Blog Posts by Jon Bloom
Help Us End the Year Strong
Like most non-profits in the U.S., December is a crucial month of financial support for us at DG. Historically, we receive about 30% of our annual gifts in December. This year we’re praying for $823,000 to help us meet budget.
To date we have received $327,000 toward that goal. Historically, the last day of the year is our largest receipting day. The Lord provided $226,500 on December 31, 2009. The Lord seems to like…Continue Reading
God Has Exalted His Name and Word
"You have exalted above all things your name and your word." (Ps. 138:2)
In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was with God and the Word was God
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,
Glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Though he was in the form of God
And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people' (Luke 2:10).
The Bethlehem shepherds were afraid of the holy angel. That’s understandable. Holy glory naturally strikes terror into the heart of sinful people.
But the angel told them they did not have to fear. He was bringing them good news! Christ the Lord, their…Continue Reading
We Are Not So Reasonable
And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers…[and] went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them. (Judges 2:12)
The ancient Israelites repeatedly turned to the idols of the surrounding nations despite God’s repeated warnings. What in the world was so compelling about Baal, Dagon, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Molech?
Answer: the world around them worshiped them. The nations surrounding Israel had fruitful…Continue Reading
When a Rebuke Became a Reward
Imagine what Zechariah and Elizabeth talked about after their friends left the naming ceremony where Zechariah had miraculously regained his speech. What might he have learned in those silent months?
* * *
“So… are you going to tell me?”
Elizabeth was ready to burst. She had waited nearly a year to hear what had happened in the temple.
Zechariah was looking…Continue Reading
Don't Waste Your Christmas Lawn Ornament
Prayer Answered by Crosses
One of our dear small group members recently sent all of us this hymn by John Newton. It was refreshing to my soul. Thank you, God, for John Newton—and for my friend!
If you’ve been praying for greater faith and love and freedom from selfishness and more of God, you probably need to read this and take heart. Our Father “disciplines us for our good that we may share his…Continue Reading
Dismembering an Idol
In Luke 19, Zacchaeus the tax collector was converted. He vowed to give back fourfold to anyone he had defrauded. Imagine a conversation he might have had when returning the money.
* * *
"Dad, there's a man at the door. He said his name is Zacchaeus."
"Zacchaeus!" Judah's face flushed with sudden anger. "What does he want?" Under his breath he muttered, "The little vermin." His young daughter didn't need to…Continue Reading
The Benefit of Reading Less
I have been so helped by John Piper’s recommendation in his book, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals:
I [do not] want to give the impression that I think there is virtue in reading many books. In fact one of my greatest complaints in seminary was that professors trained students in bad habits of superficial reading because they assigned too many books. I agree with Spurgeon: “A student will find…
Serving: A Distraction to Listening?
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42-42)
Jesus’ gracious rebuke to Martha haunts me.
"Martha was distracted with much serving" (Luke 10:40). But Mary "sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching" (Luke 10:39). Distraction is the enemy of listening. For Martha, at that…Continue Reading
Eating is Believing
. . . Or What Jesus Meant When He Said, “Whoever Feeds on My Flesh and Drinks My Blood Has Eternal Life”
The previous day Jesus had fed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish. Then that night he walked miles across the Sea of Galilee before catching up with his disciples in their boat.
The crowd he had fed followed him to Capernaum. And they knew something amazing…Continue Reading
God's Soul Food
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).
As I explained in my previous post, hope is what energizes the soul, and promises are what we feed our soul in order to get hope—just like we energize our bodies by eating food.
Human beings are specifically designed to eat a particular kind of soul food: God’s Word.…Continue Reading
What Do Our Souls Eat?
