Hope for the Hurting This Christmas (Video)

John Piper
Hope for the Hurting This Christmas (Video)

Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered what became of the innkeeper in Bethlehem who let Mary and Joseph have their baby in his barn?

Did he have little children? When the soldiers came from Herod, did they hunt for the birth place of the dangerous baby and start the slaughter there? What did it cost the innkeeper to house the Messiah in his first hours?

In the poem called The Innkeeper, I tried to imagine what might have happened when the soldiers came. And what Jesus... Continue Reading

Advent Is Slow — on Purpose

Tony Reinke
Advent Is Slow — on Purpose

Who has time to celebrate Advent? That’s my initial thought each year.

But that’s the point. Advent takes time. It cannot be microwaved, it cannot be compressed into 24 hours, and it cannot be sped up to the bustling speed of our daily lives. Advent is slow on purpose, because the slowness of the celebration mirrors the slowly unfolding drama of the Advent of the Savior himself in history.

One old pastor, Octavius Winslow, penned some words in his book The Glory of the Redeemer... Continue Reading

A Coptic Committee, a Blindfolded Boy, and the Hand of God

John Piper
A Coptic Committee, a Blindfolded Boy, and the Hand of God

Ramez Atallah, the General Director of The Bible Society of Egypt, has given me permission to share this letter. It is at once educational, inspirational, and a call for prayer for the Coptic Church of Egypt.

On Sunday November 4th, I attended the extremely moving ceremony where the newPatriarch (Pope) of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt was chosen.The Nominating Committee had narrowed the candidates from 17 names down to five, after which 2,406... Continue Reading

Advent Begins Today

David Mathis
Advent Begins Today

Advent is for adoring Jesus.

It’s an annual season of patient waiting, hopeful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching marked by many churches, Christian families, and individual followers of Jesus. There’s no biblical mandate to observe Advent. It’s an optional thing — a tradition that developed over the course of the church’s history as a time of preparation for Christmas Day. Many of us find observing Advent to be personally enjoyable and spiritually profitable.

Why Advent

... Continue Reading

Don’t Undersell Your Commute

Jonathan Parnell
Don’t Undersell Your Commute

Packer had me at “horseback.”

In his new introduction to John Flavel's Keeping the Heart, J. I. Packer tells a story from Flavel’s devotional life. Now I remembered hearing of a spiritual experience Edwards had on horseback, and of another from Moody. Then there it was again in Flavel:

It is recorded of him that he spent much time in meditation, self-examination, and prayer, and on one occasion at least he had an extraordinary experience of God. Meditating on horseback, “his... Continue Reading

Behind the Blog: Move over Movember

David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell

Here on the last day of November — endearingly known as Movember by many working a fresh mustache for men’s health awareness — we went behind the blog for some backstories on the full face of content we grew in the last month.

Some posts are pretty straightforward in their conception, production, and presentation. But others have more disputed histories, with uncertainties about their precise genesis or even a touch of conspiracy theory. Like our new Advent ebook.

In this... Continue Reading

Beware a Quaint Christmas

Jon Bloom
Beware a Quaint Christmas

If you’ve been a Christian for a number of years or if you grew up where Christmas is traditionally celebrated, the idea that a member of the Godhead became veiled in flesh may have lost its strangeness. It’s Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year! It’s kind Joseph, serene Mary, and incandescent baby Jesus in a manger. It’s a crèche with quaint figurine shepherds, three wise men, sheep, a donkey, and an ox. Oh, and the chubby cherub with the “Gloria” scroll.

Precious baby... Continue Reading

Do Not Be Afraid

Jon Bloom

Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)

The Predicament

In 2 Chronicles 20, the armies of Moab, Ammon, and Edom were on the move. Destination: Jerusalem. These were relatives of the Israel, Moab and Ammon being descendants of Lot and Edom of Esau. But this was no family reunion. This was a slaughter in the making.

These three nations bordered Israel and Judah on the east and south. And since the reigns of David... Continue Reading

Brothers, Praise Somebody Other Than God

Sam Crabtree
Brothers, Praise Somebody Other Than God

Brothers, praise somebody other than God.

I can hear blasphemy sirens going off in readers’ minds. If “praise somebody other than God” means “praise somebody instead of God,” or “more than God,” the concern is warranted indeed. But if “praise somebody other than God” means “do it because God is honored by it,” that’s another thing entirely.

Commending Whom God Commends

Is it possible that God actually receives more honor from us when we praise somebody other than God?... Continue Reading

Learning from Lincoln’s Flawed Marriage

Tony Reinke
Learning from Lincoln’s Flawed Marriage

The impressive new feature film Lincoln brings with it a high-definition reminder of the tremendous strengths and flaws of, and the challenges faced by, the 16th president of the United States.

One struggle that finds its way into the movie — and one scene in particular — is the strained and complicated marital relationship between Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln. And yet from their marital mess, there’s an abiding counter-cultural lesson from which all couples could... Continue Reading