How to Avoid Inheritance Disputes

John Piper

When Absalom rebelled against his father David, Ziba lied about Mephibosheth and stole his inheritance.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son. David, as you remember, loved Jonathan. So he had promised to let Mephibosheth eat at his royal table all his life.

Mephibosheth was lame in both feet and could not escape from Jerusalem by himself when David fled from Absalom. Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, told David that Mephibosheth was a traitor.

Without knowing this was a lie, David... Continue Reading

Appalled but Productive

John Piper

The vision in Daniel 8 is appalling. The great beastly enemy of God is allowed to kill huge numbers of saints.

His power shall be great...and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. (Daniel 8:24)

Daniel is made sick by the vision. But in spite of being sick and appalled, he does his work.

And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business,... Continue Reading

A Tribute to Gratitude

John Piper

When I wrote Future Grace my aim was to show that, in the Bible, motivation for obedience to Jesus is never said explicitly to be gratitude. This is astonishing since many (most?) Christians list gratitude as the main motive for our obedience to Jesus.

My argument is that in the Bible “faith in future grace” not “gratitude for past grace” is the primary focus in motivating acts of love. (“You had compassion on those in prison...since you knew that you yourselves had a better... Continue Reading

A Failed Attempt at Church Unity

John Piper

In his book Portrait of Calvin, T. H. L. Parker tells this story about how the possibility of unity between the reformed churches was shipwrecked on the rocks of astrology:

Near the end of Calvin’s life Bullinger wrote to Cranmer urging that England should not send a delegate to the Council of Trent.

He replied that the King had never thought of doing so, but added that he had recommended that “His Majesty grant his assistance, that in England, or elsewhere, there might... Continue Reading

Give Time to Your Wife

David Mathis

The apostle Peter writes,

Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

This is strange at first glance. How does caring for your wife connect to having unhindered prayers?

Here’s Wayne Grudem’s challenging commentary:

So concerned is God that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their... Continue Reading

Happy 100th Birthday, Irene Peterson!

John Piper

On November 25th, the oldest member of Bethlehem who is still walkingthe earth turns 100. Irene Peterson attended Bethlehem for over 90years. Only recently did she move to be near her daughter Joan inWashington, D.C. Joan says what Irene misses most is the body atBethlehem.

We miss you too, Irene.

Some people get crotchety when they get old. But Joan says, “Mother is mellowing and aging well. Her neighbor calls their home Finishing School;she is finishing well!” Though... Continue Reading

Kids' Books for Grown-ups

John Piper

Good children’s books are profitable for adults. C. S. Lewis put it like this:

I was therefore writing “for children” only in the sense that I excluded what I thought they would not like or understand; not in the sense of writing what I intended to be below adult attention. I may of course have been deceived, but the principle at least saves one from being patronizing. I never wrote down to anyone; and whether the opinion condemns or acquits my own work, it certainly is my opinion... Continue Reading

How I Approach God When Feeling Rotten

John Piper

A vague bad feeling that you are a crummy person is not the same as conviction for sin. Feeling rotten is not the same as repentance.

This morning I began to pray, and felt unworthy to be talking to the Creator of the universe. It was a vague sense of unworthiness. So I told him so. Now what?

Nothing changed until I began to get specific about my sins. Crummy feelings can be useful if they lead to conviction for sins. Vague feelings of being a bad person are not very... Continue Reading

Look, No Hands

Noel Piper

Brian Gault was born in Northern Ireland in 1960 with no arms due to the “completely safe” drug prescribed for his mother’s morning sickness. I’ve just finished reading his autobiography, Look, No Hands.

At Bethlehem Baptist's Disability Ministry blog, you can read about some of the impact of the book on me.