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Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional by Paul Tripp. Crossway. 184 pages. 2021 
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I’ve enjoyed several of Paul Tripp’s devotionals over the past few years, my favorite being his New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. His latest devotional gives us 40 readings, some in poetry form, leading up to Easter. Each reading begins a short statement, which may have originally been one of the author’s tweets. He suggests using this devotional as your stimulus and guide as you stop, consider, mourn, confess, pray, and give your heart to thanksgiving.
Through these readings, and the “Reflection Questions” included at the end of each selection, we follow Jesus on his journey to the cross. The author writes that the horrible, public sacrifice of Jesus should ignite not only our celebration, but also our mourning.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review…
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ Providence by John Piper
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This is a devotional of celebration and self-examination that my wife and I enjoyed reading and discussing during this season of Lent.

Below are 25 helpful quotes from the book:

  • The cross preaches that sin is our problem and that rescuing, forgiving, transforming, and delivering grace is the only medicine that will provide the cure we all need.
  • The cross teaches us that God doesn’t look at sinners with disdain or disgust, but with generous and tender love.
  • The cross teaches us that we do not have to clean ourselves up to come to God; we only need to come in humble confession.
  • The cross allows unholy people to look in the face of a holy God and have hope.
  • The cross teaches us that God offers us the one thing that no other person or thing can. He offers us the grace of forgiveness.
  • The empty tomb stands as an eternal promise to you that God will always finish what he has begun in you and for you.
  • The empty tomb is a promise that God will never leave his redemptive work half done.
  • Anyone who argues against his own need of grace is in grave spiritual danger.
  • Humble, honest, specific, heart-felt confession is the doorway to peace within yourself, peace with God, peace with your neighbor, and a life of ongoing growth and fruitfulness.
  • Lent is all about pointing the finger in the right direction. It is about humble self-examination, honest confession, and grief over sin that causes you to seek and celebrate the grace Jesus was willing to suffer and die for.
  • Every moment in the life of Christ was necessary. Every aspect of his suffering, death, and resurrection was necessary. It was all essential, because there was no other way to reverse the damage that sin had done or to rescue those who were held in its death grip.
  • We should forever celebrate the cross of Jesus Christ as the only possible means of forgiveness. That celebration should mark our lives now and for the rest of eternity.
  • Do you find comfort attractive and sacrifice hard? Perhaps your first sacrifice this Lenten season should be a sacrifice of confession, admitting your struggle to let go of the world in order to hold more tightly to your Lord.
  • No sacrifice is more pleasing to your Lord than the sacrifice of words in the form of humble, honest, heartfelt confession.
  • Come to him this season and place your pride on his altar, confessing your wandering heart and acknowledging once again that you are a person in need of mercy, and the mercy you need is found only in him.
  • He never promises what he cannot deliver, and he is able to do in your heart what nothing else or no one else can do.
  • He will never despise one who comes to him with a truly broken and contrite heart.
  • Gratitude is a powerful weapon against complaint. It is impossible to give thanks and complain at the same time.
  • Lent is not about what you will give of yourself to God, but about what he, in grace, has so bountifully given to you.
  • The cross of Jesus Christ is the result of God’s dissatisfaction with the condition of the world that he made and of the people that he placed in it.
  • There is no defeat in the cross. Only triumph is to be found there.
  • Everything in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, even those things that appeared to be defeats, were victories. Each was a victory because each was done in fulfillment of God’s plan.
  • Our hope is found in the fact that Jesus came to be the final Passover Lamb, not just a great teacher and a miracle healer.
  • The empty tomb of Jesus is your guarantee of help here and now and of help to come.
  • The journey of Jesus to the cross didn’t end with the cross but with the victory of the empty tomb, and that’s a very good thing.

  • Sustained Through the Hardest Suffering. John Piper’s new book Providence is about the precious doctrine of God’s providence. On the Ask Pastor John podcast he is looking at ten implications. On this episode he looks at implication number six.
  • My Reviews on Goodreads. Here are more than 350 of my book reviews on Goodreads.  
  • 9 Notable Quotes from Providence. Here are 9 good quotes from John Piper’s new book Providence.
  • Tim Keller Shares the Secret to Gritty Hope. Matt Smethurst interviews Tim Keller about his new book Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter, which I’m reading now.
  • Tim Keller on Morning Joe. Tim Keller talks to Joe Scarborough about his battle with pancreatic cancer and his new book Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter.
  • 20 Quotes from Tim Keller on Resurrection Hope. Matt Smethurst shares 20 quotes from Tim Keller’s new book Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter.
  • Tim Keller Interview. In this interview with Tim Keller, hosted by Susan Nacorda-Stang, you can listen to a discussion about his new book Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter, includingwhy he wrote it, why it is timely and how we can have hope and assurance in difficult circumstances by having a deeper and fuller understanding of the meaning of Christ’s resurrection.
  • Book Review on the Topic of Christian Nationalism. Tim Keller reviews Samuel L. Perry and Andrew Whitehead’s book Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States and draws out several lessons for Christian believers today.
  • New and Upcoming Books. Check out my article 12 New and Upcoming Books of Interest for the first biography of R.C. Sproul, a new book by Tim Keller, upcoming books by Malcolm Gladwell, Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg and more.
  • R.C. Sproul: A Life  Tim Challies reviews Stephen Nichols’ new book R.C. Sproul: A Life. He writes “Though eternity alone will unravel all I owe to R.C. Sproul, this biography helps me understand just a little bit better. It causes me to thank God for the life, ministry, and testimony of so faithful a servant.”

BOOK CLUB – Won’t you read along with us?

Providence BOOK CLUB

Providence by John Piper

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.

John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history.

Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.

You can download the PDF of the book free from Desiring God.

Watch this six-minute video as John Piper talks about the book, and this interview with Dr. Joe Rigney of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

This week we look at Chapter 3: Before Creation. Below are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • The ultimate goal of God in initiating the entire plan of salvation before creation was that he would be praised for the glory of his grace.
  • When God makes his praise the goal of his providence, he is pursuing our full and lasting pleasure. That is love.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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