Blog Posts by Jon Bloom
When You Don’t Feel Like It, Take Heart
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…Continue Reading
When Following Jesus Means Going Home
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…Continue Reading
Make It Free: A Follow Up
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…Continue Reading
Amazing Grace in the Wreckage of Adultery
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…Continue Reading
Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality
Give to the One Who Begs from You (Part 2)
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,…Continue Reading
I Have Not Always Obeyed This Command
"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…Continue Reading
Listen to Augustine Pray
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…Continue Reading
Demas and Mark
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…Continue Reading
How DG Got Started
Pastor Tim Smith of Mars Hill church in Seattle did a brief (7.5 minute) interview with me at a recent conference on how Desiring God got started 15 years ago.
Seeing Our Shame: 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. …Continue Reading
How Long Will This Last?
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…Continue Reading
In God We Trust
This morning I read a booklet by Michael Haykin of Southern Seminary titled, In God We Trust: What Is God Saying In The Midst Of This Financial Crisis. He provides a brief survey of historical financial crises, beginning with Paul’s collection for the Jerusalem saints up through the Great Depression and highlights the spiritual fruit that came from them.
I love how he exhorts us Christians to be radically…Continue Reading
Exposing the Idol of Self-Glory
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…Continue Reading
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…Continue Reading
Rock of Truth, Satanic Stumbling Block
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…Continue Reading
Jesus' Unbelieving Brothers
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…Continue Reading
Was Jesus a Lonely Child?
“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…
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…Continue Reading
A Year-End Letter to the DG Staff
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…Continue Reading
One of My Heroes...
…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…
Joseph's Painful Decision
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…Continue Reading
Sordid Lineage, Beautiful Legacy
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…Continue Reading
All God's "Musts" Require Trust
In reading through the Book of Revelation recently, by the time I got to the end of chapter 19, the wars, rebellion, suffering, death and judgments were almost overwhelming. Oh how I wanted Jesus to wrap everything up and fully bring his kingdom of righteousness and justice and peace.
Finally, in the first three verses of chapter 20, Satan is bound with a chain and tossed into the…Continue Reading
Is God Punishing Me?
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.…Continue Reading