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4)
When our bodies need energy, we know that we need to eat. So we eat a variety of foods, some better and some worse sources of energy (and bodily health, but more on that in my next post). Our body then digests these foods and converts them into…Continue Reading
The only thing that qualifies us to be followers of Jesus is that we are sinners who need grace. Sinners are the only kind of people Jesus calls, as the Apostle Levi (Matthew) discovered.1
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Levi looked around the campfire circle at Jesus and the other eleven disciples. Strange rabbinical school, he thought. Not exactly the cream of the scholarly crop. Led by a rabbi with no formal theological…Continue Reading
The OT Lord’s Supper, the NT Passover
The Supper that Jesus instituted on the night he was betrayed was a new Passover meal. Or we might say that the Passover was the Old Testament Lord’s Supper.
The reason the Lord instituted the Passover was so that people of Israel would always remember and proclaim their redemption from Egypt:
This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the…
Yom Kippur: It Is Finished
Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is perhaps the holiest day in the Jewish year. The nation of Israel has all but shut down operations. And similar to Easter for non-religious people from Christian backgrounds, Yom Kippur has such strong traditional and cultural influence that even many non-observant Jews are attending synagogue and fasting today.
In ancient Israel, this was the day when two unblemished…Continue Reading
Let Him Deny Himself
The Christian life is a journey to the greatest joy that exists. But "the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:14). Why is that? Because, paradoxically, in order to pursue our greatest joy, we must deny ourselves.
* * *
It was a moment of euphoria for the disciples. Jesus was the Christ. Peter had confessed it and Jesus had confirmed it. The…Continue Reading
Thank you, Dad. And Goodbye.
Today we are burying my father, Marlin Bloom. He died at 8:16 PM on July 8th, just days short of his 78th birthday. Having battled numerous health issues over the years, his body simply wore out. Dad’s wish was to be cremated, and since my brother and his family were traveling to Asia just days after Dad died, we postponed the memorial service until they returned.
Dad was born July…Continue Reading
Young, Restless & Reformed Cake
A good friend forwarded me this photo of a seminary student’s groom cake. I had never heard of a “groom’s cake” before. But even if I’d seen 100 others, I doubt any would beat this. Man, I wish I could have had a piece of that!
This was probably made to look like the pile beside his bed. Of course, if they were piled in priority I’m sure he’d switch…Continue Reading
Praying the 6 "D's"
A few years back I wrote about the 5 "D's" I pray for daily. Recently, I added a sixth: desperation. I need to feel continually my desperate need for God.
Whatever it takes, Lord, give me...
Delight in you as the greatest treasure of my heart.
Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Desire to know you, be with you,…Continue Reading
God, Make Us Desperate!
A few days ago I listened to a sermon by a man who is preparing to lead a missionary team that will plant itself into one of the least reached nations in the world.
The most optimistic estimates of the number of indigenous Christians in this nation is less than the number of people who attend Bethlehem Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. A lot less.
Listening to him was…Continue Reading
Today, July 28th, marks the 28th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Christian singer/songwriter and evangelist, Keith Green. He was 28 years old. Also lost in that crash were two of Keith’s children (Josiah & Bethany), the pilot (Don Burmeister), and an entire family (John & Dede Smalley and their six children).
I clearly remember July 28, 1982. I had just turned 17 and only recently had discovered…Continue Reading
The Days of Darkness Will Be Many
One thing the Bible isn’t is utopist about life in this world. It gets unfairly criticized for encouraging a pessimism that makes people passive about doing anything to improve things; people who are “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”
Of course, that’s a lot of hogwash. History has shown that those who have a hope of heaven are far more likely than their agnostic or atheist neighbors to…Continue Reading
Thank You, Pastor John, for 30 Years
Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Piper’s pastoral leadership at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Thirty is a significant milestone in a number of ways. John was just over 30 years old (34) when he assumed the senior pastorate on July 13, 1980, which means John has spent almost half his life pastoring this congregation. Bethlehem was 109 years old in 1980, which means John has been the pastor for…Continue Reading
Peter: When the Rock Sunk Slowly
One night a rock sunk slowly. And when he did, Jesus had some profound things to teach us.1
* * *
The day had been another mind-blower for the disciples. As they rowed toward Capernaum it was hard to stop talking about what they had seen. 5,000 men, plus women and children, and Jesus had fed them all! With one boy’s lunch! The power Jesus seemed to command both thrilled and…Continue Reading