Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Jesus Is God’s Amen 
By John Piper 
All the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Prayer is the place where the past and future are linked repeatedly in our lives. I mention this here because Paul links prayer with God’s Yes in this verse in a striking way.
In 2 Corinthians 1:20, he says (with choppy Greek that comes through in choppy English), “That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Let’s try to smooth that out.
Here’s what he is saying: “Therefore, because of Christ, we say Amen to God in our prayers to show that God gets the glory for the future grace we are counting on.”
If you’ve ever wondered why Christians say Amen at the end of our prayers and where that custom comes from, here’s the answer. Amen is a word taken straight over into Greek from Hebrew without any translation, just like it has come into English and most other languages without any translation.
In Hebrew, it was a very strong affirmation (see Numbers 5:22; Nehemiah 5:13; 8:6) — a formal, solemn, earnest “I agree,” or “I affirm what you just said,” or “This is true.” Most simply, “Amen” means a very earnest Yes in the context of addressing God.
Now notice the connection between the two halves of 2 Corinthians 1:20. The first half says, “All the promises of God find their Yes in him.” The second half says, “That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
When you realize that “Amen” and “Yes” mean the same thing, here’s what the verse says: In Jesus Christ, God says his Yes to us through his promises; and in Christ we say our Yes to God through prayer.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Two Truths

John Piper

Two Infinitely Strong and Tender Truths

Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” (Isaiah 46:10)
The word “sovereignty” (like the word “trinity”) does not occur in the Bible. We use it to refer to this truth: God is in ultimate control of the world from the largest international intrigue to the smallest bird-fall in the forest.

Here is how the Bible puts it: “I am God and there is no other. . . . My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10). “God does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What are you doing?’” (Daniel 4:35). “But he is unchangeable and who can turn him? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me” (Job 23:13, 14). “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).

One reason this doctrine is so precious to believers is that we know that God’s great desire is to show mercy and kindness to those who trust him (Ephesians 2:7Psalm 37:3–7Proverbs 29:25). God’s sovereignty means that this design for us cannot be frustrated.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, befalls those who “love God and are called according to his purpose” but what is for our deepest and highest good (Psalm 84:11).

Therefore, the mercy and the sovereignty of God are the twin pillars of my life. They are the hope of my future, the energy of my service, the center of my theology, the bond of my marriage, the best medicine in all my sickness, the remedy of all my discouragements.

And when I come to die (whether sooner or later), these two truths will stand by my bed and with infinitely strong and infinitely tender hands lift me up to God.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Being Prepared

God Regards the Lowly 
By John Piper 
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Last week I was reading a book by a Scottish minister named James Stewart. He said, “In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve.” That’s why I believe some of you are being prepared right now for some precious service of love. Because you are being wounded.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

My Portion Forever

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Ps 73

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Christ Alone

Our Names Written in Heaven

Exodus 7; Luke 10; Job 24; 1 Corinthians 11 
THE STORY IS TOLD of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century. When he was dying of cancer, one of his friends and former associates asked him, in effect, “How are you managing to bear up? You have been accustomed to preaching several times a week. You have begun important Christian enterprises; your influence has extended through tapes and books to Christians on five continents. And now you have been put on the shelf. You are reduced to sitting quietly, sometimes managing a little editing. I am not so much asking therefore how you are coping with the disease itself. Rather, how are you coping with the stress of being out of the swim of things?”
Lloyd-Jones responded in the words of Luke 10: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (10:20 – though of course Lloyd-Jones would have cited the King James Version).
The quotation was remarkably apposite. The disciples have just returned from a trainee mission, and marvel that “even the demons submit to us in your name” (10:17). At one level, Jesus encourages them. He assures them that (in some visionary experience?) he has seen Satan fall like lightning from heaven (10:18). Apparently Jesus understands this trainee mission by his disciples as a sign, a way-stage, of Satan’s overthrow, accomplished in principle at the cross (cf. Rev. 12:9-12). He tells his disciples that they will witness yet more astonishing things than these (Luke 10:18-19). “However,” he adds (and then come the words quoted by Lloyd-Jones), “do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (10:20).
It is so easy to rejoice in success. Our self-identity may become entangled with the fruitfulness of our ministry. Of course, that is dangerous when the success turns sour – but that is not the problem here. Things could not be going better for Jesus’ disciples. And then the danger, of course, is that it is not God who is being worshiped. Our own wonderful acceptance by God himself no longer moves us, but only our apparent success.
This has been the sin of more than a few “successful” pastors, and of no fewer “successful” lay people. While proud of their orthodoxy and while entrusted with a valid mission, they have surreptitiously turned to idolizing something different: success. Few false gods are so deceitful. When faced with such temptations, it is desperately important to rejoice for the best reasons – and there is none better than that our sins are forgiven, and that by God’s own gracious initiative our names have been written in heaven.
[emphasis added]