Private devotions aren’t magic. We know that (for the most part).
But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.
The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up or whip through them to alleviate guilt because devotions don’t seem to work for us.
Our longing for intimate communion with God is God-given. It’s a good thing to desire, ask for, and pursue. The Spirit does give us wonderful occasio…
Relentless. That is pastor Leonce Crump’s one word for the love of God for sinners.
He has met this relentless Savior again and again on his journey from part-time Catholic to gospel-loving pastor. In this three-minute video, he tells us why God loves his children no matter what. “I am rescued by God. Restored by God. Renewed by God,” Crump says. “He is absolutely relentless in his pursuit of those who are his.”
Before you read another email or change another diaper or watch another show, let Leonce remind you of the basic, but infinite truth that your primary identity is saved son or daughter of God. Because of his grace, you will never have to earn your place at his table.
Grace is on the loose.
Contrary to our expectations, counter to our assumptions, frustrating our judicial sentiments, mocking our craving for control, the grace of God is turning the world upside down. He is shamelessly pouring out his lavish favor on undeserving sinners of all stripes, and thoroughly stripping away our self-sufficiency.
Primeval and Unbridled
Grace has been on the move since before creation, roaming wild and free. Even before the foundation of the world, it was the untamed grace of God that jumped the bounds of time and space and considered a yet-to-be-created people in connection with his Son, and chose them in him (Ephesians 1:4). It was in love — and to the praise of …
Adoption is greater than the universe.
So says John Piper, and as sweeping as the statement may sound, it is absolutely true. Because the eternal communion of our triune God is behind, beneath, beside, and above the universe and is the ultimate reason and cause for our adoption.
The Love Story of the Universe
The eternal story of the infinite reciprocal love that the three Persons of the Trinity share with each other sheds the light of the Son on the immense size of our adoption. Pastor and author Gerrit Dawson captures just how this adoption envelops the universe and empowers its inhabitants.
The universe came to be as part of the eternal love story of the Father and the Son. Before the…
Local churches face the challenge of training Christians for local ministry and developing new leaders, but with limited resources.
Stepping up to help is the Porterbrook Network, a global theological training ministry based in the United Kingdom and founded by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. Both men are seasoned authors, church planters, and pastors; and Timmis serves as the Director of Acts 29 Europe.
The Porterbrook Network has developed a two-year program of twenty-four courses for local churches and small groups aiming to train church planters and church-planting core groups. They use the curriculum to bring together like-minded local churches into regional collective training sites…
Someone asked me recently, “If you could say one thing to women, what would it be?” My response was, “You need the gospel more than you think you do.” This sounds rather trite, like something we’ve heard over and over before. But it’s the truth.
It took motherhood for me to realize just how much I need the gospel. Before I had children, the gospel was like viewing a tower in the fog. I knew the gospel, understood its importance, but I didn’t see the impact in all its fullness. The details were hazy and its beauty shadowed. But after becoming a mom and taking on its package of responsibilities and challenges, I have begun to see the gospel with more clarity. It has become for me the tower of…
Being a self-confessed dinosaur in the world of modern instincts, C.S. Lewis was, and is, therefore, refreshingly relevant. Already in 1944, his views on education were so well rooted in reason and experience that they were wonderfully out of date.
When I wrote last week on the glory of work, I had today’s blog post in mind. I thought: If I could ignite in you a love for the glory of work, maybe you would agree with Lewis about the relationship between the labor of learning to read, and the sweet fruits of good reading.
When I say “learning to read,” I mean more than the ABCs. Language is an inexhaustible thing. We are learning to read all our lives. And the better we learn to read, the mo…
LYNCHBURG, VA — Imagine what God may be pleased to do throughout the world over the next 50 years with the lives of 10,000 college students in love with Jesus and aimed at the nations.
John Piper addressed such a hungry crowd this morning at a convocation at Liberty University. He was asked to speak for their twice-annual missions week, which was established to inspire and mobilize minds and hearts and lives to take the gospel to all people everywhere.
Piper’s question for the students was this: What do we need to believe — really believe — in order to love the nations enough to lay down our lives for the sake of their salvation? What truths give us the freedom to suffer in far away places…
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
God is not unresponsive to the contrite longing of the soul. He comes and lifts the load of sin and fills our heart with gladness and gratitude. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11–12).
But our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope…
Today, millions of Christians will gather to worship Jesus. Each gathering, as its own mosaic of souls, will meet at its own place and time. I hope you will be at one, somewhere, and I hope you go there to get, not give.
That is right. Go to church to get. Don’t go to give. Banish the slightest idea in your head that you are going to a corporate worship service because you have something to offer God. He isn’t served like that, as though he needed anything, since he’s the one who gives everything to everybody (Acts 17:25).
God doesn’t need your cattle (Psalm 50:9–12). Or your voice.
The worship of God is not about what you can bring to him. It actually starts with what you can’t. Our hear…