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No Need To Shop Anymore (The Only True Black Friday via Paul Tripp)

The world seems to be obsessed with Black Friday, looking for their desires to be met at a discount price.
It an ironic contrast that the Christian Black Friday is about someone sacrificing their life receiving the full penalty for sin for the salvation of others, while the world’s current Black Friday is about the world scrambling for discount prices in order to fulfil their needs.
(and yes, my purchases have been made)

Paul Tripp has poem that remembers the real Black Friday.
The most important thing can’t be bought at any price.
It can only be received freely because Jesus paid the price for us.

No Need To Shop Anymore

There was only one Black Friday.
It was not the day after Thanksgiving.
It was not a day when self-oriented consumers
bumped into,
climbed over,
pushed into,
screamed at,
and hated the other consumers who were
in their way.
No, all the action of the one Black Friday
was on a hill of death
outside the city
where three souls hung on crosses
—two criminals and the Messiah.
Christ doing what he came to do
and what the world was desperate for.
That Friday the world went dark,
the Father turned his back,
graves opened, and
the veil ripped in two.
The Son carried the Father’s anger.
Death was offered so life could be given.
Darkness fell so light would shine.
Payment made;
freedom given;
redemption accomplished.
There was only one Black Friday.
No need to shop anymore for
a Savior.


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Suffering Is Never Alone (via Paul Tripp)

Paul Tripp reflects on his own season of chronic illness, a situation that has left him with ongoing physical challenges.
The greatest challenge though, is not physical, it is spiritual.

You never come to your suffering empty-handed. You always drag a bag full of experiences, expectations, assumptions, perspectives, desires, intentions, and decisions into your suffering. What you think about yourself, life, God, and others will profoundly affect the way you interact with and respond to the difficulty that comes your way.
This is why the writer of Proverbs says: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
What are you carrying around in your soul that has the potential to complicate your suffering? What are you preaching to yourself that could allow you to forget the truths of the gospel?
Never forget: No matter what painful thing you’re enduring, as God’s child, it’s impossible for you to endure it all by yourself.

read the rest at Paul Tripp

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Are We Overdoing the Decorations? (via Paul Tripp)

Paul Tripp offers a few words about ensuring our celebration of Christmas doesn’t obscure the essential message of Christmas:

Guard the Meaning of Christmas
It is really sad how much of our time, effort, and energies are captured by the cultural busyness of Christmastime, rather than the core of the Advent story. We allow Christmas to be more about created stuff than it is about the incarnation of the Creator. We’ve turned the story on its head.
The glory of this story is that the Creator himself becomes a man to rescue us from our bondage to the creation. For some, Christmas has become about bondage to the creation. This is something we should guard against.
We allow Christmas to be more about created stuff than it is about the incarnation of the Creator.
Are We Overdoing the Decorations?
Christmas can also become more about decorating and acquiring than about being rescued. We all want to decorate our lives with beautiful things that we think will satisfy us.
Maybe what we’ve done with the Christmas story is a metaphor for that desire. What we’ve done with this season is a metaphor for how we just want to decorate everything so that life is beautiful to us. But that never ends up satisfying us.
It’s not wrong to want your house to be beautiful at Christmas, but if that’s what the season is about, you’ve missed the whole point. Christmas proclaims that nothing but Christ’s redemption is ever going to give us what our hearts long for, rescuing us from things that can’t satisfy.
It’s not about created stuff, it’s not about decorating and acquiring. It’s about the incarnation of the Creator—rescuing us from all those false hopes.


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The Brave Love Of The Man Who Loaned A Tomb To Jesus (via Paul Tripp)

Paul Tripp writes a thoughtful meditation on the brave love of Joseph of Arimathea, the man who publicly identified himself as a disciple of Jesus when all seemed lost, and who provided a tomb for a much shorter period of time than he would have thought.
From the article:

While the other disciples were hiding in confusion and fear, Joseph of Arimathea acted with remarkable courage and love. If you noticed from the passage, this man had everything to lose with this move. He was a member of the inner council of the Sanhedrin, and it was his peers who had just put pressure on Pilate to try Jesus for treason and hang him on a cross.
Asking for the body of this crucified man was a public declaration of his love for Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea would no longer be a secret disciple (John 19:38). When he could have remained under the radar, Joseph inserted himself into the middle of a religious and political drama, the very drama that sent the rest of the disciples into hiding. In one move, Joseph risked everything: his wealth, his reputation, his power, and even his life.
But Joseph of Arimathea loved his Lord too much to let his body rot on the cross or be ignominiously thrown with other criminals into some shallow public grave. With a heart of worship, he gave to the Messiah a tomb, and with a heart of love, he buried his Lord with honor.

Read the whole post here.

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The Grace That Brings Personal Transformation And Change

The grace that saved us is the source of the change that takes place in our lives as saved people:

The spiritual growth of progressive sanctification concerns something vastly deeper than a greater allegiance to God’s rules. It requires God working to fix what sin has broken, and that brokenness exists in our hearts. Only when awe of God progressively replaces awe of self will we joyfully, willingly, and consistently live as God designed us to live. And for the reclaiming of the motivational system of each of our hearts, we have been given amazing, powerful, zealous, unending, and transformative grace.
Awe, Paul David Tripp, Crossway, 2015, page 129.

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23 Things That Love Is (via Paul Tripp)

This was featured as one of Paul Tripp’s most popular posts from last year.
I don’t think I linked to it then.
Here’s the first eight:
LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
Read the others here.

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The Battle Against Being Satisfied With Too Little (via Paul Tripp)

From Paul David Tripp:

…I am persuaded that the problem with the body of Christ is not that we are dissatisfied with what we do not have, but that we are all too satisfied with what we do have. We are comfortable with a little bit of holiness, a little bit of ministry, a little bit of sacrifice, a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of satisfying glory that only the grace of Christ is able to give us. I am deeply persuaded that we must resist with all of our might the kind of self-satisfied spirituality that marks the life of so many believers. And I am further persuaded that this pseudo-spirituality is one of the cruel deceptions of a wily enemy.
What is the danger of this kind of spirituality? It never results in truly Christ-centered, grace-driven, God-glorifying, heart-satisfying righteousness. True righteousness only ever begins when you come to the end of yourself. Only when God leads you to the place where you begin to abandon your own agenda and false righteousness, does true righteousness take hold. And only then can a passion for selfless service and true worship grow in your heart.
But the battle is ever-present, and I am afraid that at the same moment we are nibbling at the table of the Lord, we are often stuffing ourselves at the buffet of the world. No wonder our hearts are not satisfied; we are feasting on food that has no capacity to satisfy. And no wonder we are addicted; as we feed on what cannot satisfy, we must go back again and again and again.
Paul David Tripp, Broken-Down House,Shepherd Press, 2009, pp 94-95.