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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The Cup Consumed for Us

Steven Lee

Matthew shows us an odd exchange between Jesus and his disciples.

In Matthew 20:20–28, the mother of James and John, in typical motherly fashion, asks Jesus whether her nice, upstanding sons can sit beside Jesus in his kingdom. James and John, through their mother, are seeking prominence. They want to be great.

Jesus answers, in atypical fashion, with a question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am…

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The Joy of Getting Unstuck

Brandon Smith

I’m busy.

Like you, I’ve got a hundred things going on between family and church and work and all the in between. Let me be the first to say that all of these things are absolute gifts from God. He has been amazingly kind to me and I’m genuinely thankful.

But I get tired.

Plain and simple, sometimes I just get tired. In the fast-paced world we live in, I…

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Serving Appetizers: Worship Services That Keep Their Promises

Matthew Westerholm

As a worship pastor, I am saddened to read polls reporting young people leaving our churches. True, this happens in each generation (remember the Boomer-angs who returned to church in the 1990s?), but how can service planners encourage the continued participation of young people within our churches?

One of the regular ways churches respond is to adopt a more contemporary style of music. But if you know two different teenagers,…

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Preach the Gospel to Yourself

David Mathis

No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do.

So observes Paul Tripp — and in doing so, he accents our need to daily preach the gospel to ourselves.

In our sin, we constantly find our responses to life in our fallen world to be disconnected from the theology that we confess. Anger, fear, panic, discouragement stalk our…

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One Shining Moment — And Everyone Else a Loser

Ed Uszynski

What does every athletic team in the world have in common with every reality-TV-show contestant at the end of each season? All, except one, go home with a loss on their mind.

While watching our premier American sports and music combatants this spring, it seems that everyone expects to be the last one standing, and everyone seems shocked when they are sent home with that final loss, as though winning…

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Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Jon Bloom

The next time someone says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, point them to Judges chapter seven. God instructing Gideon to take on over 100,000 enemy soldiers with just 300 fits in the “more than you can handle” category. Imagine how Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have felt trying to come to grips with a humanly impossible assignment.

Standing on the side of Mount Gilboa,…

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God Wants You to Know How Much He Loves You

Jon Bloom

The greatest love you can know is when someone lays down his life for you (John 15:13). Especially when you were an enemy when he laid his life down for you (Romans 5:10).

And that’s when Jesus laid his life down for you (1 John 3:16),

  • on a Roman cross of torture (Philippians 2:8),

  • to bear the guilt of your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3),

  • and pay your debt of infinite…

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Six Lessons in Good Listening

David Mathis

Listening is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, and one of the hardest.

In a sense, listening is easy — or hearing is easy. It doesn’t demand the initiative and energy required in speaking. That’s why “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). The point is that hearing is easy, and faith is not an expression of our activity, but our receiving…

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