Happiness and holiness are inseparable. True holiness is unattainable without true happiness. Happiness is part of holiness — even the essence of holiness.
But there’s an even deeper connection between our happiness and holiness, and it’s rooted in God’s holy character.
Holy, Holy, Holy!
Many times, a sermon on the holiness of God will start with Isaiah 6:1–5, with a dramatic recounting of Isaiah, the priest, entering the temple in the presence of God’s flowing holiness. Angels cover their faces as Isaiah falls on his face and the temple shakes and tremors in the presence of the almighty, holy God.
The account is frightening, and the sermon is appropriately solemn and serious. It often e…
Union with Christ. We couldn’t be any more excited about taking up this theme at our upcoming conference for pastors.
Whether this doctrine is an old friend or one you haven’t heard much about, it will be greatly enriching to give three days to basking in the theology and everyday implications with Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. (Full schedule below.)
Whether or not it’s a live option for you to join us, we invite you into the 2-minute video below, narrated by John Piper. Our prayer is that you might pick up something fresh about this important doctrine and be inspired for a lifetime of diving deeper into its bottomless sea.
Register by January 1 to receive a $…
With the Christmas season and all its commercial blitz and glitz upon us (seen especially on Black Friday), let’s lay aside the grousing and see the grace. No throwing wet blankets over Christmas.
May Christmas always blaze healthy and strong in the fireplace of our Decembers, radiating golden light and drawing loved ones and strangers together around its warmth to share a cup of joyful wonder.
And please, let us lay aside fruitless and, frankly, irrelevant debates about pagan origins. That’s no reason for humbug. I hope it’s true! That would be something to celebrate! Jesus came into the world to redeem us pagans and turn us “from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1…
Now and then, it needs to be said that not all thanksgiving is thanksfeeling. We can make ourselves (or our children) say, “Thank you,” whether we feel it or not. But it’s not a good habit, especially in relation to God.
Jesus warns against “vain” worship. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me” (Matthew 15:8–9). Thanksgiving without thanksfeeling is empty. It does not count with God.
An Act of the Heart
Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles. It is not willed, but awakened. It is not a decision of the will, but a reflex of the heart. It happens to us. We become aware of good wil…
Thanksgiving is more than a day off. It is more than eating mashed potatoes and gravy, watching football, and taking a wonderful turkey-induced nap.
Thanksgiving is a pervasive and essential concept in Scripture. And although it is good to set aside a Thursday each November to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving, the Scriptures have more to say about giving thanks than one day a year can handle.
Here are five biblical truths about thanksgiving.
1. Thanksgiving Is Trinitarian
The typical pattern of thanksgiving in the New Testament is that God the Father is the object of thanksgiving, God the Son is the person through whom thanksgiving flows, and God the Holy Spirit is the source of thanksg…
We’re now only five days from Advent, which begins this Sunday, December 1.
Just a few minutes of forethought today could go a long way in making this year special for your family, or spiritually significant for you personally.
One way to make the holidays sing is some kind of short daily devotional that can help prepare the hearts of you and yours for the weight of what we celebrate at Christmas in the incarnation of the Son of God. This is the greatest wonder of history’s many wonders — the coming of the eternal divine in frail, human flesh — something too remarkable to mark only one day. Advent is a way of lengthening the joy of Christmas, but only as we’re intentional and substantive i…
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates in the Arabian Peninsula. It is virtually an island because of the way the inland waterways from the Persian Gulf weave around it. The population is just under a million. It’s a 90 minute drive southwest from Dubai.
As with the other major cities in the UAE, about 80% of the population of Abu Dhabi is expatriate. This includes the lowest paid laborers who live in camps outside the city, and the highest paid executives and managers who may live in luxury. It strikes me as a fragile arrangement for the Emiratis. If, for some reason, the foreign labor force and industrial leadership left the country, the economy would be crippled.
The glasses gave it away.
If it weren’t for those glasses, his unruly hair and wild beard would cause you to mistake him as a peddler. You’d reach your hands in your pocket in search for some coins. But those glasses — and the penetrating eyes behind them — give you pause.
This old man isn’t a beggar hardened by long nights on the streets — he’s a thinker, worn down by a million ideas.
He offers you a tour of his vast library, an experience not many have had. With a little suspicion, but more intrigue, you venture into his darkened home. Here you learn that this peculiar man is a well-studied theologian. His mound of books on the millennial reign of Christ would likely take a thousand yea…
I’ll take a rake over a shovel any day.
Raking is relatively easy work and can make the yard look better in a short time. It’s easy enough that even our twin three-year-olds helped this fall, thanks to a pair of kids’ rakes from the neighborhood hardware store.
Raking may make my back a little sore the next day, but it’s nothing like the digging we did earlier in the year to prepare the front yard for a small retaining wall. Raking, even a lot of it, is reasonably painless. Digging, however, even just a small amount, can be backbreaking.
But moving earth can be gloriously rewarding. It can do a lot more to improve a yard than just collecting the leaves. Though my soft side still would tak…
Sometimes our dining room table gets cluttered.
For one, it’s a big table. Every time I have to squeeze around the end chair, sliding my back against the wall, I remind myself that it’s not for the table we live in our house. It actually takes up so much space in our dining room that it’s become the easiest place to set stuff. Toys. Mail. Homework. Cups. More cups. The generous tabletop makes it simpler to just move things around rather than move them away, and after a while, it accumulates a swath of unrelated, inordinate objects into one centralized location, which is called clutter.
Which can be a lot like life.
We are constantly piling on one thing after another onto the tabletop of o…