• Created to Praise Article by Andrew Peterson

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    My little sister used to whisper to herself. On family road trips, in the olden days when kids wore no seatbelts, I lounged on the dash of the rear window and listened to my parents’ conversation in the front seat, audible mainly as the soothing susurrus (whisper) of my mother’s soft replies. It often lulled me to sleep, especially when I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. But sometimes I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, my little sister Sharon staring out the window and mouthing the last thing anyone said. “We’ll be … 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

  • Rest and the Gospel Article by Chan Kilgore

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    John Calvin is often quoted as saying, “From birth, our hearts are idol factories.” We hit this planet in pursuit of the created, searching for what can be found only in the Creator. When I ask people how they are doing, they often reply, “busy.” We define ourselves by what we do rather than by what Christ has done. The result is that we are weary and restless. We need more than just a day off. I find myself coming back from a week’s vacation needing a vacation from my vacation. A day (or week) off is not enough … View Resource

  • Sticks and Stones Article by Scott Sauls

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Really? Let’s not kid ourselves. Words are potent. Words start with God, who spoke galaxies into being. “God said … and there was” (Gen. 1:3). God’s words have impact (Isa. 55:11); are living, active, and sharp (Heb. 4:12); illuminate dark places (Ps. 119:105); nourish souls (Matt. 4:4); and defeat death (Luke 11:43). The words of the gospel are “the power of God.” To a lesser but significant degree, our words have power also. Our words transfer ideas. They can heal … View Resource

  • What’s in a Name? Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Hallowed be your name” is what Jesus taught His disciples to say in prayer (Matt. 6:9). It expresses a desire that the Father will be revered and praised and spoken about in a manner that befits His resplendent glory and dignity. After hearing God speak and seeing a bush on fire with no apparent sign of being burned up, Moses asked, “What is your name?” In reply, God first said, “I am who I am” (or “I will be what I will be”), then shortened it to “I am,” then to “the Lord” (I AM translates the Hebrew Yahweh … View Resource

  • Who Are You, O Man? Article by Jeffrey Jue

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Why would God allow this to happen?” is commonly heard when people see devastation in the world or experience a tragedy. I have been a Christian long enough to see some of my friends question and even abandon the faith because they could not believe a good God would allow such horrors to happen. Such questions sometimes turn into anger and even verbal hatred against God. Grief and sadness are natural responses, but it is at those moments when things are hardest that we must be careful in how we speak about God. We must be mindful to honor and … 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 Call to Maturity Article by Robert Carver

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    To what shall I compare this generation?” So spoke a man in His early thirties about the generation in which He lived. It was occasioned by an expression of doubt by another individual about the same age—one of the finest of that generation, a man specially prepared for a unique posture of service to that generation. This incident is recorded in Matthew 11. John the Baptist, imprisoned because of his rebuke of Herod Antipas’ adulterous marriage, had begun to entertain uncertainties as to whether Jesus was the promised Messiah after all. In messianic compassion, Jesus responded to John’s inquiries … View Resource

  • A Heart for Adoption Article by Dan Cruver

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    To be loved by the Father through the Son in the Spirit is to be caught up into an ever-flowing eternal love that progressively transforms, often painfully so, the one who is loved. As those who have been brought graciously to faith in Christ, to be caught up into a love like that is the greatest, most universe-renewing of all gifts. We who were once haters of God, “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2), are now … View Resource

  • Doubt-Killing Promises Article by Justin Taylor

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    Even though Charles Spurgeon lived about two hundred years after John Bunyan, I think Spurgeon regarded Bunyan as a friend. He said the book he valued most, next to the Bible, was The Pilgrim’s Progress. “I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire.” Perhaps one of the reasons Spurgeon resonated with this classic was its realistic portrayal of depression, doubt, and despair. Spurgeon and Bunyan, like their Savior, were men of sorrow, acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). When Bunyan went to prison for … View Resource

  • Listening to God’s Word in the Church Article by Jonathan Leeman

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    If spiritual life comes through the Word of God (Isa. 55:10–11; Rom. 10:17; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:23), why not skip church with all its hassles and just devote yourself to studying the Bible? Think of the time you would save, not to mention the relational trouble. Or, better, why not download the three best podcast preachers every week and listen to them? Chances are that they are better preachers than old Pastor Bob down the street anyway. Can I get an “Amen”? I suspect most Christians would have a vague sense that there is something … View Resource

  • Recovering Lost Disciplines Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    As I write, I am looking out over the vast and cold Atlantic Ocean as I come to the end of a short family getaway at the beach. I have shut off my mobile phone. I have closed all unnecessary programs on my computer. I have turned off the music I had been listening to while I read a few articles online, and, as is my habit before sitting down to write, I prayed and asked the Lord to grant me discernment as I strive to write for his glory and for the edification of his people. The missionary and … View Resource