Word pictures have power to put familiar wonders back where they belong — in the heart of worship. Isaiah pictured the Messiah as so tender he would not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick (Isaiah 42:3). Yet he will be so mighty that he will bring justice to victory over all the evil of the world (Isaiah 42:1, 3).
Some years ago God wakened a word picture in my mind for Holy Week. Then and now the effect was to put the familiar wonder of the tender mercy and terrible might of Jesus back where they belong—in my worshipping heart. I pray it will have a similar effect on you.
A little lamb was born all wooly-white with skinny legs and a wet nose, pretty much like all the other …
God’s sovereignty is a precious reality.
Now chances are this truth didn’t seem too precious when it first confronted you. The natural, fallen response to hearing we aren’t the ones in control is to white-knuckle our will and refuse to bow. Humans tend to like the idea that we are the captains of our own destinies. Motivational glib like that will pack out self-help seminars. But sooner or later, and hopefully sooner, we learn how bankrupt it all is. We are not in charge, and that’s a good thing.
Any peace and hope we have in our lives right now can be traced back to the fact that God alone is God, that he is the sovereign power behind everything. And this has future-creating wonder. God’s…
Here we go again.
Have you ever thought that at the beginning of a story you’ve heard several times before? Once the person starts talking you know exactly where they’re going. You’ve heard it before. You get it. Here we go again.
It’s interesting how this sort of thing especially happens in marriage. Husbands and wives do a lot of talking and before long they know each other’s best stuff. What might be the first time we tell our story to friends could be (or feel like) the hundredth time our spouse has heard it. This was the theme of a recently re-aired show from This American Life. They call the show “Reruns” and though overall it’s not that great, this marriage part was really good. The…
Don’t forget to wear your green today. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day.
Before thumbing your nose at all the carousing and empty revelry that much of the day has become, it’s worth taking at least a brief glance at the inspiring Christian origin of, and missional impulse behind, what we now mark as Saint Patty’s.
While the day has become a celebration of all things Irish, the original feast was about gospel advance. It was not about parades, but pioneering the church among an unreached people. It was not about lifting Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking, but bringing God’s amazing grace to a pagan nation.
The Gospel to the Irish
The March 17 feast day (declared in the early 17th century)…
I know God disciplines me, because the Bible tells me so, but how do I know when I am personally experiencing God’s discipline for my sin?
This question surfaced this week on the Ask Pastor John podcast. In part of his answer, Pastor John said this:
Here is one of the most remarkable things about God’s ordaining hard things in our lives in a disciplinary way. Jesus was disciplined and he never sinned. Hebrews 5:8 says Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered.” Now a lot of people read that and they say, “Whoa! Learned obedience? You mean he stopped being disobedient, and became obedient, and thus he sinned?” No. That is not what it says; that is not what it means.
Some mornings when I wake up I can’t see straight. This doesn’t have anything to do with my glasses or contact lens.
I yawn, stretch, and shuffle into the kitchen for some coffee. By the time my bare feet hit the cold tiles I am fully awake and I can’t see straight.
Alas! Today is… Today. How am I going to make it through Today?
A flood of thoughts stir in my mind and then my emotions chime in with their contributions of a sundry mix of feelings. A fog of unbelief and doubt descends to cloud the acuity of my spiritual retinas.
Elisha’s servant woke up like this one morning, too. Early one morning the young man got up and went out of his tent, rubbed the sand out of his bleary eyes, and l…
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 heal the synagogue ruler’s twelve-year-old daughter.
In the crowd was a desperate woman. For twelve years she had suffered from a vaginal hemorrhage. All the medical treatments she sought had bled her savings. Nothing had helped.
But she had seen Jesus’ healing power. When he touched people they were healed. I…
A few years ago, I was asked on camera what I would say to the Pope if I had two minutes with him. I said I would ask him what he believed about justification. The video ended with me putting the question to the Pope and then responding as follows:
“Do you teach that we should rely entirely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith alone as the ground of God being 100% for us, after which necessary sanctification comes? Do you teach that?”
And if he said, “No, we don’t,” then I’d say, “I think that right at the core of Roman Catholic theology is a heresy,” or something like that.
“Heresy” is a strong word. The problem with it is that its meaning and implications are not clear.…
The new website for Cross has just gone live.
Cross is a new student missions conference. I serve on the leadership team — along with Thabiti Anyabwile, Kevin DeYoung, David Platt, Zane Pratt, David Sitton, and Mack Stiles — and want to be among the first to invite you to come.
It will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, December 27–30, this year. I would love for the Desiring God regulars to get in on the $50 registration cost for the first 500 to sign up.
Why a new student missions conference? Here’s my seven-point answer.
1. With 7,000 schools of higher learning, and 15,000,000 students, and a spread of 5,000 miles (from Maine to Hawaii), there is room in America for another conferenc…
What is God’s will for my life?
We all want to know the answer to that question, right? I mean, could there be a more pressing subject? We’re talking about the sovereign God of all that is, the one who created us, who sustains us, who gave his Son to save us. What does he want us to do with this vapor of a life he’s given?
In his new book, Follow Me, David Platt gets right to the core of our search for God’s will. We’re drawn to the methods — whether casting a fleece or listening to “that still small voice” or looking for that door to fling wide open. But Platt wonders, is it really that hard?
What if God the Father has not sent his children on a cosmic Easter egg hunt to discover his wil…