Monday, April 16, 2007

Principles for personal growth and ministry

Good points (From Paul Tripp):

1. Our hearts are always being ruled by someone or something.
2. The most important question to ask when examining the heart is, "What is
functionally ruling this person's heart in this situation?
3. Whatever controls my heart will control my responses to people and situations.
4. God changes us not just by teaching us to do different things, but by recapturing
our hearts to serve him alone.
5. The deepest issues of the human struggle are not issues of pain and suffering, but
the issue of worship, because what rules our hearts will control the way we
respond to both suffering and blessing.

"We do not respond to people and situations in the same way because we do not bring the same heart to them. This is why any attempt to examine the causes of conflict must begin with the heart."

"Desires precede, determine, and characterize everything you do....Desires sculpt every relationship in your life. They are the lenses through which you examine every situation.....James encourages us to examine our desires because it is the only way to understand our anger.....He says, 'Don't your conflicts come from your desires that battle within you?'.....desires, which fight for control of our hearts. What controls our hearts will exercise inescapable influence over our lives and behavior......Every day creation battles with the Creator for the control of our hearts."

"If my heart is ruled by a certain desire, there are only two ways I can respond to you. If you are helping me get what I want, I will be happy with you. But if you stand in my way, I will be angry, frustrated, and discouraged when I am with you. .....My problem is not you or the situation we are in together. My problem is that a legitimate desire has taken over my heart and is now in control. This desire has so much power that it is no longer legitimate. It has become an inordinate, sinful desire, because it has grown to a position of authority over my heart. This authority belongs to God alone, who sent his Son to set up his kingdom there."

"It is not wrong to desire relaxation at the end of a long day. It is wrong to be ruled by relaxation in such a way that I am irritated with anyone who gets in the way.

"He knows what is best, and he will not let there be peace until he alone controls our hearts. He is a Warrior King, who will not rest when we are captive to other kings. He fights for us, for the thoughts and desires of our hearts."

"Desires are a part of human existence, but they must be held with an open hand. All human desire must be held in submission to a greater purpose, the desires of God for his kingdom.

James solution----"If human conflict is rooted in spirtual adultery, change must begin by bowing before God in humble repentance for the idols that have replaced him in our heart." __James---humble ourselves before God

He (James) calls us to cleanse our hearts (4:8)--the anger is a result of our heart idolatry---"The biblical logic is clear. You can't keep the second Great Commandment unless you are first keeping the first. Only in bowing before God and submitting to his desires can we really turn to one another in peace and love.

"We will blame people and situations for the resulting chaos and conflict, when they are really the fruit of our idolatry.---we suffer as sinners with a deep propensity to run after god-replacements." (we are in a warfare---for our hearts--"Biblical personal ministry is rooted in the story of a war and a Savior King."

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