Monthly Archives: December 2014

Advent Devotions by John Piper

As you find patches of time in the busy-ness of this season, for reflection, may God speak afresh new insights from the Christmas story.

One resource that might help is this set of 25 devotions by John Piper entitled The Dawning Of Indestructible Joy.

You can purchase a copy, for example for your Kindle, but John Piper makes all his resources available free as well. A free pdf version of this book can be found at desiringgod.org

There may be insights here that spark a thought for you as you wonder how to preach on Christmas without simply repeating what has been said so many times. On the other hand, maybe there is no harm in repeating such good news.

The devotions are:

Introduction: Praying for Fullness This Christmas (John 1:14–16)
December 1: The Search-and-Save Mission (Luke 19:10)
December 2: Prepare Your Heart for Christ (John 5:44)
December 3: Draw Near to the Savior (Heb. 13:20–21)
December 4: What Advent Is All About (Mark 10:45)
December 5: Why Christmas Happened (1 John 3:5, 8)
December 6: God’s Passion for God at Christmas (John 12:27–28)
December 7: He Comes to Bless Us (Acts 3:22–26)
December 8: God Can Be Trusted (Acts 3:22–26)
December 9: Why the Son of Man? (John 1:51)
December 10: What Christmas Came to Destroy (1 John 3:8)
December 11: The Celebration of God’s Love (John 3:16)
December 12: The Glory of the Word Made Flesh (John 1:1)
December 13: Christmas Cut History in Half (Acts 3:24)
December 14: The Mercy He Promises (Rom. 15:8–9)
December 15: Our Truest Treasure (Matt. 2:10)
December 16: Freed to Be Part of God’s Family (Mark 10:45)
December 17: He Came to Serve (Mark 10:44)
December 18: Graciously and Tenderly Frustrating (Rom. 3:25–26)
December 19: The Gift You Cannot Buy (Acts 17:24–25)
December 20: Receive His Reconciliation (Rom. 5:11)
December 21: Get Your Eyes Ready for Christmas (Matt. 16:15–17)
December 22: Something Worth Singing About (Heb. 8:4–10)
December 23: Our Deepest Need at Christmas (Mic. 5:4–5)
December 24: Enjoy All the Promises of God (Mic. 5:2–4)
December 25: Grace: The Dominant Note of Christmas (John 6:51)
Conclusion: A Savior Is Born! God Gets the Glory, You Get the Peace (Luke 2:11–14)

 

Today’s Help – The Amazing Disappearing And Reappearing Cross

This article by Bill Fleming made me stop in my tracks when I first read it. How easy it is for our preaching to fall into the traps he mentions when we are not preaching the cross. It is very easy to simply exhort people to do better or to give them principles for improving their lives, with no need for Jesus and His cross.

We can exhort unconverted people to live Christian lives but not lead them to the cross so that it becomes possible.

At the end of the article, Fleming says, “The cross is the one, true remedy we have to offer a broken world. Let us be sure to display it proudly.”

The Amazing Disappearing and Reappearing Cross by Bill Fleming

Today’s Help- Majesty, Mercy, Mission

In the following talk by David Platt on “Every Disciple Making Disciples; Every Church Multiplying Churches” he refers to the sequence: majesty, mercy and mission.

Referring to the calling of the Peter in Luke 5, he points out that Peter experienced the majesty of God and became aware of his own sinfulness. He then experienced the mercy of God. However, an immediate consequence is always that disciples are then called to the mission of God.

Maybe that is a framework you can use for a sermon or in helping people to understand the gospel.

The video is worth watching.

Peter Cheyne

Today’s Help – Children’s Ministry

There is heaps of material around on children’s ministry. Here is one set of four articles from Matthias Media by Gordon Cheng.

Children’s Ministry

  1. It Takes A Body
  2. Overcoming Obstacles
  3. Plan For Disciples
  4. Burning Brightly And Longer

If you have comments or further advice for those involved in children’s ministry, add them below.

Peter Cheyne