Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.
If they say to you, "Look, he is in the wilderness," do not go out. If they say, "Look, he is in the inner rooms," do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)
Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.
The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as lightning.
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)
The second reason for not believing these rumors…
Here is a simple exhortation that I have been trying to implement in our family:
Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.
Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.
The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,
- grace gets bigger;
- Christ gets greater;
- his death gets more wonderful;
- his resurrection gets more astonishing;
- the work of the Spirit gets mightier;
- the power of the gospel gets more pervasive;
- its global extent gets wider;
Jesus tells of two sons:
What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” And he answered, “I will not,” but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, “I go, sir,” but did not go. (Matthew 21:28-30)
I draw this advice for parents from these words: Do not despair of the rebel, and do not assume the heart of the compliant child is with you.
Which means practically, pray like crazy for both of them. And keep showing both of them the gospel of undeserved, blood-bought grace.
A few months ago he was worth over $800 million. Now, at age 70, he sits in this prison cell, 7.5 by 8 feet, with a sink, a toilet, and a bunk. Bernard Madoff went there last Thursday after being under house arrest in his $7 million penthouse since December.
He pleaded guilty on March 12 to eleven charges, all related to the biggest investor fraud ever committed by a single person—$65 billion. He has left hundreds of people in ruins.
Is not God good to be so aggressive in trumpeting the truth of his word in the news for all to see! Was there ever a clearer witness to the truth of 1 Timothy 6:9-10?
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into…
Sometimes the slogan “All truth is God’s truth” is used to justify dealing in any sphere of knowledge as an act of worship or stewardship. The impression is given that just knowing God’s truth and recognizing it as such is a good thing, even a worthy end. But the problem with this is that the devil does it.
“If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” (1 Corinthians 8:2-3). Which I take to mean that until we know in such a way that we love God more because of it, we do not yet know as we ought to know...
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Today is Friday the 13th! Bad luck day.
In case this or any other superstition frightens you or, worse, controls you, take the sword of the Spirit and kill it.
Here’s a few sword thrusts that I use.
There is no enchantment against Jacob,
no divination against Israel;
now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
“What has God wrought!” (Numbers 23:23)
Does this apply to us Christians? Yes. Because “It is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). That’s us. We are Jacob. We are Israel.
And because we are, "all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
So in Christ we cannot be cursed. There is no …
If you want to know God better, it will be costly, and it will be worth it.
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
That is true. It’s true because the more we know...
- ...the more we know that we don’t know.
- ...the more we know that suffering abounds.
- ...the more we are accountable to live up to.
- ...the more dementia will take away.
But it is worth it.
There is gold and abundance of costly stones; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. (Proverbs 20:15)
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
A staff member at Bethlehem asked Pastor John what one or two main things he wants to say to an engaged couple in premarital counseling. His answer is relevant for marriages new and old:
Be joyfully, brokenheartedly, shaped by the death of Christ for you.
Do you both feel the fearfulness of how the death of Christ witnesses to your unspeakable unworthiness to be loved—that it took this much suffering and indignity to the Son of God for you to be saved. And do you both feel the wonder of being forgiven owing to nothing in you?
If you do, it will profoundly shape your patience with each other’s shortcomings (which you will find to be more than you ev…
As I sang "My Hope Is in the Lord" in my devotions, it became a sweet whispering of my faith in Jesus. The thought entered my mind: This would be a beautiful expression of faith for someone who wondered, How do I become a Christian?
So, for any of you who would like to be saved from your sin and be reconciled to God and have eternal life, I invite you to sing this song with me.
No, you don’t have to sing it. You can say it. Mainly, you need to mean it.
If you do, from your heart, God will confirm to you in the coming days that you are his because of your faith in Jesus. You will not be able to forsake him, because he will not forsake you.
Here’s the song with some Bible ve…
In this age, God rescues his people from some harm. Not all harm. That’s comforting to know, because otherwise we might conclude from our harm that he has forgotten us or rejected us.
So be encouraged by the simple reminder that in Acts 16:19-24 Paul and Silas were not delivered, but in verses 25-26 they were.
First, no deliverance:
- “They seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace.” (v. 19)
- “The magistrates tore the garments off them.” (v. 22)
- They “inflicted many blows upon them.” (v. 23)
- The jailer “fastened their feet in the stocks.” (v. 24)
But then deliverance:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and si…