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Life as a Vapor

Thirty-One Meditations for Your Faith


"You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).

Living knowing that your life is a vapor is different than just living. Things here are passing away. You’ve got to hold on to what will stand. Savor what matters. This collection of thirty-one articles is full of that heart-longing after Christ that distinguishes Piper’s preaching ministry. Readers will feel as though they have stumbled into a garden as they enter these pages. The Scripture cuts, Christ is exalted in God, and we worship Him.

Life Is Short. Eternity Is Long. Live Like It.

You will exist forever. You and God are both in the universe to stay—either as friends on His terms, or enemies on yours—which it will be is proven in this life. And this life is a vapor. Two seconds, and we will be gone.

In these thirty-one meditations, John Piper will connect you to a fresh understanding of God and a renewed relationship with Him. You’ll find your faith stirred to make every day count for Christ when you consider life as a vapor.

Time is precious. We are fragile. Life is short. Eternity is long. Every minute counts. Oh, to be a faithful steward of the breath God has given me. Three texts resound in my ears: “Redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16 ); “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2); “His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 ).

Surely God means for our minutes on earth to count for something significant. Paul said, “In the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Philippians 2:16). In the same way, I have good hope from the Lord that my “labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).


  • I am honored to know John as a pastor and a friend. He has been both to me since the founding of the Passion movement. So much of his godly wisom and teaching have been a lighted path for me in the increasingly hazy days we live in. Chris Tomlin, Song-writer and Lead Worshiper
  • I will forever live my life, trying to remember the important message that I have learned from Pastor Piper—to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. Mac Powell, Third Day
  • John Piper remains a trustworthy and faithful voice, urging God's people to behold, partake of, delight in, and live for the glory of God. Steve Green
  • John Piper's books continue to renew my sense of wonder at the mystery and wildness of our Creator God. I am thankful for his sensitivity to both the head and the heart of the Gospel of Jesus. Charlie Lowell, Jars of Clay
  • John Piper’s writings consistently draw me to cherish all God is for us in Christ. His insistence that God intends us to passionately pursue joy in Him alone has influenced not only the way I lead worship and write songs, but the way I live my life. When I first met John I told him, ‘Your books have caused me to love the Savior more.’ For that reason, I thank God for John Piper. Bob Kauflin, Pastor, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Very few people have inspired us in quite the same way that Piper has. His shameless preaching of the truth always kicks us in the teeth, challenging us to evaluate our lives, our worldview, and our understanding of God. Caedmon's Call
  • John Piper has helped me to see the Lord. He has been a broken vessel who has pushed me to pursue deeper pleasures. And I now live life and read Scripture through the filter of delighting myself in the Lord — for His glory — and for my joy. Shane Barnard, Recording artist
  • God has blessed by whole family through the writings of John Piper From his books, we have learned about a sovereign God whose goal is His own glory and the joy of His people. Piper continues to help us recover a biblical view of God. Ed Nalle