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A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Wow! I was doing fine mowing the lawn in my little kingdom...until I read Paul Tripp s book and found that I had been mowing with a toy lawnmower and the grass was Astroturf. This is a book about the kingdom and your part in it. If you re satisfied with the toy lawnmower, stay away from this book. But if you really want more (and you know you do), this book could change your life. --Steve Brown, Author Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, President of Key Life Network, Inc
Many people have read books about purpose or meaning in life, only to find their hearts were still restless, longing for something more. As you read this book, I suspect you will find yourself saying, Yes! That s it! This guy gets it! Paul David Tripp not only understands the longing of the human heart for something more, he skillfully leads each one of us to the above and more for which we were created. --Bob Lepine, Co-Host, FamilyLife Today
The kingdom of self or the kingdom of God: which will we pursue on a daily basis? Paul Tripp offers a compelling challenge to pursue God s with King Christ at the center! Then we will understand the purpose for which we were created. Then we will live a life that truly makes a difference. --Philip Graham Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA
About the Author
Prolific author and international conference speaker, Paul David Tripp, is president of Paul Tripp Ministries whose mission is to educate and equip today s Christian by combining in depth study of God s Word with practical life application. Tripp, also a pastor with over 15 years of pastoral ministry, is an adjunct professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and adjunct faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He is the author of such best-selling titles as, Instruments in the Redeemer s Hands; War of Words; Age of Opportunity; Lost in the Middle; How People Change; Relationships: A Mess Worth Making; and New Morning Mercies. Tripp has been married for 35 years and has four grown children.
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Tripp asserts that we are all kingdom builders...but whose kingdom we are building? He contrasts the "kingdom of self" or "little kingdom living" with the kingdom of God or "Big Kingdom living" through practical, real-world examples that often strike dangerously close to home. I highlight a few below.
Living for Self/Little Kingdom:
• Pursuit of earth-bound treasures and anxiety-bound need
• Self is always at the center - self-focus, self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-rule, self- satisfaction, self-glorification
• Focused on the here and now; me and mine; wants and needs; physical and material; entitlements and rights
• Because the world cannot satisfy, we're left fat, unhealthy & addicted; bitter, hurt, & disappointed; angry, demanding & controlling
• Anger, anxiety, irritation, impatience, envy, fear, discouragement, obsession, vengeance, bitterness, and violence arise from letting lesser treasures control my heart
• False hope in gaining as many of this word's treasures as possible, leaving me stressed, controlling, anxious, disappointed, and fearful
• Trying to control what I cannot control and expecting what God has not promised
Living for the Big Kingdom/Kingdom of God:
• Pursuing the glory of God
• God at the center of life, not self; Christ is my Source, Motive, Goal, and Hope
• Finding my meaning, identity, and purpose in the existence, character, and plan of God
• The purpose, character, call, grace, and glory of Jesus are the central motivation and hope for everything I think, desire, do, and say
• A deep, abiding, life-shaping affection for Jesus that fuels everything else in life
• An unquenchable zeal for God's cause and an uncompromising distaste for sin
• Hope rests in God alone, daily trusting that
•• He is the ultimate source of all that is wise, true, loving and good
•• What He is doing is best
•• What He has promised is reliable
To bring it home, the book asks a variety of questions so that we can line up how we're actually living with which kingdom it reflects. For example:
• What are you after? What are you living for?
•• What in your life right now really excites you?
•• What things do you find fulfilling and satisfying?
•• What has become your treasure; how do you define your needs?
•• What kingdom owns your heart where you live and work each day?
•• What is the "good life" that you daily pursue?
•• What do your decisions and how you relate to others reveal?
•• Would your dealing with responsibility, free time, & how you think indicate Christ is the center?
•• Is it possible that your Christianity may, in fact, exclude Christ?
•• What tends to compete with Christ for the center of your world?
• Might our schedules actually portray what is important to us and gives us joy?
• What are the things that battle for the place only the Lord is to have?
I recommend this book as a needed corrective for many (like me) who have been Christians but can stand to check out what God's word says about what it really means to live first for His kingdom. "Would you like your life to make a difference? This book is about having a life that counts for something. It is about living to make a difference...We were made for the one glory that is transcendent — the glory of God . When you grasp this, your life begins to make a difference...The big question of life is: What glory will you live for each and every day?"
Never before have I encountered a book that stripped me of everything I believed without making me feel naked and forced me to see myself for who I am trying to be so I could better see the image of who God wants me to be. A Quest for More kept me awake at nights thinking about what I had read and how it applies to my life. It was like God performing surgery on my spirit, chapter after chapter.
I don’t know how Paul David Tripp did it, but he took the things I thought I knew about the Christian life and enlarged the meaning to show how puny my Christian ambitions were. And now I can’t wait to grow into the vastness of living in God’s glory.
A Quest for More should be required reading for every Christian. Because of our propensity to get distracted by our own devices, it should probably be re-read every year, too. It is absolutely life changing. You will never look at things the same again. And yet the author didn’t slap you in the face with reality, but gently presented the comparison of what we currently seek in life to the vastness of living for something more.
This review, along with additional book quotes, first appeared on my blog, ChristyBower.com.
Path: Tripp gentle walks his readers through the painful process of realizing where our thoughts, hopes, fears, and desires lay. He confronts our inward propensity to focus on ourselves and opens our eyes to the possibilities of living for something (i.e.e “someone”) greater.
Sources: There are various references to writers such as C. S. Lewis and others. Much of what he is writing has been forged in his own counseling experience.
Content: Tripp does an excellent job at revealing our sinful inward focus and giving us a larger vision for Christ-centered living. He helped me to understand the practice of Col 1:13-14 after the reality has taken place: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Format: The best of the Tripp books I have read. Clearly defined points. Helpful questions. Interesting illustrations.
Usability: Would be great to hand to a single reader, work through with a group, etc.
Personal App: My kingdom is so small when I focus on myself. Christ offers me himself and I settle for pathetic counterfeits.
Favorite Quote: “When I opt for a me-centered ‘more,’ what I actually get is always much, much less.”
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it to someone who:
Is in high school, college, young married, mid-career, retired, etc.
Is in counseling.
Is unsatisfied with what the culture promises and provides.
Is interested in doing a book study.
Other books along this same theme would be:
Piper, John. Don’t Waste Your Life. Unabridged. Hovel Audio, 2006.
Wilson, N. D. Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2013.