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…
Deception works by making you think that there is more joy apart from gospel-shaped community. It makes sin feel more attractive than a righteous commitment to our brothers and sisters in Christ. And one way we war against this, says John Piper, is by being a truly glad people, like in 2 John 1:4.
He explains, “The devil doesn’t have a hook in happy Christians, just miserable Christians who are looking for an alternative pleasure.”
This excerpt is taken from the most recent sermon, “Life Together at the End of the Age.”
In the fall of 1782, a 57-year-old man walked the docks of Deptford, a South London port on the Thames river. Thirty miles inland from the sea, the port was the home of the Royal Navy Dockyards, and the man looked out over the war ships and merchant vessels as he reflected on his own seafaring past. It’s not possible to know all the memories passing through his mind, but he was likely reminded of his time spent aboard a Navy ship, a few merchant ships, and even African slave trading ships. His mind certainly reflected on the brutal and uncertain life of seafaring.
The man was John Newton, and he was now a pastor, though a very unlikely one.
Newton’s life on the wine dark sea was long ove…
For 60 years now, he’s been with The Navigators, known for their discipling. So don’t expect Jerry Bridges to be naive about the process of disciplemaking.
Recently, when Bridges joined us at the Desiring God offices, he made some insightful observations about what he calls “two stages of disciplemaking.” He gave us permission to hit record, and we discussed his reflections in the latest episode of Theology Refresh.
An initial and primary stage, he says, is about helping baby Christians begin to grow and learn to be self-feeders in God’s word and in prayer and in the local church. This first stage of disciplemaking involves simply being a spiritual parent to a child in the faith. It can, a…
It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the release of Desiring God’s new iPhone app Ask Pastor John, now available for free in the iTunes store.
Just this January, on John Piper’s 67th birthday, we relaunched the Ask Pastor John (APJ) podcast through Sound Cloud. The revitalized podcast provides daily audio clips of John answering tough theological and pastoral questions.
Already available are 40 new episodes — released five times each week, typically about 5 minutes long each. We call it a daily podcast, as we’re serving up something new each weekday. The new app is simple and easy to use. It plays the most recent seven episodes (and links to Sound Cloud for all episodes), includes …
Lecrae wants you to see reality from a unique perspective. This is his intention in the Grammy Award-winning album, Gravity.
Exhibit A is the song “Mayday,” featuring Big K.R.I.T. and Ashton Jones, which demonstrates the clash of two different worldviews. Initially you hear the general outside world’s perspective on faith followed by Lecrae speaking as a rescued sinner: “when I look at Jesus, he lived the life I couldn’t, suffered for my crime so I wouldn’t.”
He explains more in this two-minute video:
Related videos from Lecrae:
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 them what it meant to you and that you would love to talk about it sometime. If you don’t know the person, ask for their permission to give them a book that meant a lot to you.
This is what I regularly do on the plane. Sometimes conversations are easy to get into about Christ because I am a pastor. Other times they’re not…
Of the five Ask Pastor John podcasts released this week, none was more played than episode 37 — “A Theology of Prayer in 3 Minutes.” Pastor John set personal prayer into the context of God’s unfolding redemptive plan and the final victory of God.
He was responding to one man who had lost confidence in the power of prayer and was asking, Do my personal prayers make any difference?
Pastor John responded to the question with a short theology of prayer by explaining the significance of the golden censers (bowls) which hold the prayers of the saints (see Revelation 5:8, 8:3–4). In part, Pastor John explained the meaning of the passages like this —
Those bowls have two functions. They are…
Spectacular glory awaits those who are joined to Jesus.
Not only will we see him in all his glory — which might be thrilling enough — but we will share in his glory as he transforms “our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Rightly did C. S. Lewis observe that “the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship” (The Weight of Glory, 45).
This is the stunning doctrine of glorification. It’s almost too good to be true. Almost.
If the Bible didn’t make it plain, most of us would insist such a wonderful destiny could never be ours. But text after text tells the story of…
A kid in Colorado with male genitals is prohibited from using the girls’ bathroom.
That’s the straightforward backstory on a recent piece from Donna Rose, a transsexual journalist writing her opinion for CNN. A Colorado school district has decided that a six-year-old child with male anatomy should use the boys’ bathroom at school, or a private one, Rose reports. Rose decries the school’s decision as discrimination because the child apparently has a deep sense of being a girl.
This six-year-old child, Rose writes,
knows she’s a girl. She dresses as a girl. Her legal documents recognize her as a girl. Her parents accept her as a girl. On the playground, you would have difficulty identifying…