Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tying The Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts a Lifetime - by Martha Peace & John Crotts

"The main command for husbands in the primary passage about marriage roles is not to lead your wife - that's assumed. The main command is to love your wife." (pg. 45)

"Whether or not you have been well-taught on your role, whether or not your wife is a spiritually-minded woman, whether or not you feel adequate to do the job, you are ultimately going to be called to account by the Lord for your life as well as how you led your wife." (pg. 58)

"Probably the best summary describing a wife who sets a godly, joyful tone in her home is that she has a 'gentle and quiet spirit' (1 Peter 3:4)." (pg. 82)

"Almost every fight, angry reaction, stressful overload, or anxiety attack is caused by practical atheism. You may say you believe the right things about God and the Bible, but when you react to trials as if God doesn't exist, you are a practical atheist." (pg. 93)

"When couples are tested by money, money is not the problem, even when it is lacking - the character of the couple is what is being examined. Hidden structural flaws within the marriage are discovered by financial hardships." (pg. 106)

Martha Peace & John Crotts, Tying The Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts a Lifetime (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Company, 2007)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Instruments In The Redeemer's Hands: People In Need Of Change Helping People In Need Of Change - by Paul David Tripp

"As we listen to eternity [Rev. 19:6-8], we realize that the kingdom is about God radically changing people, but not in the self-absorbed sense our culture assumes. Christ came to break our allegiance to such an atrophied agenda and call us to the one goal worth living for. His kingdom is about the display of his glory and people who are holy." (pg. 5)

"We must not offer people a system of redemption, a set of insights and principles. We offer people a Redeemer. In his power, we find the hope and help we need to defeat the most powerful enemies. Hope rests in the grace of the Redeemer, the only real means of lasting change." (pg. 8)

"Rebellion is the inborn tendency to give in to the lies of autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-focus. It results in a habitual violation of God-given boundaries." (pg. 14)

"Sin also produces foolishness in us. Foolishness believes that there is no perspective, insight, theory, or 'truth' more reliable than our own. It buys into the lie that we know better." (pg. 14)

"Foolishness is a rejection of our basic nature as human beings. We were never created to be our own source of wisdom. We were designed to be revelation receivers, dependent on the truths God would teach us, and applying those truths to our lives. We were created to base our interpretations, choices, and behavior on his wisdom. Living outside of this will never work." (pg. 15)

"The changes God produces in his people are directly connected to the ministry of the Word." (pg. 21)

"...a truly effective ministry of the Word must confront our self-focus and self-absorption at its roots, opening us up to the vastness of a God-defined, God-centered world. Unless this happens, we will use the promises, principles, and commands of the Word to serve the thing we really love: ourselves." (pg. 24ff)

"...our problem as human beings is deeper than the individual sins we commit each day, creating the specific problems that complicate our lives. Our deepest problem is that we seek to find our identity outside the story of redemption. If the entire goal and direction of our lives are wrong, we need much more than practical advice on how to do the right thing in a particular situation. We need a message big enough to overcome our natural human instinct to live for our own glory, pursue our own happiness, and forget that our lives are much, much bigger than this little moment in life." (pg. 27)

"At the bottom of a broken marriage, a shattered family, or a forsaken friendship you will always find stolen glory. We crave glory that does not belong to us, and we step on one another to get it. Rather than glorifying God by using the things he has given us to love other people, we use people to get the glory we love." (pg. 34)

"When we say that God designed human beings to be interpreters, we are getting to the heart of why human beings do what they do. Our thinking conditions our emotions, our sense of identity, our view of others, our agenda for the solution of our problems, and our willingness to receive counsel from others. That is why we need a framework for generating valid interpretations that help us respond to life appropriately. Only the words of the Creator can give us that framework." (pg. 43)

"Foolishness is more than being stupid, that deadly combination of arrogance and ignorance. The core presupposition of fools is that there is no God, and we don't need his revelation in order to live." (pg. 48)

"Whatever rules the heart will exercise inescapable influence over the person's life and behavior." (pg. 68)

"If we fail to examine the heart and the areas where it needs to change, our ministry efforts will only result in people who are more committed and successful idolaters." (pg. 69)

"If adultery is the sin of giving someone the love I have promised another, then I am a spiritual adulterer whenever I give the rule of my heart to someone or something other than God." (pg. 82)

"Relationships are not primarily for our fulfillment. On the contrary, relationships between sinners are messy, difficult, labor-intensive, and demanding, but in that, they are designed to result in God's glory and our good as he is worshiped and our hearts are changed." (pg. 120)

"The hope we offer people is more than a set of strategies. Our hope is Christ! In him alone do lost, confused, angry, hurt, and discouraged people find what they need to be and do what God intends. We are not gurus. We are nothing more than instruments in the hands of a powerful Redeemer." (pg. 138)

"As we point people to Christ, he becomes the focus of our attention and the recipient of our praise. Truly biblical personal ministry always results in increasingly mature worship." (pg. 150)

"Personal ministry is not about always knowing what to say. It is not about fixing everything in sight that is broken. Personal ministry is about connecting people with Christ so that they are able to think as he would have them think, desire what he says is best, and do what he calls them to do even if their circumstances never get 'fixed.' (pg. 184)

"We cannot properly understand people without accurately exegeting Scripture, and we cannot properly apply Scripture without accurately exegeting people. Because the Bible tells us that people live out of their hearts, we are always interested in how the heart's thoughts and cravings are revealed by the choices people make and the things they say and do. It is in the convergence of this two-sided interpretive process that hearts and lives change for the long run." (pg. 186ff)

"The truth is that we fail to confront, not because we love others too much, but because we love ourselves too much. We fear others misunderstanding us or being angry with us. We are afraid of what others will think." (pg. 202)

"Remember, it is impossible to celebrate God's work of transformation without confessing your need for more. No one is more ready to communicate God's grace than someone who has faced his own desperate need for it." (pg. 211)

"Change always demands a deeper understanding of the things of God and a more careful application of those truths to our lives." (pg. 239)

Paul David Tripp, Instruments In The Redeemer's Hands: People In Need Of Change Helping People In Need Of Change (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Company, 2002)