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,…

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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…

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One Dream for Bethlehem in My 8-Month Absence

John Piper

In 1839, pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne was away from his church in Dundee, Scotland, for eight months. My dream and prayer for Bethlehem is that during my eight months away, we will experience something like his church, St. Peter’s, did in the time of her pastor’s absence.

M’Cheyne went on a mission trip to Israel at the beginning of April 1839. His words about being away express my conviction exactly.…

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There Must Be Factions

Jon Bloom

[Post updated.]

 I’m thankful for First Corinthians. It reminds me that the early church wasn’t only experiencing Acts 4:32-35.

The church in Corinth was so divided that you might say it was diced. There were divisions over which apostle was superior, sexual morality, lawsuits, marriage, eating meat, headcoverings for women, the Lord’s Supper, spiritual gifts, the resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection of believers, and I’m probably missing some.

Paul, who…

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God Provides Direction, Resources, and Ability

Jon Bloom

In Exodus chapters 26-30, God gave Moses very detailed instructions about how to make the tabernacle, its furnishings, the priests’ garments, and all the instruments used in worship. And then in chapter 31, God tells Moses (much to Moses’ great relief, I imagine),

See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit…

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The Bleakest Psalm Is Really a Night-light

Jon Bloom

I read Psalm 88 recently in my devotions, and it filled me with thanksgiving. Which might seem odd. Because this psalm just may be the most bleak of the canonical songs.

Heman the Ezrahite, the apparent composer, was seriously depressed. Maybe he was chronically ill. Or maybe, like many, he battled almost constantly against a relentless darkness. We really don't know. But he said he had been this way since…

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Spiritual Gifts: An Implication for Unanswered Prayer

John Piper

First, let’s just remind ourselves of some truths about spiritual gifts from 1 Corinthians 12. Then we will notice a simple implication for unanswered prayer.

1. God wants us to know about spiritual gifts.

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed” (1 Corinthians 12:1).

2. Objective truths about Jesus govern subjective spiritual experiences.

“No one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus

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All the Beautiful Virgins?

Jon Bloom

King Ahasuerus In Esther chapter 2, King Ahasuerus finds himself without a queen.

He had sacked Queen Vashti in a rage because she had refused to entertain him and his guests with her beauty, thereby encouraging uppity-ness in all the women of the kingdom.

But a king needs a queen. My goodness, where does one even begin? His advisors come up with a doozy of an idea:

'…let the king appoint…

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Can You Bear Uncertainty?

Jon Bloom

Uncertainty is a difficult thing to bear. We want to know where the provision is going to come from or if we’re going to die of this disease or how this child is going to turn out or if our job will still be there next month.

But as we see in Luke 9:57-58, Jesus makes it clear that his disciples must be able to bear uncertainty if they are…

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The Indomitable Life of Christ

Tyler Kenney

 When Jesus was dead and buried, with a big stone rolled against the tomb, the Pharisees came to Pilate and asked for permission to seal the stone and guard the tomb. Pilate said, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can” (Matthew 27:65). So they did. They gave it their best shot—in vain.

It was hopeless then, it is hopeless today, and it will…

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