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  • Title: Resources on Jeremiah - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. Jeremiah.. Resources on Jeremiah.. Subscribe to.. Audio Podcast.. Video Podcast.. Text Only Feed.. Chapter:.. 1.. 3.. 31.. 32.. Jeremiah 1.. Do Not Say, "I Am Only a Youth".. September 3, 1989.. Sermon.. Scripture:.. Jeremiah 1:1 10.. Youth is no excuse for not venturing something great for God.. Read.. Audio:.. Listen.. Download.. Jeremiah 3.. Does God Make Mistakes?.. A Response to Greg Boyd's Treatment of Jeremiah 3:6-7, 19-20.. March 18, 1999.. Article.. Jeremiah 3:6 7, 19 20.. Jeremiah 31.. "Again You Shall Take Up Your Tambourines"..  ...   new (and better) foundation of exuberance when the naiveté of childhood won t work anymore.. Jeremiah 32.. The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism.. September 11, 1983.. Jeremiah 32:36 41.. God is a perfect Christian Hedonist.. It makes him.. happy.. to be God and to show us mercy.. Excerpt.. Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever.. June 16, 1996.. Jeremiah 32:36 42.. How can you be sure that grace will sustain you to the end?.. God's Sustaining Grace.. Vineyard Christian Fellowship.. October 27, 1995.. Conference Message.. Resource Categories..

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  • Title: The Pleasure of God in All That He Does - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Pleasure of God in All That He Does.. February 1, 1987.. Psalms 135:6.. Topic:.. The Sovereignty of God.. Series:.. The Pleasures of God.. Sermon Audio.. Sermon Video.. Sermon Text.. Listen:.. Full Length.. Download.. Audio: Full Length.. Audio: Excerpt.. You're listening to.. The Pleasure of God in All That He Does (Excerpt).. Psalms 135:6.. Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.. Two Assumptions Underlying This Series.. Two assumptions lie at the foundation of this new series of messages on the pleasures of God.. An Assumption About the Worth of a Soul.. The first assumption is that The worth and excellency of a soul is measured by the object of its love (Henry Scougal).. If we apply that to God, then one way of beholding the worth and excellency of God is to meditate on what he loves.. Another way to put it would be to say that the measure of God’s dignity is determined by what he delights in.. Or another way would be to say that the greatness of God’s excellence is registered by his enjoyments.. What he takes pleasure in signals the beauty and the preciousness of his character.. 2.. An Assumption About How We Are Transformed.. The second assumption is that when we fix our mind’s attention on the worth and excellency of God, that is, when we meditate on his glory, we are changed little by little into his likeness.. And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another.. (2 Corinthians 3:18).. So my goal in these next 12 weeks is to direct your attention to the pleasures of God revealed in Scripture in the hope that you will see in them some of the infinite measure of God’s worth and excellency; and in seeing this glory that you might rise one step at a time into his likeness; so that at home and work and school, people will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.. Portray his pleasures in preaching.. Behold his glory in listening.. Approach his likeness in meditation.. Display his worth in the world.. May God be gracious to bless the ministry of his Word in these weeks.. God Has Always Been Exuberantly Happy.. Last week we focused on the pleasure that God the Father has in his Son.. The most important lesson to be learned from that truth is this: God is and always has been an exuberantly happy God.. He has never been lonely.. He has always rejoiced with overflowing satisfaction in the glory of his Son.. You might say that the Son of God has always been the landscape of God’s excellencies or the panorama of God’s perfections.. And therefore from all eternity God has beheld with overflowing satisfaction the magnificent terrain of his own radiance reflected in the Son.. God Is Not Constrained by Anything Outside Himself.. A second lesson to learn from this truth is that God is not constrained by anything outside himself to do anything he does not want to do.. If God were unhappy, if he were in some way deficient, then he might indeed be constrained from outside in some way to do what he does not want to do in order to make up his deficiency and finally to be happy.. That is the way we are.. We come into the world knowing almost nothing and have to spend years and years going to classes or learning in the school of hard knocks.. Parents and teachers tell us to do things that we don’t like to do because we need to do them to overcome some deficiency in ourselves — to increase our knowledge or strengthen our bodies or refine our manners.. But God is not like that.. He has been complete and overflowing with satisfaction from all eternity.. He needs no education.. No one can offer anything to him that doesn’t already come from him.. And so no one can bribe him or coerce him in any way.. You can’t bribe a mountain spring with bucketfuls of water from the valley.. Therefore God does what he does not begrudgingly or under external constraint as though he were boxed in or trapped by some unforeseen or unplanned situation.. On the contrary, because he is complete and exuberantly happy and overflowing with satisfaction in the fellowship of the Trinity, all he does is free and uncoerced.. His deeds are the overflow of his joy.. This is what it means when the Scripture says that God does something according to the good pleasure of his will.. It means that nothing outside God’s own pleasure — the pleasure he has in what he is, nothing but that pleasure — has constrained his choices and his deeds.. God Does Whatever He Pleases.. This brings us to the focus of today’s message — The Pleasure of God in All That He Does — and today’s text: Psalm 135.. The psalm begins by calling us to praise the Lord: Praise the Lord.. Praise the name of the Lord.. Then, starting in verse 3 the psalmist gives us reasons for why we should feel praise rising in our hearts toward God.. It says, for example, Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.. The list of reasons for praise goes on until it comes to verse 6,  ...   does, he doesn’t just refer implicitly to the tragedies owing to wind; he also refers explicitly to the destruction of rebellious Egyptians, and nations, and kings.. This is the scope of what God does when he does whatever he pleases.. So in Ezekiel it says that God is not pleased with the death of unrepentant people, and in Psalm 135 it says that God does whatever he pleases including the slaying of unrepentant people.. And the very same Hebrew verb is used in Psalm 135:6 ( he pleases ) and Ezekiel 18:32 ( he has pleasure ).. The Problem Gets Worse.. Before I suggest a solution to this problem, let me make it worse.. Many Christians today have a conception of God that isn’t troubled by his being cornered into doing things he doesn’t want to do.. And I can easily imagine that one response to what we have seen so far would be to say that we have created an artificial problem because Psalm 135 doesn’t actually say that God takes delight in destroying the Egyptians.. Perhaps someone would say that doing whatever he pleases in Psalm 135:6 is just a figure of speech and doesn’t carry the sense of pleasure or delight.. And so they would say that God only grieves when he must judge unrepentant sinners, and there is no sense in which he is doing what he is pleased to do.. In answer to this I would say again that the same word used in Psalm 135:6 for God’s being pleased is used in Ezekiel 18:32 for God’s not being pleased.. Then I would direct attention to Deuteronomy 28:63 where Moses warns of the coming judgment on unrepentant Israel.. But this time it says something strikingly different from Ezekiel 18:32,.. And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you.. (Cf.. Proverbs 1:24–26; Revelation 18:20; Ezekiel 5:13.. ).. So we are brought back to the inescapable fact that in some sense God does not delight in the death of the wicked (that is the message of Ezekiel 18), and in some sense he does (that is the message of Psalm 135:6–11 and Deuteronomy 28:63).. A Solution to the Problem.. I have commended a solution to you before and I will commend it again: namely, that the death and misery of the unrepentant is in and of itself no delight to God.. God is not a sadist.. He is not malicious or bloodthirsty.. Instead, when a rebellious, wicked, unbelieving person is judged, what God delights in is the vindication of truth and goodness and of his own honor and glory.. When Moses warns Israel that the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon them and destroying them if they don’t repent, he means that those who have rebelled against the Lord and moved beyond repentance will not be able to gloat that they have made the Almighty miserable.. Quite the contrary.. Moses says that when they are judged, they will unwittingly give an opportunity for God to rejoice in the demonstration of his justice and his power and the infinite worth of his glory.. Stand in Awe of God.. Let this be a warning to us this morning.. God is not mocked.. He is not trapped or cornered or coerced.. Even on the way to Calvary he had legions at his disposal.. No one takes my life from me; I lay it down of my own accord — of my own good pleasure, for the joy that is set before me (see John 10:18; Hebrews 12:2).. At the one point in the history of the universe where God looked trapped, he was totally in charge doing precisely what he pleased — dying to justify the ungodly like you and me.. So let us stand in awe and wonder this morning: Our God is in heaven; he does whatever he pleases.. Amen.. Almighty God and Merciful Father, we praise you for your everlasting happiness in the fellowship of the Trinity; that you are an infinitely exuberant God; satisfied with the panorama of your own perfections reflected in the radiance of your Son.. And we praise you that you are free and sovereign in your own self-sufficiency and cannot be bribed or coerced because of some deficiency or craving in your heart.. We praise you that your plan and counsel is governed not by our will but by your good pleasure.. 2013 Desiring God Foundation.. Used by Permission.. Permissions:.. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee.. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page.. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.. Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:.. By John Piper.. Website:.. desiringGod.. org.. Related Resources.. Believing God on Election Day.. (Sermons).. God Does Not Repent Like a Man.. (Taste See Articles).. How to Query God.. Jesus Is the Ruler of Kings on Earth.. Lessons from Lisa.. Romanian.. Spanish.. PDF.. Related Topics:.. The Foreknowledge of God.. The Glory of God.. Predestination.. Natural Disasters.. The Doctrines of Grace / Calvinism.. Christian Hedonism.. See list of.. Edit Resource.. By Date.. By Topic.. By Series.. By Scripture.. By Author.. By Occasion.. By Language..

