The Crazy Idea of Fasting in '09

John Piper

Jesus did not say, “If you fast...” but “When you fast...” (Matthew 6:16). This will be new (even over the top) for some of you. So do a crazy thing in 2009. It might change your relationship with God. And your life.

Here’s a tiny bit of help. A bit on how. And a bit on why.

How to Fast

Pick a day of the week or a day of the month and plan to fast in 2009. Plan which meal or meals to skip. Skip them entirely, or do it with only juice or only water. There are no rules. There is... Continue Reading

A Year-End Letter to the DG Staff

Jon Bloom

Dear Desiring God Staff,

As 2008 fades into history, I want to tell you again what a precious, undeserved privilege it has been to serve with you in the mission of Desiring God. God granted 44 of you to serve at some time during 2008, 35 of whom remain while the rest have followed the Lord’s call into other fields.

Most of the work—and the most important work—of Desiring God was accomplished this year through you. 1 Peter 2:17 says “Honor everyone.” And so I want to briefly... Continue Reading

I Love Jesus Christ

John Piper

One of the most memorable moments of my seminary days was during theschool year 1968-69 at Fuller Seminary on the third level of theclassroom building just after a class on systematic theology. A groupof us were huddled around James Morgan, the young theology teacher whowas saying something about the engagement of Christians in socialjustice. I don’t remember what I said, but he looked me right in theeye and said, “John, I love Jesus Christ.”

It was like a thunderclap in my heart. A... Continue Reading

10 Reasons to Pray the Scriptures

John Piper

Here are some of the reasons you should pray and meditate over biblical truth.

1. Biblical truth saves.

Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

2. Biblical truth frees from Satan.

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

3. Biblical truth imparts grace and peace.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus... Continue Reading

Newton's Struggle with Prayer

John Piper

If you knew the struggles of the greatest of saints you might be heartened to press on in prayer in 2009.

John Newton (1725-1807)—slave trader, convert to Christ, author of “Amazing Grace,” pastor, fellow struggler—on a morning in April sometime between 1752 and 1756 wrote this:

Prayed over a part of the eighth of Romans in a way of paraphrase with some readiness. I greatly fail in the duty of meditation and am forced to use some artifice with myself to do it at all; thus... Continue Reading

A Good Start on Prayer in 2009

John Piper

At Bethlehem Baptist Church this is the beginning of prayer week. This is our way of encouraging each other to pray more consistently, more earnestly, more hopefully, and more biblically in 2009.

The best way to strengthen our faith and our resolve is to read what God has promised to those who pray. Here is a sampling:

Promises of Answered Prayer to Encourage Us to Pray with Hope

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and... Continue Reading

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Noel Piper

There are good reasons to dream of a white Christmas.

For one, God created crystal, blinding-white new snow to help us understand the contrast between our sinful old selves and the new persons he has made us into: “though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

For another, the first Christmas was one of the times that angels spoke to humans on God’s behalf. And one kind of snow fun reminds us of those Christmas angels.

May your CHRISTmas... Continue Reading

One of My Heroes...

Jon Bloom

…is my big brother, Jim. He has been since I was young. Being five years older than me, he was always the epitome of what it meant to be big.

But when he was in college (and I in Jr. High) he was dramatically converted. And he became the most significant model for me in my teens and 20’s of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. He really lived what he believed.

He still does. He and his amazing wife, Raquel, have been church planters among the urban poor of Minneapolis for the past 15... Continue Reading