The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

Tony Reinke

Bethlehem was, is, and likely always will be, just a small town — a small town steeped in ancient history.

In the first century, the historical marker at the center of town — if they posted such historical markers — would have commemorated it as the birthplace of the mighty giant killer, King David. The cherished son of Bethlehem put the town on the map 1,000 years earlier, and perhaps,…

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Lay Aside the Weight of Christmas Expectations

Jon Bloom

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

At Christmastime, it’s good for us to remember just how dangerous fantasies are.

I’m not talking about Narnia-type fantasies. I’m talking about how out of our self-centered desires we construct ideas and expectations of the way we want things to be and project them on to people and events. If those people…

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The Gospel Shadow of Adoption: Amos’s Story

Stefan Green

I was once an orphan with no hope, no purpose, no aim, but God in his kindness . . .

These words are true for all of us who are now in Jesus by faith. Oh how easy it is to forget it, and shy away from coming to a deep understanding of what it means to be an orphan, and what it means to be adopted, to be rescued,…

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When You Start to Outlive Your Heroes

John Piper

How does an old man obey Hebrews 13:7?

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

At 67, who are my leaders? Who has spoken to me the word of God? Whose faith should I imitate? Whose outcome of life should I consider?

The older I get, the fewer leaders are left who spoke…

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Prepare Now for Your Pain

Bryan DeWire

Suffering has a way of pressing us to go deeper with God.

It’s sadly not the case for all, but many have testified that their embrace of God’s sovereignty and goodness was catalyzed during a season of profound suffering.

Sometimes it’s fresh truths about God intersecting with our lives in the hardest of times. But often suffering becomes a testing ground for what truths we’ve already built into our lives…

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Let a Little Lent into Your Advent

David Mathis

“What Child Is This?” is no chart-topper among the children. The minor keys and slower pace make it less engaging to little ears. It’s hard to compete with the brightness, cadence, and pep of “Jingle Bells” and “Joy to the World.”

And that repeated rhetorical question is puzzling to a child’s undeveloped sense of artistry. “What child is this?” It’s Jesus, of course. Why do we keep asking that when

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What Will You Say to Jesus?

Jonathan Parnell

One day we will stand before Jesus.

If we could see through the clutter of our lives now, if we could envision that day when everything is said and done, it’s clear that the enduring mission in and under and beyond every detail of our lives should be about pleasing him. What does he think?

What will he say?

We don’t know the exact words Jesus will speak to us…

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‘The Calvinist’: Verse, Video, Vision for All of Life

John Piper

May I invite you into the life of a Calvinist? It’s probably not what you think. The sovereign God of the Bible is full of surprises. Sermons and essays are good. But sometimes only poems will do. We grope for special words and special forms to catch the radiance of God.

I wrote this poem called “The Calvinist” to capture a glimpse of God’s sovereign intersection with the life of…

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No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

Jon Bloom

Nobody said it was easy;
No one ever said it would be this hard. (Coldplay, “The Scientist”)

O Christian Hedonism! That ancient, beautiful, biblical truth that our treasure is what most captures our heart (Matthew 6:21), that what measures our treasure is our pleasure, that if God is our “exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4) then God’s pursuit of glory and our pursuit of happiness are one wonderful, wild pursuit!…

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