Until the Son of God Appeared

Jonathan Parnell
Until the Son of God Appeared

Finally, the son was born. Generation after generation had anticipated his birth and the world desperately needed him. Desperately.

Each day was a gloomy cloud of night. The darkness of death’s shadow filled the earth. Strife and quarrels multiplied without hindrance. The hearts of all mankind only conceived evil. In fact, “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). It actually was so bad that the detoxification of wickedness meant... Continue Reading

My Joy and God’s Holiness: Friends or Foes?

Tony Reinke
My Joy and God’s Holiness: Friends or Foes?

Happiness and holiness are inseparable. True holiness is unattainable without true happiness. Happiness is part of holiness — even the essence of holiness.

But there’s an even deeper connection between our happiness and holiness, and it’s rooted in God’s holy character.

Holy, Holy, Holy!

Many times, a sermon on the holiness of God will start with Isaiah 6:1–5, with a dramatic recounting of Isaiah, the priest, entering the temple in the presence of God’s flowing... Continue Reading

The Most Important Doctrine You’ve Never Heard Of?

David Mathis

Union with Christ. We couldn’t be any more excited about taking up this theme at our upcoming conference for pastors.

Whether this doctrine is an old friend or one you haven’t heard much about, it will be greatly enriching to give three days to basking in the theology and everyday implications with Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. (Full schedule below.)

Whether or not it’s a live option for you to join us, we invite you into the 2-minute... Continue Reading

When Black Friday Becomes a Mission

Jon Bloom
When Black Friday Becomes a Mission

With the Christmas season and all its commercial blitz and glitz upon us (seen especially on Black Friday), let’s lay aside the grousing and see the grace. No throwing wet blankets over Christmas.

May Christmas always blaze healthy and strong in the fireplace of our Decembers, radiating golden light and drawing loved ones and strangers together around its warmth to share a cup of joyful wonder.

And please, let us lay aside fruitless and, frankly, irrelevant debates about... Continue Reading

Thanksgiving, Thanksfeeling, and the Glory of God

John Piper
Thanksgiving, Thanksfeeling, and the Glory of God

Now and then, it needs to be said that not all thanksgiving is thanksfeeling. We can make ourselves (or our children) say, “Thank you,” whether we feel it or not. But it’s not a good habit, especially in relation to God.

Jesus warns against “vain” worship. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me” (Matthew 15:8–9). Thanksgiving without thanksfeeling is empty. It does not count with God.

An Act of the... Continue Reading

Five Truths About Thanksgiving

Joseph Scheumann
Five Truths About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than a day off. It is more than eating mashed potatoes and gravy, watching football, and taking a wonderful turkey-induced nap.

Thanksgiving is a pervasive and essential concept in Scripture. And although it is good to set aside a Thursday each November to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving, the Scriptures have more to say about giving thanks than one day a year can handle.

Here are five biblical truths about thanksgiving.

1. Thanksgiving Is Trinitarian

The... Continue Reading

How Will You Make This Advent Special?

David Mathis
How Will You Make This Advent Special?

We’re now only five days from Advent, which begins this Sunday, December 1.

Just a few minutes of forethought today could go a long way in making this year special for your family, or spiritually significant for you personally.

One way to make the holidays sing is some kind of short daily devotional that can help prepare the hearts of you and yours for the weight of what we celebrate at Christmas in the incarnation of the Son of God. This is the greatest wonder of... Continue Reading

Should You Live in Abu Dhabi?

John Piper
Should You Live in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates in the Arabian Peninsula. It is virtually an island because of the way the inland waterways from the Persian Gulf weave around it. The population is just under a million. It’s a 90 minute drive southwest from Dubai.

As with the other major cities in the UAE, about 80% of the population of Abu Dhabi is expatriate. This includes the lowest paid laborers who live in camps outside the city, and the highest paid executives and... Continue Reading

Are Books Your Shell Collection?

Mike Leake
Are Books Your Shell Collection?

The glasses gave it away.

If it weren’t for those glasses, his unruly hair and wild beard would cause you to mistake him as a peddler. You’d reach your hands in your pocket in search for some coins. But those glasses — and the penetrating eyes behind them — give you pause.

This old man isn’t a beggar hardened by long nights on the streets — he’s a thinker, worn down by a million ideas.

He offers you a tour of his vast library, an experience not many have had. With a little... Continue Reading

More Than Just Raking

David Mathis
More Than Just Raking

I’ll take a rake over a shovel any day.

Raking is relatively easy work and can make the yard look better in a short time. It’s easy enough that even our twin three-year-olds helped this fall, thanks to a pair of kids’ rakes from the neighborhood hardware store.

Raking may make my back a little sore the next day, but it’s nothing like the digging we did earlier in the year to prepare the front yard for a small retaining wall. Raking, even a lot of it, is reasonably painless. Digging,... Continue Reading