I want to share a few things before I get going in this post. This post is starting off a series that I’m looking to get going. I picked up the excellent book New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp a few weeks ago on the recommendation of Jeff Bethke and was instantly hooked on the way he broke down the gospel. I definitely appreciate the simplicity of the gospel itself being echoed in an artfully written way.
I am reading the book daily and journaling along but won’t make a post for each day’s topic. I don’t plan on posting all of these to social media, but I thought it would be a good practice for me and that it might be nice for any of you clicking around to find a good word.
Secondly, this practice falls in line with a post I’ve been working on, both to share here and to put into practice. I want to prioritize my projects and time towards things, like writing, I feel should be a part of me. Put another way, I aim to get lean. Getting rid of the excess.
With that, let’s take a look at what Paul David Tripp has to say to us on September 21st.
NMM September 21st
Good is not good enough; complete comformity to Christ’s image
is the plan of grace.
Grace is just one of those words that are impossible to fully unpack. Looking back at my ‘On This Day’ earlier, I had put up a status on Facebook that I was glad grace isn’t fair. My friend Bob Goff says, “Grace doesn’t seem fair until you need some.”
On many days, grace feels like those giant eagles from The Lord of the Rings, swooping down to save us from a dark fate. But unlike those eagles grace sticks with us, empowering us to do better. Tripp says here that, “Our personal goals, wishes, and dreams fall far short of God’s plans and purposes for us.” That is astounding. Because if you give me a minute, I can dream up something pretty awesome. Tony Stark would look on in jealousy if I created a world of my own imagination.
Tripp lists mentalities that we get caught up in:
- The Consumer Mentality. – This has us functioning like we’re shopping for a religious experience.
- The “Good is Good Enough” Mentality. – Here, we find satisfaction with small victories.
- The “This Bad Thing Can Work” Mentality. – Instead of working to make something healthy efficient, we work around and avoid the bad stuff.
- The Personal Comfort vs Personal Holiness Mentality. – People with this line of thinking crave what’s predictable or comfortable. They seek a peaceful, problem-free life. This can lead to judging God’s goodness on how well life is going.
- The Event vs. Process Mentality. – I probably fall under this one the most. I want immediate results. I know intellectually that the process gains a lot more in the end. I’ve seen it in action. But I still want something now.
The selection to study for today was Philippians 2:1-18. It talks about sharing the same thinking as other Christians and working together in love, taking on the attitude of Christ. When reading this day, it made me think of a passage that I believe God gave to me recently:
Proverbs 3:5-7 HCSB
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
You can find Paul’s book here.