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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Happy 100th Birthday, Irene Peterson!

John Piper

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

We miss you too, Irene.

Some people get crotchety when they get old. But Joan says, “Mother is mellowing and aging…

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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…

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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…

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He Will Cause Us to Return

John Piper

There is no hope for God’s people unless God causes them to return from their sliding and leaping into sin and unbelief.

The book of Lamentations is the bleakest book in the Bible. God himself had decimated the apple of his eye.

  • “The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.” (4:11)
  • “He has…
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