Minimizing Views of God Don't Advance the Mission

John Piper

What Is the Basis of Risk?

Risk is “an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury.” (“Risk Is Right” in Don’t Waste Your Life, 79). “Possibility” is a key word. If you know what you will suffer, it’s called sacrifice, not risk. God requires both from us. God demands a life of intentional sacrifice (Philippians 2:4-8), and he demands risk for the gospel — in smaller ways of dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:31), and possibly in the bigger way of... Continue Reading

The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Jonathan Parnell
The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Pastor John from 1988:

From the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ the strategy of our mission is incarnation. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He left one place and went to another place. He gave up the glories and comforts of his heavenly home in order to go where the people were and tell them about the Father. And he said, "As the Father has sent me so send I you."

Bethlehem's mission in Minneapolis must never be mainly a come and... Continue Reading

When God's Will Isn't Clear

Jon Bloom
When God's Will Isn't Clear

Most of the decisions you will make today aren’t explicitly addressed in the Bible. Questions like, should I eat out today? What should I wear? Should I respond to this instance of my child’s sin with correction or forbearance? Should I shop today or tomorrow? Should I check my email again?

The Bible doesn’t even give specific guidance on huge, life-shaping decisions like should I marry this person? Should I give more or save for retirement? Should we adopt a child? Should I... Continue Reading

Come Be a Nobody for Christ

Michael Oh
Come Be a Nobody for Christ

Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ. — Francis Xavier

Many people leave college with the goal to “be somebody.” And this usually means getting a good job, making good money, buying a nice house, driving a nice car, attaining some important position, and helping your kids to do the same.

For the Christian, “being somebody” usually means all of that and faithfully going to church on Sundays and Bible study during the... Continue Reading

Motherhood Is Application

Rachel Jankovic
Motherhood Is Application

If I had to pick one word to describe motherhood, I think that word would be “transforming.”

The days of a busy mother are made up of millions of transformations. Dirty children become clean, the hungry child fed, the tired child sleeping. Almost every task a mother performs in the course of a normal day could be considered a transformation. Disorder to order, dirty clothes to clean, unhappy children to peaceful, empty fridge to full. Every day we fight against disorder, filth,... Continue Reading

The Prison Gates Opened of Their Own Accord—Really?

John Piper
The Prison Gates Opened of Their Own Accord—Really?

One of the great benefits of vacation is that there are no deadlines for being done with devotions. I can start and go as long as I want. If the Bible plan says four chapters (which it does), I can read eight. If it takes 20 minutes to read four chapters, I can take two hours. That’s the way I really like to read the Bible. Roll it around in the mouth of your mind before you swallow it down into your soul.

Reading Acts 12

So one morning in the book of Acts,... Continue Reading

God Is a Joy to be Near and a Terror to Those Who Flee

Josh Etter
God Is a Joy to be Near and a Terror to Those Who Flee

Pastor John (1981) illustrates what it means to fear the Lord in Exodus 20:20 —

Noël and the boys and I went out to Dick and Irene Tiegen's place last week. They have a big dog as tall as Benjamin which greeted us with barks and growls from where he was chained. But after we were there and in the house with the dog, he was friendly.

Then we went outside again and Irene gave the warning: Don't run from him. But as Karsten was heading out to the car, the... Continue Reading

John Piper on the Gospel and Sanctification

Jonathan Parnell
John Piper on the Gospel and Sanctification

Theology Refresh is a new podcast for pastors hosted by David Mathis, executive assistant to John Piper since 2006 and editor or contributer to a number of books, including recent release, Don't Call It a Comeback.

The aim of the podcast, in David's words, "is to sharpen and refresh spiritual leaders on key aspects of theology that are useful for everyday Christian ministry."

In this episode David Mathis conducts Part 1 of an interview with John Piper on the gospel... Continue Reading

Getting the Glory of Christ Before Our Eyes

Jonathan Parnell
Getting the Glory of Christ Before Our Eyes

Jack Miller:

What I finally came to as I walked and prayed for you is the old, old story of getting the gospel clear in your own hearts and minds, making it clear to others, and doing it with only one motive — the glory of Christ. Getting the glory of Christ before your eyes and keeping it there is the greatest work of the Spirit that I can imagine. And there is no greater peace, especially in the times of treadmill-like activity, than doing it all for the glory... Continue Reading

The Preeminence of Jesus Is for Everyday Life

Jonathan Parnell

I recently spent a whole day tucked away at a local library. It was a golden spot. Quiet. Secluded. I sat beneath a shower of grace: an open Bible, a hungry soul, a copy of Owen’s The Glory of Christ. I spent several good hours there reading and praying and preparing for a sermon about Jesus and his glory. It was easy to walk close with Jesus alone in the library.

I left that spot and within an hour found myself quickly ushered back into the mess of everyday... Continue Reading