William Robertson Nicoll (d. 1923) was a pastor in Scotland who edited the Expositor and founded the British Weekly. During one illness of six months duration he read the entire collection of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons (over 60 volumes!). He wrote something concerning Spurgeon relevant to our day:
Evangelism of the humorous type [we might say, church growth of the marketing type] may attract multitudes, but it lays the soul in ashes and destroys the very germs of religion. Mr. Spurgeon is often thought by those who do not know his sermons to have been a humorous preacher. As a matter of fact there was no preacher whose tone was more uniformly earnest, reverent and solemn. (Quot…
From one of the best books on preaching that I know comes this word on the danger of pride in us preachers:
Pride is without doubt the chief occupational hazard of the preacher. It I has ruined many, and deprived their ministry of power.... In some it is blatantly obvious. They are exhibitionists by temperament and use the pulpit as a stage on which they show off.... Other preachers are not like Nebuchadnezzars, however, for their pride does not take the form of blatant boastfulness. It is more subtle, more insidious, and even more perverse. For it is possible to adopt an outward demeanor of great meekness, while inside our appetite for applause is insatiable. At the very momen…
If humility is not compliance with relativism and is not sophomoric skepticism, what is it? This is important, since the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5), and “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). God has told us at least six things about humility.
1. Humility begins with a sense of subordination to God in Christ.
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. (Matthew 10:24)
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6)
2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus got.
As Easter approaches, let’s stir up our thankfulness and joy and admiration and amazement at what the resurrection of Jesus means for us. The curse of our fallen nature is that what once thrilled us becomes ordinary. The reality hasn’t changed. We have changed.
This is why the Bible exists. Peter says of his two letters that they are written to “stir up” or “arouse” by means of “reminder.”
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder. (2 Peter 3:1)
So let’s stir up our sincere minds by way of reminder.
What has God done in raising Jesus from the dead? Here are …
Why do we say we exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples?
Because of Psalm 40:16.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation say continually,
“Great is the LORD!”
We love the salvation of the Lord. Therefore we say continually, “Great is the Lord!” We say it in as many ways as we can. We never get tired of saying, “Great is the Lord!” Everything else we say is meant to say this. Everything we do is meant to make this clear and more widely echoed in as many hearts as possible.
“Great is the Lord!” His greatness is unsearchable. So we will spend forever s…
Ponder the conversion of Paul, the sovereignty of Christ, and what Paul's sins have to do with your salvation.
Paul said that God “set me apart before I was born,” and then on the Damascus road “called me by his grace” (Galatians 1:15). This means that between Paul’s birth and his call on the Damascus road he was an already-chosen but not-yet-called instrument of God (Acts 9:15; 22:14).
This means that Paul was beating and imprisoning and murdering Christians as a God-chosen, soon-to-be-made-Christian missionary.
Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And when the blood of Stephen your witness wa…
One my my continual needs for self-control comes from being the oldest of 10 children and then 35+ years of mothering. I feel very comfortable telling people what to do, speaking as if I know what’s best. Others call it bossy. My fight for self-control in this area has two parts—reminding myself who God is and then preaching that to myself.
I fight bossiness by reminding myself that God is God and I’m not. So however convinced I am of the best course for someone else, I might be wrong. (When I forget to remind myself, God graciously does it by proving me wrong.)
I must say, the older I am, the more young people there are who think I might have some wisdom. What comes most naturally is to s…
Today a year ago, my father and grandfather were reunited. William S. H. Piper and Elmer Albert Piper were both preachers and both Bible-saturated.
My father said several times to me that he felt his father could pick up and recite from memory any place in the New Testament that you started for him.
And I have several of my father’s Bibles. They are at places so densely marked they are hard to read.
It is an amazing thing what happens to a life that is utterly devoted to an objective reality outside itself. Periodically the experience is enjoyed of total self-forgetfulness in the wonder of that Other Reality.
One does not know one is having such an experience until after…
This is the 1-year anniversary of my dad's dad dying.
So I thought it would be a good day to commemorate him through this 10-minute video that was made for the pastors conference last month.
In it, my dad walks around the neighborhood and the house he grew up in and talks about the memories of his father that this brings up.
In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote about some Muslims' love affair with death. It raises the question of how Christian martyrdom is different. He writes:
“We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “[E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.” Shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden told a reporter: “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.”
“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” explained Afghani al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah. Sheik Feiz…