Category Archives: Devotional

A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul David Tripp

Tripp, Paul David. A Shleter in the Time of Storm: Meditation on God and Trouble. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 160 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for $8.96.

Introduction

Paul Tripp is no stranger to writing books of meditations. He has also written Crossway’s Whiter than Snow (read review) which is 52 meditations on Psalm 51. In addition to his books, he is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and is on the pastoral staff at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA. Continue reading A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul David Tripp

Mano-A-Mano by Bryan, Hunter, and Harrison Hall

Available at Amazon.com for $17.93Bryan, Hunter, & Harrison Hall.  Mano-A-Mano.  Xulon Press, 2009.  431 pp.  $22.99.  Purchase at Amazon.com for only $17.93.

Introduction to Mano-A-Mano

The men of the Hall family set down to write a devotional for men who are parents to teenage sons.  Bryan, the father,  serves as a deacon, small group Bible Study leader, a fourth grade Sunday School instructor, and is a member of the worship choir at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN. Hunter is a biology major at Bryan College while Harrison is a junior at Brentwood High School.  All three have participated in multiple missions trips. Continue reading Mano-A-Mano by Bryan, Hunter, and Harrison Hall

Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, Elyse M. Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 146 pp. $14.99.

Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, head of Women Helping Women Ministries, holds a masters in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological School. She wrote this book of meditations in order to help us to truly celebrate the gospel each and every day for a month. This may seem silly, but if the truth were told, I bet more often than not Christians do not celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly, I often fall into this category more than I care to admit.

Fitzpatrick has written a month’s worth of devotional material to help keep you focused on the most important matter in one’s life: the saving truth of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that is the gospel. In a style that I would describe as motherly, she sets out to show the centrality of the gospel and the joy found therein.

Brad Bigney, from his blurb on the back of the book, says, “The church today, particularly in America, has been languishing in selfish, impotent, shallow immaturity—barely able to survive, let alone thrive and make an impact on our culture.” Need I say more? This month long set of devotions will quicken your heart to love Christ for what He has done for you on the cross. In addition, you will be challenged—through your own joy in the gospel—to share it with others. If you struggle to find joy in the gospel, allow Elyse Fitzpatrick to help you. If you do not struggle, chances are you know someone who does; this book would make a perfect gift.

More Precious than Gold by Sam Storms

Storms, Sam. More Precious than Gold: 50 Daily Meditations on the Psalms. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 282 pp. $15.99.

Sam Storms, founder of Enjoying God Ministries, has become in recent years an instrument used by God to show us His glory through the discipline of meditating on Scripture. In this volume, Storms focuses in on the Book of Psalms. In the preface, he calls the Psalter the “first among equals” in regards to the 66 books of the Bible.

In the Psalter, you can find just about every emotion imaginable from anger to apathy and hatred to hurt. This is why the Book of Psalms is perhaps the most beloved book of the entire Bible (generally speaking) among Christians.

This book of 50 meditations is breaks down the five books found within the Book of Psalms into six parts—book one is split between parts one and two. Obviously, not every Psalm is used in this meditation. I assume that if they were, the book would be more than a one year meditation on Psalms.

Also, not every Psalm that is used is treated like one might think. For example, it would be easy to camp in Psalm 119 for an entire week or even part of the book. However, Storms only offers one day to the longest chapter in of any book found in the Bible. On the other hand, Psalm 1:1-3 receives two days.

Through all 50 meditations, Sam Storms offers one common thread—the glory of God experience through His word. If you have read his previous meditative works (The Hope of Glory and To the One Who Conquers, then I do not need to tell you that this book of meditations should be on your shelf. If you have never read any of the meditations by Sam Storms you have been missing out on one of the great meditative writers of our generation.

Red Letters by Timothy J. Beals

Beals, Timothy J., The RED Letters: The Sayings and Teachings of Jesus. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 160 pp. $16.99

Have you ever picked up a book not really expecting it to be what you thought it was going to be? Timothy J. Beals’ book is that book. The Red Letters was a delight to the soul. The concept of this book is to let Christ speak for Himself. The first half of the book takes a chronological look using J. Dwight Pentecost’s outline, at the life of Christ, in His own words, from His boyhood experience in the temple (Luke 2:49) to His Great Commission statement in Matthew 28:18-20.

The second half of the book is a systematic theology of what Christ said concerning various topics. These topics include the unity of the Father and the Son to consequences of not following Jesus. Choosing to let Christ’s words do all the talking, Beals adds no commentary other than to offer the context of what is being said in the chronological section.

At the beginning of the book, we are treated to the origin of what has become known the “red letter edition” Bibles. The only black letters in the body of the book include the parenthetical contextual notes and the referent of the verse being quoted. Beals used the English Standard Version. At the end of the book, there are ten blank pages left to write down one’s reflections if you have not already marked up your copy.

