Blog Posts by Jon Bloom
We Will Miss You, Lukas!
Today is Lukas Naugle's last day at DG. And we’re feeling a mixture of sadness, deep gratitude, and excitement about what the Lord has in store.
Lukas joined the DG staff in 2004 as our Customer Service Manager (CSM). He didn't remain in that position very long. Not because he wasn't good at it, but because he was good at many other things too.
I discovered quickly that Lukas is…Continue Reading
A Violent Messiah?
Psalm 110 is one of the great messianic psalms, and one of the most quoted OT texts in the New Testament. On this side of the cross, we understand that it prophesies of Jesus’ second-coming.
It’s also quite offensive to postmodern cultural sensibilities. Especially the parts like, "He will fill [the nations] with corpses" (Psalm 110:6). Yikes! That’s violent. All this talk about thrones and conquerors and war sounds like…Continue Reading
Death: A Misunderstood Mercy
Death itself is a devastating and horrible thing. But God promises to work all things—including death—for good for those who love him and are called by him (Romans 8:28).
Isaiah 57:1-2 gives us one glimpse into how God views the death of his saints:
The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is…
Kill Me at Once!
Moses had had it up to here.
The Israelites' continual complaining and rebellion and lack of faith had been a heavy burden. Now they were standing in front of their tents weeping. Why? Because the food they were eating was boring. "We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up,…Continue Reading
No More Whoring
At the end of Numbers 15, God commanded Moses to have the people attach tassels on the corner of their garments. These were accessories with a purpose:
And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So…
Jesus & the Buddha on Happiness
Greatly disturbed by the suffering he saw in the world, 29-year-old Prince Gautama Siddhartha (563-483 BC), who was later called the Buddha (enlightened one), left his wife and young child and set out on a search for the meaning of life.
What he observed was the impermanence of the world—nothing lasted. In spite of this, people desired these impermanent things. They desired to hold on to life, health, possessions, and…Continue Reading
In a post a couple weeks ago we requested prayer for Mary Pearson (the beloved wife of DG Board member, Mitch Pearson) who for the last 15+ months has been battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Friday night, May 14th, Mary's body succumbed and at 6:39 PM she entered into the presence of Jesus.
Here is an excerpt from what Mitch wrote on Mary's Caringbridge site:
Please continue to keep us in…
Christian Hedonism 3.0
A few days ago Doug Wilson wrote a very interesting post exhorting us not to be truncated Christian Hedonists (CH). Yes, it’s necessary that we pursue God as our treasure (CH 1.0). And our understanding of God must be explicitly Trinitarian (CH 2.0)—Wilson calls it Nicean hedonism (I love it!).
But then he says, “we … need to move on to Chalcedon, to an incarnational hedonism.” This means enjoying God…Continue Reading
The Eyes Jesus Opened First
Luke included the Emmaus road account (Luke 24:13-35), no doubt, because it was a powerful testimony of the resurrected Jesus by two credible eyewitnesses (Cleopas likely would have been known to many first generation Christians). But there is also something valuable to see in how Jesus chose to reveal himself to these sad, cynical disciples.
* * *
It was Sunday afternoon. Cleopas and his companion exited Jerusalem’s Western Gate, heading toward…Continue Reading
Devotions Aren't Magic
We know that—for the most part. But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula—the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer—we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.
The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give…Continue Reading
Pray for the Pearsons
Mitch and Mary Pearson are very precious to us. They are long-time members of Bethlehem Baptist, a church they have served in countless ways. And Mitch has served on the DG Board of Directors for the past 10 years.
In January 2009, Mary was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. They have been waging war on the disease ever since with chemo, bone marrow transplants, drugs, and lots and lots of…Continue Reading
Enduring Common-to-Man Temptations
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
“No temptation.” I love that phrase. It covers them all. But the temptations that Paul is talking about specifically in the preceding…Continue Reading
There Must Be Factions
I’m thankful for First Corinthians. It reminds me that the early church wasn’t only experiencing Acts 4:32-35.
The church in Corinth was so divided that you might say it was diced. There were divisions over which apostle was superior, sexual morality, lawsuits, marriage, eating meat, headcoverings for women, the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, the resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection of believers, and I’m probably missing some.
