Anyone who is familiar with Piper’s preaching and writings knows that he is constantly talking about the glory of God. He pleads the case (and rightfully so) that God is always talking about his glory. Chapter 2 is titled, “Brothers, God loves his glory.” Its quite true that he does indeed love his glory, and he tells us that he shares it with no one. Piper’s God-centeredness is based on God’s God-centeredness.
Piper poses a great question and then gives us his answer:
“Why is it important to be stunned by the God-centeredness of God? Because many people are willing to be God-centered as long as they feel that God is man-centered. It is a subtle danger. We may think we are centering our lives on God, when we are really making Him a means to self-esteem. Over against this danger I urge you to ponder the implications, brothers, that God loves His glory more than He loves us and that this is the foundation of His love for us.”
As a pastor, the great temptation is to make ministry all about people. Ministry really is all about people, but it is because God is all about people, and God is all about people because he demonstrates his glory through his grace in the lives of people. Time and again I’ve heard in the classroom and from the pulpit that the souls of men are to be our first priority as ministers of the gospel. But, our first priority should be about the glory of God.
My mind goes straight to Ephesians 1 when I think of God being about his glory in our salvation.
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:11-14
He decreed our salvation according to the purpose of his will, that we might be to the praise of his glory. He has sealed us with the promise of the Holy Spirit to the praise of his glory. The Catechism is right, our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Piper closes the chapter with a challenge:
“Let us declare boldly and powerfully what God loves most–the glory of God. Let us guard ourselves from the ocean of man-centeredness around us. “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22). The foundation, the means, and the goal of God’s agape for sinners is His prior, deeper, and ultimate love for His own glory. Therefore, brothers, tell your people the great ground of the gospel: God loves His glory!”
May God by his grace equip us to proclaim with boldness the glory of the Lord!