The Ministry of Reminding—Myself

John Piper

One of the great enemies of hope is forgetting God’s promises. Reminding is a great ministry. Peter and Paul wrote for this reason (2 Peter 1:13; Romans 15:15).

The main reminder is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). But don’t be passive. You are responsible only for your own ministry of reminding. And the first one in need of reminding by you is you.

The mind has this great power: It can talk to itself by way of reminder. The mind can “call to mind.” For example, “But this I call... Continue Reading

Despite Us, God Works

Michael Oh
Despite Us, God Works

Spring Break 1990 in Daytona Beach, Florida

I was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.

If it had been one year earlier I would have been at Daytona Beach to join in the partying. As it was, God had intervened mercifully in my life before going to college, and I was there for a beach evangelism project. Christians sure know how to almost have fun.

A bunch of us had driven down from Philadelphia in an old van. The first night I ended up staying alone in an isolated motel room... Continue Reading

At Least Be as Smart as a Bush

John Piper
At Least Be as Smart as a Bush

In the debates over evolution, be sure you do not become less intelligent than the beasts, the birds, the bushes, and the fish. They know something the brilliant godless do not know.

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of... Continue Reading

Planting Churches That Last (Part 3) - Study Others

Dave Harvey
Planting Churches That Last (Part 3) - Study Others

(See the previous posts,Part 1 - Study the PastandPart 2 - Study Mistakes)

Guess what I know about you? You think that what you’re involved in is the best thing God is doing right now. You think you’ve got something desperately needed in the church. Of course you do. Why else would you give, serve, sacrifice for it?! The guys over in the PCA, EV Free, SBC and Acts 29 all think the same thing. Me too. We all think we’ve figured it out. It’s a wonderful thing... Continue Reading

God’s Moral Will and Sovereign Will

John Piper
God’s Moral Will and Sovereign Will

I would like to help you distinguish between God’s moral will and his sovereign will. This will help you make sense of the apparent contradiction between these two statements:

1. God does all things according to his will (sovereign will).

“He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand” (Daniel 4:35).

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalms 115:3).

2. Some things happen that... Continue Reading

Planting Churches That Last (Part 2) - Study Mistakes

Dave Harvey
Planting Churches That Last  (Part 2) - Study Mistakes

(See the previous post,Planting Churches That Last (Part 1) - Study the Past)

As a teenager, my buddy fancied himself a hotshot skateboarder. Trying to do an ollie (a jump and board flip in midair) he landed badly and snapped the bone in his arm. The real ache was 6 weeks of summer spent in a cast. Finally he got the cast off and … well, he immediately went back to the same spot and tried the same thing … and broke his arm. Same move, same bone, same result.... Continue Reading

Large Sails and Little Ballast

John Piper
Large Sails and Little Ballast

Large spiritual passion with small doctrinal understanding is large sails and tall masts on a tiny boat in high winds. It will dart wildly over the surface for a hundred yards. Then one wave, or one crosswind, will bring it all crashing into the unforgiving sea.

Give as much attention to enlarging the depth of your ballast as you do to the height of your sails.

Of course, if you are a sixty-ton flat-surfaced barge, with a broken engine, pray for God to give you sails and wind.

Summary of the 2011 Conference for Pastors

Jonathan Parnell
Summary of the 2011 Conference for Pastors

Notes and full audio and video from each session are now available.

Joel Beeke — Cultivating Private Prayer as a Pastor

Beeke says, "Prayer is often treated as the appendix to our work rather than the foundation. . . . The problem is not that we don't pray, but rather it is that we seldom pray prayerfully." He explains two parts required for prayerful praying: taking hold of yourself and taking hold of God.

Paul Miller — Helping Your People Discover the Praying Life... Continue Reading

Planting Churches That Last (Part 1) - Study the Past

Dave Harvey
Planting Churches That Last (Part 1) - Study the Past

The best car I ever owned was a ’72 Chrysler Valiant. My wife, Kimm, called it the “Wonder V,” as in, “I wonder why you think I want to ride in that.” But it was a tank on tires—so solidly built, I used it as a backstop for pitching practice. A baseball into the side of my present car would total it. It was a sad day when the “Wonder V” gave up the ghost. When something is solid, well-built, and passes the test of time, we need to value it.

That’s the way we... Continue Reading

Prayer: “Reversed Thunder”

John Piper
Prayer: “Reversed Thunder”

We just finished a conference on prayer. To keep fanning the flames of zeal for a life of prayer, here is the most remarkable poem on prayer I know. It was written by George Herbert.

For me, the phrase “reversed thunder,” as a description of prayer, is worth more than a hundred explanations.

Prayer (I)

Prayer the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;
... Continue Reading