Swords Are for Killing

John Piper

In New Testament times swords were not for digging, shaving, or whittling. They were for killing. The only reason Peter cut off Malchus’s ear was that he missed (John 18:10).

But Herod didn’t miss: “He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2).

Many saints have felt the full force of the sword: “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:37). So it was and will be: “If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword... Continue Reading

What to Pray for Our Children

John Piper

Watching our children walk in the truth is high joy (3 John 1:4). Watching them walk away from it is crushing (2 Samuel 18:33).

To lay hold on this joy and to prevent this pain we must pray daily (sometimes hourly) and earnestly for our children. Here is a biblical list of what to pray.

9 Ways to Pray for Your Soul

John Piper

Here are some ways to pray for yourself so that you're praying in sync with the way God works.

1. For the desire of my heart to be toward God and his Word.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain. (Psalm 119:36)

2. For the eyes of my heart to be opened.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18)

3. For my heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.”

[I pray] that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. (Ephesians 1:18)

... Continue Reading

Resolutions? No!

David Mathis

Reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ classic Spiritual Depression would be a strong way to start the new year.

The title can be a tad deceiving. It’s not merely a book for those with a pronounced sense of spiritual depression. It’s a book for all Christians—for the daily spiritual depressions we all face this side of heaven.

Lloyd-Jones ends his second chapter with these challenging and refreshing words:

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say... Continue Reading

Bible Reading Plans

John Piper

At Bethlehem we close prayer week with a focus on the value of reading and memorizing Scripture in the new year.

Justin Taylor has pulled together a list of possible ways to read the Bible in this new year.

I encourage all of us to take the first day of the year and plan how we are going to read the Bible. Don’t leave it to chance.

Update : I am going with the Discipleship Journal Plan for one main reason. Few things discourage us more from reading the Bible through in a year than... Continue Reading

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