Blog Posts by Jon Bloom
Watch Your Mouth
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. The following meditation is from 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…Continue Reading
Lay Aside the Weight of Restless Work
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
July marks my 20th year working with John Piper and many precious colleagues in this mission of Desiring God. It is a privilege so great that it surpasses my power to comprehend it.
Twenty years. That’s a generation. When I began, I hadn’t been alive much more than twenty years. Now I’m…Continue Reading
Lay Aside the Weight of Self-Preoccupation
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Want to refresh your soul? Want to run with more endurance today? Cease to be the focus of your attention.
The state of your soul depends on what occupies your mind. If…Continue Reading
God Will Never, Ever Break His Promise
How might Isaac have explained to his young sons, Jacob and Esau, why God had commanded his father, Abraham, to offer him as a burnt offering (Genesis 22)?
Eight year-old Esau sat on his bed-mat firing imaginary arrows in the dark at his younger twin, Jacob, who could hear him making his “pheoo” sound with each shot. They were hitting the target.
“Esau, stop!” pheoo. “I said,…Continue Reading
Lay Aside the Weight of Sluggishness
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11–12)
Sluggishness in a runner signals danger to a coach. Something isn’t right. Something is causing ambivalence, draining confidence. The runner is losing heart. Half-hearted running is…Continue Reading
Two Kinds of Regret, One Kind of Hope
What do you regret? That question can trigger some vivid memories. I don’t like to think about them. I wince as I remember things I wish I had never done—terrible, wounding words I spoke, confidences I betrayed, dark lusts I indulged.
We’re supposed to feel regret (feel sorry) for evil things we do. But not all regret is godly.
Judas and Peter both committed heinous sins on the same night.…Continue Reading
God’s Mercy in Messed Up Families
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find an example of what we would call a “healthy family” in the Bible? It’s a lot easier to find families with a lot of sin and a lot of pain than to find families with a lot of harmony. For example, here’s just a sampling from Genesis:
- The first recorded husband and wife calamitously disobey God (Genesis 3).
God’s Mercy in Making Us Face the Impossible
God is not content for us just to understand the idea that nothing is too hard for the Lᴏʀᴅ (Jeremiah 32:17). He wants us to have the overwhelming joy of experiencing it. But the sometimes agonizing period between his promise and his provision can push us to the brink of what we think we can believe, as it did for Abraham and Sarah.
[This imaginative conversation takes place shortly after…Continue Reading
When Harsh Words Are Kind
Missionary to India, William Carey, once exhorted a Baptist gathering in England by saying, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” I love that quote.
But we must heed the Bible’s warning through Simon the Magician: if we attempt great things so that others will see us as great, we are in grave spiritual peril.
The Situation with Simon
After Stephen had been brutally stoned to death,…Continue Reading
Jesus Came to Reverse the Curse
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26)
A few days ago we laid the body of my wife’s grandfather in the ground outside the little brick church in the cornfields where he attended all 97 years of his life. I was given…Continue Reading
Faith That Made Jesus Marvel
Jesus… marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:9)
Jesus, the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), once marveled at the great faith he found in a man. And it’s the only instance recorded in the Gospels when Jesus responded that way. Who was this man? A rabbi? No. A…Continue Reading
Lay Aside the Weight of Fear
What happened in Boston on Monday was demonic. The thief (John 10:10) killed three precious lives, wreaked physical destruction on scores more and spiritual destruction on thousands. And he stole not only the joy of the race for millions, but far worse he stole trust. This will have widespread social and cultural repercussions.
This Boston massacre makes visible a spiritual reality. When the bombs exploded, the Boston Marathon stopped and…Continue Reading
Lay Aside the Weight of Doubt
“Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27)
In the race of faith that Jesus has called you to run (Hebrews 12:1), doubt is a weight you simply can’t keep running with. You’ve got to drop it. Today.
