When You Track Your Spiritual Progress

Jonathan Parnell
When You Track Your Spiritual Progress

The last days of December are a great time for personal inventory.

It’s almost involuntary for many of us. The close of one year naturally leads to us to think back over the highs and lows of the last 365 days (especially if we’re on Facebook). For others of us, the inventory might be more methodical. Maybe we crack open a journal from a year ago or browse through notes we’ve made or organize a list of our biggest decisions in descending order. Either way, it’s safe to... Continue Reading

Are You Pastoring Your Pastor?

Marshall Segal
Are You Pastoring Your Pastor?

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors.

These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

Our most prominent, visible members of the body can easily get left out of the regular rhythm of one-anothering (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians... Continue Reading

Your Most Courageous Resolution for 2014

Jon Bloom
Your Most Courageous Resolution for 2014

Pursue love. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

Resolutions are good things. They’re biblical: “may [God] fulfill every resolve for good” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). And I think developing New Year’s resolutions is a very good idea. A year is a defined timeframe long enough to make progress on difficult things and short enough to provide some incentive to keep moving.

A resolve is not a vague intention, like “one of these days I’m going to get that garage cleaned” or “I’m going to read... Continue Reading

Christ Cannot Be Stopped

John Piper
Christ Cannot Be Stopped

Cross is a new student conference on missions. It begins this evening.

This conference is a dream come true for me. I give four reasons for why in my message tonight. So I won’t give them here. You can live-stream all the main sessions at desiringGod.org/live, beginning at 8:15 PM (EST) tonight (full live-stream schedule below).

The premise of the conference is that biblical Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering. We believe that God sent his eternal Son... Continue Reading

Football and the Warrior Instinct

Jonathan Parnell
Football and the Warrior Instinct

One of the last things we need is for young men to think that masculinity is defined by tackles and touchdowns. That would be bad. But it would also be bad if the world were bleached of tackles and touchdowns.

Why? Because while “warrior culture” is dangerous, warrior instinct is endangered, and football stands as one of the last bastions of its enduring good.

What Is Warrior Instinct?

Undivided, straightforward, sacrificial focus for good. That is what I mean by warrior... Continue Reading

Five Truths About the Incarnation

Joseph Scheumann
Five Truths About the Incarnation

Christmas is about the incarnation of Jesus. Strip away the season’s hustle and bustle, the trees, the cookies, the extra pounds, and what remains is a humble birth story and a simultaneously stunning reality — the incarnation of the eternal Son of God.

This incarnation, God himself becoming human, is a glorious fact that is too often neglected, or forgotten, amidst all the gifts, get-togethers, pageants, and presents. Therefore, we would do well to think deeply about the... Continue Reading

The Kinds of Gifts That Keep on Giving

Marshall Segal
The Kinds of Gifts That Keep on Giving

In the next few hours, you may have more stuff than you’ve had all year — some expected, others a surprise; some practical, others sentimental; some useful, and others not as much.

It might be the latest television or phone or video game system or kitchen appliance, or gift cards to your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or department store. You may unwrap beautiful jewelry or tickets to a big game or a night out without the kids.

They’re all great for a time and should... Continue Reading

The Real Festivus Miracle

David Mathis
The Real Festivus Miracle

December 23 is circled on my calendar. It’s marked as a day to take a deep breath, refocus, and head into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a fresh sense of what this frenzied season is really about.

By December 23, most of us are up to our necks in holiday craziness and commercialization. We feel like we’re once again stumbling toward Christmas, exhausted and depleted by the most consumeristic season in history’s most consumeristic civilization. Two days before Christmas is... Continue Reading

World, Get With the Program: Joy! Joy! Joy!

John Piper
World, Get With the Program: Joy! Joy! Joy!

Isaac Watts wrote a book on logic and 750 hymns, including “Joy to the World.” That’s my kind of person! Lucid logic for seeing truth, and a living soul for feeling it and singing it. This is what we were created to be.

Watts wrote “Joy to the World” as Part Two of a meditation on Psalm 98. His title was: “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom.” Most agree he was writing about the second coming of Christ, not Christmas.

But it’s not that simple.

Past, Present, and Future

To be... Continue Reading

Mary’s Model for Mothers

Luma Simms
Mary’s Model for Mothers

For a mom living in an age where definitions of motherhood have become plastic, my radar is up for solid models of godly motherhood. We must not overlook one such model — Mary.

Many women were loved and blessed by God in the Scriptures, but one in particular was highly favored by God. The Angel Gabriel was sent to her to say:

Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (Luke 1:28, 30)

Of all the women in history, God... Continue Reading