The Filthy Rags of Self-Righteousness

In the face of his glory I am left naked with no glory whatsoever to hold before myself or anyone else. As long as I am comparing myself to others, I can always find someone whose existence seems to be an argument for how righteous I am. But if I compare the filthy rags of my righteousness to the pure and forever unstained linen of God’s righteousness, I want to run and hide in heartbreaking shame.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 121.

Worship Is Our Identity

Remember that, by God’s design, we’re worshipers.  Worship isn’t first an activity; worship is first our identity.  That means everything you and I do and say is the product of worship.  So the treasures (things that have risen to levels of importance in our hearts) that rule the thoughts and desires of our hearts will then control the things that we do.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 101.

Feeding Your Soul Daily in God’s Grace and Glory

The standards you set for yourself and your ministry are directly related to your view of God.  If you are feeding your soul every day on the grace and glory of God, if you are in worshipful awe of His wisdom and power, if you are spiritually stunned by His faithfulness and love, and if you are daily motivated by His presence and promises, then you want to do everything you can to capture and display that glory to the people God has placed in your care.  It is your job as a pastor to pass this glory down to another generation, and it is impossible for you to do that if you are not being awestricken by God’s glory yourself.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 138.

A Gospel Passion That Inspires and Ignites

No matter what isn’t working in my ministry, no matter what difficulties or battles I’m facing, the expansive glory of God gives me reason to get up in the morning and do what I have been gifted and called to do with enthusiasm, courage, and confidence. My joy isn’t handcuffed to the surrounding circumstances or relationships; I don’t have to have my heart yanked wherever they go. I have reason for joy because I am a chosen child and a conscripted servant of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the great Creator, the Savior, the sovereign, the victor, the one who does reign and will reign forever. He is my Father, my Savior, and my boss. He is ever near and ever faithful. My passion for ministry is not about how I am being received; it flows out of the reality that I have been received by him. My enthusiasm is not because people like me, but because he has accepted and sent me. My passion is not the result of my ministry being as glorious as I thought it could be, but because he is eternally and unchangeably glorious. So I preach, teach, counsel, lead, and serve with a gospel passion that inspires and ignites the same in the people around me.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 122-123.

The Deeply Personal War of Pastoral Ministry

Perhaps we have forgotten that pastoral ministry is a war and that you will never live successfully in the pastorate if you live with a peacetime mentality…. The fundamental battle of pastoral ministry is not with the shifting values of the surrounding culture. It is not the struggle with resistant people who don’t seem to esteem the gospel. It is not the fight for the success of the ministries of the church. And it is not the constant struggle of resources and personnel to accomplish the mission. No, the war of the pastorate is a deeply personal war. It is fought on the ground of the pastor’s heart. It is a war of values, allegiances, and motivations. It is about subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 98.

Blind to One’s Own Blindness

When you are physically blind, you know that you are blind, and you do things to compensate for this significant physical deficit.  But spiritually blind people are not only blind; they are blind to their own blindness.  They are blind, but they think that they see well.  So the spiritually blind person walks around with the delusion that on one has a more accurate view of him than he does.  He thinks he sees and is unaware of the powerfully important things in his hear that he absolutely does not see at all.

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 72-73.