The following is a guest post by Ben Reaoch, pastor of Three Rivers Grace Church in downtown Pittsburgh, PA.
* * *
It started in the Garden. Adam said to God,
The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:12)
The first man, caught in the first sin, turns to blame his wife. And he extends the blame to God as well! He implies that he would have remained innocent if God hadn’t put Eve in the garden with him.
The blame-shifting in the Garden continues today. Our proud hearts send us desperately looking for someone else to point to every time we’re confronted with our own sin. There mus…
There’s a lot of gloom and doom in the news these days. If we listen too much, unbiblical fear may begin to govern our actions because we’re only putting our trust in what we see.
Imagine for a moment that you are the Apostle Philip. You and your fellow disciples are sitting around Jesus on a mountainside and you’re all watching a large crowd make their way up toward you. You’re tired from rigorous days of ministry. And you’re hungry. This crowd’s arrival probably means a meal is not in your near future. You’re trying not to resent them.
Then from behind you Jesus says, “Philip, where can we buy bread so that these people may eat?”
You think, He can’t be serious. Buy—for the …
I heard Collin Hansen say in an interview that John Piper is not an innovator.
I hope I can live up to that tribute. I would like it to be true. I am very happy with the simple role of blowing the boredom out of people’s brains with long-forgotten, old-fashioned, faithful blasts of biblical truth.
So let me try to prove how uncreative I am theologically. Here is C. S. Lewis saying fifty years ago in his Reflections on the Psalms what I have spent most of my adult life trying to say:
The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. But we shall know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us t…
Every day is the Lord’s day just like all your money is the Lord’s money.
Nevertheless one day in seven is called “the Lord’s Day” in a special sense (Revelation 1:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7). We set this day aside for a special focus on corporate worship and spiritual refreshment.
Similarly, some of the Lord’s money that you manage should be set aside for the Lord’s church and his mission in the world.
I write this today because I received $1,500 in the mail last Tuesday from the U. S. Government. It is not my money. It is the Lord’s. All of it. I know how much of it I will give to the Lord’s church. Noël and I are agreed.
How about you?
Why should we emphasize that God loves, forgives, and saves for his own glory?
Two reasons (among others).
1) Because the Bible does.
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake! (Psalm 79:9)
Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. (Jeremiah 14:7)
Greatly disturbed by the suffering he saw in the world, 29-year-old Prince Guatama Siddhartha (563-483 BC), who was later called the Buddha (enlightened one), left his wife and young child and set out on a search for the meaning of life.
What struck him was the impermanence of the world—nothing lasted. In spite of this, people were attached to impermanent things. They desired to hold on to life, health, possessions, and each other. But life, health, possessions and people pass away. This, he reasoned, was the cause of human suffering. Therefore, he concluded that if he could kill desire his suffering would cease and he would be happy.
But the Buddha did desire something: lasting h…
Two birthdays fill me with thankfulness because of what they signify about the truth of God’s word.
On June 22, Bethlehem Baptist Church turns 137, and the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society turns 50. This is a cause for thanksgiving and an occasion for Bethlehem as a church to renew with joy our vision for faithful ministry under the authority of God’s inerrant word...
Read the rest of the article.
The Supreme Court rendered a decision last week concerning Guantanamo Bay. Unlawful combatants there now have constitutional habeas rights (protection from unlawful detention). The decision was considered a rebuke to the Bush administration and the way the armed services are doing their work under his leadership.
Here is what amazes me and awakens thankfulness in my heart to God. I heard the president from Rome speak these words: “We will abide by the Court’s decision. That doesn’t mean that I have to agree with it.”
Don’t let this go by without wonder and gratitude. Here is the most powerful leader in the world standing in public in the middle of Europe and saying for the whole wor…
I wrote this poem when Noël’s Father died. But now it covers both our fathers. We thank God for them. What a gift they were to us. And what a gift they gave.
In Memory of George T. Henry and William S. H. Piper, Our Fathers
Reflections on Psalm 1 and Joshua 24:15
No tree however deep the roots,
However high and green the shoots,
However strong the trunk has stood,
Or firm the fibers of the wood,
No tree was ever meant to be
A never-ending shade for me
Or you. Save one: where Jesus died
With bleeding branches spread as wide
And far as faith, for sinful men.
But there was shade, especially when
The tree was old: the leaves were thick
With life, and though the root was sick,
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him” (Lamentations 3:25).
Charles Simeon was in the Church of England from 1782 to 1836 at Trinity Church in Cambridge. He was appointed to his church by a bishop against the will of the people. They opposed him not because he was a bad preacher, but because he was an evangelical—he believed the Bible and called for conversion and holiness and world evangelization.
For twelve years the people refused to let him give the Sunday afternoon sermon. And during that time they boycotted the Sunday morning service and locked their pews so that no one could sit in them. He preached to people in the aisles for twelve years! The average stay of a pastor …