Why I’m Looking Forward to Hearing Paul Tripp This Weekend

This Friday night (7:00-8:30) and Saturday morning (9:00-12:00), Paul Tripp will be speaking at The Crossing on “War of Words” (a truly life-changing kind of book that has had a pretty big impact on my own faith and life). Along with Tim Keller and John Piper, Paul Tripp is one of those pastor/author/speakers that has so greatly shaped our thinking and teaching as pastors at The Crossing. Some of our “best sermons,” as people say, have used Paul Tripp’s books as a key resource. Ephesians 4:11 tells us that good teachers are Christ’s gift to his church, and Paul Tripp is a gift for which I’m particularly thankful.

Along with other great books Paul’s authored, his book War of Words is one of those books we’ve used many, many times to help ourselves and help our congregation better apply the realities of who Christ is to the realities of our daily lives, relationships, pursuits, and life-goals. And one of my favorite chapters in War of Words is chapter six—“Following the King for All the Wrong Reasons.” Below are some brief excerpts from that chapter that remind me why I’m looking forward to hearing Paul Tripp speak to us this weekend at The Crossing.

To help you understand the context of this chapter, here’s what John 6:25–29, 33-36 says…

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. …For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe” (TNIV).

Referring to the above scripture passage, here are some brief excerpts from chapter six of War of Words

If you had to write down your dream for your life, what would you write? What is your “if only,” “if I could just have,” “if God would just give me … then I would be happy”? Maybe a better way to ask the question is, What kind of Messiah do you want Jesus to be in your life?

…It is so easy to buy into the lie that life can be found in human acceptance, possessions, and position. It is so easy to have your life controlled by dreams of success in your career. It is so easy to believe that nothing satisfies like romantic love. It is so easy to fall into pursuing the idol images of Western culture—big suburban house, luxurious car, lavish vacations, etc. When we do this, we quit feeding on Christ. Our devotional life begins to suffer. We pray less, and when we do, we pray more selfishly. We find our schedule doesn’t leave much time for ministry, and we spend more time with our colleagues at work than we do with brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Functionally, we are feeding on the world’s bread, not on Christ. Our entire life will be determined by which bread we pursue.

…What does your talk reveal of the true love(s) of your heart? What is the deep inner hunger that you live to satisfy? Is it hunger for Christ? …Whose bread are we really seeking? What is revealed by our reactions and words? Perhaps many of us, even though we have not physically forsaken [Christ], have lost our enthusiasm for his grace and mercy because following him has not led to the fulfillment of our dreams. In our hearts, we too have left him, like the disciples [in John 6] who walked sadly away when he called them to a commitment of faith.

…John 6 points us to the core issue of our words: Our words are shaped by the dream that resides in our hearts. They are determined by the bread we are seeking.

Take a husband and wife, for example. If each is holding on tightly to a personal dream, feeding on earthly bread, they will inevitably experience frustration and disappointment with each other and much conflict as their dreams collide. Their world of talk will surely be a world of trouble. They will find themselves cursing the spouse God gave them and at times may even utter resentful curses at God.

… In John 6, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” Ask yourself this question: Which bread do I hunger for? What kind of bread do I really want to feed on?”

Just some snippets. If you have not yet registered to attend our Paul Tripp conference at The Crossing this weekend, you can do so online right now here. The cost is just $15 per person (which allows us to pay him and his travel expenses) and childcare is provided for free as long as you sign up for it beforehand. I really do hope to see you there.

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