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Where Do You Find Comfort?

”To the degree that you have based your life on something other than the Lord, to that degree God’s love and the hope of the gospel will not comfort you.” – Paul Tripp

April 07 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on Where Do You Find Comfort?

“Whiter Than Snow” Book Review

502309_1_ftc_dp I was introduced to the ministry of Paul Tripp when I was in seminary.  At the time I liked what he had to say, but to be honest I was either too interested in catching up on the latest happenings at ETS or too busy trying to memorize Hebrew vocabulary to really appreciate all of what he had to offer.  Having been in full-time ministry for over 8 years now I have come to appreciate Paul Tripp far more than I did in seminary.  What I love about Paul Tripp is that he writes and speaks on a level that every person can understand and about topics that every person is familiar with.  In other words, Paul Tripp is very real and writes about very real things.  Yet he does so in such a way that the reader cannot help but see life as it is, but more importantly life as God intended it to be.  Paul Tripp frequently opens my eyes to help me see God’s perspective on my “real life.”

Whiter Than Snow is an excellent example of Tripp’s ability to take the themes of Scripture (specifically Psalm 51) and to illuminate everyday life with them.  In describing the purpose of the book Tripp writes,

Think about it.  This is exactly how you live your life as a Christian.  God hasn’t given you in the Bible the exact notes to play in every situation of your life.  No, in the Bible, he gives you a divinely inspired musical structure…and invites you to improvise harmoniously with him.  In this way, the life of a believer is more like jazz than it is like playing off sheet music.  So, what you have in your hands is devotional jazz, designed to help you improvise more harmoniously with the Great Composer.

Throughout the 52 short devotions in Whiter Than Snow Tripp plays this “devotional jazz” beautifully. 

Whiter Than Snow is a series of 52 devotions (2 pages at the most) on Psalm 51.  The book actually began as a series of blog posts that eventually turned into this devotional.  At 150 pages Whiter Than Snow could easily be read in one sitting, but the purpose of the book makes it much better suited for a 52 day or 52 week devotional.

If you’re looking for a new devotional or if you would simply like more exposure to Paul Tripp, this would be great place to start.  It, like all of his other books, was tremendously helpful to me.

December 30 2009 | Blog | Comments Off on “Whiter Than Snow” Book Review

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Book Review

Some books are so bad that they require 18-20 written pages to correct all of their errors. On the other hand, some books are so good that it would simply be impossible to say enough good about them without essentially reprinting them in your review. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp is an example of the latter.
I began reading Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands in January for the second time, along with the rest of the Youth Staff here at the church. I was truly stunned by the immediate impact I began to notice it having on my own life as well as the lives of the men and women who were reading it with me. All of a sudden we were much more aware of our sin and our need for repentance, as well as the preciousness of Christ and His death for us. Much of this is summed up in Tripp’s words on page 16.
The good news of the kingdom is not freedom from hardship, suffering, and loss. It is the news of a Redeemer who has come to rescue me from myself. His rescue produces change that fundamentally alters my response to these inescapable realities. The Redeemer turns rebels into disciples, fools into humble listeners. He makes cripples walk again. In him we can face life and respond with faith, love, and hope. And as he changes us, he allows us to be part of what he is doing in the lives of others. As you respond to the Redeemer’s work in your life, you can learn to be an instrument in his hands.
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands is broken down into four basic sections which represent the four phases of Biblical Personal Ministry that Tripp expounds upon, 1) Love People, 2) Know Them, 3) Speak Truth into Their Lives, 4) Help them do what God has called them to do. On page 274 he writes, “It is basically just a call to biblical friendship! It is almost embarassingly simple.” This embarassingly simple form of personal ministry has revolutionized the lives of many of my Youth Staff and it has reinvigorated me with a love for Biblical Counseling. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

May 21 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

On the Temptations of Ministry

The following quote is taken from Paul Tripp’sInstruments in the Redeemer’s Hands.” It’s especially for anyone involved in ministry. I’ll warn you ahead of time that it is very convicting.

If we do not deal with the common temptations of ministry (self-righteousness, unbiblical judgment and condemnation, bitterness and anger, impatience, a lack of gentleness) we will subvert the confession process. Have you ever noticed that the way we sin against people in ministry has a pseudo-confessional quality to it? Harboring bitterness against people is actually confessing their sin to God, dissatisfied that he hasn’t done something and placing myself in his position as judge. Gossip is confessing their sin to someone else. Each of these can exist in subtle form in our hearts, subverting the ministry God wants to do through us. We aren’t always heartened by the fact that God will convict people, lead them to repentance, forgive them, and draw them into renewed communion with him. There are times when we are like Jonah, who became angry after the repentance of Nineveh.

April 07 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on On the Temptations of Ministry

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