Paul, who…Continue Reading
God Provides Direction, Resources, and Ability
In Exodus chapters 26-30, God gave Moses very detailed instructions about how to make the tabernacle, its furnishings, the priests’ garments, and all the instruments used in worship. And then in chapter 31, God tells Moses (much to Moses’ great relief, I imagine),
See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit…
The Bleakest Psalm Is Really a Night-light
I read Psalm 88 recently in my devotions, and it filled me with thanksgiving. Which might seem odd. Because this psalm just may be the most bleak of the canonical songs.
Heman the Ezrahite, the apparent composer, was seriously depressed. Maybe he was chronically ill. Or maybe, like many, he battled almost constantly against a relentless darkness. We really don't know. But he said he had been this way since…Continue Reading
All the Beautiful Virgins?
In Esther chapter 2, King Ahasuerus finds himself without a queen.
He had sacked Queen Vashti in a rage because she had refused to entertain him and his guests with her beauty, thereby encouraging uppity-ness in all the women of the kingdom.
But a king needs a queen. My goodness, where does one even begin? His advisors come up with a doozy of an idea:
'…let the king appoint…
Can You Bear Uncertainty?
Uncertainty is a difficult thing to bear. We want to know where the provision is going to come from or if we’re going to die of this disease or how this child is going to turn out or if our job will still be there next month.
But as we see in Luke 9:57-58, Jesus makes it clear that his disciples must be able to bear uncertainty if they are…Continue Reading
Read this very brief article in the China Daily (China's official English language newspaper). It's the testimony of a university student who converted to Christianity.
Now if you've been following China for any length of time you might be picking your jaw up off the floor. Get this:
- The official and highly controlled newspaper of the Communist government is featuring a story of a religious conversion of an exceptionally bright…
When God’s Direction Comes Through Correction
God faithfully directs the paths of everyone who trusts in him with all their heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). But sometimes, as Moses experienced in Exodus 18, God directs us through a word of correction from someone else.
The reunion of Moses and Jethro was a sweet one. Moses was glad to have his wife and his two boys back with him. And Jethro sat astonished as Moses described the ten plagues,…Continue Reading
Success Can Be Perilous
We are never more vulnerable to sin than when we are successful, admired by others, and prosperous, as King David tragically discovered.
It was spring again. David once had loved warm, fragrant spring afternoons on the palace roof. But this year the scent of almond blossoms smelled like deep regret.
David had no desire to look toward Uriah’s empty house. If only he had not looked that way a year…Continue Reading
Hopeful Post-Christmas Melancholy
Each year Christmas night finds members of my family feeling some melancholy. After weeks of anticipation, the Christmas celebrations have flashed by us and are suddenly gone. And we’re left standing, watching the Christmas taillights and music fade into the night.
But it’s possible that this moment of melancholy may be the best teaching moment of the whole season. Because as long as the beautiful gifts remain unopened around the…
Veiled in Flesh the Godhead See
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." As Jesus Christ is a child in his human nature, he is born, begotten of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary. He is as truly-born, as certainly a child, as any other man that ever…
Joseph: (Un)Planned Detours
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, discovered in Matthew 1-2, that’s just another way of saying that when your plans are detoured and redirected, you find out who’s really charting the course.
Nazareth. It felt good to Joseph to be back home. The same old market and the same old merchants. The same old neighbors with…Continue Reading
Hope for "Older Brother" Types
Someone asked a great question in response to my post last week on Simon the Pharisee:
Much like the two sons in the prodigal son story, how necessary is it to be the younger son to appreciate the Father?
In other words, do we have to sin more grossly in order to be able to comprehend how much we have been forgiven so that we can "love much"?
It seems to…Continue Reading
Simon the Pharisee: The Fuel of True Love for God
He had the Holy One of Israel in his house, reclining at his table. The Prophet that Moses had foretold was sharing dinner with him. The Lord of glory, the Resurrection and the Life, was speaking with him face to face. The great climactic moment of history he claimed to be living for had arrived. It should have been a deliriously wonderful, breathtaking honor for Simon to host the Messiah.