Troubled But Not Troubled

Jon Bloom
Troubled But Not Troubled

Jesus’ words “let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1a) are comforting. But this it is not merely counsel. It is a command. What Jesus is saying is that in the face of trouble—terrible trouble—we must not allow our hearts to be troubled.

How is that even possible?

Jesus’ answer: “Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1b).

When Jesus spoke these words, he had just informed the disciples that one of them would betray him and Peter would deny him that night. On top of that he... Continue Reading

Israel, Arabs, and the Family of God

John Piper

Last Sunday I met an Arab Christian who was visiting our church. In a respectful way, he poured out his heart concerning the plight of his people in the Middle East and his sadness at how few American Christian pastors ever say anything positive or hopeful about Arab Christians.

His perception is that Christians in America give carte blanche support for Israel. No injustice against Palestinians or Arab Christians elsewhere seems to get a response in American pulpits.

So I... Continue Reading

Honoring Another Christian Death in Pakistan

John Piper
Honoring Another Christian Death in Pakistan

This is my small tribute to another Christian killed for Christ’s sake. I read his story with great admiration. I pray that his death will not be in vain in my life and in Pakistan’s struggle for freedom.

Shahbaz Bhatti was the Minister for Minority Affairs in Pakistan, and a Christian. He was killed in Islamabad on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. He had opposed the Pakistani blasphemy laws that appoint the death sentence for one who speaks words against the truth of... Continue Reading

Your Acting Is His Acting

Jonathan Parnell

In yesterday's post Pastor John cited Philippians 2:12-13 concerning our sin-killing role in sanctification —

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

But why should we attack sin with fear and trembling?

Pastor John answers:

. . . The ground for my trembing here is not threat, but gift. Tremble! God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, your Father, your Redeemer, your Sustainer is in you... Continue Reading

I Act the Miracle

John Piper
I Act the Miracle

When it comes to killing my sin I don’t wait for the miracle, I Act the Miracle.

Acting a miracle is different from working a miracle. If Jesus tells a paralyzed man to get up, and he gets up, Jesus works a miracle. But if I am the paralyzed man and Jesus tells me to get up, and I obey and get up, I act the miracle. If I am dead Lazarus and Jesus commands me to get up, and I obey, Jesus works the miracle, I act the miracle.

So when it comes to killing my sin, I don’t wait passively for the... Continue Reading

All Creation Betrothed to God

John Piper
All Creation Betrothed to God

George Herbert died on this day in 1633. I return to his poetry for my own soul more, probably, than any poet outside the Bible.

In a poem called “Ungratefulness,” he shows how the Trinity and the Incarnation draw all the work of creation finally into God’s enjoyment.

Just as God exulted over his creation in the beginning with, “It is very good,” so in the end he will look on what he has made and redeemed and delight in it with exceeding joy (Zephaniah 3:17).

Thou hast but two... Continue Reading

The Grace of Confession (Part 1)

Paul Tripp
The Grace of Confession (Part 1)

I often wonder how many people are stuck in their relationships in a cycle of repeating the same things over and over again. They repeat the same misunderstandings. They rehearse and re-rehearse the same arguments. They repeat the same wrongs. Again and again things are not resolved. Night after night they end the day with nothing reconciled; they awake with memories of another bad moment with a friend, spouse, neighbor, co-worker or family member and they march toward the... Continue Reading

Fighter Verses on Your iPhone or Android

Beth Stranz

With the launch of the new Fighter Verses, aniPhone / iPadapp was developed. In line with John Piper'sexhortation about smartphones, this is one app to wield in fighting fire with fire.

AnAndroid appis also available.

Learn more about Bible memory atFighterVerses.com, where you can see weekly verses and subscribe to the devotional blog. You can also find Bible memory helps, review tools, downloadable resources, songs, audio, and tips for launching a church-wide memory... Continue Reading

The Gift of Victor Hugo

John Piper
The Gift of Victor Hugo

French poet and novelist, Victor Hugo was born on this day, 1802. He is best known in English because of his novels, Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

We have little hope that his spiritual pilgrimage led him to Christ and heaven. But in the providence of God, and by the grace he scatters so liberally among his adversaries, Hugo was brilliant in his blindness. The imago dei and the remnants of his Christian roots break forth—to the praise of his Maker.

There are reasons... Continue Reading

No, No, Augustine!

John Piper
No, No, Augustine!

In Augustine’s Enchiridion, chapter 46, which I am listening to in spare moments, he says this:

Here lies the necessity that each man should be born again, that he might be freed from the sin in which he was born. For the sins committed afterwards can be cured by penitence, as we see is the case after baptism.

This is, if I understand him, misleading at best.

Not that I want to minimize the significance of 1 John 1:9 (“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”).... Continue Reading