Make Your Life Count
The Greatest Missions Letter Ever Written
(excerpt from message given by John Piper at Missions Conference in January, 2019)
3 Part Article Continued – Part 3 – Four Reasons to Go and Send
4. God calls all of us to share our hope.
Finally, the feet of those who risk their lives to take the news of salvation to the unreached peoples of the world are beautiful in God’s sight.
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15)
The world will not think so. But God does. My guess is that most of you in this room think of yourselves as pretty average when it comes to your looks. Not very handsome. Not very pretty. Just plain. That’s good. I wouldn’t want you to be distracted by caring too much about your looks. But I can tell you an infallible path to great beauty: How beautiful are the feet of those who risk their lives to tell the good news!
“There is no salvation among the unreached peoples of the world without world missions.”
The reason I say, “risk their lives,” is because Romans is crystal clear: “We suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:17). And this suffering is both the daily groaning of all our normal sorrows (Romans 8:23), as well as the suffering from opposition to the gospel: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword. “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered’” (Romans 8:35–36).
Most of the unreached peoples are now embedded in cultures that are hostile to Christians. This dare not stop us. Jesus said he would build his church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). He said,
“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:16–19)
The mission will not be finished without martyrs. At the end of Romans, Paul sends greetings to Prisca and Aquila. And here is what he celebrates about them:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life. (Romans 16:3–4)
And so it will be. Until the mission is finished and the Lord returns.
Make your life count.
Don’t waste it on superficial things. Grow deep. Get ready to die well. Give yourself unreservedly to what really matters. Take hold of life, which is life indeed. Turn off the television. Shut down your video games. Why should mere man choreograph your emotions?
“Grow deep. Get ready to die well. Give yourself unreservedly to what really matters.”
Go deep with God. Be much alone with him and with the most radical Christians you can find. Memorize Romans 8, and make it the charter of your life. Preach this to yourself every day, and when you come to die:
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31–39)
This is your message for the nations. This is your hope in suffering. There is no greater message. There is no greater hope. (end)