Morning Meditations on 4 Parts of the Bible

John Piper

I hope you are reading your Bible steadily through the summer. I hopeyou don’t miss a day. “On his law he meditates day and night” (Psalms1:2). I pray that there are times when it tastes so good, you slow downand steep your heart in it. Today was an especially rich day for me.

I was reading in four parts of the Bible—not for any preparation,but just to feed my soul. In every text another text came to mind thatmade each clearer. And that blew some fog away so I... Continue Reading

How to Hear the Word of God

John Piper

What does Jesus mean when he says,

Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away (Luke 8:18)?

He is applying the parable of the four soils (Luke 8:12-15). Notice the connection between “take care how you hear,” and the focus in hearing in the parable.

  1. “The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word.”
  2. “And the ones on the... Continue Reading

If You Can Be Godly and Wrong, Does Truth Matter?

John Piper

Since there are some Arminians who are more godly than some Calvinistsand some Calvinists who are more godly than some Arminians, what is thecorrelation between true knowledge of God and godliness?

The best of both groups have historically admired the godliness ofthose in the other group. Whitefield, the Calvinist, said of Wesley,the Arminian, “Mr. Wesley I think is wrong in some things; yet Ibelieve...Mr. Wesley, and others, with whom we do not agree in all... Continue Reading

Pinnock and Sayers on Hell

John Piper

Resolved 08, which I spoke at a couple weeks ago, had a sobering theme: Heaven and Hell. In my preparation, I dug up this contrast between Clark Pinnock and Dorothy Sayers.

Clark Pinnock, a Canadian theologian who has moved far from his evangelical roots, wrote:

I was led to question the traditional belief in everlasting conscious torment because of moral revulsion and broader theological considerations, not first of all on scriptural grounds. It just does not make any sense to... Continue Reading

A Caution to Political Candidates

John Piper

Not everything is complex when it comes to politics. Here’s something that is clear and simple and fearful. If political figures don’t humble themselves and give glory to God when they are praised for their speeches, they will be eaten by worms.

Now:

On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck... Continue Reading

The Advantages of Providence

John Piper

Here is a sampling of God’s complete providence in governing the world.

  • “I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (1Kings 17:4)
  • “The Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah” (Jonah 4:6).
  • “God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered” (Jonah 4:7).
  • “I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants” (Exodus 8:21).
  • “He summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread” (Psalms 105:16).
  • “He gave them hail for rain” (Psalms... Continue Reading

Guns and Martyrdom

John Piper

What do the supreme court ruling on guns and the martyrdom of missionaries have to do with each other?

Noël and I watched Beyond Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of End of the Spear, the story of the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, and Nate Saint in Ecuador in 1956. That same day we heard that the Supreme Court decided in favor of the right of Americans to keep firearms at home for self-defense.

Here’s the connection. The missionaries had... Continue Reading

Knowledge Increases Mystery

John Piper

From time to time I meet the objection that efforts to understand complex and mysterious doctrines in the Bible are unhelpful because they reduce mystery and therefore diminish wonder and worship.

There are at least two answers to this objection. The first is mine and the other is from Jonathan Edwards.

1. God is more honored by worship that rises from what we know about him than by worship that rises from what we don’t know about him.

There is something fishy about saying our... Continue Reading

Deep Waters—Swim or Sink?

Noel Piper

One verse leapt to my memory as we listened to Psalm 69 in the service this weekend: “I have come into deep waters.” It reminded me of a memorable passage from Lilias Trotter, 19th century artist, author, and missionary to Algeria.

“I am come into deep waters” took on a new meaning this morning. It started with perplexing matters concerning the future. Then it dawned that shallow waters were a place where you can neither sink nor swim, but in deep waters it is one or the other: “... Continue Reading

Fighting Covetousness by Looking at Others

John Piper

This is overflow from a pastoral staff discussion on how to be freefrom covetousness. Fred Johnson had drawn our attention to Achan’sstealing and lying in Joshua 7:11. Jericho had fallen before Israel.The riches of the city were not to be taken. But Achan took garments and silver and gold. He hid them and tried to deceive the leaders.

Why did he do this? When he was caught, Achan gives the answer: “I coveted them and took them” (Joshua 7:21). Covetousness. He ... Continue Reading