2011 Archives

Prompted By His Word (December 31, 2011) - "And let us not take it into our heads either to seek out God anywhere else than in his Sacred Word, or to think anything about him that is not prompted by his Word, or to speak anything that is... (Keep Reading Prompted By His Word)
Bible Reading Plans for 2012 (December 28, 2011) - Justin Taylor has created a blog post with a wide array of Bible reading plans. There's no "one way" to study the Bible, but there are compelling reasons to have a systematic plan. If you need one (or want to... (Keep Reading Bible Reading Plans for 2012)
Encountering God in "The Heavens" (December 14, 2011) - In time for Christmas shopping (for the slowpokes among us), I wanted to highlight this new book by my friend Kevin Hartnett called The Heavens: Intimate Moments with Your Majestic God. Kevin works as NASA's Science Operations Manager for... (Keep Reading Encountering God in "The Heavens")
Dispatches from the Front (November 21, 2011) - Our family has been watching a series of excellent DVD's called Dispatches from the Front. Today we watched the episode set in India (you can view the trailer for it above). My three kids were enthralled. I want, and... (Keep Reading Dispatches from the Front)
Why We Need Doctrine (November 12, 2011) - For different reasons a lot of Christians in my generation and older generations are leery of too much emphasis on doctrine. They have come to equate doctrine with church splits, hate mail, arrogance, and angry diatribes. They have seen how... (Keep Reading Why We Need Doctrine)
Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart (November 5, 2011) - Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move; Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art; And make me love Thee as I ought to love. I ask no dream, no prophet... (Keep Reading Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart)
Jacob Wrestles the Angel (November 3, 2011) - Hat Tip: Sarah Harris... (Keep Reading Jacob Wrestles the Angel)
Salvation With Works (October 24, 2011) - In a sermon on 2 Peter 1:3-15 I quoted Tom Schreiner who writes, "[Peter] insisted that people cannot enter [the kingdom] without living in a godly way, but this is not salvation by works, but salvation with works." Do you... (Keep Reading Salvation With Works)
Testing God (October 24, 2011) - Dr. Russell Moore preached a powerful sermon at Covenant Life about when Satan tempted Jesus to jump from the temple. Ever wondered why that would have tempted Jesus? Russell shows how we face the same temptations to demand by sight... (Keep Reading Testing God)
Preaching Notes: Matt Chandler (October 17, 2011) - The final preacher I get to feature in this series is Matt Chandler. Matt is the lead pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. About his preaching notes, Matt said: I tend to study and read a... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes: Matt Chandler)
Kermit Learns the Truth (October 15, 2011) - (Keep Reading Kermit Learns the Truth)
Preaching Notes: David Platt (October 11, 2011) - Here in our preaching notes series, and I've got David Platt's notes to share this time. David is senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Here are David's preaching notes, from his sermon, "A Chronicle... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes: David Platt)
Preaching Notes: Tullian Tchividjian (October 7, 2011) - We're continuing a series on preaching notes, and Tullian Tchividjian is next. Tullian is senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Several years ago, I interviewed him here on the blog. And his new book... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes: Tullian Tchividjian)
Dear Steve Jobs (October 5, 2011) - Tonight when I left a prayer meeting at our church I found two text messages (on my iPhone) from friends telling me that Steve Jobs had died. I was surprised at how sad I felt at the news. My... (Keep Reading Dear Steve Jobs)
Preaching Notes: Kevin DeYoung (October 5, 2011) - Next up in this series is my friend Kevin DeYoung. Kevin is the senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI. Here's a sample of Kevin's preaching notes, from a sermon he preached on Mark 10:46-52. And... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes: Kevin DeYoung)
Divine Power (October 2, 2011) - "Godliness is how you live when you believe that Jesus is better than sin." In a sermon on 2 Peter 1:3-4 I talk about the divine power and promise we have through Jesus Christ to know eternal life in the... (Keep Reading Divine Power)
Preaching Notes: Steve Lawson (September 27, 2011) - For our second round of preaching notes, first up is Dr. Steven J. Lawson. Steve is the Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. Here are Steve's (mostly) handwritten preaching notes from his sermon, "Only One... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes: Steve Lawson)
