Nobody said it was easy;
No one ever said it would be this hard. (Coldplay, “The Scientist”)
O Christian Hedonism! That ancient, beautiful, biblical truth that our treasure is what most captures our heart (Matthew 6:21), that what measures our treasure is our pleasure, that if God is our “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4) then God’s pursuit of glory and our pursuit of happiness are one wonderful, wild pursuit! Because God is actually most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
For many of us, putting the scriptural pieces together and seeing this truth was almost like a second conversion. We saw more good in the gospel than we had ever seen before: God doesn’t merely want us holy; h…
“Mom, I need to add something to my Christmas wish list.”
It’s that time of year again. The stores are adorned with all things red and green. Mailboxes and inboxes are filled with ads, sales, and catalogs. Prettily wrapped packages are at the forefront of nearly everyone’s minds — especially kids’.
Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to pour the truths of the gospel into the hearts of our children. It’s an ideal time to show them the greatest gift they could ever receive, the gift of Jesus Christ.
Below is a list of important truths to teach our children this Christmas:
1. The Story of Redemption
During Advent, with the anticipation of the 25th, we can teach and prepare our child…
Finally, the son was born. Generation after generation had anticipated his birth and the world desperately needed him. Desperately.
Each day was a gloomy cloud of night. The darkness of death’s shadow filled the earth. Strife and quarrels multiplied without hindrance. The hearts of all mankind only conceived evil. In fact, “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). It actually was so bad that the detoxification of wickedness meant the complete de-creation of the world. God would start all over, if not for this one son.
They called him Noah.
The First Remnant
Long before the sons of Adam knew there would be a captive Israel (or even an Israel …
Happiness and holiness are inseparable. True holiness is unattainable without true happiness. Happiness is part of holiness — even the essence of holiness.
But there’s an even deeper connection between our happiness and holiness, and it’s rooted in God’s holy character.
Holy, Holy, Holy!
Many times, a sermon on the holiness of God will start with Isaiah 6:1–5, with a dramatic recounting of Isaiah, the priest, entering the temple in the presence of God’s flowing holiness. Angels cover their faces as Isaiah falls on his face and the temple shakes and tremors in the presence of the almighty, holy God.
The account is frightening, and the sermon is appropriately solemn and serious. It often e…
Union with Christ. We couldn’t be any more excited about taking up this theme at our upcoming conference for pastors.
Whether this doctrine is an old friend or one you haven’t heard much about, it will be greatly enriching to give three days to basking in the theology and everyday implications with Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. (Full schedule below.)
Whether or not it’s a live option for you to join us, we invite you into the 2-minute video below, narrated by John Piper. Our prayer is that you might pick up something fresh about this important doctrine and be inspired for a lifetime of diving deeper into its bottomless sea.
Register by January 1 to receive a $…
With the Christmas season and all its commercial blitz and glitz upon us (seen especially on Black Friday), let’s lay aside the grousing and see the grace. No throwing wet blankets over Christmas.
May Christmas always blaze healthy and strong in the fireplace of our Decembers, radiating golden light and drawing loved ones and strangers together around its warmth to share a cup of joyful wonder.
And please, let us lay aside fruitless and, frankly, irrelevant debates about pagan origins. That’s no reason for humbug. I hope it’s true! That would be something to celebrate! Jesus came into the world to redeem us pagans and turn us “from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1…
Now and then, it needs to be said that not all thanksgiving is thanksfeeling. We can make ourselves (or our children) say, “Thank you,” whether we feel it or not. But it’s not a good habit, especially in relation to God.
Jesus warns against “vain” worship. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me” (Matthew 15:8–9). Thanksgiving without thanksfeeling is empty. It does not count with God.
An Act of the Heart
Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles. It is not willed, but awakened. It is not a decision of the will, but a reflex of the heart. It happens to us. We become aware of good wil…
Thanksgiving is more than a day off. It is more than eating mashed potatoes and gravy, watching football, and taking a wonderful turkey-induced nap.
Thanksgiving is a pervasive and essential concept in Scripture. And although it is good to set aside a Thursday each November to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving, the Scriptures have more to say about giving thanks than one day a year can handle.
Here are five biblical truths about thanksgiving.
1. Thanksgiving Is Trinitarian
The typical pattern of thanksgiving in the New Testament is that God the Father is the object of thanksgiving, God the Son is the person through whom thanksgiving flows, and God the Holy Spirit is the source of thanksg…
We’re now only five days from Advent, which begins this Sunday, December 1.
Just a few minutes of forethought today could go a long way in making this year special for your family, or spiritually significant for you personally.
One way to make the holidays sing is some kind of short daily devotional that can help prepare the hearts of you and yours for the weight of what we celebrate at Christmas in the incarnation of the Son of God. This is the greatest wonder of history’s many wonders — the coming of the eternal divine in frail, human flesh — something too remarkable to mark only one day. Advent is a way of lengthening the joy of Christmas, but only as we’re intentional and substantive i…
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates in the Arabian Peninsula. It is virtually an island because of the way the inland waterways from the Persian Gulf weave around it. The population is just under a million. It’s a 90 minute drive southwest from Dubai.
As with the other major cities in the UAE, about 80% of the population of Abu Dhabi is expatriate. This includes the lowest paid laborers who live in camps outside the city, and the highest paid executives and managers who may live in luxury. It strikes me as a fragile arrangement for the Emiratis. If, for some reason, the foreign labor force and industrial leadership left the country, the economy would be crippled.