Getting the Accent Right: "Not of . . . But Sent Into"

David Mathis

In. . . but not of” — are you familiar with this popular phrase? It captures a truth about Jesus’ followers. We are “in” this world, but not “of” it.

In. . . but not of.” Yes, yes, of course.

But might this pithy slogan give the wrong impression about our (co)mission in this world as Christians? You see, the motto seems to give…

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Are You Frustrated with Your Local Church?

Jonathan Parnell

By grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow…

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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…

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The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Jonathan Parnell

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…

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When God's Will Isn't Clear

Jon Bloom

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…

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Come Be a Nobody for Christ

Michael Oh

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…

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Motherhood Is Application

Rachel Jankovic

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…

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The Prison Gates Opened of Their Own Accord—Really?

John Piper

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…

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

Josh Etter

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…

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John Piper on the Gospel and Sanctification

Jonathan Parnell

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…

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