In a short turn around, John Piper wrote and published a book to address the current worldwide pandemic. The book is Coronavirus and Christ, which is translated into many languages and available for free. I hope you’ll consider some of the truths he points to and weigh it Scripturally. Let’s keep navigating these days together.
This coming Lord’s Day, we plan to look at 1 John 4:1-6 and it’s call to test the spirits. If you have time, here’s the passage:
 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
I love what Piper says this means for believers in his sermon Test The Spirits to See Whether They Are From God:
I hope these things encourage you to dig in to what we’ll consider this coming Sunday.
Was privileged to teach adult Sunday School at Crestview yesterday and wrap up our summer series on the Fundamentals. We ended thinking of God’s Will and Guidance, so I took time to lead people through a Bible Intensive time of Psalm 16. And, we ended with this particular Ask Pastor John episode on How Is God Directing My Life. This is an excerpt from a sermon entitled, the Path To Full and Lasting Pleasure. Here’s the video… (the excerpt I showed begins at the 27:28 mark). If you missed Sunday School and would like a Psalm 16 to mark up, stop by my office. I have some extra copies. Enjoy!
I’m posting over on our Church’s Mission Blog today…
From John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life (pp.89-90):
Risk is right. And the reason is not because God promises success to all our ventures in his cause. There is no promise that every effort for the cause of God will succeed, at least not in the short run. John the Baptist risked calling King Herod an adulterer when he divorced his own wife in order to take his brother’s wife. For this John got his head chopped off. And he had done right to risk his life for the cause of God and truth. Jesus had no criticism for him, only the highest praise (Matthew 11:11).
Paul risked going up to Jerusalem to complete his ministry to the poor. He was beaten and thrown in prison for two years and then shipped off to Rome and executed there two years later. And he did right to risk his life for the cause of Christ. How many graves are there in Africa and Asia because thousands of young missionaries were freed by the power of the Holy Spirit from the enchantment of security and then risked their lives to make much of Christ among the unreached peoples of the world!
And now what about you? Are you caught in the enchantment of security, paralyzed from taking any risks for the cause of God? Or have you been freed by the power of the Holy Spirit from the mirage of Egyptian safety and comfort? Do you men ever say with Joab, “For the sake of the name, I’ll try it! And may the Lord do what seems good to him”? Do you women ever say with Esther, “For the sake of Christ, I’ll try it! And if I perish, I perish”?
Today, maybe God is calling you deeper. Christ is that compelling. He’s calling us to be strategically reckless for Him. Let’s go to Him, outside the camp and find Him to be all satisfy.
Piper had a great post yesterday entitled Read Your Bible More and More. The post was very helpful in helping me see how intake of God’s Word is not legalism. But I loved these quotes from J.C. Ryle’s Practical Religion (p.136):
Do not think you are getting no good from the Bible, merely because you do not see that good day by day. The greatest effects are by no means those which make the most noise, and are most easily observed. The greatest effects are often silent, quiet, and hard to detect at the time they are being produced.
Think of the influence of the moon upon the earth, and of the air upon the human lungs. Remember how silently the dew falls, and how imperceptibly the grass grows. There may be far more doing than you think in your soul by your Bible-reading.
Today, go to God’s Word and be very much affected..
…from the DG Blog…
In chapter nine of When I Don’t Desire God, John Piper introduces a memorable and helpful acronym for what to pray before reading Scripture: I. O. U. S.
* Incline my heart to you, not to prideful gain or any false motive. (Psalm 119:36)
* Open my eyes to behold wonderful things in your Word. (Psalm 119:18)
* Unite my heart to fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)
* Satisfy me with you steadfast love. (Psalm 90:14)
The article has more. Read and benefit.
(…with the husband’s responsibility as well)…
From John Piper:
“So I would say a wife’s role is to see all that God enables her to see and then ask the Lord for wise and humble and submissive ways to share, to bring into her husband’s life her perspective on things. And it’s his job as a leader to be humbly receptive to those kinds of things and then to take action.”
(HT: Girl Talkers)
As we begin to prepare for the weekend (specifically, Pat Nurre’s speaking to us on creation this Lord’s Day), I thought this discussion online from the past week would be helpful.
A follow up post centered on Sailhamer’s view of creation.
Matt Perman wrote an analysis of this view in an article entitled Science, the Bible and the Promised Land.
A critique of Sailhamer’s view is found in this article: Unbinding the Rules.
And a helpful summary of all the issues involved was penned by Mark Driscoll.