Blog Posts by Jon Bloom

When You Don’t Feel Like It, Take Heart

Jon Bloom

Did you wake up not feeling like reading your Bible and praying? How many times today have you had to battle not feeling like doing things you know would be good for you?

While it’s true that this is our indwelling sin that we must repent of and fight against, there’s more going on.

Think about this strange pattern that occurs over and over in just about every area of…

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When Following Jesus Means Going Home

Jon Bloom

We tend to think of following Jesus as leaving behind the familiar for the unfamiliar. But sometimes, like for the man in Luke 8:26-39, the more difficult call is to go back home.

For the first time in a long time he was in full control of his mind. He could think! No rage. No fear. No torment. Peace like the quiet sea. He actually wanted to keep his clothes…

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Make It Free: A Follow Up

Jon Bloom

The New Testament makes essential things crystal clear: "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [besides Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Deny that and you deny the gospel. 

But the New Testament also has a category of gospel-informed convictions which are deeply held, sometimes strongly commended, yet are not universal mandates. These are intended by…

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Amazing Grace in the Wreckage of Adultery

Jon Bloom

In staff devotions recently we were in Proverbs 6. Solomon warns his son against the devastation of adultery. In verses 32-33 he writes,

He who commits adultery lacks sense; 
   he who does it destroys himself. 
He will get wounds and dishonor, 
   and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

For Solomon, every warning against adultery must have been haunted by the memory of his father and mother, David…

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Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Jon Bloom
It's very important that we count the cost of sexual immorality before temptation hits. That's the time for clear thinking. Temptation clouds our judgment. That's why we pray "keep us from temptation." Avoiding the fog by steering around it is much better than trying to navigate through it. 

Years ago, as a way to keep his head clear, Randy Alcorn created a list of the ways he would bring destruction…
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Give to the One Who Begs from You (Part 2)

Jon Bloom

In my previous post I reflected on this verse: "Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42). And the comments have been very thoughtful and helpful.

It's a breathtaking command, isn't it? Typical Jesus. If he doesn't knock the wind out of us occasionally, we're not really listening to him.

Just a clarifying thought.

Like the friends who commented,…

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I Have Not Always Obeyed This Command

Jon Bloom

"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).

I confess, I have not always obeyed this command.

I'm a veteran urban-dweller. Having lived in an inner city neighborhood for 18 years, I've encountered many beggers and borrowers. Some I discerned as cons I have called out or waved off. Some I have hired to do work. Others…

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Listen to Augustine Pray

Jon Bloom

I've been listening to Augustine's Confessions while doing yard work and exercising. It's been 8-9 years since I read the book and was blown away. The entire book is written as a prayer to God. Listening to it is a different experience.

It's listening to Augustine pray. And listening to him confess his sins, struggles, and intellectual wrestlings in this spiritual autobiography reminds me just how similar we are to…

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Demas and Mark

Jon Bloom

What happened to Demas?

We don’t know. All we know is that some of the last words the Apostle Paul wrote before his Roman execution expressed a heartbreak: “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10).

Maybe Demas feared being executed with Paul and fled to safety. Or maybe he succumbed to immorality. Or maybe he simply caved in to the…

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Seeing Our Shame: The Fuel of True Love for God

Jon Bloom

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. …

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How Long Will This Last?

Jon Bloom

A couple years ago I shared my experience of enduring a spiritual storm, a crisis of faith. Since then I’ve had the privilege of corresponding with numerous precious saints who are enduring similar storms.

A common experience is that after the initial blast of the storm, it often takes a long time to regain a sense of spiritual equilibrium. A friend wrote me recently essentially asking me how long…

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Exposing the Idol of Self-Glory

Jon Bloom

The love of our own glory is the greatest competitor with God in our hearts. And sometimes we can cloak this idol in a pious disguise. In Matthew 21, Jesus unmasked such an idol with a single question.

It was the final week before Jesus’ day of judgment—the day he would stand before his Father’s bar of justice bearing the sins of all who ever had or would believe in…

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She's Dying

Jon Bloom

Rachel Barkey is a 37 year-old wife and mother of two who is dying of cancer. She only has weeks to live.

On March 4, she addressed 600 women and in 55 minutes delivered one of the most God-centered, gospel-soaked, honest, moving, and beautiful messages I have heard. I don’t know that Rachel has read John’s article, Don’t Waste Your Cancer, but she is a beautiful example of every…

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Rock of Truth, Satanic Stumbling Block

Jon Bloom

It is humbling to remember that as Christians we are still vulnerable to Satan’s deception. One moment we can speak glorious truth and the next moment destructive, satanic words. We must be on our guard, something Peter learned the hard way (Matthew 16:13-27).

Why Jesus had led his disciples up to Caesarea Philippi, they weren’t sure. At the foot of Mount Hermon in the far north of Palestine, the population…

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Jesus' Unbelieving Brothers

Jon Bloom

Do you, like me, have family members who do not believe in Jesus? If so, we are in good company. So did Jesus. And I think this is meant to give us hope. 

According to the Apostle John, “not even his brothers believed in him” (John 7:5). That’s incredible. Those who had lived with Jesus for 30 years really did not know him. Not one of Jesus’ brothers is mentioned…

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Was Jesus a Lonely Child?

Jon Bloom

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

We know very little about Jesus’ childhood. But as I’ve been meditating recently on what it must have been like growing up having Jesus as a sibling, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for him.

We know that Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe in him (John 7:5), possibly…

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Ask!

Jon Bloom

He was one of the walking dead. It had almost been three years since the priest examined that suspicious spot on his left arm and looked at him with sympathy, “I’m so sorry. It’s leprosy. May God have mercy on you, my son.”

Leprosy made you die many times before it killed you. It cut you off from those you loved most in the world. It forced you to live…

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A Year-End Letter to the DG Staff

Jon Bloom

Dear Desiring God Staff,

As 2008 fades into history, I want to tell you again what a precious, undeserved privilege it has been to serve with you in the mission of Desiring God. God granted 44 of you to serve at some time during 2008, 35 of whom remain while the rest have followed the Lord’s call into other fields.

Most of the work—and the most important work—of Desiring God…

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One of My Heroes...

Jon Bloom

…is my big brother, Jim. He has been since I was young. Being five years older than me, he was always the epitome of what it meant to be big.

But when he was in college (and I in Jr. High) he was dramatically converted. And he became the most significant model for me in my teens and 20’s of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. He…

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Joseph's Painful Decision

Jon Bloom

Mary wasn’t herself. Joseph had sensed some urgency in her request that he meet her at “their” tree. She was staring at the ground. She seemed burdened. 

“Mary, is something wrong?”

She looked up at him intensely. “Joseph…  I’m pregnant.”

A blast of shock and disbelief hit him, blowing away all his coherent thoughts for a moment. His legs quavered. He grabbed at the tree to steady himself. It felt…

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Sordid Lineage, Beautiful Legacy

Jon Bloom

Ruth Wasn’t Even a Jew

The book of Ruth is amazing. Not simply because it’s a great story about love, loyalty, faith, romance and redemption. But its very presence in the Bible is amazing. Stuck right there in the Old Testament is a book named after a non-Jewish woman.

Ruth was a Moabite. Her ancestry had its origin in the incest committed between Lot and his oldest daughter. And though…

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Is God Punishing Me?

Jon Bloom

As a Christian, when you experience a painful providence like an illness or a rebellious child or a broken marriage or a financial hardship or persecution, do you ever wonder if God is punishing you for some sin you committed?

If you do, there is some very good news from the letter to the Hebrews.

The original readers of this letter had been experiencing persecution and affliction for some time.…

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