One moving testimony to me as I ended my ministry at Bethlehem on March 31 was that of a young woman who has battled cancer. She thanked God for my cancer. She had listened to the messages leading up to my surgery in February 2006. They were life for her.
God knows what pastors must endure to be useful to their people. It is sobering to read in 2 Corinthians 1:6, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.” That is one reason the ministry is as hard as it is. We are afflicted so that in our afflictions our people will be saved.
Charles Spurgeon suffered repeatedly from depression. But he had an unwavering belief in the sovereignty of God in all his afflictions. This was his…
God has given us a mouth to speak, a heart to feel, and gospel joy to share. He has taken away every excuse for not spreading gospel grace in our words every day to those around us (Ephesians 4:29).
So what corks the flow of grace speech to others?
One answer is grudges. Not always big grudges, like the ones we hold towards those who have wronged us personally. The kinds of grudges that hinder our generosity are typically subtle ones, grudges towards those who seem less significant than us, or grudges towards those who seem more significant than us. Either way, we like to compare ourselves with others. We withhold grace like a miser withholds money. We are natural-born begrudgers.
If you think spiritual warfare is irrelevant to you, you may already be losing the battle. At least you’re ripe for Satan’s picking.
Demons have a notorious way of acclimatizing to where they are, warns Tope Koleoso, pastor of Jubilee Church in London. And in secular Western society, this means playing right into our neglect and diminishing of the supernatural.
But Ephesians 6, and the rest of the Scriptures, would have us stay aware of the unseen realm, and remember that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). It is not Christian to suppress the s…
Here is the theological summary of one preacher’s lifetime of investment in a local church: Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching, from John Piper.
Preaching, you could say, is where the rubber begins to meet the road on what a church believes. It is the living statement of faith. And in the case of John Piper, we have this statement captured online in over 1,200 sermons, including a whole series where he devotes a single message to the main theological emphases of his near 33-year preaching tenure. These theological emphases, preached as ten sermons last year and now edited into this volume, embody the legacy Piper hopes to leave at Bethlehem Baptist.
It’s every pitcher’s worst nightmare. For the Detroit Tigers’ Darin Downs, the nightmare became a reality, and almost meant the end of his life.
On August 17, 2009, he took a 103-mile-per-hour line drive off the left side of his head. In an instant, his skull was fractured, blood began pooling, his head was swelling, and he couldn’t speak. Soon he lay terrified in an ambulance en route to the hospital. But in that moment, he had a strange peace and hope. God was at work.
His fellow Tiger Donnie Kelly tells a similar story — though not as dramatic. For Kelly, it was a mysterious injury in 2004 that sidelined him from the game he loved and threatened to end his career almost before it began.…
The Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. It is the testimony of history’s most important event and we can hold it in our hands. It is the testimony of four God-inspired authors whose words we’ve read and celebrated this spring. And then there’s the Book of Psalms.
Like the Gospels, the Psalms give us a fascinating picture of the Savior. Psalm 22 especially stands out. Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1 on the cross and the whole narrative of his crucifixion draws imagery from “the afflicted one” found there. Not only is he forsaken (Psalm 22:1), he is also scorned and mocked by onlookers (Psalm 22:6–7), he thirsts (Psalm 22:15), he is surrounded by ruthless Gentiles (Psalm…
Over the last two weeks on the Ask Pastor John podcast we talked a lot about social media, about goals for Twitter and fasting from Facebook. Pastor John also addressed creativity in communication, and the meaning and importance of Easter. We talked about the value of Bible commentaries written by women, a practical suggestion for battling lust, and how our works exceed the works of Jesus.
What follows is a list of episodes, along with quotes pulled from each recording. Click on the titles to listen.
Jesus really is striking. Jesus really is amazing. Jesus really is worthy of the most wonderful — or the most surprising — …
The New Testament is full of commands for us to obey. Full of them. The Sermon on the Mount is no exception. Something like sixty-six commands sound from Jesus’s mouth as he calls us as his people to live a life in step with the gospel.
The Beatitudes, Jesus’s introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, are a different story. There you’ll not find a single imperative. Not one.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive m…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Jesus has called you to run a race. It’s a faith race. It’s long-distance and multi-terrain.
And you’ve been trying to run but you’re wondering why it’s so hard. Why do you get winded so quickly? Why are others running at a faster pace? What’s wrong?
Could it be that you’re not taking this race seriously enough? You can tell by how much extra weight you’re trying to run with.
An endurance race is hard enough when you’re running light. But it’s far harder, and often impossible,…
From big reminders taped on the wall of a college dorm, to a big book by a 96-year-old theologian, to an interview with two big-league ball players, the latest episode from Behind the Blog pulls back the curtain on the recent happenings at desiringGod.org.
Among other exciting things, we talk about John Piper’s recent transition to the full-time staff and preview the speaker lineup for our conference this fall on C.S. Lewis.
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