Blog Posts by David Mathis

‘Divergent’ Lesson in Human Depravity

David Mathis

It’s rare to find a major motion picture that paints humanity, as a whole, to be this bad.

Not only was it human evil that nearly destroyed the world in some great war, but now it is human depravity that threatens to undo it all again. They sought to guard against this very thing when they divided society into five factions: Abnegation to counter selfishness, Erudite to stand against ignorance,…

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Remember Saint Patrick

David Mathis

Saint Patty’s Day is for the pagans.

You might say it that way, and then carefully wash your Christian hands of all the carousing and empty revelry that makes all things Irish into an excuse for a godless spring party. But you might say the same thing, and mean it not as a call to circle the wagons, but to charge the hill.

Deep beneath much of what the day…

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God Is with You in Depression

David Mathis

Depression is often illusive. Some dark cloud gathers and hangs overhead. You feel constantly ill at ease. Whether triggered by negative events, or some undefined cause, you know despondency when you experience it, even if you find it hard to describe.

Sometimes it’s circumstantial, but often you’re left scratching your head, wondering, Where did all the joy go?

God Is There with You

Author Randy Alcorn is no foreigner to…

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Learn to Fly in the Fellowship

David Mathis

It’s a shame the word “fellowship” has fallen on hard times in some circles, and is dying the death of domestication and triviality. It is an electric reality in the New Testament, an indispensable ingredient in the Christian faith, and one of God’s chief means of grace in our lives.

The koinonia — the commonality, partnership, fellowship — which the first Christians shared wasn’t a common love for pizza, pop,…

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Right Thinking Is for Deep Feeling

David Mathis

Doctrine is for the sake of delight. Christian theology does not exist for its own sake, but for our desiring and enjoying Christ.

Simply put, the mind is meant to serve the heart. Thinking serves feeling. God gave us the ability to learn and reason, so that we might admire and treasure him above anything else. Right thinking is for deep feeling.

A Message for Every Human

Recently, John Piper…

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Enjoy the Gift of Having God’s Ear

David Mathis

He is “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10). Not only did he choose us before the world began, and give his Son to save us, and cause us to be born again, but he also sustains the whole of our Christian lives, from day one to that Day, in his matchless grace. He covers our lives with his unexpected kindness through people and circumstances, in good times and…

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Isn’t It Ironic?

David Mathis

Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill debuted in 1995, just as the first wave of Millennials was crashing into America’s high schools. Her music became one of the soundtracks for these critical years — for many of us, not chosen, or even necessarily positive, but unavoidable. Her distinctive voice, catchy tunes, and conspicuous distress aired nonstop on the radio and at the mall.

Other than her nasty little ditty “You…

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Shape Your Life with the Words of Life

David Mathis

The Christian life, from start to finish, is utterly dependent on the grace of God.

Not only do we come into spiritual life by sheer grace (Act 18:27; Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:5), but it is in divine grace that we continue on (Acts 13:43). It is by God’s grace that our soul survives through many trials (2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 4:16), is strengthened for everyday life (2 Timothy 2:1; Hebrews…

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Put Yourself in the Path of God’s Grace

David Mathis

I can flip a switch, but I don’t provide the electricity. I can turn on a faucet, but I can’t make the water flow. There will be no light and no liquid refreshment without someone else providing it.

And so it is, in a limited sense, for the Christian with the ongoing grace of God. His grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply. We…

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Share in the Glory of the Winter Games

David Mathis

Don’t just watch the Olympics. Be a part.

The Christian can enjoy the Games with more substance and depth than anyone. Here’s a call to Olympic viewing with spiritual significance.

Our God and his Book give us unmatched capacities to experience the Olympiad — to share in the experience of the Winter Games in Sochi without making a costly and frightful trip to Russia. The only prerequisites are a television…

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Worship in Spirit and Truth

David Mathis

The issue is not whether we will worship, but what. Even better, whom and how.

On this Sunday, as many of us ready ourselves for corporate worship, perhaps the most significant single biblical text for guiding the essence of what we’re pursuing together when we gather is Jesus’s words in John 4:23–24.

“The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit…

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Meet the New desiringGod.org

David Mathis

It’s a new site for a new year.

We spent a good deal of 2013 working on this redesign. Now 2014 is here, we’re live, and we’d love to have you help us spread the word.

This is an aesthetically driven redesign. We’ve retained the functionality of the old site, but we’re aiming to augment significantly the look and feel, to enhance the reader experience. In particular, there are major…

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Our Top 13 Posts of 2013

David Mathis

For years, the heart of desiringGod.org has been our resource library, with three decades of sermons, books, articles, and more from the ministry of John Piper. When we started a blog in 2007, we thought we were just appending a humorously small sidecar of homespun content onto the big engine of our more enduring resources.

