More Than Month-Long

Trillia Newbell

February is Black History month. In 1976 the United States government officially acknowledged this month as an annual celebration of noted Black historians, scholars, educators, and publishers. School days for me during the month of February meant learning about historical Black figures like Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The posters would go up and we’d be required to dive into heavy research on who these people…

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Why Expand ‘Brothers, We Are Not Professionals’

David Mathis

The bread and butter of Christian ministry is supernatural.

It’s been a decade since John Piper made his plea to fellow pastors, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. Ten years later, he stands by that message as much as ever, and has updated and expanded the book — which officially becomes available today.

Here’s how Piper puts it in the new preface:

Nothing has happened in the last ten…

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Knowledge Doesn’t Mean Maturity

Jonathan Parnell

Our heads learn faster than our hearts, and that means danger.

Just because you can communicate an idea does not mean you have submitted yourself to it. And if we are not careful, we will mistake the communication part as the barometer of our maturity.

Paul Tripp calls it “academizing” the faith — when we define our spiritual growth by our biblical literacy. But as he warns, “You can be…

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Are You Content with Weaknesses?

Jon Bloom

Every day, as we seek to follow Jesus, we deal with incessant weaknesses in our bodies, emotions, relationships, families, vocations, and churches. We are “beset with weakness” (Hebrews 5:2). And they tempt us to discouragement, sometimes exasperation.

But one of the precious gifts of Second Corinthians, especially chapters 11–12 is that, through Paul, God teaches us a great gospel paradox of the life of faith: God’s grace is more clearly…

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Brothers, We Are Not Witchdoctors

Jonathan Parnell

We are not, in ourselves, the vehicle of God’s grace and kingdom-building. Making this mistake will eventually lead us to fatigue, even despair, says Russell Moore.

Commemorating the release of John Piper’s revised edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, we recently asked Dr. Moore for an exhortation to pastors and church leaders under the “Brothers” theme. In short, witchdoctors can’t do Christian ministry, so stop acting like one.…

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Grace for Monotonous Work

Andre Yee

I love creative work, and in my world that translates into strategic planning, designing products, and kickstarting new and exciting initiatives. I find work energizing and intellectually stimulating.

The monotonous work … not so much.

Unfortunately for me, not all the work I do daily is creative. In fact most of our work is of the repetitive and monotonous type — interspersed with occasional opportunities for creativity. This is true…

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We Are Wives of the Resurrection

Luma Simms

I find it helpful to think in paradigms, particularly in terms of the biblical sequence creation-fall-redemption-recreation. The glorious vision of the recreation of marriage under and in Christ has expanded my small thoughts on the entire issue, to help lift my eyes off the everyday pettiness and look at my marriage through the lens of the powerful cosmic-sized gospel.

The Creation and Fall of Marriage

From the creation of…

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Where Is Your Identity?

Jonathan Parnell

Stop looking at yourself in carnival mirrors. This is one plea from Paul Tripp’s new book, Dangerous Calling. Carnival mirrors give us a distortion of who we really are, and they’re everywhere we look.

This is especially true of the pastor or ministry leader who is tempted to stay locked in on the horizontal level. The danger is to mistake our work to be what defines us — to…

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Enjoying God’s Beatific Beauty

Tony Reinke

“How good is God,” wrote Jonathan Edwards, “that he has created man for this very end, to make him happy in the enjoyment of himself, the Almighty, who was happy from the days of eternity in himself … that he might make them blessed in the beholding of his excellency, and might this way glorify himself.”

A more profound sentence can hardly be found outside of the Bible. We were

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Getting Oriented on the Gifts of the Spirit

David Mathis

As you board the spiritual-gifts roller coaster, you know that some are committed to having their hands in the air, while others very intentionally keep them tucked away under the safety harness. But before this train pulls away from the station, perhaps there’s no better voice to hear over the loudspeaker than that of self-proclaimed “charismatic Calvinist” Sam Storms.

Storms is the lead pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City…

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