An amazing progression occurs in the 3 short chapters of Habakkuk.
The book begins with the prophet protesting that God seems to be standing idly by while his people in Judah plummet into rampant evil and injustice (1:2–5).
God responds that it’s not going unnoticed, and, to Habakkuk’s surprise, God’s already attending to it—by raising up the wicked Chaldeans, “that bitter and hasty nation," to punish Judah (1:5-11).
Habakkuk protests the justice of punishing a wicked people with a people even more wicked! (1:12–2:1). The prophet is confident that God can’t answer him on this score, and so he will “look out to see what [God] will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my c…
I wrote to my 13-year-old daughter (who is attending a funeral with her mom in Georgia) that the new “signature” at the bottom of her emails has made this dad very glad. It says,
"A girl should get so lost in God, that a guy has to seek God to find her!" ~ Dannah Gresh, author.
My favorite Christmas text puts humility at the heart of Christmas. So this Christmas I am marveling at Jesus’ humility and wanting more of it myself. I’ll quote the text in a moment.
But first there are two problems. Tim Keller helps us to see one of them in a recent article in Christianity Today. He reminds us, “Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves” (Dec. 2008, p. 51). So an article about humility (like this one, or like his) is self-defeating, it seems. But even shy people peek out sometimes if they are treated well.
The other problem is that Jesus wasn’t humble for the same reasons we are (or should be). So how can looking at Jesus’ Christmas humility hel…
Dripping sweat on the paperback's pages, I speed-walked and read for one hour and twenty minutes holding this book in my hand so that I could finish it before my routine was over. That was two weeks ago. Since then I have been trying to figure out how to describe the way it has affected me. It’s mainly because of the Dad, Jeremiah Land.
I am talking about Leif Enger’s first novel, Peace Like a River. Abraham said I should read it. If my sons tell me to read a thing, I do—at least so far.
I fear saying something trite. I read one reviewer who said, “heartwarming.” Like a rifle bullet in the head, it’s heartwarming. The heart needs something bigger and deeper than warming. And this bo…
“The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.” Really? Let’s not forget that the Lord Jesus was also the human newborn baby Jesus, as we’re reminded in one of the best Christmas books ever—The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Imogene had the baby doll but she wasn’t carrying it in the way she was supposed to, cradled in her arms. She had it slung up over her shoulder, and before she put it in the manger she thumped it twice on the back.
I heard Alice gasp and she poked me. “I don’t think it’s very nice to burp the baby Jesus,” she whispered, “as if he had colic.” Then she poked me again. “Do you suppose he could have had colic?”
I said, “I don’t know why n…
Mary wasn’t herself. Joseph had sensed some urgency in her request that he meet her at “their” tree. She was staring at the ground. She seemed burdened.
“Mary, is something wrong?”
She looked up at him intensely. “Joseph… I’m pregnant.”
A blast of shock and disbelief hit him, blowing away all his coherent thoughts for a moment. His legs quavered. He grabbed at the tree to steady himself. It felt solid, rooted.
He stared at her. He was numb. No words came. Everything seemed surreal.
Mary was still looking at him with her intense eyes. He saw no shame in them. No defensiveness, no defiance. Not even tears. They looked…innocent. And they were searching his eyes for an …
It is good news that we will never be thanked by God.
Not thanking us is a form of love.
We need to adjust our expectations of what it feels like to be loved by God compared to what it feels like to be loved by men.
(I made Abraham post this.)
Happy birthday, Abraham Piper. Thanks for all your work on the DG web site.
From the looks of it having a little one makes you happier than being a little one.
I suppose that’s what Jesus said: It is more blessed to give (which is what parents do) than to receive (which is what little ones do).
In both cases you have made one dad very glad, namely, me.
I love you.
I took a few days recently to put my sermons on Ruth into a small book that may be called A Sweet and Bitter Providence. One of the spillovers from that effort was a renewed sense of how much we need great stories that embody great truths.
Ruth and Boaz is a great love story. When a story is permeated with God and his vision of life, we get to watch truth happen. The beauty of truth is not explained to us. It is lived before us.
God’s truth concerning manhood and womanhood is beautiful. Most of us are so sinful that we don’t model it well. So we need teaching and we need storytelling. And we need Christ to forgive us and renew us and send us back again and again into this truth...…
The last reference to John the Baptist in our four Gospels is in the final week of Jesus’ life. Jesus mentioned him to explain this astonishing statement to the chief priests and elders:
Truly , I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew 21:31)
How in the world can a prostitute enter heaven before a priest?
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. (Matthew 21:32)
The reason prostitutes are entering heaven before priests is that they believed John.
If you are a prostitute…