No Turning Back (Monday of Holy Week)

Justin Taylor and Andreas Köstenberger

The sun rises just before 6:30 A.M. in Bethany, the small village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, just a mile and a half east of Jerusalem. It is Monday morning, March 30, A.D. 33. Jesus of Nazareth is staying in the humble home of his friends Martha (whose anxiety-driven hospitality had received his gentle rebuke), Mary (who chose the good portion), and Lazarus (whose body would…

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The Problem of Palm Sunday

Jonathan Parnell

It was the palm branches that made this day unique, and then again, it wasn’t.

For centuries, the church has memorialized today, the first day of Holy Week, as Palm Sunday because of the palm branches and cloaks that the people spread out before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.

The Gospel writers tell us a crowd gathered, gushing with excitement, and lined the road in front of Jesus as he…

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When Fear Attacks

Jon Bloom

Without exception, regardless of our situation, following Jesus requires all of us to repeatedly exercise courage, because God frequently calls us to face or do things we’re afraid of. In this, Joshua, the son of Nun, is an example for us. His call was to lead Israel in battle after battle, decade after decade, facing strong army after strong army in order to occupy the land the Lord had promised.…

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How a Man Loves a Woman

Ben Stuart

“How do I love my wife well?” Young husbands frequently ask me this question, and it is a great one to ask. They are often faced with a laundry list of good tips: prioritize date nights, lead family prayer times, organize evening devotionals, take walks together, buy her flowers, write poetry, help around the house, etc.

I have found that these lists can be extremely helpful examples or extremely tyrannizing…

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Bible-Balance in Christian Ministry

David Crabb

You don’t hear a lot about it in seminary. It doesn’t get much discussion in pastoral theology books. But one of the more complex challenges of Christian leadership is cultivating a Bible-balanced ministry. What does it mean for a church, or a ministry, to be Bible-balanced? Why is it important?

Emphasis Matters

Many errors in the church are not ones of substance, but degree. It is possible for a pastor…

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Putting Golf in Its Place

David Mathis

It only takes a few bars of “Augusta” to confirm that spring is here. There is a promise of new life in the sound of the Masters theme song and the sight of electric green grass at Augusta National. The sun has risen in Georgia on the just and unjust and soon will come our way as well.

The game of golf has tied itself to the beauty…

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Speak the Truth to Yourself

Christina Fox

I woke up sick that morning. “I’ll never make it to the end of the day,” I muttered to myself.

My husband was due to leave town for work. “How am I going to manage the kids while feeling like this?” These thoughts traveled with me throughout the day, spawning new ones. “This is too much, I just can’t do it.” “Can’t they see that I am sick? Why can’t…

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Until Death Do We Part — For Real

Sam Crabtree

If anything but death is an option for ending a marriage, then don’t say “until death” in your wedding vows. Tell the truth. Promise what is meant. Say something like “until adultery, abandonment, or abuse.” Say what you mean. God never lies (Titus 1:2) and delights in truth-telling and oath-keeping.

Whether speaking of marriage or any other subject, it comes as no surprise that God expects people to say what…

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When Evil Dug Its Own Grave

Joseph Scheumann

When you’re in the middle of intense suffering, it’s easy to lose your bearings.

Questions arise reflexively: Is God really in control? How can a good God allow so much pain? Is God good?

The pain that we feel can make it hard to even think straight. We need anchors that keep us tethered to the truth so we do not drift when we encounter suffering.

God Controls All Things,

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Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed

John Piper

Recently I spent 30 hours in the hospital. I won’t tantalize you with details, but you can tell by this blog, I’m still alive. In fact, I feel good. I received good care, a clear diagnosis, some new medication, and permission to go on with my life as usual.

Not wanting to waste this experience, I’ve been thinking about lessons learned and benefits received. Maybe, if I list some of…

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