Praising Others is Not Optional

Sam Crabtree

God-centered praise of those who are not God is not optional. A fire not stoked goes out. A refrigerator unplugged rots the eggs. A garden not tended erupts with weeds. Affirmation is the fire-stoking, refrigerator-electrifying, garden-tending side of relationships. Relationships in which commendable things are not commended, but overlooked, take on a flavor. The relationship is marked, and we take on a reputation to those around us.

Barnabas is called…

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Piper's Green Preaching at Fuller (1971)

David Mathis

"Today is one of the best days of my seminary life." So wrote John Piper in his journal on Wednesday, March 24, 1971, during his final semester at Fuller Seminary.

On that Monday, March 22, "Dr. Schaper called me and asked me to speak in chapel today," he explained. "I agreed to and went straight to God, and all I did from that phone call until chapel this morning (except go…

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Diapers, Nursing, Clinging to Christ

Rachel Pieh Jones

I don’t know about other moms, but something happens to my brain when I am pregnant or breastfeeding. It seems the larger my belly grows, the emptier my head becomes. Or that with each day of nursing, those brain cells are flowing out with the milk. I become forgetful and unable to concentrate.

It seems that now, six years after my last pregnancy, some of the cells are returning, but…

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Moving From Fuzzy Platitudes to Concrete Praise

Sam Crabtree

Yesterday we saw wisdom in commending that which is most commendable in people. What is it that makes something commendable?

All beauty is rooted in Jesus Christ, who is the flawless standard of everything good. We should praise that which is praiseworthy, and that which is most praiseworthy is the Father’s beloved pre-eminent son in whom he is well-pleased. All praiseworthy qualities and characteristics originate with him, are derived from…

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Be a Real Husband and Dad

Jonathan Parnell

It was nearly 8 PM — that means bedtime for the kids. I pushed my books aside and met them in their room, where they were already lying down. The lights were off, and the stage was set for me to swoop in and perform my household priestly duties — a prayer, a blessing, and a goodnight kiss. I knelt beside our four-year-old's bed to begin my typical routine of…

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Is It God-Centered to Praise People?

Sam Crabtree

Isn’t the commendation of people idolatrous? If we should make our boast in God alone, how dare we praise mere people? Have we gone off the deep end, away from God-centeredness and into the popular cultural psycho-jargon of self-esteem?

No.

If we aim to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things – including the commendation of people – then we are most definitely not speaking of…

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Fighting Presumptuous Sins

Tony Reinke

Sin is a mystery, and it’s a mystery the psalmist wrestles with in Psalm 19. First he looks up to the heavens to delight in the Creator’s handiwork (verses 1–6). Then he looks down to delight in God’s words (verses 7–11). And the next moment he is on his face pleading with God for power for victory over sin (verses 12–13).

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent…

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Sam Storms on the End Times

Jonathan Parnell

"End times" is a little like "free food" — throw the words in a headline and it'll make you look twice. For many Christians, it's a hot topic. And it does have implications for our lives in this world.

Sam Storms recently discussed the different views of eschatology for a Theology Refresh interview — the podcast for pastors that refreshes important points of doctrine.

Stream or download this 14-minute interview

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What’s the Difference Between Jesus and the Lawyers?

John Piper

Jesus said, “Woe to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46).

How is Jesus different from that? (Be careful.)

Does he give us no burden to bear? That is not the difference. He does give us a burden to bear.

Is it a lighter burden? The question is ambiguous. Does it…

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Will We Arrive Blameless on the Day of Christ?

John Piper

There is a faith-sustained holiness that Paul wants his converts to have on the day of Christ — the day of his return, when the dead in Christ will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:23). This holiness (which he also calls “blamelessness” and “guiltlessness” and “being above reproach” and “purity”) is certain through God’s faithfulness, contingent on persevering faith, and dependent on human agency.

Certainty

Paul is certain that God…

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