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.
But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life. – John Piper from Don’t Waste Your Life
Since returning from the recent Ligonier National Conference, and re-listening to the messages, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live an intentional life. The messages at the conference really challenged me, especially “Don’t Love the World” by Kevin DeYoung, “Christ’s Message for the Church” by Sinclair Ferguson and “No Place for Truth” by Alistair Begg. I wrote in my reflections about the conference the desire to be more intentional about my prayer life and Bible reading. However, when you think about it, it’s likely that only a small percentage of each day is dedicated to those activities, as much of our time is already committed to our vocations, whether they be in the workplace, home or ministry. When we really consider this, how much of our lives is comprised of activities that we feel we have to do, be it because it’s an obligation, we don’t want to disappoint someone, or conversely that we want to please someone? I want to live my life according to the quote that John Piper shares was in his home growing up:
Books that have in the past challenged me in the area of being intentional with my life have been Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Radical by David Platt. I have read each of those books multiple times. Conference messages and books are great, but the question is what am I (or we) going to do about it?
My wife Tammy has the following at the top of her “To Do” list:
Lord, I am Yours, Yours alone. All I am, and all I have, I devote to You. You have bought me with Your blood– let me spend myself and be spent in Your service. In life and in death let me be consecrated to You.
How are we going to apply what we’ve learned? How are we going to change our lives so that they are not wasted?
A few things that have been bouncing around in my head have been:
- To be more intentional about my prayer life and Bible reading.
- To be more intentional about the books I read.
- To be more intentional about the blogs I read.
- To be more intentional about the time I spend with my wife.
- To be more intentional about the movies I watch.
- To be more intentional about the television programs I watch.
- To be more intentional about how I invest my life with (friends, family, mentees, etc.).
- Overall, to be more intentional about the time I spend, wanting in the end to hear my Lord say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
What about you? What does living an intentional life mean to you?
You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one.
And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ.
-John Piper from Don’t Waste Your Life