Instruments In the Redeemer’s Hands: Book Notes: Chapter 5

These are the notes I made for Chapter 5:

1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

I was very glad when read the opening to the chapter that I’m not the only person who deals with conflict. It is the most difficult and most draining element of human behaviour, from the fall, and we are not immune to it
“conflict, one principal effect of the fall and it doesn’t take much to incite it” p75

Why do we have conflict? It’s due to our desire, and it was really useful when Tripp brought that in, because it is true, and I found it helpful to be reminded that it is down to our selfish desires that cause the big problems in our lives.
Like in the previous chapter, it is all down to the condition of our hearts. “Conflict is the illumining window into our hearts” p76

But Tripp says “The focus is not just the heart but on the desires of the heart” p78 So we all need to turn our attention away from what drives our desires, but turn and follow the desire of God.
We turn God into a “divine waiter” who will deliver us what I have my heart set on.
But God knows what is best for us and “he will not let there be peace until he alone controls our heart”.p83 God will not let us go, even if we desire to do things that are not his will.

All this is a shocking reminder on how much the worldly desire of our hearts, corrupts, and chokes our faith in the loving Lord Jesus.

2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counselling?

I must allow in my ministry, the desires of my heart to be controlled by God, and not by myself. It would be so easy to fall away from the truth and do what I want. I will apply to my ministry the divine authority of God more in my conversations with people, and address the issues with them, in the light of what Jesus has done for them, and not what they want to hear. We tend to desire to hear the good bits about God, but I need to learn to allow God to have control over our desires, otherwise it would make me a selfish individual.

3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss…
How we feel when we allow God to have control of our desires, and discuss how often we live with a sense of a need for things that we don’t need at all, and how we distinguish between what our own heart desires, and what God desires from us.

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Praying on a Train in the Quiet Zone

As I came back from Lichfield today, I was having some lunch, and I was using the opportunity to offer to God all that I had talked about with my DDO. It just occurred to me that I was sitting in the “Quiet Zone”. If you are on a long journey, or you are travelling by train to something that you need to pray about; I encourage you to use the Quiet Zone as a place of prayer and meditation. Well done to the rail network.

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: Book Notes: Chapter 4

These are notes for Chapter 4:

1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

From university days, I learned that the problem of human behaviour is down to the heart. It’s great to see Tripp applying this to scripture.

When it comes down to personal ministry Tripp explains

“Effective personal ministry takes the kingdom promise of lasting change to the place where it is needed the heart” p58.

He then goes on to explain the reasons for different behaviours, and the definition of the word “heart” in scripture; “The bible uses heart as the inner being” p59

I found the most helpful illustration was the passage from Luke 6:43-45: which addresses “the problem with my words was directly tied to the problem with my heart” p61

It is a helpful reminder to me, from the last chapter; in order for us to help people in ministry, we need to tackle with the problems of people’s hearts. But how can we do that? By using the scripture, and trusting in the power of God, to soften people’s hearts.

The example from pg64 actually happened to me. I was brought up in a christian family, and my life revolved around the faith that my parents had, until I left and went to university, then my faith, and heart was exposed to the reality of the “dark side”. Sexual immorality and idolatry were the 2 most present expositions that I encountered, but I was able to keep my faith and not lose it, like the example.

This chapter has really revealed to me that in order for people’s behaviour to change, we must address the heart

2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counseling?

In my preaching, I will attempt to address problems that people have in their lives, through illustrations and application questions while using scripture. I would then want to follow-up, and find out how they have impacted people’s behaviour issues, and then to work on the deeper problems with in the heart. Tripp emphasizes this by saying:

“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” p69
3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss…

The problems of Idols that are in our hearts, and how we can address Idols that the world have created and to apply them to scripture.

 

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Book Notes Chapter 3

These are the notes for Chapter 3:

1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

It’s been a great reminder of the creation accounts, about how we came into being, and the relationship that Adam and Eve had with God. What has spoken out to me are a lot of things that we don’t realise in our lives and they fade in to the back drop of our lives.
“In each of our lives the drama of sin and suffering plays it self out” pg 38

One other insight that as revealed to me was “Personal ministry must begin with a humble recognition of the inescapable nature of our need” pg41. We need help in our lives, and it is good that Tripp highlights that we all have our own interpretation of life, which mens that there are millions and millions of interpretations of what life really is. We need to be focussed on the truth and Tripp points us straight to God’s word (scripture). quote

He then goes on to explain the roles of humanity that makes us different to the rest of creation. 1. We are revelation revellers, God revealed himself only to us. 2. interpreters. We have an ability to think about situations in our lives and use the model of: Emotion-identity-others-soultion.

He then reminds us of our compulsion to serve. “Humans are designed to serve something” pg 44 Tripp then explains “Mainly ourselves” pg 45. He calls it “Stolen worship”. We all have a 3 way worship pattern 1. Proper worship to God, 2 Serving something/someone else 3. Worship ourselves.

That is why Tripp argues “We need God’s perspective to interpret the facts of our existence” p 45, because “we were created to be worshippers”

A shocking reminder for me is when Tripp directs our attention to “We should be concerned with the thousands of hours of formal counseling not based on God’s word” pg 46 also ” the people who don’t know what they are doing” pg 46

There are two final dangers that Tripp brought up for me:

1. Satan is a counselor. “Satan is the other counselor” pg 48

He counsels us in lies and deceit and the problem is that he guides us to sin and fall into the blindness of the truth.

2. We need to daily minster to each other. Hebrews 3:12+13 reveals “See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

We all need help we all sin. So this chapter in very insightful.
2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counseling?