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  • Title: 1987 Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 1987.. 1987 Resources.. 1986.. Jan.. Feb.. Mar.. Apr.. May.. Jun.. Jul.. Aug.. Sep.. Oct.. Nov.. Dec.. 1988.. January.. Sweet "Our" of Prayer.. January 4, 1987.. Matthew 6:5 9.. The Lord s Prayer is an invitation not only to pray but to pray together with other believers.. The Anatomy of Legalism and the Discipline of Prayer.. January 5, 1987.. Discipline is not necessarily legalism.. It may be, or it may be faith moving in the power of the Spirit.. The Life of God in the Soul of Man.. January 11, 1987.. Romans 8:1 7.. God lives in the soul of man by the indwelling of his Spirit.. Weary Ramblings and Ruminations on the Future.. January 12, 1987.. Abortion: You Desire and Do Not Have, So You Kill.. Sanctity of Life Sunday.. January 18, 1987.. James 4:2.. Fight the social stupor that gripped Nazi Germany and imagine what is really happening behind clinic doors.. The Pleasure of God in His Son.. January 25, 1987.. Matthew 17:5.. The first and most fundamental thing we can say about the pleasures of God is that he takes pleasure in his Son.. Devil Prayers and Divine Pleasures.. January 26, 1987.. So many so-called saints submit to God out of constraint and not love!.. February.. The Pleasure of God in All That He Does.. He does whatever he wants.. Breakfast, Benjamin and Baby-Work.. February 2, 1987.. The nursery may be the most God-filled room in your church.. The Pleasure of God in His Creation.. February 8, 1987.. Psalms 104:31.. God rejoices in his works because his works are an expression of his glory.. The Book Is Here!.. February 9, 1987.. John Piper announces the arrival of his book.. The Pleasure of God in His Name.. February 15, 1987.. 1 Samuel 12:22.. God s first love is his name and not his people.. And because it is, there is hope for his sinful people.. Good Deeds and the Glory of God.. Sunday Evening Message.. 1 Peter 2:12.. God has given us the joy of spiritual sight so that we might spread the reputation of our eye doctor.. The Place of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity.. February 16, 1987.. The Holy Spirit is the love that flows between the Father and the Son.. The Pleasure of God in Election.. February 22, 1987.. Deuteronomy 10:14 15.. God takes pleasure in election because it magnifies his name.. Two Books on Revival—In One Day!.. February 23, 1987.. It is worth noting that men of Edwards and Lloyd-Jones stature wrote and spoke so extensively about revival.. March.. The Pleasure of God in the Good of His People.. March 1, 1987.. Zephaniah 3:17.. God does not do you good out of some constraint or coercion.. He is free! And in his freedom he overflows in joy to do you good.. Elders, Pastors, Bishops, and Bethlehem.. There were two ongoing offices in the NT church for the management and care of the church: elders and deacons.. Our Concern with Biblical Church Governance.. March 2, 1987.. Five reasons to reexamine church government offices and structure.. The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son.. March 8, 1987.. Isaiah 53:10.. God s pleasure in his name and his pleasure in doing good to sinners meet and marry in his pleasure in bruising his Son.. What Did Deacons Do?.. A deacon is an office in the church with a special focus on practical and more material needs.. Lenten Preparations for Good Friday and Easter.. March 9, 1987.. Seven ways to prepare yourself and others for commemorating the death of Christ.. The Pleasure of God in Those Who Hope in His Love.. March 15, 1987.. Psalms 147:10 11.. God delights in those responses which mirror his magnificence.. An Exchange of Letters.. March 16, 1987.. John Piper dialogues with an unbeliever about human sexuality.. The Pleasure of God in the Prayers of the Upright.. March 22, 1987.. Proverbs 15:8.. Prayer is that wonderful transaction where the wealth of God s glory is magnified and the wants of our soul are satisfied.. Calling for a Ministry to the Deaf.. March 23, 1987.. How can the church reach out to the millions of people in this world who are deaf?.. The Pleasure of God in Obedience.. March 29, 1987.. 1 Samuel 15:22 23.. Obedience to God makes our God-glorifying hope visible and proves that it is real in our lives.. The Repentance of God.. March 30, 1987.. What does it mean when the Bible says that God repents?.. April.. Expanding the Biblical Basis for Harvesting.. West Central Missions Conference.. Wilmar, Minnesota.. April 3, 1987.. Confidence in the sovereign grace of God is the only thing that will sustain and  ...   end times and why?.. "The Greatest Mercy in the World".. August 31, 1987.. September.. God Has Given Us Good Hope Through Grace, Part 1.. September 6, 1987.. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 17.. When circumstances arise that alarm you, the key is to hold fast to the traditions that were taught by the apostles.. God Has Given Us Good Hope Through Grace, Part 2.. What will be the strongest witness in the last days?.. Rearing Children for the World’s End.. September 8, 1987.. Your Love Is Better Than Life.. Savoring the Vision.. September 13, 1987.. Psalms 63.. God is worshiped and honored and savored both by fainting for him and by feasting on him.. The American Revival of 1905.. September 14, 1987.. A Theology for Missions.. Conference on Missions Education.. Crystal Evangelical Free Church.. September 19, 1987.. One reason the worldwide church is weak and lacks leaders is because the doctrinal basis of faith and missions is too narrow.. Working with You for Your Joy.. Instilling the Vision.. September 20, 1987.. 2 Corinthians 1:23 2:4.. Expecting and Attempting.. Reflections on Prayer '87.. September 21, 1987.. It is the attempting of something great for God that gives edge and point to prayer.. Striving for the Faith of the Gospel.. Spreading the Vision.. September 27, 1987.. Philippians 1:27 30.. The mark of living worthily of the gospel is a unified, fearless striving for the faith of the gospel.. Take Heed to Yourself and to Your Teaching.. Installation Service for David Livingston and Brad Nelson.. 1 Timothy 4:16.. A New Sermon Series for the Fall.. September 28, 1987.. Was Jonathan Edwards a Christian Hedonist?.. September 29, 1987.. In this article, John Piper asks What does it matter what Edwards thought? and then lets Edwards teach us in his own words.. October.. The Greatness of God's Electing Love.. October 4, 1987.. Malachi 1:1 5.. Have you learned the love of God in a way that makes you tremble?.. Come on the Lookout for God, Leave on the Lookout for People.. October 5, 1987.. After 102 Years Is It Time for a New Sanctuary?.. October 12, 1987.. A brief history of where Bethlehem has been and a consideration for the future.. Is Anything Too Hard for God?.. October 18, 1987.. Genesis 18:14.. Ramblings on Being in the City to Stay.. October 19, 1987.. Honor Thy Majestic Father.. October 25, 1987.. Malachi 1:6 14.. Those who know God as Father should honor their majestic Father.. The People Said Yes!.. October 26, 1987.. November.. The Curse of Careless Worship.. November 1, 1987.. If you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God, you ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.. What a City, What a Place, What a God!.. November 2, 1987.. The Curse of Priestly Failure.. November 8, 1987.. Malachi 2:1 9.. A great danger to the pastoral ministry is that the voice of God in Scripture may be drowned out by other voices.. Practical Steps to Kill Sin.. November 9, 1987.. The Glory of Priestly Success.. November 15, 1987.. The ministry of the Word can destroy and the ministry of the Word can save.. Then the Five Said Yes.. November 16, 1987.. Let None Be Faithless to the Wife of His Youth.. November 22, 1987.. Malachi 2:10 16.. Don t back out on your commitments, don t marry an unbeliever, and don t divorce your covenant wife.. Irving Hetherington, Self-Pity and Service.. November 23, 1987.. Put the pressures of your life into missionary perspective and lose the self-pity.. He Is Like a Refiner's Fire.. November 29, 1987.. Malachi 2:17 3:6.. If God were only an incinerating fire, heaven would be empty.. And if he were no fire, heaven would be empty.. Stephen.. Poem.. Video:.. Planning for the Unexpected to Help Make It Happen.. November 30, 1987.. December.. You Will Be a Land of Delight.. December 6, 1987.. Malachi 3:7 12.. Everything we spend on ourselves should be to build a platform for giving, that is, for loving.. Esther, Part 1.. I Will Spare Them as a Man Spares His Son.. December 13, 1987.. Malachi 3:13 18.. God will spare sinful sons, precisely because he did not spare his only sinless Son.. Esther, Part 2.. The Ripples of.. December 14, 1987.. The Sun of Righteousness Will Rise.. December 20, 1987.. Malachi 4:1 3.. When Jesus comes into the world, he comes as a sun.. Barnabas and Paul.. Semi-Serious Meditations on a Birth-Laden Week.. December 21, 1987.. He Will Turn the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children.. December 27, 1987.. Malachi 4:4 6.. God has turned his heart toward you in Jesus Christ.. Don t push it away..

