An Open Letter to John Piper

jonny

John.

The reason for this letter is ultimately to thank you. Your words have had a profound impact and a solidifying effect on my faith. And yet, I have never met you. So it would make sense for me to outline how you fit into my story.

When I consider the people in the closest sphere of influence in my life, you do not sit among the parents, grandparents, pastors and friends that have come alongside me. Such people have, and will continue to have, a huge impact on my walk with Jesus.

My early life really set up the kindling. And a fire for God was definitely going by around Grade 10. But then a couple of years later, you waltzed into my life brandished with a flamethrower. And by the grace and power of God, began to ignite a passion in me.

It all started in early 2015. I listened to my first sermon by you – For His Sake and for Your Joy, Go Low. Soon after I found a series you preached on Job. From there I sourced a series on the Beatitudes. All of a sudden, the earphones were out at every opportunity.

All of a sudden, this Bible of mine was coming alive. 

____________________

You taught me many things, for which I want to publicly appreciate.

Firstly, you taught me that the Bible is a feast. Not a snack we choose to ration, but a feast we are required to attend. The absolute centrality you place on God’s word in your public ministry is incredible. In preaching, debating, interviews, social media, blogs, books. What I notice in you is not a half heartedness to the word, but all-out saturation in it.

The way you labour over it. The way you aim to juice every bit out of the word, in order to pierce the heart with Biblical truth. The passion you present it with. I had never realised the Bible could be so interesting. You make obvious your aim to draw attention to God and away from yourself. I have grown to love that.

Secondly, you showed me that real men are totally flawed by the grace of God. Sometimes it makes me smile. Those times when you are preaching and absolutely lost for words. Arms extended, huge smile on your face, eyes brimming with joy as you find yourself passionately struggling to express the depths of the grace of God. I love that. 

I love your presentation of Christ as a wonderful crutch we (the poor in spirit) can rest in and find saving grace. I love strategies like APTAT, by which there is heavy reliance on the grace and promises of God. And so it became much clearer to me. The grace of God is not a once-off experience. The grace of God is radically life-changing stuff. 

Lastly, and ultimately, you taught me that Jesus is worth everything. Even my life. Especially my life. I love how you shine a light on the surpassing worth and supreme treasure that is Christ. The don’t waste your life sermons. The way you slam the prosperity gospel with actual gospel. The purpose behind all of your writing.

It is the echo of the call to magnify the LORD (Psalm 34:3). The rally cry to suffer for Jesus (Philippians 1:29). The longing that we would deny ourselves to a greater joy (Mark 8:34). To make much of Christ whether by life or death (Philippians 1:20-21).

To live a life rooted in the all-satisfying reward of being more close to Jesus.

____________________

John Piper.

In reflection, I think we both see something pretty clearly. What I love about you isn’t you. It is God working in and through you. And for that I will be forever grateful.

See you soon.

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43 thoughts on “An Open Letter to John Piper

  1. K Marie April 6, 2017 / 11:36 am

    I enjoy his work. I read a lot of his books during my master’s program. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac April 6, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Ah nice! I’ve read a couple of them. His writing is pretty sweet hey. Love how he backs up all points with heaps of Bible 🙂 How is the master’s program going for you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • K Marie April 6, 2017 / 12:48 pm

        Very well. My graduation ceremony is in May. I am very excited.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac April 6, 2017 / 12:58 pm

        That’s awesome! Not long to go at all! All the best as you finish off the last bits 🙂

        Like

    • Jonathan Camac April 6, 2017 / 11:56 am

      I’m very thankful for people like John, and the pastors at my local church, for pushing myself and others deeper into Christ 🙂 God is good!

