The Bible tethers us to reality. We are not free to think and speak whatever might enter our minds or what might be pleasing to any given audience—except God.
By personal calling and Scripture, I am bound to the word of God and to the preaching of what the Bible says. There are few things that burden me more or refresh me more than saying what I see in the Bible. I love to see what God says in the Bible. I love to savor it. And I love to say it.
I believe with all my heart that this is the way God has appointed for me not to waste my life. His word is true. The Bible is the only completely true book in the world. It is inspired by God. Rightly understood and followed, it will lead u…
In reading through the Book of Revelation recently, by the time I got to the end of chapter 19, the wars, rebellion, suffering, death and judgments were almost overwhelming. Oh how I wanted Jesus to wrap everything up and fully bring his kingdom of righteousness and justice and peace.
Finally, in the first three verses of chapter 20, Satan is bound with a chain and tossed into the pit so that he might not deceive the nations any longer.
I wanted to jump out of my seat and cheer with the saints!
And then I read the end of verse three:
After [the thousand years] he must be released for a little while.
Oh no. The worst murderer, liar, and ravager to ever ex…
Today, 45 years ago, four little black girls were killed in the Birmingham church bombing.
Those were the days when black people could buy things at the stores, but they couldn’t use the restrooms, or sit at the lunch counters, or get a job at the cash register behind the counter, or drink from the push button drinking fountain. The ubiquitous signs said, “Whites Only.”
This was the South I grew up in. So I pause to think about it again. And pray and thank God for mercy.
In March, 1963, Bob Dylan’s song, "Blowin’ in the Wind," sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, bumped “Puppy Love” from the top of the charts.
How many years must a people exist,
before they’re allow…
Taken from the August/September Ministry Opportunities booklet from Bethlehem Baptist Church, here is a taste of what globalization means for us:
In 2002, the Brookings Institute named the Twin Cities one of the top 10 “Gateway Cities” for new immigrants and refugees; in 2004, Minnesota was the #3 state for the same (and #1 per capita).
According to Dr. John Mayer, director of CityVision, Minneapolis/St. Paul is now home to the largest Somali and Hmong populations in the U.S., as well as the largest Chinese student population (University of Minnesota). The Phillips neighborhood, home to Bethlehem’s Downtown Campus, is the most diverse neighborhood in the country, …
God willing, this Fall I will begin a new extended series of sermons on the Gospel of John. When Jon Bloom, the Executive Director of Desiring God, heard this, he wrote me a note. He was both thrilled and curious:
I’m thrilled that you will be preaching through the Gospel of John! It is my favorite Gospel. Over the last two years, 2006-2007, I memorized it, and it was so rich. To have you preach through it will be a great joy! Hebrews has 303 verses: You preached 52 sermons. Romans has 433 verses: You preached 224 messages. John has 879 verses...
He left the sentence dangling. The curiosity is: How long will this series of messages on the Gospel …
It is a good thing that people from all ideologies are talking about the horrors of human trafficking. Don’t let the “trendiness” of it dampen your indignation. If a liberal champions a good cause woe to conservatives who put their head in the sand.
Doug Nichols has been on the cutting edge of caring for street children since before some of you were born. He is one of my heroes. As Founder of Action International, Doug draws my attention to child slavery in Haiti. The children are called restavéks (stay-withs).
He writes: “Let me share a few paragraphs from the recent book A Crime So Monstrous, by Benjamin Skinner:
…[Slaves] are everywhere. Assuming that this is your …
We do not naturally see how Jesus or his Father can weep over something they have willed to come to pass. This is an example of how our natural intuitions need to be adjusted by Scripture.
We naturally conclude, when we see God grieved or angered over something, that he did not plan for it to happen. But God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We should adjust our thinking to the way God really acts.
For example, just this morning I read in my devotions these words concerning God’s judgment on the cities of Moab:
“I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for over your summer fruit and your harvest the…
My preparations for the Desiring God National Conference this month and the Pastors’ Conference in February flowed together while I was reading about Benjamin Franklin’s appreciation for George Whitefield.
My task at the NatCon is to speak on the question, “Is There Christian Eloquence?” My task at the Pastors’ Conference is to speak on the life and ministry of George Whitefield.
What I saw this week is that Whitefield’s gifts of “eloquence” pose the very problem I must deal with at the NatCon. He was so good, you could like his sermon while not believing a thing he says.
For example, in the spring of 1740 Whitefield was in Philadelphia preaching outdoors to thousands. Benjami…
When I read this quote from Michael Raiter’s article, "The Slow Death of Congregational Singing," I thought about a decision we made at Bethlehem 13 years ago. The article said:
I was at a convention recently, seated near the rear of the auditorium. The music team at the front were ‘leading’ (and I use that word advisedly) and we were singing. Well, we were meant to be singing.... I turned to a friend next to me and commented, “No-one's singing”. He looked at me as if I'd just observed that no-one was flying. Of course they're not singing; we haven't really sung here for years.
Thirteen years ago we asked: What should be the defining sound of corporate worship at Beth…