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  • Title: Resources on Psalms - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Psalms.. Resources on Psalms.. 8.. 16.. 19.. 23.. 25.. 33.. 37.. 40.. 42.. 43.. 46.. 50.. 51.. 57.. 59.. 63.. 67.. 69.. 71.. 73.. 77.. 78.. 79.. 82.. 86.. 91.. 95.. 96.. 100.. 103.. 104.. 105.. 106.. 108.. 117.. 119.. 126.. 127.. 135.. 139.. 143.. 145.. 147.. 148.. Psalm 1.. Delighting in the Law of God.. Summer Psalms.. July 20, 1980.. Psalms 1.. Meditate on the Word of the Lord Day and Night.. January 3, 1999.. Songs That Shape the Heart and Mind.. Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 1.. May 25, 2008.. The combination of instruction with emotion in the Psalms.. Watch.. Psalm 2.. Rejoice with Trembling.. A Meditation on Psalm 2:11-12.. January 7, 2006.. Psalms 2:11 12.. The only place safe from the wrath of God is in God.. Psalm 8.. What Is Man?.. Reflections on Abortion and Racial Reconciliation.. January 16, 1994.. Psalms 8.. You cannot worship and glorify the majesty of God while treating his supreme creation with contempt.. The Peculiar Mark of Majesty, Part 1.. April 1, 2007.. The glory of God is unique because of the lowly ways he chooses to show it.. The Peculiar Mark of Majesty, Part 2.. April 8, 2007.. We will reign with Christ and find our joy not in usurping God's majesty but in saying: How majestic is.. your.. name in all the earth.. Psalm 16.. To See You Fills Me With Joy.. September 27, 1981.. Psalms 16:1 3.. When you value someone because they value God, you are not denying that God is your only good; you are expressing it.. Psalm 19.. Sky Talk.. September 14, 1980.. Psalms 19.. What are some practical steps that we can take to stay alive to the beauty of God s world?.. Do You See the Joy of God in the Sun?.. August 26, 1990.. Psalms 19:1 6.. Through the sky God ministers humility and hope and healing and happiness.. The Bible: Kindling for Christian Hedonism.. October 30, 1983.. Psalms 19:7 11.. When Satan huffs and puffs and tries to blow out the flame of your joy, you have an endless supply of kindling in the Word of God.. Sweeter than Honey, Better than Gold.. January 6, 1991.. In meditation on the Word of God and in following it there is great reward greater than much fine gold.. The Heart You Know and the Heart You Don't.. September 2, 1990.. Psalms 19:12 14.. How do you deal with sin in your life if you love God?.. Psalm 23.. Restful Words for Labor Day.. August 31, 1980.. Psalms 23.. It seems that with this passage of Scripture, more than any other, to recite it is also to experience its reality.. The psalm itself is green pasture, the psalm itself is still water, the psalm itself restores my soul.. The Shepherd, the Host, and the Highway Patrol.. September 7, 1980.. I feel myself drawn with David not so much to love the green pastures but the good shepherd, not so much to love the lavish banquet but the bountiful host, and not so much to love the trip to Miami or the bungalow but to love the highway patrolman.. Psalm 25.. The Goodness of God and the Guidance of Sinners.. January 10, 1988.. Psalms 25.. The prerequisite for divine guidance is not a quest for messages, but a quest for holiness.. The Unmerited, Conditional Grace of God.. Reflections on Psalm 25.. February 2, 1994.. There is a profound difference between sinners who keep God s covenant and those who don t.. Psalm 32.. How Not to Be a Mule.. August 3, 1980.. Psalms 32.. Don t be like the mule but run headlong to God in prayer while he may be found.. For the contrite heart which prays will be forgiven and protected and taught the way to God and will be glad in the Lord forever.. Psalm 33.. The Counsel of the Lord Stands Forever.. Reflections on Corporate Planning.. June 12, 1994.. Psalms 33:10 11.. A truth stripped of God is not a whole truth and will not guide the church well.. Psalm 37.. Battling the Unbelief of Envy.. November 13, 1988.. Psalms 37:1 7.. Envy steals your joy when you don t trust that God is doing what he has promised, namely, that which is best for you.. Psalm 40.. In the Pits with a King.. August 17, 1980.. Psalms 40:1 3.. We're made of the same stuff as the saints of old, and they help guide us so that we persevere to the end.. Let All Who Seek Thee Rejoice and Be Glad in Thee; Let Those Who Love Thy Salvation Say Continually, "The Lord Be Magnified".. Commitment Sunday of "Freeing the Future".. March 17, 1996.. Psalms 40:16.. Our joy in God is both our worship and our evangelism.. Psalm 42.. Spiritual Depression in the Psalms.. Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 2.. June 1, 2008.. Psalms 42.. Learn from the Psalmist how to fight for hope.. Psalm 43.. I Will Go to God,  ...   truth we must hold to through all the cosmic conflict of this age is: All the nations belong to God.. Psalm 86.. The Lord Is Great and Does Wondrous Things.. Immanuel Baptist.. April 28, 1991.. Psalms 86:8 10.. God is more powerful than all the gods and he is more powerful than all the nations.. On God s side you cannot lose.. Psalm 91.. No Evil Shall Befall You.. March 26, 1984.. Psalms 91:7 12.. No ill befalls the saints except what God s love permits, and even those ills won t conquer them.. Psalm 95.. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Power of the Holy Spirit.. Unpacking the Master Planning Team Document.. October 8, 1995.. Psalms 95.. Jesus Christ has released the merciful power of God by his sin-bearing death; and the Holy Spirit is applying it to our church.. Psalm 96.. Declare His Glory Among the Nations.. Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 6.. June 29, 2008.. Psalms 96.. God summons us to sing, and in doing so to summon the nations to sing a new song with us.. Psalm 100.. Education for Exultation.. A Psalm for Thanksgiving.. May 19, 2002.. Psalms 100.. Education and knowledge should cause us to rejoice in God.. If not, then they aren t fulfilling their purpose.. Psalm 103.. Bless the Lord, O My Soul.. Psalms: Thinking and Feeling with God, Part 4.. June 15, 2008.. Psalms 103.. Perhaps nothing is more effective in helping children fear God than verbally blessing the Lord in their presence.. Bless the Lord, O My Soul!.. Funeral for Ozzie Nelson.. Twin Cities, MN.. August 31, 2009.. Forget Not All His Benefits.. June 16, 1991.. Psalms 103:2.. The steadfast love of the Lord has been the same through all the changes of the last 120 years.. Psalm 104.. Psalm 105.. What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord?.. Meditation on Psalm 105:4.. August 19, 2009.. Psalms 105:4.. A meditation on Psalm 105:4.. Famine, Flood, and Failing Fortune.. September 2, 2005.. Psalms 105:16.. Every river and the seas do His sovereign bidding purely.. This is comfort surely.. Psalm 106.. A Pastor's Role in World Missions.. Bethel Seminary Chapel.. Twin Cities, MN.. October 31, 1984.. Psalms 106.. Abortion: The Innocent Blood of Our Sons and Daughters.. January 27, 2008.. Psalms 106:32 48.. How is abortion similar to the child-sacrificing in the Old Testament?.. They Poured Out Innocent Blood.. January 22, 2012.. Psalm 108.. God Threw His Shoe on Edom.. Or, The Dome is Dead.. September 14, 1982.. Psalms 108:9.. What fools God makes of men who strive against their Maker!.. Psalm 117.. Everlasting Truth for the Joy of All Peoples.. October 26, 2003.. Psalms 117.. Jesus Christ is building his church around the world with missionaries.. Psalm 119.. Thy Word I Have Treasured in My Heart.. January 5, 1997.. Psalms 119:9 16.. Open My Eyes That I May See.. January 4, 1998.. Psalms 119:17 24.. It is by prayer that our eyes will be opened to see wonder in God's Word and be changed.. Wonderful Things from Your Word.. Tyndale College and Seminary, President's Chapel.. Toronto, ON.. March 31, 1999.. January 11, 1998.. Psalms 119:18.. How God Teaches the Deep Things of His Word.. A Meditation on Psalm 119:65–72.. June 11, 2008.. Psalms 119:65 72.. A meditation on goodness in Psalm 119:65 72.. Luther, Bunyan, Bible and Pain.. January 19, 1999.. Psalms 119:71.. One of God s gifts to us in suffering is that we see and experience depths of his Word that a life of ease would never yield.. The Sum of God's Word Is Truth.. Bethlehem Baptist Church Women's Spring Conference.. April 13, 2012.. Psalms 119:160.. Psalm 126.. Talking to Your Tears.. July 15, 1991.. Psalms 126:5 6.. When there is work to be done and you are sad, do it with tears, trusting that there will yet be a harvest of joy.. Psalm 127.. Don't Eat the Bread of Anxious Toil.. July 27, 1980.. Psalms 127.. Psalm 135.. The Pleasure of God in Everything He Does.. Bethlehem College and Seminary Chapel.. September 15, 2011.. Psalms 135:1 6.. Psalm 139.. Do I Not Hate Those Who Hate You, O Lord?.. The Verses We Skipped.. October 3, 2000.. Psalms 139:19 22.. How are we to understand those psalms that express hatred and call down curses upon the enemies of God?.. Psalm 143.. How to Argue with God.. August 24, 1980.. Psalms 143.. Don't let your sinfulness hinder your prayers.. Run into the arms of God and fill his ear with arguments that aim for His honor.. Psalm 145.. One Generation Shall Praise Your Works to Another.. Education for Exultation: in the Next Generation.. March 19, 2000.. Psalms 145:4.. It is the Biblical duty of every generation to make sure that the next generation hears about the mighty acts of God.. Psalm 147.. Psalm 148.. He Commanded and They Were Created.. October 4, 1981.. Psalms 148:5.. Since God created everything, we and all our so-called possessions are his to do with as he pleases..

