A Wide Opportunity in South Africa

A Wide Opportunity in South Africa

South Africa is the richest, most industrialized nation in Africa. English is a major language and literacy is high. The “third world” tag sticks however, as urban shantytowns exist down the road from westernized blocks. Security is vital to deter crime. And daily, over a thousand AIDS victims die.

Christianity in South Africa is widespread, but deficient in theological depth. “A mile wide and an inch deep” is a common phrase that applies here. Combating the prosperity... Continue Reading

The Importance of Being Under the Ministry of the Word

Josh Etter

At our 2008 National Conference, Sinclair Ferguson connects the way we talk to the ministry of the Word in our lives:

Here's an excerpt:

The most important single aid to my ability to use my tongue for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is allowing the word of God to dwell in me so richly that I cannot speak in any other accent.

Dear brothers and sisters, that's why it is so important for you at the practical level to be under a ministry of the Word... Continue Reading

No Ordinary Sufferings

Elyse Fitzpatrick
No Ordinary Sufferings

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

-The Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:24

The Painful Shift

Our family recently moved from the city to the country and downsized significantly. In this process I’ve realized how entrenched in city life and in my life in the city I’ve been. If you asked me six months ago if I wanted to move closer to my church and give up my house... Continue Reading

The Early Beginnings of Desiring God

Josh Etter
The Early Beginnings of <em>Desiring God</em>

Desiring Godhas Jonathan Edwards's and C.S. Lewis's fingerprints throughout its pages.

But John Piper's thinking on Christian hedonism is echoed in a sermon preached over sixty years ago titled "Saved, Safe, and Satisfied." It was preached by a clear—but often overlooked—influence on Piper: his father Bill Piper.

Here's an excerpt:

Yes, [Christ] satisfies. Satisfies because God with him gives us all things. He satisfies because though him every need is abundantly met. His... Continue Reading

The Issue Is God, Not Odds

John Piper
The Issue Is God, Not Odds

Beware of dreaming too small and asking God for too little. You do not know when he may touch your simple task and turn it into gold.

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote one of his most famous and moving poems when he was eighty years old. He wrote it on the inside of a used envelope during a twenty-nine minute ferry ride while crossing from Lymington to the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England.

It's about the approach of death. It helped that he was eighty.

Your most lasting... Continue Reading

Piper on the Role of Poetry in the Christian Life

Jonathan Parnell

Desiring God's staff meets together every Friday morning for an hour of biblical teaching and prayer. Pastor John led this morning's gathering by unfolding the role of poetry in the Christian life.

He explains:

Poetry is not the answer, but it is a greater part of the answer than 95% of what we do with our time.

Woe to me if I think souls are saved by me or them becoming poetic. But few are damned by it. And of the thousand things we fill our days with, this... Continue Reading

Christianity: More Like a Day Off?

R W Glenn
Christianity: More Like a Day Off?

Last fall, I took my first sabbatical in 15 years of ministry. Initially, I had no idea what to do. So I called a pastor friend and asked how I could be productive during the time off.

Ironic. Aproductivesabbatical! Obviously, if I was trying to make rest productive, I had a very practical problem with the whole idea of sabbatical.

I had spent my entire pastorate working six-day, eighty-hour weeks. I had no category for rest. . . until the Lord led me to Hebrews 4:10—

For... Continue Reading

Help Japan—At Least Five Options

Tyler Kenney

Here are several Christian relief organizations responding to Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. Join us by praying for them and giving financially.

Churches Helping Churches

Churches Helping Churches (CHC) is working with CRASH Japan to establish a base camp near Sendai to distribute relief supplies to the community. They are appealing to their church network to take a special offering for Japan on the weekend of March 26–27. (A video will be available on their site... Continue Reading

Japan: After Empathy and Aid, People Want Answers

John Piper
Japan: After Empathy and Aid, People Want Answers

Priorities

First things first.

When Christians see suffering they feel empathy. We too have bodies (Hebrews 13:3). Therefore, love commands, “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

Then comes aid. We want to help relieve human suffering—all of it, especially eternal suffering:

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).

And that includes enemies:

Love your enemies, do... Continue Reading

Lord, Where Are You Going?

Jon Bloom
Lord, Where Are You Going?

What are you more concerned about today: where Jesus is leading you, or whether you really trust him?

I can tell you what Jesus is most concerned about: your trust.

When Jesus informed the disciples that he was going away and that they could not follow him where he was going (John 13:33), Peter asked the natural question, “Lord, where are you going?” (John 13:36). But Jesus didn’t answer with the kind of information I imagine Peter was looking for at that moment.

Jesus Knew, But... Continue Reading