It's Never Too Late to Keep Asking

John Piper

One of the greatest hope-killers is that you have tried for so long to change and have not succeeded. Now you look back and think: What’s the use? Even if I could experience a breakthrough, there would be so little time left to live in my new way it wouldn’t make much difference compared to so many decades of failure.

That’s not true. Suppose you only had five years left to live with a new victory over some old way. Or suppose you only had a year, or a month, or an hour?... Continue Reading

How a Grandmother Knits

John Piper

For Noël on Mother’s Day

She sits, the needles in her hands
looping and hooking her heart
into this little blue blanket,
and without any pink strands
stitches closed her wounds.

Do People Bore You?

John Piper

I'm working on a book on the new birth. The final chapter is designed to give encouragements for personal evangelism. I just added a quote by C. S. Lewis that I love. Here’s the whole section to help you move toward people:

Find People Interesting

Be encouraged that simply finding people interesting and caring about them is a beautiful pathway into their heart. Evangelism gets a bad reputation when we are not really interested in people and don’t seem to care about them. People really are... Continue Reading

Don't Neglect Reminding

John Piper

It is essential to say grand old truths again and again. There is ample evidence in the Bible that they are quickly forgotten.

Remember, there are different kinds of forgetting.

One is that great truths are gone out of the mind never to return. The other is that they are gone out of the mind for a season (a day, a year) while we languish in discouragement and sin.

Don’t follow Israel here:

“And the people of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the... Continue Reading

The Unlikeliness of Israel

John Piper

To mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of the modern State of Israel, let’s listen to a voice from 100 years before this state was born.

Who was it that said in 1867 that the existence of the Jews in the modern world was an insurmountable obstacle in the way of reasonable unbelief? It was J. C. Ryle. And who was he? J. I. Packer, quoting Richard Hobson and calling it a “just estimate,” describes Ryle like this:

He was great in stature; great in mental power; great in... Continue Reading

How Do You “Give” God Strength?

John Piper

The following meditation comes from my devotional lingering over Psalm96:7. All the modern versions translate it, “Ascribe to theLord...strength” (ESV, NIV, NASB). Only the KJV renders it with theliteral, “Give unto the Lord...strength.”

There’s nothing unusual about this Hebrew word “give” (yahab). It’s used over sixty times in the Old Testament in all the ordinary ways the word give is used.

The word ascribe in Psalm 96:7 is an interpretation. It’sa paraphrase. It’s a good... Continue Reading

6 Ways to React to the Cyclone

John Piper

As the carnage from Cyclone Nargis moves toward 50,000 dead and beyond, there is a way to pray and act:

1. Be softened to the pain nearby.

The Good Samaritan knew nothing of the calamities in first century Burma, but was commended by the Lord for mercies at hand (Luke 10:25-37).

2. Pray for the followers of Christ in Myanmar:

  • That they would be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10; 100:3).
  • That they would be awakened from the illusion that this life is long or sure or the... Continue Reading

The Night the Angel Didn’t Come

Jon Bloom

Luke says it so quickly, so matter-of-factly: “[Herod] killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2). In the flow of the story this little phrase sets the stage for Peter’s dramatic prison rescue by the angel. So that’s what we remember. When Peter later wrote, “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” (2 Peter 2:9), this is the sort of rescue that easily comes to mind.

But the night that James sat in prison the angel didn’t come. I’m sure he prayed... Continue Reading

Don't Miss How God Motivates

John Piper

God motivates us to feel and to do what we should by calling to our minds his past performances of love and his future promises of love—some near, some far.

Be sure that you are connected to the way God means to motivate you with the backward look and the distant forward look and the near forward look. For example:

Motivation by the backward look:

Forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Motivation by the distant forward look:

Rejoice and be glad,... Continue Reading

What the Pharisees Got Right

John Piper

To lay a trap for an animal there has to be some truth to attract him. It must at least look like a meal even if the iron clamps lie just beneath. Mark says the Pharisees came “to trap" Jesus. So they put some truth over the trap. They said,

“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God.” (Mark 12:14)

This is amazing insight coming from those who do not live it. Appearances were... Continue Reading