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  • Title: Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever.. Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever (Excerpt).. Jeremiah 32:36 42.. Now therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning this city of which you say, "It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence," 37 "Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath, and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety.. 38 And they shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and for the good of their children after them.. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.. 41 And I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.. " 42 For thus says the Lord, "Just as I brought all this great disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them.. ".. What Is Sustaining Grace?.. We are celebrating 125 years of God's sustaining grace.. What is that? What is sustaining grace? Let me put it in a four-line rhyme:.. Not grace to bar what is not bliss,.. Nor flight from all distress, but this:.. The grace that orders our trouble and pain,.. And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.. I stress this because to celebrate a grace that bars what is not bliss, and gives flight from all distress and does not order our pain would be biblically false and experientially unrealistic.. In a Near-Fatal Crash.. Our experience and the Bible teach us that grace does not prevent pain, but orders and arranges and measures out our pain, and then in the darkness is there to sustain.. For example, yesterday Bob Ricker, the president of the Baptist General Conference, spoke of precious reminders of God's sustaining grace.. Not quite ten years ago Bob and Dee's daughter was in a serious automobile accident.. She is alive today for one reason.. In the car behind her was a doctor who happened to have an air tube in his pocket.. By the time he got to her she was already turning blue.. He forced the tube into her throat and saved her life.. At her wedding a few years later, Bob told her: those facial scars you have to live with—they are memorials of sustaining grace.. Now Bob Ricker is not naïve.. He knows that if God can ordain that in the car behind there be a doctor, and that this doctor have a breathing apparatus in his pocket, and that he have the presence of mind to use it savingly, then this God is fully able to prevent the accident in the first place.. In fact, earlier Bob had quoted Ephesians 1:11, "We have been predestined according to his purpose.. who works all things according to the counsel of his will.. " And he stressed: "All things, means all things"—including, I assume, the paths of cars and airplanes and arrows and bullets.. That was the inspiration for my little poem, "What Is Sustaining Grace?".. When the Car Breaks Down.. Saturday, two weeks ago, Noël and Abraham and Barnabas and Talitha were traveling to Georgia in the car and it broke down in a lonely stretch about an hour south of Indianapolis.. The radiator was shot.. A farmer in his mid-sixties pulls over and offers help.. Noël says that she supposes they need a motel and hopes that Monday morning there may be a garage open to work on the car.. The farmer says, "Would you like to stay with me and my wife?" Noël hesitates and does not want to put them out.. He says, "The Lord said when we serve others, it's like serving him.. " She says, "Well, could we go to church with you in the morning?" He says, "If you can take a Baptist church.. So they stay with the farmer, who is also an aviation mechanic, and who diagnoses the problem, drives to town Monday morning, buys a new radiator, comes back, puts it in at no expense, and sends the family on their way.. In the meantime Barnabas has pulled his fishing rod out of the car and caught a nineteen-inch catfish—for icing on the cake.. The God who can cause a farmer to stop to help Noël and who sees to it that he is a Christian (even a Baptist!), and that he and his wife have room for the family to stay, and that he is a mechanic, and that he finds a radiator first thing Monday morning, and that he is willing to take the time, and that he has a pond with catfish—this God is perfectly able to keep a radiator from bursting open in the middle of Indiana.. When Healing Doesn't Happen.. But in this fallen world of futility that is not all that sustaining grace does.. One of the young men in our church is going through some deep waters right now which are testing his faith almost to the limit.. He said to me recently: it would be easier if Jesus hadn't healed but instead had given grace to endure the absence of healing.. One of the things I said to him was this: That's exactly what Jesus did do—and for that very reason—in 2 Corinthians 12:9–10.. God's grace ordains that Paul have a thorn in the flesh for the sake of his humility and then will not remove it in answer to prayer.. But he says,.. My [sustaining] grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.. To which Paul responds,.. Most gladly, therefore, I  ...   it.. Keep in mind: this is one of several Old Testament promises of the new covenant that Jesus said he sealed with his own blood for all who are in him.. It is not just for Jews, but for those who are true Jews by virtue of union with Jesus, the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:7, 16).. Jeremiah 32:38–41 says,.. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and for the good of their children after them.. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.. And I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.. Four Promises of Sovereign, Sustaining Grace.. Notice four promises of sovereign, sustaining grace.. God Will Be Our God.. God promises to be our God.. Verse 38: "They will be my people and I will be their God.. " All the promises to his people are summed up in this: "I will be your God.. " That is, I will use all that I am as God—all my wisdom, all my power, and all my love—to see to it that you remain my people.. All that I am as God, I exert for your good.. God Promises to Change Our Hearts.. God promises to change our hearts and cause us to love and fear him.. Verse 39: "I will give them one heart and one way that they may fear me always.. (v.. 40b) I will put the fear of me in their hearts.. " In other words, God will not simply stand by to see if we, by our own powers, will fear him; he will sovereignly, supremely, mercifully give us the heart that we need to have, and give us the faith and the fear of God that will lead us home to heaven.. This is sovereign, sustaining grace.. (See Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 11:19–20; 36:27.. ).. God Promises We Will Not Turn Away from Him.. God promises that he will not turn away from us and we will not turn away from him.. Verse 40: "I will make an everlasting covenant with them that.. I will not turn away from them, to do them good.. ; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts.. so that they will not turn away from Me.. " In other words, his heart work is so powerful that he guarantees we will not turn from him.. This is what's new about the new covenant: God promises to fulfill by his power the conditions that we have to meet.. We must fear him and love him and trust him.. And he says, I will see to that.. I will "put the fear of me in their hearts"—not to see what they will do with it, but in such a way that "they will not turn from me.. " This is sovereign, sustaining grace.. 4.. God Promises to Do This with Infinite Intensity.. Finally, God promises to do this with the greatest intensity imaginable.. He expresses this in two ways, one at the beginning and one at the end of verse 41: "And.. I will rejoice over them.. to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land.. with all My heart and with all My soul.. First he says that he will exert this sovereign, sustaining grace with.. joy.. : "I will rejoice over them to do them good.. " Then he says (at the end of verse 41) that he will exert this sovereign, sustaining grace "with.. all.. [his] heart and with.. all.. [his] soul.. How Great Is God's Desire to Do You Good?.. He rejoices to sustain you and he rejoices with all his heart and with all his soul.. Now I ask you, not with any sermonic exaggeration or rhetorical flourish or with any sense of overstatement at all—I ask you, I challenge you, can you conceive of an intensity of desire that is greater than a desire empowered by ".. God's heart and.. God's soul"? Suppose you took all the desire for food and sex and money and fame and power and meaning and friends and security in the hearts and souls of all the human beings on the earth—say about six billion—and you put all that desire, multiplied by all those six billion hearts and souls, into a container.. How would it compare to the desire of God to do you good implied in the words, "with.. his heart and with.. his soul"? It would compare like a thimble to the Pacific Ocean.. Because the heart and soul of God are infinite.. And the hearts and souls of man are finite.. There is no intensity greater than the intensity of "all God's heart, and all God's soul.. And that is the intensity of the joy he has in sustaining you with sovereign grace: "I will rejoice over them to do them good.. with all my heart and all my soul.. " Some of you may be tasting the sweetness of this grace for the first time this morning.. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, and I urge you to yield to it and be mastered by sovereign, sustaining grace.. Others of you have lived in this sweet assurance for decades and simply join me this morning in exulting over this glorious reality in our lives.. I invite you all to sing with me, to bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit for the sovereign, sustaining grace that has kept us as a church for 125 years and will keep God's elect in the faith till Jesus comes or Jesus calls.. Albanian.. Arabic.. Chinese-Simplified.. Czech.. French.. Hindi.. Indonesian.. Japanese.. Korean.. Persian.. Portuguese.. Russian.. Swahili..

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  • Title: 1996 Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 1996.. 1996 Resources.. 1995.. 1997.. Driving Convictions Behind Foreign Missions.. January 1, 1996.. and.. Tom Steller.. Fourteen beliefs that keep the missions flame burning.. Prayer Changes People's Wills.. January 7, 1996.. Romans 15:30 31.. Don t neglect the amazing influence you have in the world through prayer.. O That You Might Be Strong Like a Tree!.. January 9, 1996.. It is impossible to meditate on God s word as continually as we should if portions of it are not in our mind.. The Providence of God (Part 7).. Bethlehem Baptist Church.. January 10, 1996.. Seminar.. Racial Reconciliation.. Unfolding Bethlehem's Fresh Initiative #3.. Racial Harmony Sunday.. January 14, 1996.. Acts 17:26.. Let us be the salt and the light of our hostile and fearful society with courageous acts of inter-racial kindness and respect.. Foundations for Thinking About Race.. Echoes of Sunday, January 14.. January 16, 1996.. 7 reasons racial harmony is worth pursuing, and 1 resolve for doing it.. Challenging the Church and Culture with Truth.. Unfolding Bethlehem's Fresh Initiative #6.. January 21, 1996.. Believing in the supremacy of God leads us to believe in the existence of absolute truth.. Luther's Rules for How to Become a Theologian.. January 23, 1996.. Martin Luther s 3 rules for how to read the Bible.. The Providence of God (Part 8).. January 24, 1996.. The Pastor and His Study, Part 1.. Desiring God 1996 Conference for Pastors.. The Pastor and His Study.. January 29, 1996.. Iain Murray.. 1996 Conference for Pastors.. Martin Luther: Lessons from His Life and Labor.. 1996 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.. January 30, 1996.. Biography.. The Pastor and His Study, Part 2.. The Pastor and His Study, Part 3.. The Study and the Sermon.. Kent Hughes.. Spreading a Passion for the Supremacy of God in All Things for the Joy of All Peoples.. The Pastor and His Study, Panel Discussion.. January 31, 1996.. A Pastor's Heart: An Apostle's Vision.. Rick Love.. Advice to Pastors: Preach the Word.. Installation Sermon.. February 4, 1996.. 2 Timothy 3:16 4:4.. Scripture turned into glad tidings that is what happens in expository exultation.. God's Purpose for Jacob and Bethlehem.. Genesis 35:11.. Everyone we lead to Christ is a fulfillment of the promise, I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply.. Help Us Find the New Lead Worshipper.. February 6, 1996.. Advice to Pastors: How to Help Your People Be More Satisfied in God.. February 7, 1996.. Thirteen thoughts on how to help bring joy in God to your congregation.. The Providence of God (Part 9).. Walk in Wisdom: Seize the Moment.. February 11, 1996.. Colossians 4:2 6.. Wisdom is the use of knowledge to reach worthy goals, such as winning outsiders to Christ.. A Joyful Meeting with Joseph Tson.. February 13, 1996.. John Piper recounts a conversation with Joseph Tson.. Prayer and Predestination.. A Conversation Between Prayerful and Prayerless.. February 14, 1996.. A conversation between Prayerful and Prayerless on why we ask God to do what he already intends to do.. The Providence of God (Part 10).. Becoming All Things to All Men to Save Some.. February 18, 1996.. 1 Corinthians 9:19 23.. Until the wrath of God figures as largely in our worldview as it did for Paul, we will not have the passion for evangelism that he had.. "It Is Appointed for Men to Die Once and After This Comes Judgment".. February 20, 1996.. Hebrews 9:27.. 