And behold, I saw a white horse. Its rider’s name was Success, and Envy followed him.
Envy is a movement killer. And if you ask me, it is probably the fundamental danger facing the modest movement called Young, Restless Reformed (YRR) in the years ahead. Envy is a movement-killing sin precisely because it combines such deadly opposites. Envy is a gaping maw, a roaring lion seeking to devour, the relentless ache of the shriveled heart. At the same time, envy is a chameleon, masquerading as the smooth flattery of imitation one minute and righteous indignation at injustice the next.
God Multiplies a Movement
If you listen to the Old, Settled Reformed talk, they’ll tell you that 30 years ago,…
The first signs of spring are here in Minneapolis. The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and Old Man Winter is packing his bags.
As we enter a new season, we thought we would pause and take a look back at the 25 videos you played the most in the first quarter of 2013.
We pray that these videos would encourage and bless you rain or shine, warm or cold. We’ll embed the top three and link to the others.
1. What Is Speaking in Tongues?
2. Lecrae Raps the Gospel in One Minute
3. The Story of Ian & Larissa
6. What Is Prophecy in the New Covenant? (John Piper)
7. Have You Exorcized a Demon? (John Piper)
I’ve been thinking about how much I love finishing things. I get great pleasure in finishing — a poem, a sermon, a book, or cutting the grass, or fixing the dripping faucet, or selling our car. It’s hard for me to walk away from something half done.
But, of course, anything that takes longer than a day, you have to walk away from unfinished. You have to sleep. So it helps me to chop things up into finishable pieces — a stanza, a section, a chapter, the mower prepared, the parts purchased, the ad placed. But still there is no pleasure quite like the pleasure of finishing.
But the pleasure of finishing some things is mingled with pain. It certainly was for Jesus. “It is finished” was probabl…
Good pastors come and go, but the Great Pastor will never leave, forsake, or transition.
Pastors of all stripes, at their worst and best, are but under-shepherds of “the chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus is “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), “the great shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20).
In his final sermon as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist, John Piper commended the Great Shepherd to his people of 33 years. He rehearsed from Hebrews 13:20–21 six pillar truths about God that have been hallmarks of his ministry at Bethlehem. God is the absolutely existing, reconciling, covenant-keeping, shepherding, san…
It’s April Fools’ Day, and whatever its origins, the Scriptures have something to say about playing the fool.
There is uncertainty about how and when people began mocking the fool on the first day of April. Many think it goes back to sixteenth-century France when the nation changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian. April 1 had been the end of a weeklong festival celebrating the coming of Spring and with it the new year. Now the new year changed to January 1. Some refused to make the switch, or lived in rural areas and didn’t get the word, and were mocked as fools by those who made the change.
Others think the origin may be in a scribal error in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that had …
“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25)
The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the most important event of human history. If it didn’t happen, the most influential world religion is a sham. If it did happen, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
The resurrection is a fantastic claim. Jesus’ own disciples didn’t believe it at first. And Thomas struggled more than anyone with his skeptic side. And in his experience1 in particular there is hope for all of us stumbling doubters. Jesus knows how and when to reach us.
Jesus’s death had been difficult and confusin…
This Easter marks the end of an era at Bethlehem Baptist.
John Piper served as the church’s primary preacher from July 13, 1980, until December 31, 2012. Since January 1 this year, he has been associate pastor, and his final task on staff is preaching this weekend’s Easter message — once Saturday night, three times Sunday morning, and then the last hurrah on Sunday night.
It’s the end of an era — the era of Piper as local-church pastor — but God willing, just the beginning of a new season of ministry.
For well over a decade Piper and Bethlehem have felt an increasing call on Piper for “wider” ministry. The elders and church have eagerly encouraged this broader ministry beyond Bethlehem by…
The hands-down, most horrific nightmare possible is that of a God who is angry without due cause. Could we imagine anything worse?
It would be the most terrible thing if the only person who has the power to destroy you forever were ferociously angry with you for no reason. That God would hate you just because. That he would throw his fury around on a whim. What if he were arbitrarily annoyed with everything about you? What if he were to burn with indignation toward you only because he can?
There is no idea worse, and no idea more untrue.
Now to be clear, God is angry. He “feels indignation every day,” as Psalm 7:11 says. But here’s the crucial point to remember: his anger is always a righ…
In running the race of life we are to look to the exaltation of Jesus at the end of his race. But Hebrews 12:2 tells us to look not only to his exaltation, but to his motivation.
Jesus was carried in the agonies of the last lap of his race by the hope of joy. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame” (verse 2). Jesus kept his eyes on the same place we should — his own future exaltation at the Father’s right hand, with the completion of our salvation crowning his head. This was his joy.
There were mammoth obstacles in Jesus’s way. Two are mentioned. The cross and the shame. The cross, no doubt, stands for all the pain and abandonment and spiritual dar…
Sin in Eden knocked all creation into chaos. Sin at Babel marked the collective pride of mankind. And while every sin is an act of God-rejection, humanity’s wickedness reaches new heights in the horrifying events of Good Friday.
Holy Week makes us uncomfortable. There is glorious life and victory to come on Easter Sunday, but to get there we must pass directly through the darkness of Good Friday. We must remember the day when human malice broke barriers and reached levels of previously unmatched atrocity. The Messiah, the King, come to save mankind, was nailed to an accursed tree and left to die.
There is no immunity for such cosmic treason.
On Good Friday we feel the finger of guilt a…