Preaching Notes, Round Two (September 27, 2011) - A few years back, I did a series of posts with scans of the actual notes that various preachers take with them into the pulpit. You can read the background and see links to all the different notes here.... (Keep Reading Preaching Notes, Round Two)
He Washed My Eyes With Tears (September 22, 2011) - He washed my eyes with tears that I might see, The broken heart I had was good for me; He tore it all apart and looked inside, He found it full of fear and foolish pride. He swept away the... (Keep Reading He Washed My Eyes With Tears)
Homeschool Blindspots (September 11, 2011) - I read the following article by Reb Bradley in the Virginia Home Educator Magazine and was challenged by it. I appreciate Mr. Bradley's humility in admitting mistakes he's made as a dad. I see some of these tendencies in... (Keep Reading Homeschool Blindspots)
Dinner Table Devotions (September 8, 2011) - I've been very impressed by Nancy Guthrie's book One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters: 365 Opportunities to Grow Closer to God as a Family. We bought the book a few weeks ago and every time we've used... (Keep Reading Dinner Table Devotions)
Rebelution Tour EP (September 5, 2011) - My brother Joel and fellow musician Harlan David have released an album of worship songs from the Rebelution Conference tour. My favorite song is "Yours Alone." Listen here.... (Keep Reading Rebelution Tour EP)
The Slavery of Performancism (September 5, 2011) - I've been enjoying Tullian Tchividjian's forthcoming book Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Here's a great quote from a chapter on the dangers of legalism, or what Tullian likes to call "performancism." "Legalism traps you in slavery and despair. To define... (Keep Reading The Slavery of Performancism)
For The Good by Shane & Shane (August 20, 2011) - I needed this song today. Grateful for the music of Shane & Shane.... (Keep Reading For The Good by Shane & Shane)
Only One Right Person (August 9, 2011) - It helps me to remember that one day in heaven there will be only one right person. I'm sorry, but it won't be you. Or me. It will be God. Everybody else in heaven will be wrong in a million... (Keep Reading Only One Right Person)
Behold Your God (August 1, 2011) - Nowhere in the Bible does it say "God helps those who help themselves." But it does tell us that God helps those who wait for him and hope in him. Recently I preached a sermon from Isaiah 40 that calls... (Keep Reading Behold Your God)
Less Like Scars by Sara Groves (July 30, 2011) - It's been a hard year But I'm climbing out of the rubble These lessons are hard Healing changes are subtle But every day it's Less like tearing, more like building Less like captive, more like willing Less like breakdown, more... (Keep Reading Less Like Scars by Sara Groves)
Too Great to Fail (July 25, 2011) - "The wrong inference from God's transcendence is that he is too great to care; the right one is that he is too great to fail." - Derek Kidner... (Keep Reading Too Great to Fail)
More Time (July 15, 2011) - Spend more time in prayer than speculation. Spend more time interceding than choosing sides. Spend more energy loving others than arguing. Get away from the internet, get into the Scripture, go talk with God. Let's ask that he would use... (Keep Reading More Time)
Spurgeon's Story of the Gardener (July 13, 2011) - A child had a little garden in which she planted many flowers, but they never grew. She put them in, as she thought tenderly and carefully, but they would not live. She sowed seeds and they sprang up; but very... (Keep Reading Spurgeon's Story of the Gardener)
Critics and Assyrians (July 13, 2011) - Last week I preached from Hebrews 12:1-11 called "The Father's Discipline." The point of the message is that God disciplines us because he loves us, that his discipline hurts, and that we must be trained by it. Instead of doubting... (Keep Reading Critics and Assyrians)
Why CJ Mahaney is Taking a Leave of Absence (July 7, 2011) - Today an important announcement from CJ Mahaney was posted on the Sovereign Grace Ministries website. In it CJ, the president of Sovereign Grace and the former Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church explains that he's taking a leave of absence... (Keep Reading Why CJ Mahaney is Taking a Leave of Absence)
Miss You, Mama (July 4, 2011) - Sono Harris October 17, 1954 - July 4, 2010... (Keep Reading Miss You, Mama)
Speak with Conviction (July 1, 2011) - Hat Tip: Challies via Resurgence via Timmy Brister.... (Keep Reading Speak with Conviction)
Not Good News (July 1, 2011) - What if Jesus's final words to his followers had been "Try hard!" This sermon clip describes the essential elements to the message about Jesus that is truly "good news." Watch it.... (Keep Reading Not Good News)
Don't Skip That Part (July 1, 2011) - I mentioned this comic when I preached on "humble orthodoxy" last Sunday.... (Keep Reading Don't Skip That Part)
Boy Meets Girl Re-Release Postponed (June 24, 2011) - Update: In June I announced that my publisher was releasing a new version of Boy Meets Girl. But since then I asked my publisher to postpone this re-release because I wanted to make sure I had the time to... (Keep Reading Boy Meets Girl Re-Release Postponed)