      Like

  2. OmwinikaPrint April 6, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Thank you for the video sermon too…It has me really asking(myself) what the weights are…many times i do my best to live a day devoid of sin…and i really try,…but i stilll at times feel terrible at the end of the day, not just terrible, but insufficient as thought i have not given it all…….I feel the weight..and now i ask again to myself, what are the weights,…what weighs me down, what do i gove more attention than christ??Lord show it to me so i can let it Go and Embrace you…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 6, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      The bad news is that we are all desperately broken. The good news is that we are pieced back together in Christ. Our mess. His masterpiece. And so it is a good thing to be aware of our failures! Because in the struggle to be more like Jesus, what a joy it is that we can keep handing our broken pieces into his hands 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nickel Boy Graphics April 6, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    His book “Desiring God” really made a huge impact on my life. It really helped bring God into focus for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Ann April 7, 2017 / 3:40 am

    I used to watch John, I like the fact that he had no fear of man in the pulpit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 7, 2017 / 5:23 am

      He definitely says things how it is! Or more specifically, how he sees it in the Bible.

      Like

  5. Kerry Answers April 7, 2017 / 11:42 pm

    This was great. Your writing was super and I agreed with what you wrote. The Bible is amazing, how one day you can read a passage and get direction one way, and another time, you get new insight from that same passage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 8, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Appreciate it Kerry. Pretty awesome stuff! That the word of God not only teaches us, but also holds the universe together each and every day. What a King! What a Saviour!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kerry Answers April 8, 2017 / 4:40 pm

        I saw a program, which I think is called “How Great Is Our God,” which showed that the cells in our bodies are connected by a sticky substance which is in the shape of a cross. The scientists in the program said that God is literally holding us together through the cross!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac April 8, 2017 / 7:54 pm

        The fine tuning of the universe is incredible. The more we find out, the more we are blown away by the power of our God!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. jedidahmoses April 9, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    I totally agree with you. The fact that he points others to God is awesome (a surrendered life). The first clip of his i watched was, “you will suffer”.
    It’s so wonderful to hear a minister preach and then being spurred on, to reach back into the word of God and truly feast on it. All glory to God.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. journeytoallhealth April 12, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    Great letter! He is my fav. I get a little John everyday. He is so real and says it like it is. He takes these big truths and helps my little brain understand. Enjoyed reading this…hope he gets to see it one day:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac April 12, 2017 / 11:09 pm

      Spot on! Would be awesome if he could read it one day. But even if he doesn’t read it, I think we can all learn a lot from what he teaches us and draws us into. Namely, Jesus. Thanks for reading journeytoallhealth! 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac April 30, 2017 / 1:48 am

      I am very thankful for people like John Piper! Thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂

      Like

  8. Clark W Johnson May 3, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    Great letter of appreciation. We don’t do this enough – letting people know when they have had a significant influence in our growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 3, 2017 / 12:43 pm

      So true! We are often so quick to criticise, and less inclined to just be thankful. Appreciate your time Clark 🙂

      Like

  9. sarahamwayi May 8, 2017 / 6:02 am

    Amazing letter…I feel the same way .He s passion and Joy can only be God given…His sermons are life changing..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lorac888890 May 16, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    It’s wonderful when we learn what’s true in life and continue on that journey. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael May 24, 2017 / 6:18 am

    I’ve been reading “What Jesus Demands from the World” by John Piper. I highly recommend it. A friend gave it to me as a Christmas gift, and it’s one of those books I can read over and over again just for study prompts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 24, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Thanks for that Michael! Appreciate the recommendation. I’ll keep it in mind next time I’n in a bookstore 🙂

      Like

  12. Maria May 24, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Jonathan – I start each day with one of Piper’s archived sermons. I agree whole-heartedly. He has done more to shape how I think Biblically and how I read the Bible. I now ponder: why did God intend THIS word instead of 5 others I can think of, like: Romans 12 – In view of God’s mercy…. I’ve heard Piper teach about all the other words Paul could have chosen. Thank you for pointing out what a gift Piper is. May we continue to grow deeper in our true knowledge of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac May 24, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Ah that’s awesome! I listen to his sermons when I’ve got some time up my sleeve too. Yeah I know exactly what you’re talking about – so good to get in depth with the God’s word. Refreshing, challenging and provoking all at once. God is good! 🙂

      Like

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