9 key texts about the wrath of God.. No Debt in '97.. For the Sake of 2000 by 2000.. February 27, 1996.. I Have Other Sheep.. March 3, 1996.. John 10:16.. The sovereignty of God over the wills of men doesn t make evangelism unnecessary; it makes it hopeful.. "Go, Sell Your Oil and Pay Your Debt".. Preparing for Commitment Sunday, March 17.. March 5, 1996.. 2 Kings 4:1 7.. What counts is not the amount you have but if it is utterly devoted to the purposes of God.. Getting Right with God and Each Other.. March 10, 1996.. Matthew 5:21 26.. Human reconciliation is much harder than financial donation.. Ten Lessons I Learned from My Father.. March 12, 1996.. When God Says, "Not Now".. March 24, 1996.. Luke 11:1 13.. What are God s purposes when he says No to  ...   and Your Family.. September 3, 1996.. Three recommended routines for keeping God s word central in your life.. The Word of God: Living, Active, Sharp.. September 8, 1996.. Hebrews 4:12 13.. The Word of God is living and active and penetrates to the bottom of our lives and rips the pleasant mask off the ugly face of sin.. Precious and Powerful Rebukes.. September 10, 1996.. Matter is utterly dependent for its origin, existence and stability on the thought of Christ.. Draw Near to the Throne of Grace with Confidence.. September 15, 1996.. Hebrews 4:14 5:3.. Because we have a great High Priest, the throne of God is a throne of.. This Is Why We Are Here!.. September 17, 1996.. The spread of pluralism does not prevent the spread of the gospel.. He Is the Source of Eternal Salvation for All Who Obey Him.. September 22, 1996.. Hebrews 5:4 10.. Christ became our salvation because he was perfect in three ways: in his dignity, in his eternity, and in his purity.. By This Time You Ought to Be Teachers.. September 29, 1996.. Hebrews 5:11 14.. Do you have the disease of "dullness of hearing," and if so, how can you get well?.. Four Ways God Leads His People.. October 1, 1996.. Four D s that describe how God leads us, and three implications.. Let Us Press On to Maturity.. October 6, 1996.. Hebrews 6:1 3.. The writer of Hebrews calls you to grow and press on to maturity.. And you will.. if.. God permits.. The Pledges Are In!.. October 8, 1996.. When Is Saving Repentance Impossible?.. October 13, 1996.. Hebrews 6:4 8.. It is possible that we who believe we are chosen might slide into a slow process of hardening and fall away from Christ.. Precious Sovereignty—Priceless Assurance.. October 15, 1996.. We know we will not fall away because this is a promise of the new covenant sealed by the blood of Jesus.. The Full Assurance of Hope to the End.. October 20, 1996.. Hebrews 6:9 12.. Bank your hope on the justice of God to uphold the honor of his name by offering faith to his unworthy people.. Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain.. Wheaton College.. Wheaton, IL.. October 27, 1996.. How Does the Spirit Produce Love?.. And Why He Does It This Way.. October 29, 1996.. Why does the Spirit limit himself to bring about love only through conscious faith in the word of Jesus?.. A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named.. November 3, 1996.. Romans 15:20.. What convictions drive world missions at Bethlehem Baptist Church?.. Denying Foreknowledge of Human Choices and Undermining the New Covenant.. November 5, 1996.. When Does God Swear?.. November 10, 1996.. Hebrews 6:13 18.. God swears by his own name in order to give his people unwavering confidence in his promises.. Hope Anchored in Heaven.. November 17, 1996.. Hebrews 6:19 20.. There are at least five practical things you can do to move your heart toward "laying hold of your hope.. From Thy Hand We Have Given Thee.. Celebration of Freeing the Future: Being Debt Free as a Church.. November 24, 1996.. 1 Chronicles 29:6 20.. Bethlehem Is Debt-Free and God Is Not Perspiring.. November 26, 1996.. God wants more work because more work means more demonstrations of power and wisdom and love.. Jesus: From Melchizedek to Eternal Savior.. December 1, 1996.. Hebrews 7:1 25.. The Cyrenian Cycle: Malchus the Slave.. What’s It Like to Write Advent Poems?.. December 3, 1996.. Our High Priest is the Son of God Perfect Forever.. December 8, 1996.. Hebrews 7:26 8:5.. Five reasons for why Jesus priesthood is superior to all others.. The Cyrenian Cycle: Simon of Cyrene.. Six Shadows Flee at Christmas.. December 10, 1996.. The meaning of Christmas is that the substance of true religion belongs to Christ.. Jesus: Mediator of a Better Covenant, Part 1.. Part One.. December 15, 1996.. Hebrews 8:6 13.. The Cyrenian Cycle: Lucius the Centurion.. Jesus: Mediator of a Better Covenant, Part 2.. Part Two.. December 22, 1996.. The Cyrenian Cycle: Rufina.. Praying From The Fullness of The Word.. December 29, 1996.. John 15:1 8.. Pray This Letter into the Hands of Hundreds Who Don't Own a Bible.. December 31, 1996..

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  • Title: A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named.. Frontier Missions.. A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named (Excerpt).. Today my aim is to build the message on several different Biblical texts around the theme of missions instead of dealing with only one text.. When Tom and I talked a few months ago about missions week, what struck us was how few people are here today who were here when the driving convictions of our church in missions were being formulated.. Probably fewer than 10% were here in 1983 when the Battle Cry of Christian Hedonism was sounded, and a few more in 1984 when the first Missions in the Manse was held, a few more when "90 by 90" was conceived and achieved, and a few more between 1985 and 1988 when the Maninka were adopted and the goal of "2000 by 2000" was resolved in 1990.. But most of you are newer than that, and even members of long standing can use refresher courses from time to time.. Bethlehem had a vision for missions long before I came in 1980.. Ola Hanson went out and planted the church among the Kachin in Burma 100 years ago.. In the mid '40's when the BGC was forging its own missions agency, the members of Bethlehem and pastor Sjolund were in the thick of it.. But the period of missions I know best is the last 16 years.. It would be good to review it so that God's mercy and the force of our convictions will be seen.. They say words are cheap, show us your check book and we will know your values.. So consider the checkbook of Bethlehem for a moment.. In 1981, the missions budget was $62,270 and was 22% of the over-all budget.. In 1996, the missions budget is seven times as large—$439,661—and is 32% of the budget.. To give this a sharper point, keep in mind that during the same period the percentage of the budget devoted to staff compensation has dropped from 52% to 46%.. In other words, comparatively, we are doing more in missions for less outlay at home, and that is good.. But there is another statistic that probably shows even more clearly the transformation of values among us.. In 1981, the average missions gift per week of each Sunday morning attender was $2.. 50.. Today it is $8.. 90.. In other words, the annual missions budget divided by the average weekly Sunday attendance divided by 52 has increased 356% in the last 15 years.. In other words, the reality here is not so much about growth in dollars or people; the reality is about altered values.. New priorities.. Many of us believe that the end of debt in three weeks will usher in another period of remarkable growth in missions at Bethlehem.. This is the main aim of.. Freeing the Future.. What Drives this Vision?.. So the question should be asked.. What is the vision driving this amazing commitment to missions among the people at Bethlehem?.. Tom and I thought that this missions week should be an effort to get as many of you on board with the driving convictions as possible.. Part of that was the reaffirmation last Wednesday of our adoption of the Maninka.. Part of it was the uniting of worship and missions last Friday.. And another part is this morning's message about the convictions that drive the missions engine of this church.. There are at least seven convictions that have driven our commitment in recent years.. The leadership knows them and loves them.. They shape all we do.. If you are a part of Bethlehem, you need to know them too.. May the Lord cause them to capture your heart, and fill you with fresh zeal for the greatest cause in the world.. There are only three kinds of Christians when it comes to world missions: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient.. May God deliver us from disobedience!.. Conviction #1.. : God is passionately committed to his fame.. God's ultimate goal is that his name be known and praised by all the peoples of the earth.. In Romans 9:17, Paul says that God's goal in redeeming Israel "that.. [his] name may be proclaimed in all the earth.. " In Isaiah 66:19, God promised that he would send messengers "to the coastlands afar off.. that have not heard my fame or seen my glory.. ; and they shall.. declare my glory among the nations.. " We believe that the central command of world missions is Isaiah 12:4, "Make known his deeds among the peoples,.. proclaim that his name is exalted.. The apostle Paul said that his ministry as a missionary was "to bring about the obedience of faith.. for the sake of [Christ's] name.. among all the nations" (Romans 1:5).. The apostle John said that missionaries are those who "have set out.. for the sake of the name.. " (3 John 7).. James, the Lord's brother, described missions as God's "visiting the nations to take out of them a people.. for his name.. " (Acts 15:14).. Jesus described missionaries as those who "leave houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands,.. for my name's sake.. " (Matthew 19:29).. Back in the mid-eighties God drove home to many of us that a God-centered theology must be a missionary theology.. If you say that you love the glory of God, the test of your authenticity is whether you love the spread of that glory among all the peoples of the world.. Or another way to say it is that worship is the fuel and the goal of missions.. Missions exists because worship doesn't.. God's passion is to be known and honored and worshipped among all the peoples.. To worship him is to share that passion for his supremacy among the nations.. Conviction #2.. : God's passion to be known and praised by all the peoples of the earth is not selfish, but loving.. God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the ultimately loving act.. And the reason is easy to see.. The one and only Reality in the universe that can fully and eternally satisfy the human heart is the glory of God—the beauty of all that God is for us in Jesus.. Therefore God would not be loving unless he upholds and displays and magnifies that glory for our everlasting enjoyment.. If God were to forsake or dishonor or disregard the infinite worth of his own glory he would be unloving in the same way that a husband is unloving who commits suicide.. Perhaps the best way to see that God's passion for his fame is an expression of his love is to notice that God's mercy is the pinnacle of his glory.. This is what he wants to be honored for above all else.. You can see this in Romans 15:9 where Paul says that the reason Christ came into the world was so "that the nations might.. glorify God for his mercy.. Do you see how conviction #1 and #2 come together in that little phrase: ".. "? God gets the glory, we get the mercy.. God is praised, we are saved.. God gets the honor, we get the joy.. God is glorified for his fullness, we are satisfied with his mercy.. So to sum up convictions #1 and #2: there are two basic problems in the universe: God is profaned and people are perishing.. Conviction #1 says that God will not suffer his name to be dishonored indefinitely, but will act mightily to vindicate his name and glorify himself among the nations.. Conviction #2 says that God has planned a way to do this by saving the perishing through the death of his Son, Jesus, and making them a worshipping people who enjoy his glory.. In the sacrifice of his own son for the sake of the nations, God reveals the pinnacle of his glory—his mercy.. So the salvation of the nations and the glorification of God happen together in missions.. They are not at odds.. It is a loving thing for God to pursue his glory like this.. Conviction #3.. : God's purpose to be praised among all the nations cannot fail.. It is an absolutely certain promise.. It is going to happen.. When Jesus gave the great commission in Matthew 28:19, he gave it a massive  ...   in the most lavish terms of the blessing and the joy of it all.. Start with Jesus: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it" (Mark 8:34-35).. We save our lives by giving them away in the cause of the gospel.. This is what Paul meant when he said, "This slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17).. And: "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).. Samuel Zwemer—after fifty years of missions labor (including the loss of two young children in North Africa)—said, "The sheer joy of it all comes back.. Gladly would I do it all over again.. " And both Hudson Taylor and David Livingston, after lives of extraordinary hardship and loss said, "I never made a sacrifice.. When people who have suffered much speak like this, their God is magnified.. If God can so satisfy their souls that even their sufferings are experienced as steps into deeper joy with him, then he must be far more wonderful than all that the earth has to offer.. Psalm 63:3 must really be true: "The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life.. These are our driving missions convictions at Bethlehem.. If God opens your heart, you will see that there is no better way to live than in the wartime lifestyle that maximizes all you are and all you have for the sake of finishing the great commission.. Because in this way God is magnified; we are satisfied; and the nations are loved.. When it comes to world missions, there are only three kinds of Christians: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient.. Which will you be?.. Appendix More Convictions Behind Our Missions Vision.. Prayer is a wartime walkie talkie not a domestic intercom.. (John 15:16).. John 15:16.. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and.. that.. your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.. James 4:2-4.. You do not have because you do not ask.. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend.. it.. on your pleasures.. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?.. Matthew 6:9-10.. "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.. 10 'Thy kingdom come.. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.. 2 Thessalonians 3:1.. Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as.. it did.. also with you;.. We are called to a wartime lifestyle for the sake of world evangelization because there is a war going on with devastation and urgency far outstripping anything in World War II.. (Luke 14:33).. Mark 10:28-30.. Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You.. " 29 Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, 30 but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.. Philippians 3:7-11.. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from.. the.. Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which.. comes.. from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.. Worship is the fuel and the goal of missions.. (Psalm 22:27).. Goal: the nations are coming to worship the Lord.. Psalm 86:9.. All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify Thy name.. Psalm 22:27.. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before Thee.. Fuel: You must be glad in God to authentically say "Be glad in God" to the nations; hence fuel.. Psalm 67:1-4.. God be gracious to us and bless us,.. And.. cause His face to shine upon us.. 2 That Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations.. 3 Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; Let all the peoples praise Thee.. 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, And guide the nations on the earth.. Suffering to "complete what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ" (namely, a personal presentation of his sufferings, through our sufferings, to those for whom he died) is the way that the Great Commission will be completed.. (Colossians 1:24).. Colossians 1:24.. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.. Philippians 2:29-30.. Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.. The gift to Paul was a gift of the church as a body.. It was a sacrificial offering of love.. What was lacking, and what would have been grateful to Paul and to the church alike, was the church's presentation of this offering in person.. This was impossible, and Paul represents Epaphroditus as supplying this lack by his affectionate and zealous ministry.. (Marvin Vincent,.. I.. C.. , Epistle to the Philippians and to Philemon.. , p.. 78).. While I was working on the missions book in May, I had an opportunity to hear J.. Oswald Sanders speak.. His message touched deeply on suffering.. He is 89 years old and still travels and speaks around the world.. He has written a book a year since he turned 70! I mention that only to exult in the utter dedication of a life poured out for the gospel without thought of coasting in self-indulgence from sixty-five to the grave.. He told the story of an indigenous missionary who walked barefoot from village to village preaching the gospel in India.. His hardships were many.. After a long day of many miles and much discouragement he came to a certain village and tried to speak the gospel but was driven out of town and rejected.. So he went to the edge of the village dejected and lay down under a tree and slept from exhaustion.. When he awoke people were hovering over him, and the whole town was gathered around to hear him speak.. The head man of the village explained that they came to look him over while he was sleeping.. When they saw his blistered feet they concluded that he must be a holy man, and that they had been evil to reject him.. They were sorry and wanted to hear the message that he was willing to suffer so much to bring them.. So the evangelist filled up the afflictions of Jesus with his beautiful blistered feet.. The Relationship Between Diversified Domestic Ministries and Frontier Missions.. Supernatural World Missions: “With Man This Is Impossible”.. (Conference Messages).. The Missionary Challenge of Paul s Life.. I Have Other Sheep That Are Not of This Fold.. Missions.. Suffering.. Persecution Martyrdom.. Retirement..

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  • Title: Resources on Romans - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Romans.. Resources on Romans.. 1.. Next.. Last.. 5.. 6.. Romans 1.. The Greatest Thing in the World: An Overview of Romans 1-7.. September 2, 2001.. Romans 1 7.. Because of Christ there is no condemnation, only deep transformation.. The Mighty and Merciful Message of Romans 1-8.. September 22, 2002.. Romans 1 8.. The Author of the Greatest Letter Ever Written.. First in a Series of Messages on Romans.. April 26, 1998.. Romans 1:1.. God's Good News Concerning His Son.. May 3, 1998.. Romans 1:1 4.. By His Grace, for His Name, Through the Obedience of Faith.. May 10, 1998.. Romans 1:1 5.. The Called of Christ & the Loved of God, Part 1.. May 17, 1998.. Romans 1:6 7.. The Called of Christ & the Loved of God, Part 2.. May 24, 1998.. Thank God for Famous Faith.. November 24, 2002.. Romans 1:7 8.. The Treasure of Faith in the Life of the Church.. May 31, 1998.. Romans 1:8 15.. The great aim of our ministry should be the same as Paul s: to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of God s glory.. The Gospel in the Church for the Obedience of Faith through Spiritual Gifts.. June 7, 1998.. Grace makes you a debtor, not to God, but to others who need grace.. Proud People Don't Say Thanks.. November 20, 1983.. Romans 1:16 23.. The human heart hates the truth that creation teaches because it is too humbling.. Not Ashamed of the Gospel.. June 14, 1998.. Romans 1:16.. The gospel elicits shaming behavior in those who will not believe it and it gives freedom from shame to those who do.. The Gospel Is the Power of God unto Salvation.. June 21, 1998.. To the Jew First, and Also to the Greek.. July 5, 1998.. How Does the Gospel Save Believers? Part 1.. August 9, 1998.. Romans 1:16 17.. How Does the Gospel Save Believers? Part 2.. August 16, 1998.. How Does the Gospel Save Believers? Part 3.. August 23, 1998.. The Wrath of God Against Ungodliness and Unrighteousness.. August 30, 1998.. Romans 1:18.. How is the wrath of God being revealed in this present age?.. The Wrath of God Against Holding Down the Truth.. September 13, 1998.. The reason the mind evades, distorts, and suppresses the truth of God is mainly because of our moral, not mental, deficiency.. The Way the World Thinks: Meeting the Natural Mind in the Mirror and in the Marketplace.. Desiring God 2010 National Conference.. Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God.. October 2, 2010.. Albert Mohler.. Romans 1:18 32.. 2010 National Conference.. Displays of God Remove the Excuse for Failed Worship.. September 27, 1998.. Romans 1:19 21.. The First Dark Exchange: Idolatry.. October 4, 1998.. Romans 1:21 23.. The Other Dark Exchange: Homosexuality, Part 1.. October 11, 1998.. Romans 1:24 28.. God means for the beauty of worship to be dramatized in the right ordering of our sexual lives.. The Other Dark Exchange: Homosexuality, Part 2.. October 18, 1998.. John Piper offers seven points of counsel to those with homosexual desires, and five to their parents.. Final Judgment: Eternal Life vs.. Wrath and Fury.. Romans 1:28 2:11.. Every responsible person, on the basis of their actions and attitudes, will meet the final judgment of God.. The Perils of Disapproving God.. November 8, 1998.. Romans 1:28 32.. Every form of evil ultimately comes from failing to know, approve, and love God above all things.. Doing and Endorsing Evil.. November 15, 1998.. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the perfect and only remedy for what people already know about themselves.. Romans 2.. God's Response to Hypocrisy: Kindness and Judgment.. November 22, 1998.. Romans 2:1 5.. God s justice does not demand that he punish us for our sins immediately.. His kindness leads him to forbear and to be patient with us, to a point.. The Final Divide: Eternal Life or Eternal Wrath, Part 1.. November 29, 1998.. Romans 2:6 10.. The Final Divide: Eternal Life or Eternal Wrath, Part 2.. December 6, 1998.. The Final Divide: Eternal Life or Eternal Wrath, Part 3.. December 13, 1998.. There Is No Partiality With God, Part 1.. December 27, 1998.. Romans 2:11 16.. There Is No Partiality With God, Part 2.. January 31, 1999.. The Effect of Hypocrisy, Part 1.. Dishonoring God.. February 7, 1999.. Romans 2:17 24.. The Effect of Hypocrisy, Part 2.. February 14, 1999.. Who is a True Jew? Part 1.. February 21, 1999.. Romans 2:25 29.. Who is a True Jew? Part 2.. February 28, 1999.. Romans 3.. Let God  ...   in Hope, Against Hope, for the Glory of God.. September 26, 1999.. Battling Unbelief at Bethlehem.. September 11, 1988.. Romans 4:20 21.. Fight against sin by fighting against unbelief in the promises of God.. Why Was Jesus Put to Death and Raised Again?.. October 3, 1999.. Romans 4:22 25.. The Purpose and Perseverance of Faith.. October 10, 1999.. Faith and the Imputation of Righteousness.. October 17, 1999.. Romans 5.. Our Hope: The Glory of God!.. June 22, 1986.. Romans 5:1 5.. If there is any wonder or awe or admiration or fame or praise or applause, it belongs to the glory of God.. For all other glory is like grass compared to God's.. Called to Suffer and Rejoice: For Holiness and Hope.. August 16, 1992.. Romans 5:1 8.. God has a purpose for every obstacle and every frustration and every pain and every affliction that comes into our lives.. The Depth of Christ's Love: Its Undeserving Objects.. April 2, 1995.. Romans 5:1 11.. God loved us while we were enemies.. God sacrificed his Son for us while we were enemies.. Let Us Exult in the Hope of the Glory of God!.. October 24, 1999.. Romans 5:1 2.. Whatever else you do or say or feel, of this you can be certain: God wills that you rejoice in the hope of seeing his glory.. We Exult in Our Tribulations.. November 14, 1999.. In this world you will have trouble, but in Christ it will only increase your joy and hope.. God in Christ: The Price and the Prize of the Gospel.. November 10, 2012.. Help the Children Love the Different People.. January 17, 2010.. Eight ways to help children love those who don t look like them.. The Love of God Has Been Poured Out Within Our Hearts.. November 28, 1999.. Romans 5:3 8.. God Demonstrates His Love Toward Us.. December 5, 1999.. Romans 5:5 8.. Joy Purchased.. February 5, 1989.. Romans 5:6 8.. The death of Jesus Christ is the only way that any of us can escape the righteous wrath of God and find peace with God.. The Love of God: Past and Present.. September 14, 1994.. Romans 5:8.. Spirit-given assurance and enjoyment of the love of God is the secret to growing in hope through tribulation.. Much More Shall We Be Saved By His Life.. December 12, 1999.. Romans 5:9 11.. We Exult in God Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.. December 19, 1999.. The biblical portrait of Jesus must be the essential content of your joy in God.. Twenty Years, Then Romans.. June 11, 2000.. Romans 5:12 21.. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 1.. June 18, 2000.. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 2.. June 25, 2000.. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 3.. July 2, 2000.. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 4.. August 20, 2000.. Adam, Christ, and Justification, Part 5.. August 27, 2000.. The Fatal Disobedience of Adam and the Triumphant Obedience of Christ.. August 26, 2007.. We are sinful by nature because of our father, Adam, but we can claim the righteousness of our Savior, Jesus.. The Triumph of Grace through Righteousness.. September 3, 2000.. Romans 5:20 21.. God s purpose in giving the law was so that, in the end, grace would reign through Christ s righteousness on our behalf.. What Baptism Portrays.. May 25, 1997.. Romans 5:20 6:4.. Romans 6.. Are We to Continue in Sin That Grace Might Increase?.. September 10, 2000.. Romans 6:1 14.. Believers are commanded to become in practice what we are in Christ: dead to sin and alive to God.. United with Christ in Death and Life, Part 1.. September 24, 2000.. United with Christ in Death and Life, Part 2.. October 1, 2000.. Romans 6:1 7.. United with Christ in Death and Life, Part 3.. October 8, 2000.. Christ and Those in Him Will Never Die Again.. April 19, 1992.. Romans 6:1 11.. What if it s true that Christ rose from the dead?.. Justified to Break the Power of Sin.. October 15, 2000.. Romans 6:5 10.. Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body, Part 1.. November 5, 2000.. Romans 6:11 14.. Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body, Part 2.. November 12, 2000.. Free from Sin, Slaves of Righteousness, Part 1.. What is the Meaning of "Under Law" and "Under Grace"?.. November 26, 2000.. Romans 6:14 19.. Free from Sin, Slaves of Righteousness, Part 2.. December 3, 2000.. Slaves to God, Sanctification, Eternal Life.. December 10, 2000.. Romans 6:20 22.. The Free Gift of God is Eternal Life, Part 1.. December 17, 2000.. Romans 6:22 23..