Next 2011 Free Audio (June 1, 2011) - If you weren't able to attend or just want to listen again, audio from all the NEXT 2011 main sessions is now available from Sovereign Grace. Listen to D.A. Carson, R.C. Sproul, Kevin DeYoung, Jeff Purswell, & Scott Oliphint on... (Keep Reading Next 2011 Free Audio)
Keller on Contempt (May 27, 2011) - "It is natural, when under criticism, to shield your heart from pain by belittling the critics in your mind. 'You stupid idiots.' Even if you don't speak outwardly to people like Moses did, you do so inwardly. That will lead... (Keep Reading Keller on Contempt)
Smuggling Character Into Grace (May 26, 2011) - "The glory of the gospel is that God has declared Christians to be rightly related to him in spite of their sin. But our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace.... (Keep Reading Smuggling Character Into Grace)
Christ the Mediator (May 26, 2011) - "In this ruin of mankind no one now experiences God either as Father or as Author of salvation, or favorable in any way, until Christ the Mediator comes forward to reconcile him to us. Nevertheless, it is one thing to... (Keep Reading Christ the Mediator)
Ella Mae Will Dance (May 26, 2011) - Today my kids enjoyed listening to a portion of a sermon by Mark Driscoll from Luke 17 in which he talked about meeting a precious 5-year-old girl named Ella Mae who has spina bifida. We were all challenged by Ella... (Keep Reading Ella Mae Will Dance)
One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm (May 26, 2011) - Our pastoral team is jazzed (I'm not sure I've used that word since the late 90's) about a new book by pastor David Helm called One-to-One Bible Reading. The premise is simple: the best way to evangelize unbelievers, disciple new... (Keep Reading One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm)
Knowing Truth & Loving Jesus (May 26, 2011) - (Keep Reading Knowing Truth & Loving Jesus)
Personal Empires Will Fall (May 26, 2011) - "If you are in Christ, God will not allow you to enter his reign with a kingdom-grasping pride. You will be stripped of every haughty look, every personal empire, in order that you might enter as a little child, looking... (Keep Reading Personal Empires Will Fall)
Title Change Mayhem (May 26, 2011) - When it comes to book titles, I am the Sean Combs of Christian writers--I change names more than I should. Combs has been known as Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy and most recently Swag (but only for a week). I changed... (Keep Reading Title Change Mayhem)
Where We're Growing (May 24, 2011) - It's not easy to evaluate areas where we've made mistakes, but God has been helping the pastors of Covenant Life through the constructive feedback of members to identify areas where we've gotten things wrong and where we need to grow.... (Keep Reading Where We're Growing)
Too Introspective (May 22, 2011) - My friend Tony Reinke, who is a big Jonathan Edwards fan, shared the following quote by Charles Hodge on his blog and encouraged others to tape it inside the front cover of Edwards' classic book Religious Affections. It's a good... (Keep Reading Too Introspective)
Guilt Cuts the Nerve (May 20, 2011) - "Nothing cuts the nerve of the desire to pursue holiness as much as a sense of guilt. On the contrary, nothing so motivates us to deal with sin in our lives as does the understanding and application of the two... (Keep Reading Guilt Cuts the Nerve)
Paperback Edition of Dug Down Deep (May 19, 2011) - "I can probably count on one hand, the number of books of which I've read every word from cover to cover in one sitting. Dug Down Deep is one of them." - Adam Young, Owl City Order online.... (Keep Reading Paperback Edition of Dug Down Deep)
Our Mandate for World Evangelization (May 13, 2011) - "Our mandate for world evangelization is the whole Bible. It is to be found in the creation of God (because of which all human beings are responsible to him), in the character of God (as outgoing, loving, compassionate, not willing... (Keep Reading Our Mandate for World Evangelization)
Speaking the Gospel (May 6, 2011) - "Prepackaged approaches to the gospel, though helpful to get us started being comfortable in sharing our faith, should not become our only means of sharing. The Bible is full of rich metaphors for the faith. We should appreciate the variety... (Keep Reading Speaking the Gospel)
Backbone Threads (May 2, 2011) - My friend Zak Parsons just launched Backbone Threads, a line of "graphically insane Christian t-shirts." You can check out their shirt styles here.... (Keep Reading Backbone Threads)
How Should We Respond to Osama bin Laden's Death? (May 2, 2011) - When the news of Osama bin Laden's death hit, Twitter exploded with activity. The response of Christians was mixed. Christianity Today reports that among the most popular scriptures shared were Proverbs 24:17 "Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when... (Keep Reading How Should We Respond to Osama bin Laden's Death?)
