The Book Club selection through the end of February is Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp. Click here for more information about Book Club Wednesdays. This is our last week in this book. I will review chapter 14 (the final chapter) and then give a few summary statements about the whole book.
Chapter 14 is titled "Instilling Identity With Christ And Providing Accountability"
The author opened the section on "instilling identity with Christ" with these words:
"People need encouragement as they pursue the hard work of change. They need truths that will motivate and strengthen them. The gospel motivates us not only with the presence of Christ and the surety of his promises but also with the our brand new identity. In passages like Romans 6:15-17 and 1John 3:1-3, Scripture lays out this new identity for us. We learn that we are not only forgiven, but have in fact been adopted into the family of God. We are children of the King of Kings! The God of the universe is our Father! (pages 259-260)
He continues with:
"Many people in the midst of a struggle live as if they were spiritually homeless. They live the same survivalist, distracted, fearful, escapist, and "for the moment" existence. They do not think about growth and change or pursue the good things that are their inheritance as children of God. They just try to get through the day. They live as if they were poor, when, in fact, they are amazingly rich." (pages 263-264)
The author goes on to explain this concept in detail with illustrations and explanations from Scripture.
The second section of this chapter is about "providing accountability". I found this section very helpful personally. I often find Christian women longing for accountability in their Christian walk. But they don't really know how to ask for it, and I don't know how to provide it. So, I found this section of chapter 14 immensely practical and instructive.
The author offers the definition of accountability as "help for those who are committed to change." He went on to say:
"Accountability provides help on a practical level in ways like these:"
- Accountability provides guidance.
- Accountability provides assistance.
- Accountability provides encouragement.
- Accountability provides warning.
Ask yourself three questions as you seek to provide accountability:
- What kinds of ongoing help will this person need?
- How often will I need to be in contact with him or her for change to continue?
- Are there other resources in the body of Christ that would be helpful during this period? How can I connect this person to these resources?
I will conclude this blogging book study by highly recommending the book Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp. It is a book for Christians about personal ministry (in which everyone is involved on some level). I think I could rightly call it a handbook for personal Christian ministry. You will find it instructive and convicting. There are assignments and graphs and illustrations that drive home the points of the book. I find it highly unlikely that you could read this book and not come away with something that is immediately applicable to your present life.
The author concludes the book this way:
"This book is first of all a call to live a daily ministry lifestyle rooted in God's Word. We have laid out a whole Bible, whole life, whole body lifestyle. This lifestyle doesn't look to the Bible as an encyclopedia for problem solving, but finds in God's great story a perspective that transforms the way we deal with the circumstances of life.
Second, this book is rooted in the belief that God has called and positioned all of his children to live as his ambassadors. His claim is on all of our time and each of our relationships as we serve as his representatives.
Finally, this lifestyle is not simply for the few who are privileged to minister as a career. God's kingdom work involves every member of the body of Christ. Whether you are a child, a spouse, a neighbor, a relative, a pastor, an employer or employee, a teacher, a student, or a friend, all of your relationships must reflect your ambassadorial calling. You must always seek to faithfully represent His message, methods, and character. God sends unfinished people to unfinished people with the message of his grace so that he can reclaim every heart for his glory.
Did you read this book along with me? If so, please comment about it and let us know what you thought.