First-Day Thoughts on Not Being a Pastor Anymore

John Piper
First-Day Thoughts on Not Being a Pastor Anymore

I’ve been thinking about how much I love finishing things. I get great pleasure in finishing — a poem, a sermon, a book, or cutting the grass, or fixing the dripping faucet, or selling our car. It’s hard for me to walk away from something half done.

But, of course, anything that takes longer than a day, you have to walk away from unfinished. You have to sleep. So it helps me to chop things up into finishable pieces — a stanza, a section, a chapter, the mower... Continue Reading

This Week’s Sermon: “God Raised Your Great Shepherd from the Dead”

David Mathis
This Week’s Sermon: “God Raised Your Great Shepherd from the Dead”

Good pastors come and go, but the Great Pastor will never leave, forsake, or transition.

Pastors of all stripes, at their worst and best, are but under-shepherds of “the chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus is “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), “the great shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20).

In his final sermon as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist, John Piper... Continue Reading

Pity the Fool

David Mathis
Pity the Fool

It’s April Fools’ Day, and whatever its origins, the Scriptures have something to say about playing the fool.

There is uncertainty about how and when people began mocking the fool on the first day of April. Many think it goes back to sixteenth-century France when the nation changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian. April 1 had been the end of a weeklong festival celebrating the coming of Spring and with it the new year. Now the new year changed to January 1. Some refused to make the... Continue Reading

Do Not Disbelieve — But Believe

Jon Bloom
Do Not Disbelieve — But Believe

“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25)

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the most important event of human history. If it didn’t happen, the most influential world religion is a sham. If it did happen, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

The resurrection is a fantastic claim. Jesus’ own disciples didn’t believe it at first. And Thomas... Continue Reading

Piper’s Final Weekend as Pastor

David Mathis
Piper’s Final Weekend as Pastor

This Easter marks the end of an era at Bethlehem Baptist.

John Piper served as the church’s primary preacher from July 13, 1980, until December 31, 2012. Since January 1 this year, he has been associate pastor, and his final task on staff is preaching this weekend’s Easter message — once Saturday night, three times Sunday morning, and then the last hurrah on Sunday night.

It’s the end of an era — the era of Piper as local-church pastor — but God willing, just the beginning of... Continue Reading

The God-Centered Cross of Love Inexhaustible

Jonathan Parnell
The God-Centered Cross of Love Inexhaustible

The hands-down, most horrific nightmare possible is that of a God who is angry without due cause. Could we imagine anything worse?

It would be the most terrible thing if the only person who has the power to destroy you forever were ferociously angry with you for no reason. That God would hate you just because. That he would throw his fury around on a whim. What if he were arbitrarily annoyed with everything about you? What if he were to burn with indignation... Continue Reading

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