• Why You Probably Don’t Need a Quiet Time Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2017

    You’ve always believed you should have what evangelicals commonly call a “quiet time.” Sometimes called “daily devotions,” a quiet time typically consists of Bible reading and prayer. Beyond these, the event can be highly individualized in terms of timing, duration, location, and content. Many add meditation on Scripture to their reading of it. Others will include some form of journaling. Some will append a brief devotional reading from another book. Generally, the goal is to feed the soul and commune with God. Lately, however, your devotional habits have languished. In light of the struggle, privately you’ve been doing … View Resource

  • Pray for One Another Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    Father, please bless them, I pray.” Ever prayed like this for someone? I have. And it always seems dissatisfying and insufficient. “Is that the best I can pray for them?” I sometimes wonder. “Shouldn’t I be more specific?” When I pray such a generic prayer, I often wince at the similarity it has to the champion of all nonspecific prayers: “And please bless all the missionaries everywhere.” Honestly, without some teaching on the matter, I doubt that any follower of Jesus prays well for other Christians. But I do think intercession for others is something any Christian would want … View Resource

  • Public Disciplines Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    As important as the personal spiritual disciplines are to godliness, the interpersonal ones are just as important. In other words, the Bible teaches gospel believers to engage in some spiritual habits that are private and some that are corporate; some we’re to practice as individuals and some we’re to participate in with others. So, for example, while we should worship God privately, we’re also to worship God publicly. Similarly, we should pray alone, but we should also pray with the church. A few disciplines are practiced in a private way. But many disciplines, such as fellowship and participating in the … View Resource

  • The Discipline of Learning Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    The Christian life begins with learning — learning the gospel. No one is made right with a God about whom He knows nothing. No one is made right with God unless he learns about Him and His message to the world, a message of good news called the gospel. To know God, people must learn that there is a God (Heb. 11:6), that they have broken His law, and that they need to be reconciled to Him. They must learn that God’s Son, Jesus, came to accomplish that reconciliation and that He did so by means of His sinless … View Resource

  • The Gospel & Journaling Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Many of the godliest, most influential Christians in the history of the church have made it a practice to keep a spiritual journal. Also known in older writings as a “diary,” a journal is a document where people record information that relates to their spiritual lives and reflect on it. The content may range from meditations on Scripture to musings on an event in life and how it relates to Scripture. So, on a given day, one might write his or her thoughts regarding Romans 8:28. Alternatively, he or she might describe something that occurred and ask, “Why … View Resource

  • The Gospel and Solitude Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    When my grandparents married in 1919 and began farming, solitude was a way of life. my grandfather spent most of his days alone in the fields, and my grandmother spent her time alone (until the children came along) in the farmhouse. There were no planes flying overhead and no cars or tractors rambling nearby. No radio, television, or telephone was heard, nor even the slightest electrical hum. The only sounds my grandparents heard all day were the sounds of God’s creation — the wind, the birds, the animals — or the ones they themselves made while doing their work. It … View Resource

  • The Discipline of Fasting Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    How often do you think fasting is mentioned in the Bible? By my count, there are so me seventy-seven biblical references to fasting. Do es that surprise you? Despite so many references, fasting is not a frequent subject in pulpits, publications, and Christian conversation. In part, this may be due to the fact that, while fasting may be done cooperatively with fellow believers (as in Acts 13:2), typically it is private in nature and shouldn’t be evident to others (Matt. 6:16–18). So it’s possible that Christians around us fast more than we realize or hear mentioned. But could … View Resource

  • The Gospel and Stewardship Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Stewardship is the care and management of that which belongs to another. while we often speak of things as “ours,” the reality is that all that we have and all we are belongs to another — God. As the Apostle Paul put it, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7). So it is from God that WE HAVE received our lives and everything in them for which we are responsible. Temporarily — that is, until God requires them from us — we are stewards of these gifts. Though too often associated merely … View Resource

  • The Discipline of Serving Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2011

    Thus far this year in Tabletalk, I have focused on the gospel and the personal spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. the discipline of serving comes next, and I know Most other disciplines sound much more interesting. Meditation on Scripture appeals to our desire for spiritual depth. Fasting can strike us as a challenge to a rugged, self-denying discipleship. But serving? It sounds so mundane, even demeaning. Enter Jesus and the gospel. Jesus declared, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). God … View Resource

  • Evangelism and the Gospel Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    It does little good to encourage people to discipline themselves to evangelize if they do not know the gospel. Try this experiment in your church, class, or small group to reveal one’s level of preparedness to share the gospel. Distribute paper and then ask people how many times they think they’ve heard the gospel. Some, if they’ve professed faith in Christ for many years, may answer that they’ve heard it hundreds or even thousands of times. “Good,” you say. “Now, please write the gospel on that piece of paper.” Then watch people freeze and stare at you as … View Resource

  • The Gospel and Worship Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    There may be nothing in the realm of religion by which people vainly attempt to establish their acceptability to God more than by acts of public or private worship. As a result, worship can degrade into one of the most legalistic activities a person can pursue. In the minds of many, you are right with God if you go to church. They are convinced that anyone who worships God is accepted by Him. Though perhaps they do not expressly state it, they believe that because they discipline themselves to regularly attend an event where the gospel is proclaimed, they have … View Resource

  • The Gospel and Prayer Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Because I teach and write about spirituality, occasionally I’m asked to comment on scientific studies about the efficacy of prayer. The research always seems to include the assumption that one person’s prayers are essentially as acceptable as another’s. One of the flaws with such studies is that they do not associate prayer with the gospel. No one can begin to understand prayer until he grasps what the gospel teaches us about prayer. The Bible, rather than assuring everyone that God hears their prayers, slams heaven’s door against all who think God will hear them despite their sins: “But your iniquities … View Resource

  • Seeing the Gospel in the Word of God Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Surely no one reading this article needs to be convinced of the importance of feeding upon the Word of God. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). It is through the regular, personal intake of the Bible that we come to know God better, understand His will for our lives, experience God’s transforming presence, and much more. But have you considered the significance of daily saturation in Scripture for developing a more gospel-centered, Christ-focused life? Here’s what I mean: in your Bible reading … View Resource

  • Truly Spiritual Disciplines Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    As you’ve surely noticed, everyone is “spiritual” today. I saw a USA Today survey that found even a majority of atheists consider themselves “spiritual” people. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard anyone say, “You know, I’m just not a spiritual person.” Perhaps for many, spirituality simply means spending time occasionally in personal reflection. For others, maybe it means consciously trying to live by certain principles or attempting to be thoughtful on important issues such as the environment or homelessness. However, the common perception of spirituality is not the biblical one. I’m writing from the perspective that spirituality … View Resource

  • The Sinkhole Syndrome Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2010

    You know the story. A man has been a believer in Christ for decades. To all outward appearances he’s a man of Christian faithfulness and integrity. He has maintained a reputation as a fine example of public and private faithfulness to the things of God for decades. Then, without warning, it all collapses into a sinkhole of sin. Everyone wonders how it could have happened so quickly. In most cases, it soon becomes known that—like most sinkholes—the problem didn’t develop overnight. View Resource