• Finding the Sheep That Refuses to Be Found Article by Tim Witmer

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    Sheep are interesting creatures. They are weak, defenseless, and not very smart. They wander away quite easily if not attended to, and their shepherds need to be ready to respond. It’s no accident that God’s people are called sheep. And, as the hymn writer said, we are “prone to wander.” The Scriptures provide clear direction as to how wandering sheep are to be sought out. Matthew 18 is the classic text where we see the Good Shepherd’s heart for His stray sheep. In verses 12—14, Jesus tells us that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep, … View Resource

  • A Life of Faith and Forgiveness Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    If you travel to Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering how Martin Luther managed to nail his 95 theses to the solid-bronze door of the 500-year-old castle church. It wouldn’t take you long, however, to realize that the bronze door is a relatively new addition. During the Seven Year’s War (1756–1763), the original, wooden door was lost in the great fire that consumed much of the church building in 1760. As a result, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia had the door replaced with the present bronze door, upon which … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Son Article by David Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Sadly, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Happily, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Come with me inside the head and heart of this young man and hear his thoughts and words at various stages of his recklessness and repentance. I’m Fed Up (v. 12) Dad’s a good guy, a wise guy, and, thankfully, a forgiving guy. He’s gracious and generous to everyone in our family, especially to me, and even to his servants. I should have no complaints, and I don’t, apart from the fact that, well, life here is so … View Resource

  • The Story of Two Older Brothers Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Self-righteousness cannot exist without producing an attitude of moral superiority, a lack of mercy, and a joyless servitude. The elder brother of the prodigal in Jesus’ parable is a living picture of these characteristics that always suckle at the breast of self-righteousness. Every sermon on the “prodigal son” that I heard as a youth ended with the party the gracious father threw in celebration of the return of his repentant son. As a covenant child, I was led by such sermons to wonder at the inexplicable grace to this debauched wastrel. However, Jesus continued the story past the party. Enter … View Resource

  • Hope For the Broken Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    Every home is dysfunctional because everyone is sinful. There is no perfect family this side of heaven, and if we were perfect parents, neither we nor our children would need a Savior. When we consider the state of the family at the beginning of the twenty-first century, our tendency is to reflect nostalgically on imagined idyllic days of generations past when families weren’t perfect but pretty close to it, or so we like to think. As fallen people, born into fallen families, and living in a fallen world, the simple truth is that there has never been a time when … View Resource

  • What Made David Great? Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Everyone who knows the Bible knows that King David was a great man. And yet everyone familiar with the Bible also recognizes that David did a lot of not-so-great things. Of course, there was the sin with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, and the subsequent cover-up. That was not exactly delighting in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2). But there was also the ill-advised census motivated by David’s pride, not to mention a series of lessons in how not to manage your household well. For being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), David managed to … View Resource

  • Unregrettable, Hard Words Article by Burk Parsons

    2 Corinthians 7:8–9 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” In reflecting on his previous letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is rightly mindful to draw attention to the grief that his letter caused among his recipients, not to mention the grief he himself experienced. View Resource

  • Restoration and Reformation Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 4:17). What was the first word spoken by John the Baptist and by Jesus as they came preaching? Each of them returned from his sojourn in the wilderness proclaiming the same thing (Matt. 3:1–2; 4:17). The word repent conjures up a picture in our minds of a wildeyed man with unkempt hair carrying a sign: “Repent, the end is near.” That is exactly the image Satan wants us to have. Many evangelicals avoid the subject of repentance because of that connotation. We … View Resource

  • Daily Confession, Enduring Reform Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    I have a friend who is a Roman Catholic. Not too long ago he went to “confession,” after which he told me, with tears welling up in his eyes, he felt “clean like a new born baby.” Confession is an integral component of the Catholic sacrament of penance. After one confesses his sins to his priest, the priest absolves his sins and he is assigned particular righteous acts of penance and prayers in accordance with the nature of his sins. View Resource

  • To Whom Be the Glory Article by Robert Barnes

    I’m a confessional Calvinist, but I have the nagging sense that God slipped up when he allowed me to pastor a church. A number of questions go through my mind as I consider God’s decision to allow me to pastor at Dayspring Church (PCA). Is the church in such dire straits that I can actually be a help to her? Are things that bad? Or am I so ineffectual in my administration, my leadership, my influence, that I have not the will or ability to harm a church? Or perhaps, in the best of worlds, the postmillennial folks are right … View Resource

  • Complacent Repentance Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    I love to hear stories about our faithful forefathers in ages past, and while it may be mere legend, I have heard that the great nineteenth-century British pastor Charles Spurgeon posted a sign on the door of his study. Each time he passed through the door of his study he could not avoid seeing the sign, which read: “Perhaps today.” It was his way of reminding himself that Jesus could return any day. So Spurgeon lived, prayed, and preached — eagerly and expectantly. Whether or not Spurgeon had a favorite passage of Scripture I do not know, and although I haven’t … View Resource

  • It’s Me, O Lord Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008 | Matthew 22

    The day after Jesus cleansed the temple, He was confronted by the leaders who questioned His authority to drive out the money changers and merchants. In response to their questioning His authority, Jesus asked them about the baptism of John, whether it was from heaven or from men. In asking this counter-question, Jesus was not evading their question. Rather, He was driving them into a theological corner. If they answered from heaven, He would say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if they answered, “from men,” they would face the hostility of the crowd who believed John was a prophet. … View Resource

  • The Reluctant Prophet Article by Steve Kreloff

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    Anyone who has ever attended a Sunday school class knows that Jonah was the man who was eaten alive by a fish and then vomited out three days later. But that’s about the extent of most people’s understanding of this Old Testament prophet and the book that bears his name. And that’s too bad, because Jonah is a Bible character worth knowing, and the book he wrote is not only rich in theological content, but is extremely relevant. Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who lived about 750 b.c. However, unlike other Hebrew prophets, Jonah was called to minister to Gentiles … View Resource

  • What About Repentance? Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    After four hundred years of prophetic silence, John the Baptist appeared on the scene of redemptive history as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He came in fulfillment of prophecy and with the spirit of Elijah to be a voice “crying in the wilderness” calling people to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt. 3:3; 11:14; 17:11–12).  John preached a very simple and clear message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (3:2). That message was no more popular in his day than it is in ours, yet our need of it is as urgent now as it was then.  … View Resource

  • Remembering God’s Grace Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    For many of us, at the beginning of our Christian journeys, we thought of and spoke often about the radical forgiveness of a God who has been greatly sinned against. I remember myself going on and on about God’s longsuffering and patience, and how grateful I was for it. I also recall having conversations with friends who did not convert out of a debauched past, who had never known a time they didn’t consider themselves Christian.  Some were a bit dispirited about not being able to share in such supposedly illustrious conversion experiences. I’d always say to be grateful for that. … View Resource