One of the mercies of God that keeps me believing in him is that none of the events of history or of the news today, which seem to contradict God’s character, contradict God’s Word.
In other words, there are no surprise sins or surprise calamities in this world for those who know their Bibles.
The reason this sustains faith is that, if the very book that tells me about God’s wisdom and power and justice and love also tells me of the worst seeming contradictions of his character, then either I never should have believed the God of this book, or I shouldn’t lose my faith now.
This is a weekend for remembering the ones who died in our nation’s service. For me, the memories are mostly of high school friends who died in Vietnam.
Today, my heart goes out especially to the ones whose memories are fresh and raw, hardly far enough in the past to be called “memory”—friends and family of American military personnel who will not return to them from the Middle East.
Here and there around the cemetery this morning were old men and women, caring for and adorning graves already well-tended. I imagined that they were honoring a friend or family member who died in World War II or in the Korean conflict.
This is a weekend for all Americans to give thanks for what…
There is a relationship between the sermon series that just ended at Bethlehem concerning our vision for the next generation and the book I just finished writing on the missionary sacrifices of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton.
When Iain Murray gives an account of the “rise of the missionary spirit” in Scotland in the 1800's he comments that “a new zeal to take the gospel to the world was born out of a new experience of its power.” Then he draws attention to the connection between the renewed homelife and the missionary upsurge:
Friends, parents, neighbors first it will embrace
Our country next, and next the human race.
Thank you for praying for me on my four week writing leave. It's over today. It was more productive than I thought it would be. Hence my heartfelt thanks. Four projects were more or less completed.
This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence - A book on marriage that exults mainly in its meaning not its emotion. But I do hope it helps people keep their covenant and be happier and make much of Christ. There is no marriage in the resurrection, hence “This Momentary Marriage.” And marriage mainly means: Christ keeps covenant with his church, hence “The Parable of Permanence.”
Finally Alive: What Happens When We are Born Again - A book about the miracle of sovereign, regenerating…
At Bethlehem Baptist Church and at Desiring God we use the term “God-centered” a lot. Here is one simple way to tell what we mean and test yourself to see if you are God-centered.
The psalmist describes the motivation of God in saving sinners like this:
Both we and our fathers have sinned... Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalms 106:6, 8)
God was motivated to rescue them and us from our sin and its penalty “for his name’s sake.” What does “for his name’s sake” mean? It means “that he might make known his mighty power.”
What we mean when we say God is “God-centered” is that he acts like that. He saves for the …
What do you regret? That question can trigger some vivid memories. I don’t like to think about them. I wince as I remember things I wish I had never done—terrible, wounding words I spoke, confidences I betrayed, dark lusts I indulged.
We’re supposed to feel regret (feel sorry) for evil things we do. But not all regret is godly.
Judas and Peter both committed heinous sins on the same night. Judas led the guard to Jesus in Gethsemane. Peter publicly disowned Jesus in the courtyard. Both were betrayals. Both men regretted what they had done.
Peter was forgiven and went on to preach at Pentecost and lead the church. Judas was not forgiven and ended up committing suicide.
Dear friends of TBI,
With trembling gratefulness in my heart, I look at the remarkable cluster of visionary ministries growing like fruit on the tree of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
- We are a kind of mission sending agency with 85 foreign missionary units (families or singles) who count Bethlehem as their main sending base.
- Campus Outreach has exploded in its four-plus years at Bethlehem with 25 staff on four campuses.
- Desiring God has been spreading resources and holding conferences for over a decade and nourishes people around the world with its Internet presence.
- Children Desiring God is transforming the way children are nurtured in over two thousand churches in the US …
There he sat, the scum of society, a sorry piece of work begging the condescending mercy of pious passersby going in and out of the temple. Enough mercy and he could eat.
The blind man in John 9 didn’t have many vocational options. He had been born blind. And it was his own fault. As a fetus this man sinned in the womb against the Almighty. Either that or his parents had sinned and cursed him. Whichever, he was suffering his just punishment. Those who had been righteous fetuses walked by and sometimes dropped a coin in his hand.
You see, in the law and prophets God had not explained exactly why one person suffers more than another. So theologians surmised that a person’s suffering …
One of the greatest hope-killers is that you have tried for so long to change and have not succeeded. Now you look back and think: What’s the use? Even if I could experience a breakthrough, there would be so little time left to live in my new way it wouldn’t make much difference compared to so many decades of failure.
That’s not true. Suppose you only had five years left to live with a new victory over some old way. Or suppose you only had a year, or a month, or an hour? Would it matter?
At this point stir the thief on the cross into your thinking. At first he was railing at Jesus (Matthew 27:44). Then he was broken by what he saw and repented and cried out for mercy: “Jesus, rememb…