Reformed Rap & Hip-Hop (May 2, 2011) - Five hip-hop artists (including Lecrae, Trip Lee and Voice) who infuse their songs with the doctrines of grace are spotlighted by CT in this article. If you haven't listened to the music of these artists, you're missing out!... (Keep Reading Reformed Rap & Hip-Hop)
Twitter Response to bin Laden's Death (May 2, 2011) - Christianity Today lists the most popular Bible verses quoted on Twitter after the announcement of bin Laden's death here.... (Keep Reading Twitter Response to bin Laden's Death)
The Quality of Faith is its Object (April 30, 2011) - "True faith takes its character and quality from its object and not from itself. Faith gets a man out of himself and into Christ. Its strength therefore depends on the character of Christ. Even those of us who have weak... (Keep Reading The Quality of Faith is its Object)
Beijing Police Detain Christians (April 25, 2011) - Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in China. The Wall Street Journal reports: "Police in Beijing detained more than 30 evangelical Christians as they attempted to gather outdoors for Easter services and confined about 500 to their... (Keep Reading Beijing Police Detain Christians)
God Lives and He Has My Heart (April 25, 2011) - Spent an hour reading over letters and cards people sent us last year after my mom died. I wish I could have responded to each person. It was so kind of all those who reached out to us during that... (Keep Reading God Lives and He Has My Heart)
Perverse Sign of Recovery (April 23, 2011) - This is so sad. The Financial Times reports that the economic recovery is producing pent-up demand for divorce. "In a perverse sign of the economic recovery, the US divorce rate, which dipped in the recession, has bounced back, lawyers and... (Keep Reading Perverse Sign of Recovery)
Dug Down Deep Paperback (April 18, 2011) - The paperback edition of Dug Down Deep will be released May 17th. It includes a new introduction and an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter study guide. Learn more here.... (Keep Reading Dug Down Deep Paperback)
Keller: Getting Out (April 18, 2011) - Tim Keller's plenary address from Exodus 14 was my favorite message from The Gospel Coalition Conference. I'd encourage you to listen. ... (Keep Reading Keller: Getting Out)
Nehemiah Sermons (April 18, 2011) - p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 13.0px 0.0px; line-height: 18.0px; font: 12.0px Arial; color: #444444} p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 13.0px 0.0px; line-height: 18.0px; font: 14.0px Georgia; color: #3f464b} The following ten sermons were part of our church's study of the book... (Keep Reading Nehemiah Sermons)
Crossword Puzzle Proposal (April 18, 2011) - Corey Newman surprised his girlfriend, Marlowe Epstein, with a marriage proposal hidden in a crossword puzzle in the Washington Post. Read the story.... (Keep Reading Crossword Puzzle Proposal)
China's Crackdown (April 18, 2011) - The Economist on increased repression in China: "Members of a big underground (ie, non-state) church in Beijing, stopped from meeting in their usual building, were arrested as they tried to worship outside....Whereas the outside world regards China's rulers as all-powerful,... (Keep Reading China's Crackdown)
Risen (April 8, 2011) - Sovereign Grace has just released a new worship album called Risen. It's full of great songs that celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through April 15 you can download the whole CD for only $5.... (Keep Reading Risen)
Josh Moody: No Other Gospel (March 30, 2011) - I wanted you to be aware of this new book by Josh Moody: No Other Gospel: 31 Reasons from Galatians Why Justification by Faith Alone Is the Only Gospel "These expositions are clear, well-organized, exegetically careful, and theologically faithful.... (Keep Reading Josh Moody: No Other Gospel)
Functional Universalism (March 28, 2011) - I am too often guilty of "functional universalism." I'm grateful for the challenging words and challenging personal example of David Platt.... (Keep Reading Functional Universalism)
Humility isn't Pretending to Be Worthless (March 15, 2011) - "Being humble is not a matter of pretending to be worthless, but is a form of realism, not only regarding the real badness of one's sins and stupidities and the real depth of one's dependence on God's grace, but also... (Keep Reading Humility isn't Pretending to Be Worthless)
J.C. Ryle Quotes (March 7, 2011) - J.C. Ryle's book Holiness is one of my favorites. I love the biblical insight, clarity and boldness of this 19th century pastor. Erik Kowalker has done us all a favor by creating the website J.C. Ryle Quotes. Check it out.... (Keep Reading J.C. Ryle Quotes)
Dug Down Deep Video Study (March 7, 2011) - The team at BlueFishTV is producing a 4-session Bible study series for youth ministries based on the content of Dug Down Deep. It will be released later this fall. Their high-quality video resources typically feature teaching from a pastor or... (Keep Reading Dug Down Deep Video Study )
