life
If Christ is an all-satisfying treasure and promises to provide all our needs, even through famine and nakedness, then to live as though we had all the same values as the world would betray him.
No one can serve two masters. One can’t walk two different paths at the same time. If you are for God, live for God alone.
8. Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5
Don’t labor for the food that perishes. Labor to love people and honor God. Think of new ways that your work can bless people. Stop thinking mainly of profitability, and think mainly of how helpful your product or service can become.
Where we are is where God can use us. Learn to honor God even in the workplace by being a blessing to the company and the people you work with. Don’t just work to earn a living, show them the right way of living.
9. The Majesty of Christ in Missions and Mercy–A Plea to This Generation
Any good-hearted goal, without the desire to give people eternal joy in God, is condemnation with a kind face. Love always wants what is best for the needy, and what’s best is enjoying God fully and forever.
There are still so many people around the world who have not heard the gospel. Have a heart for missions. Reach out. Pray for the unreached souls.
10. My Prayer–Let None Say in the End, “I’ve Wasted It”
This is your love, O God, not to make much of me, but do whatever must be done so that I waken to the joy of making much of you through all eternity.
Let’s not waste this one life that we have. Think of eternity. Let everything we do bring honor and glory to Him.