This has helped me realise that We all need the help of God. In my preaching I will emphasis that We all need to minister to each other, and that it isn’t just a talk on a sunday that will stabilize our faiths, but daily nurture and care.

I will also create the focus on God, and not on ourselves and others around us. For we need the help of God to realize what life is all about, and that only God has the truth, and not moral interpretation.
3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss…
The way we as a group, minister and nurture each other, reflecting on Hebrews 3, so we remain faithful to our God and king.

 

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Book Notes Chapter 2

Here are my thoughts on Chapter 2 of this book:

1.What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

To remember that we are all part of the body of Christ. We all have gifts and skills that we can share with others, and we are not all perfect pastors.
“A body only grows as each part does its work” (pg 20) This is a helpful insight that the body as a whole needs to grow together. We as a preaching team we need to grow together. If one of us slacks or doesn’t keep in touch, then the body won’t grow.

Another helpful insight is:
“God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in the lives of others” (pg 18)
The only way we can bring people closer to God is through his word. Tripp explains two helpful truths about applying God’s word to his people.
1. It is God who transforms people through his word:
“God transforms lives as people bring his word to others” (pg 19)
“God in his word gives me everything I need to be who he wants me to be and to do what he wants me to do” (pg 26)

2. God’s word is to be used as a tool not a collection of records
“We forget that God’s word is our primary tool of change” (pg22)
“It is not an answer book, encyclopedia or an outline” (pg 26)
“You don’t handle scripture topically, you will miss the overarching themes* at the heart of everything else God would want to say” (pg 27)
*Me and Ian were reminded about this at MMTC on Thursday.

The final thing that I found helpful is the illustration of Concrete. The Rebar represents the lines of systematic theology. Very helpful!

2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counseling?

All I can say is what I can quote from Tripp:

“Personal ministry brings a monsoon of God’s word to the parched terrains of hearts” (pg 23)

I will want to concentrate in my preaching, the relevant issues that people have in their hearts and address it through God’s word, but then use it as a foundation to talk to people afterwards. I will use scripture as the ordained word of God, and not a record book, and use it as a tool and communicated it in a way that is simple to understand (only use greek for exegetical work)

3. Next time we meet I would like to discuss… The way we as a preaching team, use each others skills, and grow together as a body, but also how we prepare and compose our talks. (just helps me develop other ways to prepare talks)

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Book Notes Chapter 1

As part of my training as an MT, I have been reading a book by Paul David Tripp called “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand” (Picture below). Our church preaching team have been reading this book over the last 5 months. We read a chapter a week and then write an email using the selected questions to share what we have learnt.  Here is Chapter 1. There are 14 chapters, and I will blog them as I go.

There are 3 questions that we have to answer per week and they are:

1.  What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

2.  How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry/ counseling?

3.  Next time we meet, I would like to discuss… 

1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

As soon as I read the opening page, it clearly identified the only thing worth living for and that is “the good news”.
The most insightful part of this chapter that spoke out to me was this line on page 8

“We must not offer people a system of redemption a set of insights and principles. We offer people a redeemer”

It has reminded me that when we speak to people in ministries, we need to offer them Jesus; because as it says “Only hope is found in Jesus”. We all have the fundamental problem (Sin) and its great to know that Jesus came in order for us to be redeemed.

The other line that helped me was the end of the chapter on pg 16

“As he changes us, he then allows us to be part of what he is doing in the lives of others”.

I need to be changed before God, before I can help others, and that is a very helpful reminder!

2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry/ counseling?

The chapter has reminded me that the core of preaching is to proclaim Jesus as the “good news”. The emotion and enthusiasm that I put into each of my talks highlights the joy in knowing Jesus as our redeemer who has come to save us. I will apply Mark 1:15 as one of the core foundation to my talks because it describes exactly what preaching is all about. “The kingdom of God is near, Repent and believe the good news”. It was also helpful to be reminded that God is in complete control, and that everything is possible because of him.

3. Next time we meet, I would like to discuss… Motivations that we use in our lives that could be adapted for ministry.

Gospel Leaflets, Preaching, and Mc Donalds in West Bromwich?

This week in West Bromwich, I have been very encouraged by people’s responses to the gospel! I have been out today with a mission group, and with one of my dear friends giving out leaflets and gospels to the very busy square in West Bromwich. I’m not a great evangelist on the street, but I can give out things and greet people. After an opening prayer, we dived straight in and were giving them out left, right, and centre. I must have personally given out 30+ leaflets in about an hour and half alone, plus the other 5 of us were giving out similar numbers. I’ve been doing this since October last year, and this is the most encouraging day of outreach so far. I had learned that people will ignore leaflets that have the words of “God” or “Jesus” on the front because they are off-putting. Now don’t get me wrong, of course that is the whole point of doing evangelism, to share the grace of God through Jesus Christ, but people want things that apply to themselves. The most popular leaflet is the one that says on the front

What is your greatest need?

People today are in need! They are in need of answers, money, food, wealth, satisfaction, joy, peace, family, friends etc. We are in need of things, just like third world countries (on a different scale). We need the love of Jesus. we need our friends and families to talk openly about the love of Jesus. That God sent his one and only son that whoever believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16. Imagine if we said that daily to someone we don’t know today. We are not all evangelists but to share the gospel with other people is the commission of Jesus Christ.

There was also street preaching; and it does work. There is a difference between street preaching and street pestering. We don’t need to shout at the top of our voices, or be in people’s faces, we need to be presence and fit in with the area, but stand out in a different way. We offer people on the street something that is free, but at a cost of their lives. The McDonald’s we had for lunch was tasty, but let us be confident in the Lord this day, and tell everyone we know John 3:16!!