Few modern writers/pastors have influenced me more than John Piper. Through his books and sermons, I’ve come to love Jesus more, strive harder to obey the commands of God, and pursue holiness with passion.
In honor of him, I’ve collected 36 profound, powerful John Piper quotes.
The purpose of these quotes is not to make much of John Piper, but to help you love Jesus more.
36 Profound John Piper Quotes
1. If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.
2. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full.
3. Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God.
4. Grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.
5. Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity.
6. What is sin?
It is the glory of God not honored.
The holiness of God not reverenced.
The greatness of God not admired.
The power of God not praised.
The truth of God not sought.
The wisdom of God not esteemed.
The beauty of God not treasured.
The goodness of God not savored.
The faithfulness of God not trusted.
The commandments of God not obeyed.
The justice of God not respected.
The wrath of God not feared.
The grace of God not cherished.
The presence of God not prized.
The person of God not loved.
That is sin.
7. The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours.
8. All heroes are shadows of Christ.
9. My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God’s word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes – many times – my feelings are out of sync with the truth.
When that happens – and it happens every day in some measure – I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather, I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with the truth.
10. God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself.
11. The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.
12. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.
13. Books don’t change people; paragraphs do, Sometimes even sentences.
14. Do you feel loved by God because you believe he makes much of you, or because you believe he frees you and empowers you to enjoy making much of him?
15. God created us for this: to live our lives in a way that makes him look more like the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that he really is. This is what it means to be created in the image of God.
16. We weren’t meant to be somebody–we were meant to know Somebody.
17. Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.
18. The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.
19. Suffering in the path of Christian obedience, with joy – because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3) – is the clearest display of the worth of God in our lives.
20. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
21. 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 for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.
22. Christ did not die to make good works merely possible or to produce a half-hearted pursuit. He died to produce in us a passion for good deeds. Christian purity is not the mere avoidance of evil, but the pursuit of good.
23. Every good thing in the Christian life grows in the soil of humility. Without humility, every virtue and every grace withers. That’s why Calvin said humility is first, second, and third in the Christian faith.
24. Don’t wait for a feeling or love in order to share Christ with a stranger. You already love your heavenly Father, and you know that this stranger is created by Him, but separated from Him, so take those first steps in evangelism because you love God.
It is not primarily out of compassion for humanity that we share our faith or pray for the lost; it is first of all, love for God.
25. Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain.
26. You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ.
27. You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, perhaps just one, and then be willing to live for them and die for them.
28. We are not as Christ-centered and cross-cherishing as we should be, because we do not ponder the truth that everything good, and everything bad that God turns for the good, was purchased by the sufferings of Christ.
29. Do you love the cross because it makes much of you? Or do you love it because it enables you to enjoy and eternity of making much of God?
30. If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism, but deception.
31. All of history is moving toward one great goal, the white-hot worship of God and His Son among all the peoples of the earth. Missions is not that goal. It is the means. And for that reason it is the second greatest human activity in the world.
32. God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn’t do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages.
33. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel.
34. The greatest cause in the world is joyfully rescuing people from hell, meeting their earthly needs, making them glad in God, and doing it with a kind, serious pleasure that makes Christ look like the Treasure he is.
35. God seldom calls us for an easier life, but always calls us to know more of him and drink more deeply of His sustaining grace.
36. God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations.
Don’t Waste Your Life
This post wouldn’t be complete without the video of John Piper’s classic sermon “Don’t Waste Your Life”. Watch it, let your heart be stirred, live your life for the glory of God.