A Prayer for Japan

John Piper

The scenes of the tsunami in Japan are apocalyptic:

The power of moving water is greater than most of us can imagine.Nothing stands before it. We are driven to our knees:

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel... Continue Reading

Japan, Sovereignty, and Mercy

Michael Johnson
Japan, Sovereignty, and Mercy

Japan’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake—the biggest one to ever strike Japan—echoes the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

In response, John Piper wrote an article titled “Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy.” The essence of his main points are the same, slightly modified for Japan’s context:

  1. Satan is not ultimate, God is.
  2. Even if Satan caused the earthquake in Japan, he is not the decisive cause of the deaths, God is.
  3. Destructive calamities in this world mingle judgment and mercy.
  4. The heart that... Continue Reading

Shine Your Light or Hide Your Hand

Jon Bloom
Shine Your Light or Hide Your Hand

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4 ESV)

A friend recently posed these two verses to me and asked, “So when do you tell others about your good deeds and when do you not?”

It’s... Continue Reading

The Cross: The Greatest Pro-Life Initiative Ever Taken

Josh Etter

LIFE Internationalunderstands that the horror of abortion is a global tragedy. Their mission is to multiply life-giving ministries wherever abortion is provided around the world. To see a little more of the heart that drives their mission, Kurt Dillinger responds to a few questions I recently asked him.

What biblical truth is the primary foundation for your ministry's approach to the global mission field created by abortion?

Jesus says in John 10:10 that... Continue Reading

A Five-Pointer Shares the Gospel

John Piper
A Five-Pointer Shares the Gospel

Here’s a conversation between an unbeliever and an evangelist who believes in the doctrine of definite atonement (sometimes unhelpfully called “limited atonement”)—the biblical teaching that when Jesus died, God’s unalterable purpose was to cancel the sins and commute the death sentence of all whom he would give to the Son (John 6:39).

Unbeliever: So what are you offering me?

Evangelist: Salvation from God’s wrath and from your sin. Everlasting life.

U: How?

E: Because when... Continue Reading

What Bob Dylan Got Right

John Piper
 What Bob Dylan Got Right

In 1979 Bob Dylan recorded the song "Gotta Serve Somebody." For those who listen with biblically informed ears the refrain echoes Paul and Jesus:

Paul: "You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Romans 6:16).

Jesus: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).

Dylan's refrain:

But you're gonna... Continue Reading

John Piper Does Not Deny That God Makes Much of Us

Josh Etter

At Passion 2011 in Atlanta, Pastor John gave a message titled “Getting to the Bottom of Your Joy.” In it John clarifies if and how God makes much of us:

Let it be said loud and clear: John Piper does not deny and and never has denied that God makes much of us. The question is ranking—what’s at the bottom of your joy. Where does it finally rest?

Yes, those amazing truths—that God makes much of you—should thrill your soul!But why? The answer to that question... Continue Reading

Universalism: Not a New Temptation

Jonathan Parnell

The temptation is not new: silencing certain biblical texts in order to say that eventually everyone will be saved. In fact, we could just call it recycled liberalism.

Desiring God focused on this subject 21 years ago at the Conference for Pastors — "Universalism and the Reality of Eternal Punishment."

In his sermon that assesses the biblical and theological arguments for universalism, Sinclair Ferguson reminds us:

There is a mighty sermon in Gresham Machen’s book,God... Continue Reading

When Good Lives Are Bad News

Tim Chester
When Good Lives Are Bad News

There are two ways we get life wrong:

1. We want to be our own Lord instead of Jesus

I often replace Jesus as Lord with me as lord, running life my way. I want to be in charge. This often leads to behaviour that by moral standards is bad, e.g. sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. We do not think Jesus is enough, disbelieving that living under His rule is the “good life.” So we replace Jesus with others things.

But there is another way we get life wrong:

2. We want to be our own Saviour... Continue Reading

The Grace of Confession (Part 2)

Paul Tripp
The Grace of Confession (Part 2)

Read Part 1

A properly functioning conscience is a grace

Many relationships travel a one-way road in the wrong direction—the direction of a hardened heart. In the early days of the relationship we’re concerned with winning the other person, being loving, kind, serving, respectful, giving, forgiving, and patient.

But before long we let down our guard. We quit being so solicitous. Selfishness replaces service. We do and say things we would have never thought of at the... Continue Reading