Devotions Aren't Magic

Jon Bloom

An Apostle with Folded Hands :: Anthony van DyckWe know that—for the most part. But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula—the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer—we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.

The danger of this misconception is that it can produce chronic disappointment and discouragement. Cynicism sets in and we give up because devotions don't seem to work for us.

The longing for... Continue Reading

To Prosperity Preachers: Warn Against Weak Investments

John Piper

This is the third post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Jesus warns against the effort to lay up treasures on earth; that is, he tells us to be givers, not keepers. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor... Continue Reading

He Retired into Rural Missions

Tyler Kenney

Adding to yesterday's post, here is one more quote by John Paton about his father. This time about how he didn't waste his final years, even though he remained where he hadalways lived:

For the last twelve years or so of his life, he became by appointment a sort of Rural Missionary for the four contiguous parishes, and spent his autumn in literally sowing the good seed of the Kingdom as a Colporteur of the Tract and Book Society of Scotland. His success in this work, for a... Continue Reading

The Best Way to Punish Your Kids

Tyler Kenney

Praying Man :: Vittore Carpaccio

In his autobiography, John Paton, Scottish missionary tothe New Hebrides, reflects on how his father so effectively responded his children's disobedience:

If anything really serious required to be punished, he retired first to his "closet" for prayer, and we boys got to understand that he was laying the whole matter before God; and that was the severest part of the punishment for me to bear! I could have defied any amount of mere penalty, but this spoke to my conscience... Continue Reading

Pray for the Pearsons

Jon Bloom

Mitch and Mary Pearson are very precious to us. They are long-time members of Bethlehem Baptist, a church they have served in countless ways. And Mitch has served on the DG Board of Directors for the past 10 years.

In January 2009, Mary was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. They have been waging war on the disease ever since with chemo, bone marrow transplants, drugs, and lots and lots of prayer. The battle has gone back and forth. Mary’s medical team doubted she would... Continue Reading

Elders Name Kenny Stokes As Interim Pastor for Preaching

John Piper

Bethlehem’s Organizational Elders voted unanimously Tuesday, April 27, to “name Kenny Stokes Interim Pastor for Preaching during Pastor John’s leave.” I think this is a very wise action and am thrilledthat Kenny and his wife, Kathy, have expressed their willingness to take up this mantle. What it means is that Kenny will be the main preacher and that he will be in charge of shepherding the flock of Bethlehem through the pulpit during my leave.

The... Continue Reading

To Prosperity Preachers: Save People from Suicide

John Piper

This is the second post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

The apostle Paul warned against the desire to be rich. And by implication, he warned against preachers who stir up the desire to be rich instead of helping people get rid of it. He warned, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that... Continue Reading

To Prosperity Preachers: Don’t Make Heaven Harder

John Piper

This is the first post in a series of twelve. The content comes from “Twelve Appeals to Prosperity Preachers” found in the new edition of Let the Nations Be Glad.

Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” His disciples were astonished, as many in the “prosperity” movement should be. So Jesus went on to raise their astonishment even higher by saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle... Continue Reading

Samson’s Spectacular Sin

David Mathis

In the book Spectacular Sins, John Piper writes about how God uses even (and especially) his people’s most tragic sins to work his global purposes for the glory of his Son, and for his people’s good. Judges 14 picks up on the tune.

There Samson bids his parents secure him a wife, a particular Philistine woman who has caught his eye. And, as you probably know, in ancient Israel, the Philistines are usually the bad guys. This marriage would be worse than Montagues and Capulets.

His... Continue Reading

Enduring Common-to-Man Temptations

Jon Bloom

The Temptation of Saint Anthony :: Hieronymus Bosch

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“No temptation.” I love that phrase. It covers them all. But the temptations that Paul is talking about specifically in the preceding verses are sexual immorality and grumbling.

These are not grand temptations like... Continue Reading