What Does It Mean for Jesus to Despise Shame?

John Piper
What Does It Mean for Jesus to Despise Shame?

In running the race of life we are to look to the exaltation of Jesus at the end of his race. But Hebrews 12:2 tells us to look not only to his exaltation, but to his motivation.

Jesus was carried in the agonies of the last lap of his race by the hope of joy. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame” (verse 2). Jesus kept his eyes on the same place we should — his own future exaltation at the Father’s right hand, with the... Continue Reading

You Killed the Author of Life (Preparing for Good Friday)

Tony Reinke
You Killed the Author of Life (Preparing for Good Friday)

Sin in Eden knocked all creation into chaos. Sin at Babel marked the collective pride of mankind. And while every sin is an act of God-rejection, humanity’s wickedness reaches new heights in the horrifying events of Good Friday.

Holy Week makes us uncomfortable. There is glorious life and victory to come on Easter Sunday, but to get there we must pass directly through the darkness of Good Friday. We must remember the day when human malice broke... Continue Reading

Running the Race, Looking to the Finisher

John Piper
Running the Race, Looking to the Finisher

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Hebrews 12:1–2 tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set... Continue Reading

The Creator on His Knees (Preparing for Maundy Thursday)

Tony Reinke
The Creator on His Knees (Preparing for Maundy Thursday)

In the UK a few years back a group of church leaders used a Maundy Thursday church service to do something extraordinary. As people entered the church for the Thursday gathering of Holy Week, elders greeted them on their knees in the entryway. Every attendee was invited to sit, and there, in the entrance of the church, the elders removed shoes and socks and washed the reluctant feet of every stunned attendee.

Maundy Thursday is like that — it shocks.

... Continue Reading

The Role of the Psalms in the Life of the Church

Tony Reinke
The Role of the Psalms in the Life of the Church

The Book of Psalms is an amazing gift to the church. Says John Piper, “The Psalms, more intentionally than any other book of the Bible, is designed to carry, express, and shape our emotions, to give vent to them — all of them, and shape them, to reign them in, and to free them up, to explode them, and to kill them when they should be killed.”

The Psalms are useful for shaping our emotions, and rich devotional fuel for the soul, but how are these ancient... Continue Reading

The Old Man and His Big Book

David Mathis
The Old Man and His Big Book

It felt as though we were traveling back in time.

Snow was falling, the roads were icy, and civilization was in the rearview. Tony Reinke and I had landed an interview with a 96-year-old theologian tucked away in rural Minnesota, and now we meant to make good on it, despite the distance and wintry weather.

We knew we were in for a memorable day. Robert Duncan Culver is the only surviving founding member of the Evangelical Theological Society — and his mind is sharp enough to... Continue Reading

Grateful for His Greatest Gift (Interview with Ann Voskamp)

David Mathis

Gratitude is a virtue most worthy of our cultivation. Indeed, in all the Christian life, gratitude is to be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested. Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace.

Ingratitude was at the heart of the fall, and at the heart of what’s fallen about us to this day. “Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to... Continue Reading

Meant to Make All the Difference

Jonathan Parnell

Theology makes all the difference in your life.

In John 10, as John Piper explains, the doctrine of Jesus’s deity is presented in terms of its utmost impact on how we live. In short, because Jesus and the Father are one, our souls are incredibly secure (John 10:28–30).

Biblical doctrine is not for the abstract. It’s for where you are right now.

This excerpt is from the sermon, “I and the Father Are One” (August 20, 2011).


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Every Calvary Step Was Love

David Mathis
Every Calvary Step Was Love

Today is Palm Sunday, and so begins our journey with Jesus from Jerusalem’s gate to Golgotha’s cross to Easter’s triumph.

In this Holy Week, we begin with “Hosanna,” walk solemnly toward “Crucify him,” and finish elatedly with, “He is risen!”

Here we see Jesus’s love for us in every intentional step. In one sense, every step he ever took was for us. He was born to die. He came to give his life. His public ministry was ever a steady drumbeat toward Calvary. But in his last week,... Continue Reading

John Piper’s Gestures

Tony Reinke
John Piper’s Gestures

John Piper’s preaching gestures are quickly becoming legendary. There’s now a whole website dedicated to animated clips of his best preaching gestures. So this week we asked Pastor John two gesture questions.

In episode 49, we asked him about when he started using them in the pulpit.

It is possible to leap and wave and holler and entertain and say nothing and be useless. And I don’t want to do that. Therefore gestures in my mind are not of the essence of the demonstration of the Spirit... Continue Reading