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  • Title: When the Bible Blows Your Mind - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Taste & See Articles.. When the Bible Blows Your Mind.. December 11, 2002.. Tough Texts.. The Bible teaches us to expect mental jolts when we think about God.. It teaches us that our familiar ways of seeing things may be replaced.. For example, it says, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33).. Or again, As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).. One of the reasons (not the only one) that some people reject the biblical teaching of unconditional election is that it seems and feels to them out of sync with other teachings in the Bible - like the compassion of God for people or the moral accountability of people before God.. It seems to many that God can t choose unconditionally to save some and not others and then also feel compassion for those he does not choose and hold them accountable for their sin.. The problem here is that our instinct or intuition for what is right or possible for God does not fit Scripture.. And the danger is that we shape Scripture to fit our feelings.. The Scriptures teach that God chooses who will be saved before we are born or have done anything good or evil (Romans 9:10-12).. It depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16).. The Scriptures also teach that we are responsible for the obedience of faith and will be judged if we are disobedient.. But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury (Romans 2:8).. We are chosen (or not chosen) unconditionally for  ...   even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.. Luke 10:21.. In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.. Second, we see Jesus feeling compassion for those who were sick - irrespective, it seems of their faith.. On the other hand, we know from illustrations and teachings elsewhere in the Bible that God is finally and decisively in control of sickness.. So we have Jesus feeling sorry for people who have sicknesses that God s wisdom has ordained (at least for a time).. Matthew 14:14.. When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.. Exodus 4:11.. Then the LORD said to him, Who has made man s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?.. 1 Samuel 2:6.. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.. Implications: 1) Don t cancel one truth in the Bible because it feels out of sync with another.. 2) Don t draw emotional or behavioral implications from God s sovereignty that contradict faith, compassion, accountability, prayer, evangelism, or hard work.. On the contrary, consider Colossians 3:12 and let your unspeakably happy condition as chosen, holy and loved produce compassion, kindness, humility and meekness.. Does James Contradict Paul?.. Walk Worthy of God?.. What Is the Bad Eye in Matthew 6:23?.. Why God Inspired Hard Texts.. Suppose You Are a Liberal Critic of the Bible.. Evidence for the Faith.. Truth.. The Bible.. All Articles.. Newsletters..

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  • Title: 2002 Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 2002.. 2002 Resources.. 2001.. 2003.. All We Will Get in 2002 Is Mercy.. January 1, 2002.. Planting a Passion for the Supremacy of God in All Things.. A Call to Focused Prayer, Soul Searching, and a Church-Wide Dream.. January 8, 2002.. Are there enough churches in America? The answer is no.. Planting a Passion for God: A Dream for Bethlehem in 2002.. A Call to Focused Prayer, Soul-Searching, and a Church-Wide Dream.. January 13, 2002.. 1 Corinthians 3:1 11.. Jesus Is the End of Ethnocentrism.. January 20, 2002.. Luke 4:16 30.. With Jesus came a radically new way of defining the people of God: all who have faith in the Messiah.. A Call for Coronary Christians.. January 23, 2002.. "Father, Forgive, For We Know What We Are Doing".. January 27, 2002.. Luke 23:32 38.. How to Kill Sin, Part 1.. February 3, 2002.. Romans 8:10 17.. The Sovereignty of God and the Soul Dynamic: Why This Topic?.. Desiring God 2002 Conference for Pastors.. The Sovereignty of God and the 'Soul Dynamic'.. February 4, 2002.. 2002 Conference for Pastors.. Peculiar Doctrines, Public Morals, and the Political Welfare.. Reflections on the Life and Labor of William Wilberforce.. 2002 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.. February 5, 2002.. The Sovereignty of God and the Soul Dynamic, Part 1.. Carl Ellis.. The Sovereignty of God and the Soul Dynamic, Part 2.. The Chosen Race Which Declares His Excellencies.. February 6, 2002.. Oscar Huerta.. Q & A with Conference Speakers.. Is It Conceit or Compassion?.. February 13, 2002.. Christ is the Messiah.. So is it arrogant or loving to proclaim him to Jews?.. How to Kill Sin, Part 2.. February 17, 2002.. The Ripple Effect of the Word.. More Thoughts on Reading and Writing.. February 20, 2002.. Fresh statements of old truth are always needed, because without them people will read error.. Greg Boyd on the "The Eternal Suffering of Agents Who Have Been Annihilated".. March 6, 2002.. Teaching Doctrine to a Six-Year-Old.. March 13, 2002.. How and why to teach kids the complex and essential doctrines of the Bible.. Jesus Declares His Kingship.. March 24, 2002.. Matthew 21:1 17.. The Risen Christ: Satisfied with His Suffering.. March 31, 2002.. Isaiah 53:3 12.. Jesus delight in dying and rising was to enable others to rise from the dead and enjoy his majesty forever.. Home Grown World Christians.. April 1, 2002.. Noel Piper.. Part of fulfilling the Great Commission is preparing the next generation to reach the nations.. Noel Piper offers suggestions for how to raise your kids to love the world for Christ.. Biblical Exegesis.. Discovering the Meaning of Scriptural Texts.. PDF:.. Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting, Part 1.. The Pursuit of Communion with God.. Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting, Part 2a.. April 2, 2002.. Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting, Part 2b.. Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting, Part 3.. April 3, 2002.. How to Kill Sin, Part 3.. April 7, 2002.. How Open Theism Helps Us Conceal Our Hidden Idolatries.. April 10, 2002.. If we deny God s power over evil and suffering, do we deny his wisdom?.. The Spirit-Led Are the Sons of God.. April 14, 2002.. Romans 8:13 17.. The Holy Spirit testifies that we are children of God by creating affections for him within us.. Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?.. April 17, 2002.. Those who break covenant with God forfeit any claim on his promises.. Ten Effects of Believing in the Five Points of Calvinism.. April 20, 2002.. How do the doctrines of grace affect us personally and publicly?.. Children, Heirs, and Fellow Sufferers.. April 21, 2002.. Romans 8:14 18.. Suffering is a great mercy that keeps us from loving this world more than we should.. Subjected to Futility in Hope, Part 1.. April 28, 2002.. Romans 8:18 25.. Subjected to Futility in Hope, Part 2.. May 5, 2002.. What Wonderful and Wild Thing Might God Be Up To?.. May 8, 2002.. How do you lead your church through financial and logistical surprises?.. Jesus Christ: The End and Ground of Tolerance.. Wheaton College Commencement.. May 12, 2002.. A Prayer for Bethlehem One Hundred Years From Now.. To Be Put in the Time Capsule in the New Building.. May 15, 2002.. Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever, we are bold to pray for you who will live and minister decades from now.. The “Celebrity Factor” — Pondering the Implications of Preaching For Church Planting and Satellite Dreaming.. May 24, 2002.. The Spirit Helps Us in Our Weakness, Part 1.. May 26, 2002.. Romans 8:25 27.. What does the Holy Spirit pray for us?.. A Call for Christian Risk.. May 29, 2002.. After removing eternal risk, Christ calls his people to temporal risk.. The Spirit Helps Us in Our Weakness, Part 2.. June 2, 2002.. How does the Holy  ...   God Did Not Spare His Own Son.. August 18, 2002.. God always does what is good for us.. If you believe that he gave his own Son for you, this is what you believe.. The Greatest Event in History.. Two Paradoxes in the Death of Christ.. August 19, 2002.. Christ s death on the cross was emotionally and theologically complex, to the greater glory of God.. It Is God Who Justifies!.. August 25, 2002.. Romans 8:31 37.. God is the one who justifies, so let us fear the accusation of no one and love the good of all.. "Fact! Faith! Feeling!".. Testing a Common Slogan.. August 28, 2002.. Tolerance, Truth-Telling, Violence, and Law.. Principles for How Christians Should Relate to Those of Other Faiths.. How can we commend Christ to others so that they might believe?.. The All-Conquering Love of Christ.. September 1, 2002.. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.. A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry.. “We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry.. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake" (p.. 1).. That Great Steel Cross.. More Reflections on the Calamity of September 11.. September 4, 2002.. It was a gift to the world that God ordained a rugged cross to stand in the ruins of the World Trade Center towers.. The Surpassing Goal: Marriage Lived for the Glory of God.. September 7, 2002.. Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of Christ.. September 8, 2002.. Romans 8:35 39.. How does the promise of Christ's unbreakable love sustain his people when life is hard?.. Lessons from Lisa.. A 9/11 Widow Trusts in the Sovereign Goodness of God.. September 11, 2002.. September 11, 2001 has served to prove at least these ten truths about the sovereign love of God.. Inseparable from God While "Going Without Going".. September 15, 2002.. Romans 8:38 39.. Breaking Nets, Sinking Boats and Saving Men.. September 29, 2002.. Luke 5:1 11.. If Christ Predicted War, May Christians Pray for Peace?.. October 2, 2002.. God ordains that some wars happen.. Ours is to pray that justice, peace, and the proclamation of the gospel prevail.. Bethlehem, Break Forth Like the Dawn.. October 6, 2002.. Isaiah 58:1 12.. The people of Christ should not be known primarily for what we don t do, but for what we do do.. This Is the Will of God for You: That You Abstain from Sexual Immorality.. October 13, 2002.. