Guard Your Heart, Don't Suffocate It

Tyler Kenney

“Guard your heart” is a good command. That’s because it’s biblical:

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

In its context, this verse suggests that keeping—or guarding—your heart means to retain wise words and resist wicked desires. But I’m afraid some people—ahem, me, too often—use it to justify being cowardly or cold instead of loving others, because we think that “guard your heart” means “don’t get hurt.”

    1. Lewis provides... Continue Reading

The Pain of Prophetic Love

John Piper

Prophetic love often feels painful. It hurts when prophets tell us we have sinned. If prophets let that short term fall in popularity govern their words they are false prophets. And they do not love people, they love themselves. Here is what prophetic love would have looked like in Jerusalem before it was too late.

Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes (Lamentations 2:14).

Love longs for the... Continue Reading

Bad Times Are Good for Missions

John Piper

I believe the Lord brought this word to mind in one of our prayer meetings on Friday:

The worst of all times is the best of all times for missions.

We were praying over Lamentations 3. Those were the worst of times for Israel. But in that moment they were given the best of promises,

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (3:22-23)

Today marks the close of Missions Focus at... Continue Reading

Closing Prayer of Spectacular Sins

John Piper

When I got my copy of Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ a few weeks ago, I took it to my prayer bench, knelt down, and prayed the closing prayer printed on pages 108-110.

I thought you might be willing to join me in praying this.

A Closing Prayer

Gracious and glorious Father,
because you are rich in mercy,
and great in love,
and sovereign in grace,
we ask that you would make this little book
a window onto the panorama of your glory,
and a... Continue Reading

Let Christians Vote As Though They Were Not Voting

John Piper

Voting is like marrying and crying and laughing and buying. We should do it, but only as if we were not doing it.That’s because “the present form of this world is passing away” and, inGod’s eyes, “the time has grown very short.” Here’s the way Paul putsit:

The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they... Continue Reading

Preach What's True and Precious

John Piper

A word to preachers. Truth and falsehood is a good pair of categories to use when deciding what to preach. Speak truth not falsehood.

But there is another crucial pair of categories. God tells Jeremiah that he must use this pair if he would be faithful:

Therefore thus says the Lord: “...If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. (Jeremiah 15:19)

In deciding what to preach make these two judgments: Is it true and is it precious?... Continue Reading

The Strange Task of Witnessing About Light

John Piper

Witnessing about light is a strange task if your aim is for people tosee the light and believe in the light. Light illumines by itself. Whenyou want someone to see a light, you don’t witness about the light, butyou hold up the light. If you have a torch in your hand, and you wantsomeone to see the torch, you don’t say, “This is a torch.” You hold upthe torch.

But John 1:7says that John the Baptist “came as a witness, to bear witness aboutthe light.” So as strange... Continue Reading

Sordid Lineage, Beautiful Legacy

Jon Bloom

Ruth Wasn’t Even a Jew

The book of Ruth is amazing. Not simply because it’s a great story about love, loyalty, faith, romance and redemption. But its very presence in the Bible is amazing. Stuck right there in the Old Testament is a book named after a non-Jewish woman.

Ruth was a Moabite. Her ancestry had its origin in the incest committed between Lot and his oldest daughter. And though Moabites were related to the Israelites, so to speak, they were enemies because Moab had... Continue Reading

Why Not Destroy the Devil Now?

John Piper

Why doesn’t God totally remove Satan and all demons now, since he will someday without their approval (Revelation 20:10)?

Here is the answer I propose in the first paragraph of chapter nine of Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. The rest of the chapter gives the biblical basis and implications.

The glory of Christ is seen in his absolute right and power to annihilate or incapacitate Satan and all demons. But the reason he refrains from destroying and disabling them altogether is... Continue Reading

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

John Piper

One of my long-standing dissatisfactions with the focus of biblical theology is the habit of tracing God’s faithfulness only as far back as his covenant-keeping. Righteousness (tsedeqa) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Love (hesed) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Faithfulness (emet) is portrayed as covenant-keeping.

This has an ill-effect. It skews biblical revelation by making God’s relation with man seem more ultimate than God himself. There is always something more... Continue Reading