Catalyst Interview with John Piper
John Piper was recently interviewed for the Catalyst podcast on race and the gospel, what it means to enjoy God, and lessons on leadership. The discussion with Pastor John starts at the 15:40 mark.
A couple highlights…
- The 26:55 mark, Pastor John shares two ways the truth of God's glory in our joy has changed him personally.
- The 34:52 mark, Pastor John talks about the most consistent advice he passes…
What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile
There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible. It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Lots of expectations that have deadlines and that seem too big and too many.
As I look back over about 50 years of such periodic mornings, I am…Continue Reading
A Promise, a Manger, and a City with No Need for the Sun
A Song of Ascents
There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. (Psalm 132:17)
Psalm 132 is the longest and clearest of the Songs of Ascents. As we've seen in the earlier psalms, we are coming up out of exile in hopes of a restored Jerusalem. Psalm 132 tells us why this Jerusalem is so special: it is the place…Continue Reading
Why Christmas Morning Was a Trajectory
Kenōsis is the Greek word in Philippians 2:7 translated "made nothing" (ESV). It's what Jesus did to himself — "he made himself nothing . . ."
Donald Macleod writes,
In becoming incarnate God not only accomodates himself to human weakness: he buries his glory under veil after veil so that it is impossible for flesh and blood to recognize him. As he hangs on the cross, bleeding, battered, powerless…
That Crazy Star of Bethlehem
Behold, the star that they had seen when it rose
went before them until it came to rest
over the place where the child was. (Matthew 2:9)
The star moved. Really?
This is already the second time in this short section that Matthew’s making sure he has our attention. “Behold” is his effort to make sure we’re tracking with him.
First it was verse 1: “Behold, magi from…Continue Reading
Go to the House of Feasting Tomorrow
Charles Spurgeon on December 24, 1854:
Feast, Christians, feast; you have a right to feast. Go to the house of feasting to-morrow, celebrate your Saviour’s birth; do not be ashamed to be glad; you have a right to be happy. Solomon says, “Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white;…
How We Get from Exile to a Restored Jerusalem
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord . . . (Psalm 127:3)
So Israel is in exile, but there is hope. Our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us (Psalm 123:2). These are the "Songs of Ascents" after all. Israel is coming up out of her captivity. We are headed to a restored Jerusalem.
From exile…Continue Reading
What He Secured Wasn't Sympathy, But Immunity
Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He's a Savior who knows what it's like to be human, to live in a fallen world, to experience temptation. And better news than our exemplar, Jesus was our substitution.
Donald Macleod writes,
There can be no doubt that the Father loved him; here, at Golgotha, above all, because this was the magnificent climax of his obedience. . . .
We Three Kings of Orient Aren’t
Behold, magi from the east came to Jerusalem . . . (Matthew 2:1)
Matthew says "behold" to make sure he has our attention. He knows how prone we are to fall asleep while we're reading.
"Wake up. Make sure you're listening. This is huge. Don't miss it. It's not what you'd expect..."
But what's so shocking about magi coming to Jesus? We might be so used to this annual Christmas…Continue Reading