8 Lore Ferguson Wilbert Tweets for Your Tuesday Morning

A few months ago I shared eight encouraging tweets from one of my favorite people on Twitter, Burk Parsons. Now I want to share eight beautiful tweets from one of my favorite females on Twitter, Lore Ferguson Wilbert.

Lore is a profound writer and thinker, and I'm constantly encouraged, emboldened, and zinged with conviction from her thoughts.

Here are eight of those thoughts for you to ponder today.

8 Burk Parsons Tweets for Your Monday Morning

When I got Twitter, one of the first people I followed was Burk Parsons. "You have to," said my dad. "You'll be edified and blessed. He uses Twitter well."

I can't say I was steered wrong. I feel honored to follow Burk Parsons -- and if you have Twitter, you definitely should too.

Here are a sampling of his tweets to encourage you this Monday morning.

Now go follow him @BurkParsons!

The Root of All Saving Christianity

J.C. Ryle was an Anglican bishop and the author of the stunning work, Holiness

I'm only a few chapters deep into Holiness but am finding myself constantly struck and convicted and moved and blown away by what I'm reading. These paragraphs are from his chapter on sin, conveniently titled, "Sin."

The plain truth is that a right understanding of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity. Without it such doctrines as justification, conversion, sanctification, are "words and names" which convey no meaning to the mind. The first thing, therefore, that God does when He makes anyone a new creature in Christ is to send light into his heart and show him that he is a guilty sinner.

The material creation in Genesis began with "light," and so also does the spiritual creation. God "shines into our hearts" by the work of the Holy Spirit and then spiritual life begins (2 Cor. 4:6). Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies and false doctrines of the present day. If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul's disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies.

I believe that one of the chief wants of the contemporary church has been, and is, clearer, fuller teaching about sin.

Lord, Help Me Distrust Myself Today

The Valley of Vision is the most insightful and easily the most impactful book I have ever read. If you haven't read it, you need to, today if possible.

This morning I was re-reading one of my favorite prayers in it, "Love to Jesus." The end of the prayer is striking:

"[God,] let me see that the truest revelation of thyself is when thou dost eclipse all my personal glory and all the honour, pleasure and good of this world. The Son breaks out in glory when he shows himself as one who outshines all creation, makes men poor in spirit, and helps them to find their good in him. Grant that I may distrust myself, to see my all in thee" (47).

That is my prayer today, that God would be everything to me and myself nothing, that I would be acutely aware of His infinite better-ness than all.

Lord, help me distrust myself to trust in You.

Wise Words from Teddy Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt once wrote:

"I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph."

Dear Dr. King

John Piper wrote this short and powerful letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It's a fitting tribute for this, Martin Luther King Day.

You were right. You prophesied, “If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will . . . be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the 20th century.”

But we have lost more than a sacrificial spirit. One of your prophetic heirs, Carl Ellis, has made clear that many black and white churches have become “irrelevant social clubs” because they have lost the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated gospel. God has been sold for good agendas.

There are times I wished you had made the biblical gospel clearer. But I am sure you would agree that the power you wielded was rooted in God.

Today, as I look at the gospel-weak white and black churches, I would say that both need a transcendent reference point in the sovereignty, supremacy, and centrality of God, expressed supremely in the gospel of Jesus Christ. God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated churches where the gospel is cherished — these are the birthplace of the kind of racial harmony that give long-term glory to God and long-term gospel-good to the world.

Again you were right about the folly of passive waiting. Biblical waiting is not passive. It does not compromise. 

Nothing that needs changing changes without effort.

J.I. Packer on Losing His Sight But Seeing Christ

In case you haven't heard, famed author and theologian J.I. Packer was struck with macular degeneration over Christmas, meaning he can no longer read or write.

Ivan Mesa recently interviewed the 89-year-old about suffering, heaven, the church, and life lessons. It is worth a thoughtful read.

“God knows what he’s doing,” Packer recently told me in a phone interview. Rather than being paralyzed by fear or self-pity, Packer is confident that “this comes as a clear indication from headquarters. And I take it from him.”

Whether his response stems more from the British stiff upper lip or decades’ worth of sanctification, Packer is living out a truth he has long believed and proclaimed: God is sovereign and good in all things.

“God knows what he’s up to,” says the author of Knowing God and Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. “And I’ve had enough experiences of his goodness in all sorts of ways not to have any doubt about the present circumstances.” He adds, “Some good, something for his glory, is going to come out of it.”

The rest of my conversation with Packer is transcribed below. May it serve as an encouragement even as we pray for this dear brother who has faithfully taught and lived for many decades of gospel ministry.

A Prayer of Hope to Ring in the New Year

From The Valley of Vision, "New Year":

"O Lord,
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year:
With Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven:
With my loins girt,
My lamp burning,
My ear open to Thy calls,
My heart full of love,
My soul free.

Give me:
Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.

Thy fear be my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed:
In Thy presence,
In Thy service,
To Thy glory.

Give me a grace that:
Aids every hour.

That I may not be one moment apart from Thee, but may rely on Thy Spirit:
To supply every thought,
Speak in every word,
Direct every step,
Prosper every work,
Build up every mote of faith.

And give me a desire:
To show forth Thy praise;
Testify Thy love,
And advance Thy kingdom.


Celebrate Love at Advent

In the December 11 devotional in John Piper's advent book, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, he shares a meditation on John 3:16. I was blessed by it and I think you will be too.


In John 3:16, Jesus teaches us that the God who exists loves. Let that sink in. The God who absolutely is. Loves. He loves. Of all the things you might say about God, be sure to say this: he loves. 

The same writer of John 3:16 says in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” Which I take to mean at least this: giving what’s good and serving the benefit of others is closer to the essence of God than getting and being served. God is without needs. God inclines to meet needs. God is a giver. God is love. 

So Jesus tells us more specifically what he means by love in John 3:16. “God so loved . . .” The “so” here doesn’t mean an amount of love, but a way of loving. He doesn’t mean, God December 11 40 loved so much, but God loved this way. “God so loved” means “God thus loved.” 

How? What is the way God loved? He loved such “that he gave his only Son.” And we know that this giving was a giving up to rejection and death. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11). Instead they killed him. And Jesus said of all this, “I glorified you [Father] on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). So when the Father gave his only begotten Son, he gave him to die. 

That’s the kind of love the Father has. It is a giving love. It gives his most precious treasure—his Son. 

Meditate on that this Advent. It was a very costly love. A very powerful love. A very rugged, painful love. The meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this love. “God so loved . . .” And wonder of wonders, God gives this costly love to an undeserving world of sinners, like us.

(Pp. 39-40, copyright © Crossway 2014.)