But as the Web has grown and matured, so has blogging. We’re finding more and…

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From This Day Onward

David Mathis

If you look hard, you might find Haggai.

Tucked near the end of the Old Testament, third from last on that biblical road-less-traveled called the minor prophets, it’s one of Scripture’s shortest books — and one of its best for turning a corner and making a fresh start. Like at the outset of a new year.

If you can find your way to Haggai, his prophetic words might be just…

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The Real Festivus Miracle

David Mathis

December 23 is circled on my calendar. It’s marked as a day to take a deep breath, refocus, and head into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a fresh sense of what this frenzied season is really about.

By December 23, most of us are up to our necks in holiday craziness and commercialization. We feel like we’re once again stumbling toward Christmas, exhausted and depleted by the most consumeristic…

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This Is Not Worth Quacking About

David Mathis

Did A&E know what would happen when it suspended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson? Whether it was intentional or not, they are cashing in on trillions worth of free advertising.

Perhaps it’s really about LGBT rights at the cable and satellite television channel, half owned by Disney-ABC. But then there’s also the almighty dollar. Conceding to the LGBT agenda is increasingly what’s most profitable, what saves most face, and what…

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Good and Evil Are Not Equals

David Mathis

Don’t give Peter Jackson all the credit. He wasn’t the first to desire an adult version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s children’s story The Hobbit. According to author and scholar Colin Duriez, it was actually Tolkien himself who initially had the vision.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for children in the early 1930s. It wasn’t until the mid 1950s that he published its trilogy sequel for adults, The Lord of the Rings

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Let Us Adore Him

David Mathis

Advent is not just about acknowledging Jesus, but adoring him. Christmas is not first about witness, but about worship. So, come, all ye faithful. Come, joyful and triumphant. Let us adore our Christ.

But beware your standard of who can come in worship. At Jesus’s own birth, it wasn’t the squeaky-clean, religious elites of biblical faith who bowed the knee in worship. Rather, they bowed their back, and it was…

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Living with the Loss of a Loved One

David Mathis

For Lyle Dorsett, it was the sudden loss of his ten-year-old daughter Erica. She came down sick one night, and she died the next morning.

Years later, Dorsett and his wife Mary still are healing. Losing a child is a long, painful journey. There have been times, Dorsett says, when he’s thought, God, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t have done it this way. But his ways are…

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Let a Little Lent into Your Advent

David Mathis

“What Child Is This?” is no chart-topper among the children. The minor keys and slower pace make it less engaging to little ears. It’s hard to compete with the brightness, cadence, and pep of “Jingle Bells” and “Joy to the World.”

And that repeated rhetorical question is puzzling to a child’s undeveloped sense of artistry. “What child is this?” It’s Jesus, of course. Why do we keep asking that when

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The Most Important Doctrine You’ve Never Heard Of?

David Mathis

Union with Christ. We couldn’t be any more excited about taking up this theme at our upcoming conference for pastors.

Whether this doctrine is an old friend or one you haven’t heard much about, it will be greatly enriching to give three days to basking in the theology and everyday implications with Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. (Full schedule below.)

Whether or not it’s a live option for…

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How Will You Make This Advent Special?

David Mathis

We’re now only five days from Advent, which begins this Sunday, December 1.

Just a few minutes of forethought today could go a long way in making this year special for your family, or spiritually significant for you personally.

One way to make the holidays sing is some kind of short daily devotional that can help prepare the hearts of you and yours for the weight of what we celebrate…

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More Than Just Raking

David Mathis

I’ll take a rake over a shovel any day.

Raking is relatively easy work and can make the yard look better in a short time. It’s easy enough that even our twin three-year-olds helped this fall, thanks to a pair of kids’ rakes from the neighborhood hardware store.

Raking may make my back a little sore the next day, but it’s nothing like the digging we did earlier in the…

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Half a Century Since C.S. Lewis

David Mathis

He went quietly. It was very British.

While the Americans rocked and reeled, and the world’s attention turned to Dallas and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, one Clive Staples Lewis breathed his last in Oxford just a week shy of his 65th birthday. Strangely enough, science-fictionist Aldous Huxley passed the same day, and in one calendar square, three of the twentieth-century’s most influential figures were gone.

It was…

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Why It Matters What Outsiders Think

David Mathis

There is a place for a holy disregard for what unbelievers think. But it is small.

We shouldn’t be caught off guard when they “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18) of God as creator and sustainer, as speaker (in the Scriptures), and as redeemer (in the gospel). We need not be bewildered when the world is the world. It’s to our shame when we forget that “we ourselves were once foolish,…

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