A Stable of Desperation
The first Christmas night was a holy night. But it was not a silent night. All was not calm. After walking a hundred miles, Joseph arrived in an overcrowded Bethlehem, with a wife in advanced labor. And “there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).
“We are completely full. We can’t take another person.”
“Please, my wife is about to give birth! We’ll take anything with a little privacy.”
Compassion and exasperation mixed in the fatigued innkeeper’s eyes. His tired hand rubbed over his head. “Look, I would give you our own quarters, but we’ve already given them to others. People are in every nook and cranny. There is no room, especially to hav…
Recent posts for the 2012 Conference for Pastors —
- Your Best Things Are Yet to Come
- J. C. Ryle on the Power of Prayer
- A Culture of Hope for the Men of the Church (Video from Darrin Patrick)
The church of Jesus Christ is the most important institution in the world. The assembly of the redeemed, the company of the saints, the children of God are more significant in world history than any other group, organization, or nation. The United States of America compares to the church of Jesus Christ like a speck of dust compares to the sun. The drama of international relations compares to the mission of the church like a kindergarten riddle compares to Hamlet or King Lear. And all pomp of May Day in Red Square and the pageantry of New Year's in Pasadena fade into a formless grey against the splendor of the bride of Christ.
Take heed how you judge. Things are not what t…
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1. Link Between Gratitude and Hope
Gratefulness looks back. Hope looks forward with desire and reasonable confidence and expectation. By looking back, gratitude fuels forward-looking hope.
As with over-matched ball teams that are behind late in the game, hanging their heads without oomph, without hope for the future, there isn’t power for the present.
Persons who tend not to be grateful tend not to be hopeful.
2. Link Between Hopelessness and Misplaced Trust
Hopelessness is a curse; it’s the curse of trusting in man or in anyth…
We posted Michael Haykin’s thoroughly interesting and informational article about this last January. In it he listed some encouraging statistics, like,
- There are 167,000 bookstores in China.
- Over the past ten years, more than 200 Christian bookstores have opened throughout China.
- 6.3 billion domestically-published books were sold in China in 2007.
- Currently, the total number of Christian books in legal circulation in China is approximately 600, using a broad definition of “Christian.” About 50 to 60 new titles are being added each year.
- Of that 600,…
Holiness deals with the thoughts and intents, the purposes, the aims, the objects, the motives of men. Morality does but skim the surface, holiness goes into the very caverns of the great deep; holiness requires that the heart shall be set on God, and that it shall beat with love to him. The moral man may be complete in his morality without that.
Methinks I might draw such a parallel as this. Morality is a sweet, fair corpse, well washed and robed, and even embalmed with spices; but holiness is the living man, as fair and as lovely as the other, but having life. Morality lies there, of the earth, earthy, soon to be food for corruption and worms; holiness waits and pan…
- “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
- “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15).
- “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
- “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
- “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
- “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).
The Athanasian Creed begins "we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity;
Neither blending his persons: nor dividing his essence."
This is not a truth for the classroom. The Lord is the holy one-and-three. It is who he is. It is what it means to be God. And it has implications for how the Christian lives.
In this newest episode of Theology Refresh — the theological podcast designed for pastors as a refresher on important biblical doctrines — David Mathis and Jared Wilson discuss the doctrine of the Trinity.
Stream or download the podcast.
[Subscribe to Theology Refresh through iTunes.]
"To treasure Jesus more greatly and savor his power more sweetly" — that's the experience behind the phrase and title of Jared Wilson's newest book, Gospel Wakefulness. David Mathis recently interviewed Jared about the book:
00:45 — Are we experiencing a "gospel renaissance" in our day?
02:40 — How does your book related to this "renaissance?"
04:40 — What is the gospel?
06:12 — What do you mean by the phrase "gospel wakefulness?"
08:05 — How does "gospel wakefulness" relate to conversion?
11:25 — Why do you consider this a helpful category?
13:54 — What is your story of "gospel wakefulness?"
21:35 — What would you say to someone battling depression?
26:04 — The go…