While we must always be careful when rearranging the text of Scripture, Timothy Beals offers a unique way to study the life of Jesus Christ. As I stated earlier, this book was a pleasant surprise and will be one book that I add to my annual reading list and one I will refer back to again and again as I seek to meditate on what would Jesus say. By all accounts, this is a book worth owning.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus ed. Nancy Guthrie.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2008.  142 pp. $12.99. Buy from Westminster Books

Note:  This is not a book review per se because of the genre of the book (devotional) and the seasonal nature of this devotional.

Christmas is that time of year when everyone gets rushed and hurried in the home, in the office, and in the shopping stores.  We go about our daily business with the addition of the Christmas festivities.  It is so easy to get caught up in it all and shove the real reason we celebrate Christmas to the back burner.  Nancy Guthrie has put together a book of 22 meditations from some of the pastoral giants of past and present.  (Joni Eareckson Tada is one of the contributors and is not included in the phrase ‘pastoral giants.’)

Continue reading Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

To the One Who Conquers by Sam Storms

Storms, Sam. To the One Who Conquers:  50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2008.  239 pp.  $14.99. Available From Westminster Bookstore

Introduction

Sam Storms does not need much introduction to many.  He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries based in Kansas City, Missouri.  However, that may be changing.  According to his website, he just accepted a call to become the senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  He has written numerous books including Chosen For Life and Signs of the Spirit. Continue reading To the One Who Conquers by Sam Storms

Whiter than Snow by Paul David Tripp

Tripp, Paul David. Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 154 pp. $12.99. 33% Off At Westminster Bookstore

Book-whiter-than-snow-Paul-David-TrippIntroduction

Paul David Tripp is most noted for his book, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands and Lost in the Middle. More recently, he has started writing little booklets that are being used by churches across the nation to help counsel and instruct many Christians struggling with sin. With his experience in biblical counseling and engaging writing style, Dr. Tripp offers us 52 meditations on Psalm 51.

Continue reading Whiter than Snow by Paul David Tripp

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford

Loveliness Of Christ BookThe Loveliness of Christ ($14.00)

This was originally going to be a book review on The Loveliness of Christ, the new soft, red-covered edition pictured to the left.  However, as I read this book, I realized that no review would do it justice.  After reading the first few pages of this book, I also realized that I already owned two other editions of this book in my personal library.  The Loveliness of Christ is simply a pocket-sized edition of choice quotes from The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

The more I read this book, the more I could see the impact that these letters would have on the lives of every Christian and even more so the impact on the seminarian who is studying the things of God.  Therefore, this will not be a book review per se.  Rather, I would like to share a few of the choice quotes from The Loveliness of Christ.

Faith liveth and spendeth upon our Captain’s charges, who is able to pay for all.

The weightiest end of the cross of Christ that is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Saviour.

When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time – suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.

One of the nice features of The Loveliness of Christ is the inclusion of a dictionary for words like “bairn” (child), “rueth” (regrets) and “empawned” (laid down as a pledge).  Perhaps the only negative to this particular book is that Banner does not let you know there is a dictionary in the back of the book.  It is simply tucked back there waiting to be discovered.  Fortunately, I only had to look up two words before I discovered it.

Samuel RutherfordThe Letters of Samuel Rutherford – Abridged ($7.00)

The nice thing about The Loveliness of Christ is that it merely whets your appetite to learn more about the man Samuel Rutherford.  In the introduction to Loveliness, you are made aware that the quotes are extracted from a greater work known as The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.  After reading this book, it almost becomes necessary to read the quotes in context of the actual letters.

This abridged version does just that.  Here you are introduced to a selection of sixty-nine letters penned by Samuel Rutherford.  These present yet a deeper look at how Rutherford wrote and what he believed concerning the joy of knowing Christ.

At the end of this edition, Banner of Truth did us a great service by including brief biographical information about the letters.  They also included an outline of the life of Samuel Rutherford.  Both of these greatly enable the modern-day reader to become better acquainted with Samuel Rutherford.

However…

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford ($39.00)

Andrew Bonar put together a classic edition of The Letters (I am not sure when this was done) which included 365 letters.  What is of value in this edition is Bonar’s sketch of Rutherford along with a list of his works.

The edition I own (I believe it is a 1905 edition) has an appendix that gives information on the 30 different editions to date (in 1905) of the book.  It also includes a poem created from The Letters arranged by a Mrs. A. R. Cousin.  I am not sure if this is in the edition to the left, but it is in my edition.

Recommendation

Perhaps the best thing that can be done with these three books is to, at the very least, purchase The Loveliness of Christ.  I would highly recommend that you purchase the $39.00 edition that contains all 365 letters and use it as a devotional in 2009.  I will be writing about this again toward the end of the year in case anyone might be interested and forget.  I plan on using mine as a devotional next year and if Loveliness is any indication, I will be blessed beyond measure in so doing.