• Avoiding Burnout Article by Archie Parrish

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    Every true believer has sufficient grace to finish well. If this is true, and I believe it is, why do so many believers burn out? What Is Burnout? The term burnout was coined by rocket scientists to describe shutting down a jet or rocket engine by exhausting or shutting off its fuel. Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberg, in his 1974 book Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement, was the first psychologist to use this term. He defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired … View Resource

  • Not Hearers Only Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22–24). Obviously, a pastor’s heart desire for the flock … View Resource

  • The Assurance of Discipline Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    The older I get, the more I wish my father had disciplined me more than he did, and the more I grow in Christ, the more I pray for my heavenly Father’s loving discipline. When we’re immature we see discipline as a negative thing, but as we grow we begin to see it as one of the most enduring blessings of life. Discipline assures us that we’re loved and cared for. It shows us to whom we belong. It demonstrates we are worth another’s time and energy. It makes us confront, confess, and repent of our … View Resource

  • Bless Those Who Admonish You Article by Alexander Strauch

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Ps. 141:5). If there is a religion that unapologetically emphasizes human fallenness, sin, moral corruption, self-deceit, greed, pride, and perverse selfishness, it is safe to say that it is the religion of the Bible. Because of our foundational beliefs in the reality of sin, Satan, and human depravity, we should understand well why people in positions of authority are easily corrupted. In fact, the more thoroughly we understand the biblical doctrine of sin, the stronger … View Resource

  • Flattery and Foolish Talk Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    We are witnessing the deconstruction of a civilization. Across our land, the major institutions that are foundational to any nation are in a downward spiral, whether we speak of education, government, business, or the family. Isaiah and Jeremiah were observers of a similar destruction in their nation and wrote about it. One of the characteristics of that fall was the decline in the civility of everyday language. Isaiah said that the child was “insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isa. 3:5). Their conversations did not demonstrate a godly respect for the position and authority of … View Resource

  • The Blessing of Persecution Article by Cal Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33; NIV). “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11; NIV) In 1997, while in Hong Kong to write about the British handover of that city to the mainland government, I visited the pastor of one of the largest house churches in China … View Resource

  • The Church and Psalm 81 Article by W. Robert Godfrey

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    What does the church most need today? In answering this important but rather general question, Psalm 81 is uniquely important and helpful. This psalm obviously contains beautiful promises and clear directions to help the people of God. But careful study of this psalm will deepen our appreciation of it, increase its value for us, and show us how distinctive it is for helping the church. As we study psalms, we soon learn that the central verse of a psalm is often significant as a key to its interpretation. The central line of Psalm 81 is the heart of that psalm … View Resource

  • Bind These Words Article by Miles Van Pelt

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    The final words of the Shema contain Moses’ command to the Israelites to bind the words of God as signs on the hands and between the eyes (Deut. 6:8). He also commands them to write these words on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates (v. 9). In previous verses (vv. 6, 8), Moses calls for God’s words to be “on the heart” of each Israelite, and that they be considered and discussed daily as a part of ordinary family life. Given this context, his commands to bind these words to our bodies and to write … View Resource

  • On Your Heart Article by Curt Heffelfinger

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    An ad campaign for a credit card pounds away at consumers with the relentless tagline, “What’s in your wallet?” A far more important question arises for those embracing the Shema with its Great Commandment of Deuteronomy 6:5. The next verse prescribes the starting place for an all-consuming love for God: “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” A lot rides on how we answer the question, “What’s on your heart?” A heart in love with God will be saturated with Scripture. What does on-your- heart Scripture saturation look like? Deuteronomy 11:18 … View Resource

  • A Charitable Reaction Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    Has anyone ever said something unkind to you or about you? I think we all have had that experience. Becoming victims of slander or malicious gossip can be difficult to bear. However, God calls us to exhibit a very specific kind of response in such circumstances. Years ago, I received a letter from a friend who is a pastor at a church in California. In it, the pastor included a copy of an article that had appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Although the article included a photo of him standing in his church and holding his Bible, it was … View Resource

  • Listening to God’s Word Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    Lying somewhere in the home of each person reading this article is a Bible. Maybe more than one. The fact that nearly every Christian in the West has his own Bible is a rather recent privilege. For roughly the first fifteen hundred years of church history, Bibles were fairly scarce and protected. The printing press was not invented until the mid-1400s, and the ability for each Christian family to have its own Bible came much later. Our freedom to have them as we do was one of the great achievements of the Reformation. Thus, today, each Christian home probably has … View Resource

  • Holy People Are Happy People Article by John Starke

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    So much could be said of the consequences of sin and impurity for the Christian. And we should speak of them — the Bible certainly does. David, in Psalm 32, described the misery of unrepentant sin as his bones wasting away (v. 3). His energy was dried up as he felt God’s displeasure. But the warnings of misery for the backsliding believer should also be coupled with the joys of holiness. There is real joy when we turn from evil and delight in the Lord and His ways. The Bible describes this delight in experiential terms — an existential reality … View Resource

  • In Defense of Words Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    What is a pastor? I was asked this question not too long ago by a teenage girl who apparently didn’t know the meaning of the word pastor and was curious to learn. I must admit that I was somewhat shocked and quite saddened that she didn’t know what a pastor is, but I quickly sought to offer her an explanation of the word and how I serve as a pastor of God’s people by preaching, teaching, praying, evangelizing, discipling, counseling, and so on. And just as these words were coming out of my mouth, I realized that if she didn’t … View Resource

  • Keep the Presence of God Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    On vacation, I kept a copy of Jonathan Edwards’ sermons on my bedside table as a way of going to sleep with a God-centered mind. One of those sermons was called “Keeping the Presence of God.” It was preached on a colony-wide fast day in April 1742. The second wave of the First Great Awakening had crested in the vicinity, and Edwards was seeing both the good and bad fallout of revival. He saw spiritual dangers lurking everywhere. In the next year, as he preached his famous series on the religious affections, he would become the most careful analyst and … View Resource

  • Sanctified by the Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The story is told of Augustine, the fourthcentury theologian and Bishop of Hippo in north Africa, who, after he confessed faith in Jesus Christ, ran into a former mistress on the street. Immediately upon recognizing her, Augustine quickly reversed and began swiftly moving in the opposite direction. The woman, surprised by seeing Augustine and equally surprised at his reversal of his route, cried out, “Augustine, it is I.” Augustine, continuing to move away from her, replied, “Yes, but it is not I.” This anecdote reminds us that if we are in Christ, we are new creations. The former … View Resource