Most of us, if we’re honest, would admit that the daily grind on this planet can be rather unsatisfying. The labor never pays off like we imagined. The respites never deliver like we hoped. There is more, right? We’ve all felt this deep down.
The scene could not have been more inauspicious: a low-lit room, full stomachs, and the feet on twelve grown men. This is never where you’d expect to find the greatest teaching ever on loving one another.
John Piper says that good news is so dense and so constant in Romans 8 — and so vastly superior to all earthly good news — that we scarcely feel the force of it until we take every verse of Romans 8 and restate it as the miracle it means for our lives.
This is something very basic to remember when reading the Bible. It is simple, very simple, but I think it recalibrates our hearts and stills the swirling of our minds, especially when we find ourselves in a rut.
There is something wonderfully Christian about September, especially baseball in September. It starts as something in the air. The heat dies down, the wind picks up, the leaves start to fall. One season is giving way to another, and in some stories, this would be pure gloom.
We’ve been discussing these things as a family for the last couple of weeks, and after lifting our hands in the air and asking “What can we do?,” it has become clear to us, at least for us, that the way forward is small.
If we’re going to wrap our heads around cynicism (or loose its fangs from our heart), we need to start by understanding it’s a symptom of a greater disease. Cynicism, problematic as it is, presents itself more as the emblem of a wider epidemic.
Expounding Jesus’s love command, John Piper writes that we cannot claim to truly love someone while being indifferent toward what destroys them. If we love our enemies, then we must hate the evil of our enemies that makes them so.
God doesn’t have to take you where he does. He sees you. He hears you. He could say one word and you’d know it. But he doesn’t, and it must be because there’s something glorious that happens in those moments of our waiting.
Sometimes the weight of our trials are so severe that we feel as if we can’t keep our heads above the water. The pain is so vicious, the malaise so thick, that we can’t imagine our situation ever changing. We can’t see healing. We can’t articulate hope. And when we try, it just hurts more.
She sat there docile, quiet, unmoved by the heat that emanated from this gentlemen’s red forehead. “What is the story here?,” I wondered. Others might have wondered the same. More patrons were watching by then. Quite the scene was forming, though it was nothing yet compared to what it would be.
At night when we go to bed, on a whole day when we pause our projects, in a season of vacation or Sabbatical, our stopping work is our saying “Enough!” to the merry-go-round. We don’t have to ride this thing. There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9–10).
Knowledge doesn’t terminate on the knower. We don’t learn in order to conceal, just like a lamp isn’t lit to be put under a basket (Matthew 5:15). We learn in order to express — to lead others in seeing and…
A few years ago, before starting a routine read through the Book of Acts, I picked up a green colored pencil to highlight every mention of cities and regions I might come across. Each occurrence of a geographical name was…