“Lord, you know that I love you.” John 21:15
In the fall of 1968, James Morgan, my professor of theology at Fuller Seminary, who died of stomach cancer the next year, looked me in the eye during a heated debate after class and said, “John, I love Jesus Christ!”
I have never forgotten that testimony. It was one of the most powerful words ever spoken to me.
When was the last time you ever said to anyone—your spouse, your child, your friend, your colleague—“I love Jesus Christ”? May I urge you to do that? What if 10,000 Christians in Minneapolis (or pick your town) said to someone today with eye-to-eye earnestness, “I love Jesus Christ”? This would be a tidal wave of truth and power.
It would be hard to have a slow, careful, exegetical Bible study about the second half of the book of Joshua. Chapters 13 to 21 are mostly lists: what parcels of land are going to which tribe of Israel.
Much of the Old Testament is like this—genealogies, lists, rules, procedures. As lovers of the Bible, what should we make of these mundane details? Is it even appropriate to call parts of God's word mundane? It sounds sacrilegious.
What does it matter, though, that Issachar received the territories around Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, and 13 other cities? Or that Manasseh's land reached from Asher to Michmethah, just east of Shechem?
Joshua tells us why these obscure details …
So often we think of God as non-enthusiastic or even gloomy. The exact opposite is true: He loves to be God, He takes great pleasure in all that He does, and He is enthusiastic about serving His people and working for their welfare. For example, God says in Jeremiah 32:41: "I will rejoice in doing them good." Jesus said in John 15:11, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you." And Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:11 of "the glorious gospel of the blessed God." Blessed means happy. So Paul is saying: "the glorious gospel of the happy God."
God is infinitely happy because he is infinitely glorious. And, the good news is that he invites us to enter into his happiness. Here is w…
These guys are crazy—Lukas, Matt, Josh, Abraham, Jon, and whoever else OK’d this nutty idea. Five dollars for any book and any number of books! Don’t they know this only happens when books are being remaindered—code word for: nobody is reading them any more? How embarrassing.
Have they never read the marketing books? You don’t value what you don’t pay for, right? I mean, if you turn books into confetti, people are just going to throw them who knows where. Why they could wind up on the street! Or Lord knows where. What am I going to do with these guys? They are out of control. Even my son! What have I reared?
Next thing you know they are going to have a “free” day. You just wait! All you …
(This is the 5th message in a 7-part series we're posting on racial harmony.)
Five arguments that are used to oppose interracial marriage and responses to counteract them:
1. Races are God's will and therefore amalgamating them is against his will. (Genesis 11:6-9, Deuteronomy 32:8, Acts 17:26)
- These proof texts refer to separation of peoples that are along lines much more narrow than race. They are not racial divisions, so, used this way, they "prove" too much, since they would seem to forbid intermarrying between any people group boundaries even within the same race.
- When God separated the peoples in Genesis 11:6-9 it was by language, not race. Racial dist…
I haven’t been able to phone my dad on Father’s Day for more than 15 years. But I remember him today. And as years pass, the things that were hard seem smaller and the strong roots of my father’s life seem more and more important.
For Daddy’s funeral, my husband wrote a poem remembering the strength of Daddy’s life. Psalm 1 was Daddy’s favorite passage of Scripture. It was a sweet thing today to read it again and to give thanks again for a father who did his best to point me to Jesus.
In Memory of Dr. George Henry
Reflections on Psalm 1 and Joshua 24:15
by John Piper
No tree however deep the roots,
However high and green the shoots,
However strong the trunk has stood,
Or firm the…
Norman Fried writes about the value of fatherhood. He acknowledges that the feelings surrounding Father's Day are varied.
For some, it leaves us anxious, as we recall the man who couldn’t be there when we needed him, or the man who is not here now when we need him the most. For others, it stimulates feelings of gratitude as we honor the times we had with our father by our side. There are some among us who never knew our father; others who have not yet separated and, thus, never had to learn to say goodbye. Regardless of our own individual story, we are, all of us, reminded at this time every year just how important fatherhood is; how lives are shaped, and paths are forged, t…
This morning in our prayer meeting at Desiring God, as we gave thanks for the life of Ruth Graham, I was moved. Probably because of her death in proximity to my father’s (March 6). The connection is this. When I was growing up there was a cluster of independent traveling evangelists in Greenville, South Carolina. My father, Bill, and his brother, Elmer, were in that group. Cliff Barrows, Billy Graham’s partner in music for decades, was also part of the fellowship from time to time. That was the connection with Billy and Ruth Graham. So in my mind, my mother, Ruth, and Ruth Graham were in the same business—supporting a traveling evangelist.
It was a hard calling. In those early days when prope…
On my “mentors” shelf sit books by Edith Schaeffer, Ann Ortlund, Gail MacDonald, Elisabeth Elliot, and Ruth Graham. I never met Ruth Bell Graham in person. But I spent time with her through her writing. She expressed a winsome, seemingly uninhibited breadth of personality and emotion—from impertinent to pensive.
Many Advent seasons, I read aloud to my children The Christmas Story (now revised and retitled, One Wintry Night). We returned to it again and again because it tells the whole Christmas story, beginning with “In the beginning.”
When I heard of Ruth Graham’s death, I pulled from that shelf her Collected Poems: Footprints of a Pilgrim. Among the many flagged pages, I found three fo…
The New Perspective on Paul has been around long enough now that some scholars who were initially enamored with it have come back around to the historic understanding. It is good to read a few testimonies like this to keep us on our toes.
Preaching Through Romans: An Antidote to the New Perspective on Paul
My thoughts on Paul’s view of Israel have changed dramatically over the years in two respects. When I studied theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, the ‘new perspective’ on Paul was starting to dominate British scholarship and like many others I adopted this new approach. There was a certain excitement in arguing that the traditional Lutheran approach to Paul was mistaken. …