But first, let me explain what I mean by doubt. Doubt is not synonymous with unbelief in the Bible — at least not complete unbelief. The Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus were full…Continue Reading
Lay Aside Every Weight
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Jesus has called you to run a race. It’s a faith race. It’s long-distance and multi-terrain.
And you’ve been trying to run but you’re wondering why it’s so hard. Why…Continue Reading
Do Not Disbelieve — But Believe
“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25)
The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the most important event of human history. If it didn’t happen, the most influential world religion is a sham. If it did happen, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
When Jesus Makes You Wait in Pain
The reason there was a “Palm Sunday” was because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 12:17–18). It was perhaps the most powerful, hope-giving miracle Jesus ever performed during his pre-cross ministry; the capstone sign of who he was (John 5:21–25).
That’s why the Apostle John wrote, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in…Continue Reading
Jesus Is Turning Your Shame into a Showcase of His Grace
You know that part of you that you really want others not to see — that stubborn weakness, humiliating failure, embarrassing illness, horrible past event, or present struggle with sin? There’s very good news for you in the story of the woman with a hemorrhage in Luke 8.
Jesus was now a reluctant celebrity. And a crowd was teeming around him as he made his way toward Jairus’s home to…Continue Reading
Seven Things to Pray for Your Children
[Download a print-version of “7 Things to Pray for My Children”]
Some years back a good friend shared with me seven Scripture texts that he and his wife prayed for their two daughters from the time they were infants. The girls are now grown. And it’s beautiful to see how God has (and still is) answering the faithful, specific prayers of faith-filled parents in the lives of these…Continue Reading
Be Lavish in Your Easter Giving
A few years back, in a sermon titled, “I’m Sending You to Open Their Eyes,” John Piper said,
Be a lavish giver. Be known as a generous person, not a stingy person. Jesus said, “Lend, expecting nothing in return” (Luke 6:35). Combine this reputation with giving books, if you know someone is a reader. Give a Christian book that cost you seven or ten or fifteen dollars. Tell…
Failure Doesn’t Have to Be the Last Word
Demas and Mark are contrasts in failure. One provides us a word of warning, the other a word of hope. And as people who stumble in many ways (James 3:2), we need both.
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…
The Splendor of Holiness: Upcoming Children’s Conference
We know from Romans 6 that from the early days of the church there has existed a temptation to distort this gospel of God’s grace by deemphasizing God’s holiness. Which is tragic. It’s precisely God’s holiness that makes his grace toward us sinners so amazing! Understanding the doctrine of God’s holiness is absolutely essential if we are to rightly understand the doctrine of God’s grace and the miracle of sanctification…Continue Reading
Don’t Feel Qualified for Your Calling?
For the first forty years of his life, Moses lived in a place of strength. As a member of Pharaoh’s household he had social prestige, wealth (Hebrews 11:26), and youthful strength. When he became aware of and troubled by his peoples’ oppression he used this strength to exact vigilante justice on an oppressive Egyptian. That wasn’t God’s plan for deliverance. He had to flee for his life and ended up…Continue Reading
Your Sin Is No Match for God’s Grace
The old hymn says it beautifully: “Grace, grace, God’s grace; grace that is greater than all my sin.”
But the grace of God is not only great enough to “pardon and cleanse within.” It is so powerful, as Joseph’s older brothers learned in Genesis 45, that it can turn the most horrible sin you have ever committed against another, or has ever been committed against you, and make it the…Continue Reading
Sow Seeds of Immeasurable Gospel Moments
Years ago John Piper said something about reading that I have found to be spot on:
It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book…
Dispel the Loveless Nightmare
Darwinian theorists say that our obsessive selfishness is programmed into our genes. No disagreement there. We know that. The Bible describes the effects of the fall as pervading everything. This would include the genetic level.
But they hypothesize that the reasons for this selfishness is survival and procreation. Our genes want to save themselves.
Well, frankly, this doesn’t do our selfishness justice. There is a deeper depravity at work. We…Continue Reading