Tempted & Tried by Russell D. Moore (March 7, 2011) - Some people are incredible writers but have little to say. Others have great substance but are boring as all get out to read. Russell Moore is that rare author whose skills as a writer are matched by his theological... (Keep Reading Tempted & Tried by Russell D. Moore)
The New Testament for the Kimyal People (March 6, 2011) - We played this video today at church. Tears come to my eyes every time I see it. What a treasure God's word is! (Via Justin Taylor)... (Keep Reading The New Testament for the Kimyal People)
Ray Ortlund on Revival (March 3, 2011) - "Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down..." Isaiah 64:1 "When God rends the heavens and comes down on his people, a divine power achieves what human effort at its best fails to do. God's people thirst for... (Keep Reading Ray Ortlund on Revival)
Rob Bell, Hell and Why I Hope I'm Wrong (February 26, 2011) - Many people have challenged me for tweeting my dismay over Rob Bell's new book when it hasn't been released yet. I think the content of his video alone is concerning enough to be challenged. But I will read the book... (Keep Reading Rob Bell, Hell and Why I Hope I'm Wrong)
God's Providence in Salvation (February 26, 2011) - Tom Martin is a member of Covenant Life. He recently shared the story of how Jesus saved him with the whole church. It's worth watching. When I first heard his testimony, I was speechless (it includes occultists working at... (Keep Reading God's Providence in Salvation)
Manslater (February 26, 2011) - (Keep Reading Manslater)
Desperate: The Sermon Series (February 6, 2011) - p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 18.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #444444} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #4376ca} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #444444} span.s1 {color: #4376ca} span.s2 {color: #444444}... (Keep Reading Desperate: The Sermon Series)
Volkswagen Darth Vader Commercial (February 5, 2011) - I love this commercial.... (Keep Reading Volkswagen Darth Vader Commercial)
Michael Oh and "The Glory of God's Plan B" (February 1, 2011) - A few weeks ago Michael Oh joined us at Covenant Life. He shared his story and burden for the people of Japan, and about his ministry as a missionary and leader of a seminary there in Nagoya. Here are his... (Keep Reading Michael Oh and "The Glory of God's Plan B")
Object of Faith (January 26, 2011) - "If the object of your faith is a particular outcome for your situation, your faith will be as weak as your wisdom. But if the source and object of your faith is Almighty God, even if it is the weak... (Keep Reading Object of Faith)
NEXT 2011 (January 26, 2011) - Next 2011 is May 28-31. For the first time ever, the Next Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida. We didn't change the location merely for the sake of tropical weather, amusement parks and natural beauty--although none of that... (Keep Reading NEXT 2011)
Revelation in One Sentence (January 26, 2011) - In his free online commentary on Revelation Vern Poythress writes, "You can summarize its message in one sentence: God rules history and will bring it to its consummation in Christ." ... (Keep Reading Revelation in One Sentence)
No Paradise in This World (January 25, 2011) - "Ah, believer, it is only Heaven that is above all winds, storms, and tempests; God did not cast man out of Paradise that he might find another paradise in this world." - Thomas Brooks... (Keep Reading No Paradise in This World)
Praying for Iran (January 21, 2011) - For more information on how to pray for Iran visit IRAN30.org. They offer a 30 day guide for prayer. Also an excellent, simple introduction to the recent history of Iran and the spread of the gospel there is Iran: Open... (Keep Reading Praying for Iran)
The Gospel is Spreading in Iran (January 20, 2011) - This sounds odd, but God used migraine headaches to give me a heart for the people of Iran. It's a long story, I explain it in the last 10 minutes or so of this sermon. The other day I had... (Keep Reading The Gospel is Spreading in Iran)
If by Rudyard Kipling (January 14, 2011) - If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you But make allowance for their doubting too, If you can wait and... (Keep Reading If by Rudyard Kipling)
Rebecca St. James Engaged (January 6, 2011) - I was very happy to hear today that my old friend Rebecca St. James is engaged to Jacob Fink (you can read the full scoop here). I got to know Rebecca back when she had just released her first... (Keep Reading Rebecca St. James Engaged)
Over 70 Christians Arrested in Iran (January 4, 2011) - Over the past several years God has stirred my heart with a deep love for and desire to intercede for the people of Iran. So I was very saddened to receive the news that 70 Christians in Iran were arrested... (Keep Reading Over 70 Christians Arrested in Iran)
Acknowledging Dependence (January 1, 2011) - "I believe that one of the chief characteristics of our sinful nature, or 'flesh' as it is called in most Bible translations, is an attitude of independence toward God. Even when we know and agree that we are dependent... (Keep Reading Acknowledging Dependence)
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