Meditation and Spiritual Growth – T.Tripp

meditatingonthewordThe weekend devotional for this past week was penned by Dr. Tedd Tripp (author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart among other titles) and titled “Flourishing as Christians”. It is a meditation on meditation – how to meditate on the Word of God for spiritual growth. It ties in nicely with the devotional series I have been writing on Psalm 119, where the psalmist praises the godly activity of meditating on the Scriptures.

Though brief, Tripp’s article is one of the best summaries on this subject I know of (He takes his starting point in Psalm 1). Unfortunately, it is not available on the Ligonier website, but I can give you a few excerpts from it for your spiritual benefit.

Notice that in this Psalm (Ps.1 -cjt), meditation takes place day and night. When my heart faints within me because I am despairing, I need to meditate on the Word of God. When doubts rise up within me, tamping down every reason for hope, I need to meditate on the Word of GOd. When I am struggling to break free from sinful habits, meditation on the Word of God will usher me to God, who has grace and power to deliver. When I wake up in the morning wondering if anyone really cares for my soul, the Word of God will remind me that God has loved me everlastingly.

The pleasures and delights of knowing God – of being mesmerized and enthralled and thrilled by God – are experienced as you meditate on His law day and night. You will never be a person who sees God as glorious and more delightful than the pleasures of sin unless you are in the Word beholding God every day.

If you are not delighting in God in his Word, you will become enthralled and thrilled by something else, some lesser thing. Remember that you are hardwired for pleasure and delight. God has made you like that because He made you for Himself. You must be feeding the life of faith to grow strong, and you feed it through the Word of God… (p.58)

Overcoming Our Fears – October “Tabletalk”

Fear and the Sovereignty of God by Kim Riddlebarger | Reformed Theology Articles at

TTOct2013Yesterday I finished reading the special articles relating to the theme of this month’s Tabletalk, “The Seven Deadly Fears”. The last two were “Fear of the Future” by Dr.Ed Welch and “Fear and the Sovereignty of God” by Dr.Kim Riddlebarger (linked above). Both were profitable – Bible-based, God-centered, and comforting. I quote from the second article today, encouraging you to use the Ligonier links to read them in their entirety on its website.

There are two points to consider about confronting our fears in the light of God’s sovereignty. The first is to consider those biblical passages (there are many) which tell us what it means for God to be “in control.” When we have a good (or better) grasp of God’s control over all things, we discover that nothing which comes to pass is random or outside the will of God. The psalmist reminds us, “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth” (Ps. 135:5-6). In Proverbs, we read that God’s sovereignty extends even to seemingly incidental things: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov. 16:33). This information is given to remind us that nothing outside the will of God can happen to us.

God knows when a sparrow falls from the sky, and if He cares for them, how much more does He care for us? (Matt. 6:26). Paul tells us that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28), and James states, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13). James adds, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (1:17). God does not tempt us (or cause us to be afraid), He gives us all good things, and He promises to turn everything (even our fears) to our good.

This short list of biblical passages reminds us that any fear we may be facing can bring God glory, be turned by God to our ultimate good, and grant us needed reassurance when we are afraid. Scripture calms our fears by reminding us that God is our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us even when we fear Him, or dread His sovereign purposes. He still loves us even when we are afraid that He doesn’t.