Turning 69 earlier this month, which soberingly means entering my seventieth year and eighth decade, makes me tremble with joyful eagerness not to waste my life. As the year and the decade turn, I have been thinking about Jesus’ final words, “Teach [all the nations] to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew [28:20]). Not just to know what I commanded, but to observe it — obey it, do it. The last command of the Lord was, “Teach the nations in such a way that they obey me.”
So I invite you to follow me as I meditate on not wasting my life in view of this final command.
The Ultimate Purpose of the Son and the Father
I want to live my life — what remains of it — in the service of the most ultimate purposes of God. It seems to me that this is how Paul tried to live his life. “It is my eager expectation and hope that . . . Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians [1:20]). Making much of Christ in life and death was Paul’s ultimate goal, because it is God’s ultimate goal — and Christ’s.
Yes, even the ultimate goal of Christ himself is the magnifying of Christ so that the Father would be magnified in him. These were not separate goals — Christ magnified and God magnified. Each happened in the other. Thus Jesus prayed,
Father, glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. . . . I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:1–5)
Jesus prayed that he would be glorified. The glorification of Christ was the goal of Christ. Why? Because when the Father glorifies the Son, the glory of the Son magnifies the glory of the Father.
“I want to live my life in the service of the most ultimate purposes of God.”
And this is the Father’s intention as well as the Son’s. When the Son pursues the Father’s glory, he is obeying the Father. “For this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again” (John [12:27]–28). The glorification of the Father was the goal of the Father. Likewise, the exaltation of the Son by the Father was for the glory of the Father. “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name . . . to the glory of God the Father: (Philippians 2:9, 11). The Father raised the Son for the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:9–11). And the Son prayed that it would be so (John 17:1).
Written by John Piper
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