When reading Paul’s letter to Philemon this week I saw a theme I hadn’t really seen before. This letter is an instruction on how to refresh the saints.
Philemon was a refreshing person. When Paul thought about Philemon he thought about the joy and comfort Philemon had given him and others:
I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Philemon 1:7)
Doesn’t that make you want to be like Philemon? Don’t you want to be a joy and a comfort to others? In this “dry and weary land” (Psalm 63:1) don’t you want to be an oasis of living water (John 7:38) for parched saints?
That’s what Jesus wants us to be. He say…
Jesus means everything to me. My life is worship.
Often we Christians throw around phrases like these, once full of meaning, but now uttered with too much flippancy and routine. But Rodger Frournoy, Jr. talks like this because he means it with all of his body and soul.
When I hear Rodger talk about what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy, and what Jesus means to him in the midst of his disability, I am brought to worship. It’s a wonderful thing for the church to tell stories like these. May God strengthen your faith as you meet Rodger.
Rodger’s story is produced by the Austin Stone Story Team and featured at the Storyframes Collective — a collaborative effort between The Gospel Coal…
He’s a squirmy one, he is. If I don’t watch him, he’ll wriggle off the bed. But he doesn’t want to. He’s enjoying the tickle fight too much. I can’t blame him. Those giggles make this father’s heart want to leap out of my chest. I wonder how long this laugh will last.
Reflect on the tickle fight with me. See the layers of reality at work.
Triune Joy in Our Little Home
On the surface: an adult male and a one-year-old of the species, smiles, laughter, darting fingers, kicking legs, squeals, deep breaths, rapid kisses on the neck, raspberries on the belly, and did I mention the laughter?
Beneath the surface: emotional bonding, fatherly affection, wide-eyed childhood delight. A contribution …
All Christians suffer. Either you have, you are, or you will — “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
This reality is a stark reminder that we have not reached the new heavens and new earth. The new Jerusalem of no tears and no pain, of no mourning and no death, hasn’t arrived yet (Revelation 21:1, 4).
But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now.
Here are five important biblical truths about suffering every Christian should have ready:
1. Suffering is multifa…
Paul said that the old covenant mediated by Moses bore a “ministry of condemnation” (2 Corinthians 3:9). What does this mean, and would Moses have agreed?
The Book of Deuteronomy clarifies three things: 1) Moses’s old covenant plea, 2) the people’s old covenant problem, and 3) God’s new covenant promise.
1. The Old Covenant Plea
Moses called for the right things: “Love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “love the sojourner” (Deuteronomy 10:19; see Leviticus 18:5). Jesus said that these are the first and second most important commands (Mark 12:29–31). Moses even urged, “These words that I command you today shall be on your hea…
When you are upset because you can’t do something you’ve wanted to do, it might be because that thing has become an idol in your heart.
I said these words one afternoon in response to one of my kids who was frustrated because I had taken away his highly valued time on the computer. We then talked about how idols are not always easy to recognize and that our emotional responses can sometimes be an indicator of what’s going on in our heart.
Idols Specific to Motherhood
John Piper says that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” We were made to love and worship God. When he isn’t the longing of our heart and the source of our satisfaction, we seek to fill our bellie…
God created the world so that he would receive glad-hearted worship from the entire panorama of peoples that he himself brought into being for this purpose.
Therefore, for the glory of God, and for the gladness of the peoples, we should join him in the aggressive missionary enterprise of reaching all the peoples of the world.
Summoning the Peoples
That is what the Cross Conference this December is about. Over 3,000 students are registered so far. I am praying for twice that. It is only one small part of God’s movement in the world today to reach the nations. But it is an important part. I am thrilled to be a part of it. I hope the students of your church will come.
If it’s true that God …
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
It was a July morning in Manila in 1985 when union with Jesus really became precious to me. I know right where I was sitting having devotions in the courtyard of the YWAM outpost.
I was a twenty-year-old struggling to understand how Christ’s work and mine worked together. What really made me acceptable to God? Something taught in the Discipleship Training School class I was taking that week had confused me, and I had been praying earnestly about it.
In my devotions, I had been slowly making my way through John’s Gospel, and chapter 15 wa…
This is a plea from the younger generation to the older. We desperately need you.
Please don’t phone it in just when the King’s about to call. Don’t retire on the world’s terms and abandon your long-time local church.
As the tsunami of the Baby Boom begins to flood the shores of retirement, please don’t leave us Millennials to fend for ourselves and make the same mistakes all over again. Join John Piper in rethinking retirement, and complete the course, all the way to the finish line, proclaiming Jesus’s might to another generation (Psalm 71:18).
For your joy, and for our good, we need you in this family called “the church.” You are our fathers (1 Timothy 5:1). The apostle wr…
Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone should be invited.
We know from Scripture, and experience, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many will not. Many today sitting in churches across this country are cold to Christ, harboring impenitent hearts, deceived into thinking their works will get them to heaven. And even more not in churches. They will refuse Jesus, so why should we invite them to trust him?
Why should the gospel go to everyone? Here are three reasons.
1. We don’t know who will or won’t believe.
This relates to God’s two ways of willing. There is God’s “will of command” and his “will of decree” — that is, what God desires generally (his pu…