Today we launch a new devotional eBook, Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week. Beginning Palm Sunday (March 24) through Easter Sunday (March 31), we invite you to join us in focusing on the self-giving love of our Savior.
Comprised of eight excerpts (plus one prologue reading) selected from John Piper’s extensive writing and preaching ministry, this new devotional was compiled and shaped for use in personal devotions or family and group settings.
As Pastor John explains, this one term — uttermost — is loaded with significance. When used of Jesus’s willing death for his friends, it means he endured unimaginable degrees of suffering to do so (John 13:1, NAS).
To love t…
At concourse G, gate seventeen,
My sweat and panting pleas
That obstacles were unforeseen
May have been fantasies
For all they cared of where I’d been.
The door was locked within.
“I waited at another gate,”
I pled. They said, “Too late.”
I wait, and weary, fall—hurled back
Through sluggish centuries—
Asleep. The roof of my poor shack
Unrhythmic’ly taps. These
Drops of rain suddenly unite
In weeks of raging night.
I linger, doubting. Then flail straight
To Noah’s ark. Too late.
Again I dream. Esau. I scratch
My hairy arms and smell
The wildness in my clothes, and snatch
At ev’ry hollow shell
Of happiness—in vain—and gr…
Hey you, rich young ruler…
Maybe you’re old for pro football, but you’re young to the rest of the world. And rich. You’ve negotiated salary-cap-friendly deals with your team, but that still has you at a guaranteed $33 million over the next five seasons.
And as much as anyone in this generation, you have ruled the NFL — three Super Bowl rings, twice Super Bowl MVP, twice league MVP, eight Pro Bowls, and five Super Bowl appearances in ten seasons. You hold the record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season, have the highest career playoff win total in NFL history, and are the first quarterback to lead a team to ten division titles. The Associated Press even named you Male Athlet…
Does your speaking and writing have authority?
It does if you are tapping into the authority of the Bible.
John Piper recently addressed the students and apprentices at Bethlehem College and Seminary with a simple and earnest plea: write and teach as reliable spokesmen. He encourages Christian thinkers to scrutinize their thoughts by apostolic authority and to articulate them with precision.
Stream or download the message, “How to Give the Bible Functional Authority in Your Speech and Writing.”
A few years ago, I became so disillusioned with how the word faith gets misused today that I wanted to propose we simply drop the word altogether, and perhaps use trust instead. But as I’ve aged, I’ve realized more and more just how wrong I was.
In reading Charles Spurgeon, one thing I’m constantly challenged by is his great, unembarrassed emphasis on faith. He even wrote a book called Chequebook of the Bank of Faith which is a devotional work based on the promises of God, and very worth the read.
For Spurgeon, faith lies at the very heart of the Christian life, and is not just something that we exercise at the beginning of our walk in order to become a Christian. For him, it is the very r…
As I look back over 32 years of pastoral ministry at Bethlehem one of the sweet legacies I savor is the solid place Bible memorization has in the church. I am not the only, or even the main reason for this. David and Sally Michael hold that place under God’s good providence. But I have loved it, nurtured it, and tried to model it.
Because I believe in it with all my heart.
At the core of this commitment is what we call the Fighter Verse program. This is a church-wide encouragement for young and old to memorize together each week a portion of Scripture. The verses are planned out for five years. Then we start over.
They’re called “fighter verses” because the one offensive weapon in our spi…
Pastor John recently tweeted, “Christian relationships have this as their goal: to help each other stay satisfied in God.” To learn more about how this gets worked out in practice, we asked him. In part, he said this:
It comes down to whether we taste and see that the Lord is good. I have said this to the church and I have said to pastors, and I have said to my wife. What I want from you, Noël, what I want from my staff, is for them to be happy in Jesus. The greatest ministry you can have to me is for you to enjoy Christ. And so I think when we turn that around and say, “Now how can I be the greatest blessing to the people around me?” The answer is: Get up in the morning. Go to the Word…
[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 young, godly women.
I have frequently used these prayers when praying for my children too. And I commend them to you (see below).
But, of course, prayers are not magic spells. It’s not a matter of just saying the right things and our children will be blessed with success.
Some parents earnestly pray and their chi…
Irritability isn’t that big a deal, is it?
Although we’re prone to believe it’s a lesser sin, Phil Ryken explains that irritability is actually a way of hating because it is “a way of non-loving.”
In his book, Loving the Way Jesus Loves, Ryken connects Paul’s teaching that “love is not irritable” with a positive example from Jesus’s life. The portrait of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is perfectly displayed in Jesus, and non-irritable love is one of his perfections.
The apostle Paul suffered. Did he ever.
He was imprisoned. He was beaten, often near death. He took 195 total lashes from his Jewish kinsmen on five occasions. He took three pummels with rods. He was once stoned — and then also shipwrecked three times. Then there are the endless dangers of travel in the first century, plus countless other experiences mentioned and unmentioned in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 11:21–33).
It doesn’t take long until we wonder how in the world he did it. How did he take so much pain? So much loss? How did he prepare for suffering?
The answer is in Philippians 3:7–8.
Counting Everything As Loss
In the 1992 sermon “Called to Suffer and Rejoice: That We Migh…