Last week John Piper preached in a chapel service at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His text was 2 Timothy 4:9-22 and he spoke on the difficulties of Christian ministry and the sufficiency of Christ. It is one of the most moving sermons I have heard in a long time. I would guess that anyone who has been in gospel ministry for a decade or more will find Piper’s insights to resonate. But, the message is valuable for all Christians, not just pastors or missionaries or church workers.
Piper makes 7 observations from the text about Christian ministry.
- Christian ministry is relationally hard.
- Friends in ministry can let you down and never care for you again.
- Good friends in ministry can let you down and still be good friends.
- Jesus never intends for the enjoyment of his presence to replace the joy we get from other Christians.
- Jesus is the only totally reliable friend for sinners.
- Closeness to God at the end of your life does not remove the need or desire to read for spiritual nourishment.
- People with great influence and great authority don’t need great possessions.
Watch and listen to the whole message below. It is rich with gospel wisdom and grace flowing from a heart that meditated on the text and bears the scars and joyful memories of its truthfulness.