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 8.. Is it Ever Right to Be Angry at God?.. October 16, 2002.. A Letter to the Sniper.. October 23, 2002.. Christ Jesus is a great hope, even for the worst of sinners.. The Radical Cost of Following Jesus.. October 27, 2002.. Luke 9:56 62.. The Absolute Sovereignty of God: What Is Romans Nine About?.. November 3, 2002.. Romans 9:1 5.. John Piper tells how Romans 9 changed his life and then discusses its overarching theological purpose.. Imparting a Passion: A Challenge to Youth Workers.. November 8, 2002.. My Anguish: My Kinsmen Are Accursed.. November 10, 2002.. Don t think that God s sovereignty nullifies the need to pray for a sinner s salvation.. Rather, see it as the ground for praying with hope.. God Is the Gospel.. November 13, 2002.. Guidelines for Leading Leadership in Major Decisions.. November 14, 2002.. How Great Is the Honor of Israel?.. November 17, 2002.. Recognizing Israel s privileges only underlines the tragedy that so many Jews are accursed and cut off from Christ because of unbelief.. The Transforming Power of Feeling Mercy.. November 20, 2002.. Let the horror you ve been rescued from and the mercy you live in make you humble, thankful, patient, kind, and forgiving.. God's Word Stands: Not All Israel Is Israel, Part 1.. December 1, 2002.. Romans 9:6 12.. Every person who trusts in Christ becomes part of the true Israel of God.. Guilt, Grace, and the Global AIDS Crisis.. December 4, 2002.. The fact that any sinner is healthy is Christ s mercy.. Therefore, the fact that some are sick should bring out Christian mercy.. God's Word Stands: Not All Israel Is Israel, Part 2.. December 8, 2002.. Romans 9:6 13.. God s election of the children of promise is what guarantees that his word never fails.. Pilate's Wife, Part 1.. When the Bible Blows Your Mind.. What should we do when it seems like one Biblical truth cancels out another?.. Unconditional Election and the Invincible Purpose of God.. December 15, 2002.. Pilate's Wife, Part 2.. God's Purpose Stands.. December 18, 2002.. All the elect in Christ prevail: God s purpose stands and cannot fail.. God's Word Stands: Christ Came to Confirm It.. December 22, 2002.. Romans 15:5 13.. Pilate's Wife, Part 3.. Be Devoted to Prayer.. December 29, 2002.. Romans 12:12..

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  • Title: Is God for Us or for Himself? Wheaton College Chapel Wheaton, IL - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Is God for Us or for Himself?.. Wheaton College Chapel.. October 23, 1984.. I would like to try to persuade you that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever.. Or to put it another way: the chief end of God is to enjoy glorifying himself.. The reason this may sound strange is that we tend to be more familiar with our duties than with God s designs.. We know why we exist - to glorify God and enjoy him forever.. But why does God exist? What should he love with all his heart and soul and mind and strength? Whom should he worship? Or will we deny him that highest of pleasures? It matters a lot what God s ultimate allegiance is to!.. If you asked my four sons, What s the most important thing to your dad? and they said, I don t know, I d be really disappointed.. But if they said, I don t care, I d be crushed and angry.. It ought to matter to a son what a father regards as ultimately important.. It ought to matter a lot to us what God is committed to with all his heart and soul and mind and strength.. What is the impulse that drives the Almighty? What does he pursue in all his plans?.. God did not leave us to guess in this affair.. He answers the question at every point in redemptive history from creation to consummation.. Let s survey some of the high points to see what he says.. Why did God create us? Isaiah 43:6-7, Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth (says the Lord), everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.. Why did God choose a people for himself and make Israel his possession? Jeremiah 13:11, I made the whole house of Israel.. cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise and a glory.. Why did God rescue them from bondage in Egypt? Psalm 106:7-8, Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider thy wonderful works.. but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.. Yet he saved them for his name s sake that he might make known his mighty power.. Why did God spare them again and again in the wilderness? Ezekiel 20:14, I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.. Why didn t God cast away his people when they rejected him as king and asked for a king like the nations? 1 Samuel 12:20-22, Fear not, you have done all this evil yet do not turn aside from following the Lord.. For the Lord will not cast away his people for his great name s sake.. Why did God use his sovereign power to bring back his people from exile after punishing four generations of sin? Isaiah (48:9,11) put it like this, For my name s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you.. For my own sake, for my own sake I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.. Ezekiel 36:22-23,32 puts it like this: Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, 0 house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name.. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name.. and the nations will know that I am the Lord.. It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord God.. Let that be known to you.. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, 0 house of Israel.. Why did the Son of God come to earth and to his final decisive hour? John 17:1, Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee.. A beautiful conspiracy to glorify the Godhead in all the work of redemption!.. And why will Jesus come again in the great day of consummation? 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Those who do not obey the gospel will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed.. From beginning to end, the driving impulse of God s heart is to be praised for his glory.. From creation to consummation his ultimate allegiance is to himself.. His unwavering purpose in all he does is to exalt the honor of his name and to be marveled at for his grace and power.. He is infinitely jealous for his reputation.. For my own sake, for my own sake I act, says the Lord.. My glory I will not give to another!.. My experience in preaching and teaching is that American evangelicals receive this truth with some skepticism if they receive it at all.. None of my sons has ever brought home a Sunday school paper with the lesson title: God loves himself more than he loves you.. But it is profoundly true, and so generation after generation of evangelicals grow up picturing themselves at the center of God s universe.. I am going to make the assumption, though, that the vast majority of you  ...   to bring pleasure to his people, are one aim.. They stand or fall together.. I think we will see this if we ask the following question.. In view of God s infinitely admirable beauty, power and wisdom, what would his love to a creature involve? Or to put it another way: what could God give us to enjoy that would show him most loving? There is only one possible answer, isn t there? HIMSELF! If God would give us that which is best and most satisfying, that is, if he would love us perfectly, he must offer us no less than himself for our contemplation and fellowship and joy.. In thy presence is fullness of joy.. In thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.. (Ps.. 16:11).. This was precisely God s intention in sending his son.. Ephesians 2:18 says that Christ came that we might have access in one Spirit to the Father.. And 1 Peter 3:18 says, Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous that he might bring us to God.. God is after us to give us what is best not prestige, wealth or even health in this life, but a full-blown vision of, and fellowship with, himself.. Now we are on the brink of what, for me, was a grand discovery, and is the solution to our problem.. To be supremely loving, God must give us what will be best for us and delight us most; he must give us himself.. But what do we do when we are given or shown something excellent, something we enjoy? We praise it.. We praise new little babies that manage not to be all bent out of shape in birth; O, look at that nice round head; and all that hair; and his hands, aren t they big! We praise a lover s face after a long absence.. Your eyes are like the sky; your hair is like silk; 0, you are beautiful to me.. We praise a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth when we are down by three runs.. We praise the trees in the fall.. But the great discovery I made, with the help of C.. S.. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards, was not only that we praise what we enjoy, but that this praise is the climax of the joy itself.. It is not tacked on later; it is part of the pleasure.. Listen to the way Lewis describes this insight from his book on the Psalms.. But the most obvious fact about praise whether of God or anything strangely escaped me.. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor.. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it.. The world rings with praise lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars.. My whole, more general difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can t help doing, about everything else we value.. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses, but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are, the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.. (Reflections on the Psalms, pp.. 93-95).. There s the key: we praise what we enjoy because the delight is incomplete until it is expressed in praise.. If we were not allowed to speak of what we value and celebrate, what we love and praise, what we admire, our joy would not be full.. Jonathan Edwards said, Joy is a great ingredient in praise.. Praise is the most joyful work in the world.. Therefore, if God is truly for us, if he would give us the best and make our joy full, he must make it his aim to win our praise for himself.. Not because he needs to shore up some weakness in himself or compensate for some deficiency, but because he loves us and seeks the fullness of our joy that can only be found in knowing and praising him, the most beautiful of all Beings.. God is the one Being in the entire universe for whom self-centeredness, or the pursuit of his own glory, is the ultimately loving act.. For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue.. When he does all things for the praise of his glory, he preserves for us and offers to us, the only thing in the entire world, which can satisfy our longings.. God is for us, and therefore has been, is now and always will be, first, for himself.. I urge you not to resent the centrality of God in his own affections, but to experience it as the fountain of your everlasting joy.. An Open Letter to Michael Prowse.. God Is Not Boring.. God Is the Gospel.. How God Makes Known the Riches of His Glory to the Vessels of Mercy.. How to Do Good So That God Gets the Glory.. German.. Creation.. The Love of God.. The Grace of God.. The Wrath of God.. Life of Worship.. Jonathan Edwards.. The Holiness of God.. By Conference..

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