What I learned at the conference was so overwhelming, I do not even know where to begin. Everyone I have talked to about it have asked me who my favorite speaker was. I can’t even pinpoint that! I can narrow it down to Josh Harris, CJ Mahaney, and John Piper, even though all the speakers were tremendous. It’s just the messages presented by Josh, CJ, & Piper were most applicable to me right now.
Josh Harris: Session 1
Notes ~ Listen
Josh looked at 3 responses to God’s Word: ripping, burning, and eating.
Here’s what stuck out to me…
1)King Josiah ripping his robes after hearing God’s Word.
-The grace of God is more powerful than your gene pool.
-When we read the Word of God, we are reformed and reshaped.
2)King Jehoikam (son of Josiah) burning God’s Word.
-It’s not enough to be around godliness, you have to follow it yourself.
-There are many ways we essentially burn the Word of God (iTunes mentality).
-If God’s Word is being read, God is speaking to you.
3)Jeremiah eating the Word of God.
-You eat something you trust.
-God’s Word meets us right where we are (verse 16 comes in the middle of a “woe is me” section).
-Joy and delight in God’s Word is something we have to fight for (…became to me a joy).
-We don’t love God’s Word so we can earn our standing before Him….He already established our standing before Him (vs. 19).
God’s Word becomes a delight when you realize it’s not what you have to do for God, it’s all about what He’s done for you!
John Piper: Session 6
Notes ~ Listen
Piper told the story of William Tyndale and how much he sacrificed so a Bible in English could be in the hands (& hearts) of common people. As if the biography of Tyndale wasn’t enough, he pointed out application, too, from 2 Timothy 2:7!
1)We must die to the notion that you don’t have to work hard or think hard. Basically, die to laziness.
2)Die to the notion that thinking hard and working hard are decisive in achieving spiritual goals (though they are necessary).
“Young people, you are the heirs of an amazing legacy…The Bible you hold in your hand cost William Tyndale his life…Don’t spare any effort to know your Bible…Don’t ever think your hard work is the decisive key. The decisive key is the sovereign grace of God. I plead with you, don’t waste your life. Male or female, be like William Tyndale.”
John Piper: Session 7
Notes ~ Listen
Piper spoke about Fighting the Fight of Faith with the Word. He had six “Clarifying Observations” and then two “Practical Applications.”
1)The fight is a mortal fight to the death.
-Justification is punctiliar; sanctification is progressive (can be regressive).
2)The fight is a fight for joy.
-Growing faith includes a treasuring of Christ.
-Embracing Christ not as a utility (means to get to Heaven), but as a treasure.
–Are you willing to sit in “the chair” if 1000 arrows are coming towards your face?
3)Joy in Christ is not the opposite of suffering.
4)We fight for faith not to get God to be 100% for us, but because He is 100% for us.
-If God is for us, who can be against us?!
5)The fight for joy/faith is a fight to SEE Christ.
-Fight doubt by fighting to see God’s glory.
-There are eyes in your ears.
-See God in nature and the Bible.
6)Major in your life on the Word of God.
1)Disciplined Study of God’s Word
-time, place, plan
-Be focused: write out the text, query it, memorize it
2)Spontaneous Use of God’s Word
-When the devil throws certain temptations in our face, we pull one of the swords from God’s Word out of our scabbard. We stick him with the Word! For example, when we are facing the feeling of uselessness, we pull out 1 Corinthians 15:58!
-What can man or Apple do to me?!
-God saved me from a life of drugs, crime, and sin when I was six! (There’s no such thing as a boring testimony)!
-Be people of the Book!
C.J. Mahaney: Session 8
Notes ~ Listen
C.J. reminded me of the importance of relishing in the doctrine of adoption. Adoption gives us the deepest insight into God’s love. He used Galatians 4:1-7 to explain our adoption.
1)The Preparation for Adoption (vs. 1-3)
-The Gentile Galatians were seeking to achieve God’s salvation through the Mosaic Law. They were trying to add their obedience to grace.
2)The Basis of Adoption (vs. 4-5)
-Reveals plan and purpose of God; initiative of God toward sinners like me; love of God toward sinners like me.
-God sent forth His Son!!!!
“We move not towards the Lord, but the Lord towards us. The offended God Himself in infinite compassion broke the silence and came forth to bless His enemies.” (Spurgeon)
-Purpose and Effect of Death
Before God adopted us, we weren’t orphans or appealing…we were slaves to sin.
-If there was a period in this sentence, there would be nothing to be disappointed about. Justification is more than sufficient, BUT…there’s a comma! We’ve been transformed from slaves to sons!
-Adoption is a family idea. At the heart of it is cloesness, affection, and generosity.
“To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.” (Packer)
-“The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to Him is not to believe He loves you.” (Owen)
>Tell your soul that you’re adopted by God!
3)The Experience of Adoption (vs. 6-7)
-“Love to God never did get there without God putting it there!” (Spurgeon)
-So YOU! (plural in vs. 6; singular in vs. 7) God is making eye contact with you.
-Justification: great; Adoption: greater; Heir: greatest!
-Our adoption to be hearis wasn’t necessary…He didn’t need an heir…He already had One.
To you, my church family:
Thank you so much for allowing me to go to this conference. It was one of the greatest weekends of my life! I appreciate your generosity in your love offerings to help pay for the hotel. One thing the leaders emphasized was the importance of taking what we learned back to our home churches. I am so grateful the Lord has blessed me with an close-knit family of believers who desire to see God glorified in everything. Thanks for being constant reminders of His love and encouragers to me!
To those who went with me:
*Steve & Becky- Thanks for sacrificing your weekend and sleep (!) in order to help us clean the dirt off the windows we see Christ through. I enjoyed your company, fellowship, funny stories, and of course chatting about God’s glorious Word!
*The Boys (Chris, Kevin, & Kevoy)- You all were so encouraging to be around. My heart was refreshed with your desire for God’s Word and through your worship and prayers to Him. I pray that what we learned there are things we will put into practice for the rest of our lives. I look forward to applying these truths with you all.
*Ashley- It was so wonderful to reconnect with you after two years of being in different schools. Your heart for the Lord motivates me to strengthen my walk with Him. I am so glad the Lord brought you into my life. He has worked in me so much through you. Thanks for all the laughs and memories, but most of all for your godly example! (And the same message to the boys applies to you, too!)
Thank you for spurring me on in my walk with God and equipping me with swords to fight off temptation by helping me store up God’s Word in my heart so that I might not sin against Him. You have increased my love for His Word and helped prepare me for this conference through your help in memorizing Psalm 119.
To my parents:
Thank you for allowing me to go. Thanks for investing in eternal things, not just temporary. Thanks for your continuous godly example and for words of wisdom. I wouldn’t want anyone else for parents…not even John Piper or Beth Moore or anyone. I’m so glad the Lord strategically placed us together by His mercy.
Of course, thanks to the Lord most of all for His indescribable grace in not only saving my soul, but adopting me as His daughter and making me His heir! Wow! My heart would still refuse you, had you not chosen me. Hallelujah! All I have is Christ. Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!
Thank you for speaking to me through Your Word. My new favorite song to pray when I hear a sermon or study His Word:
SPEAK, O LORD, as we come to You
To receive the food of your holy word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes, for Your glory.
Teach us Lord full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise
Cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail;
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.
Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time,
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises;
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, ‘til your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.
Thank you, Lord, for fulfilling this song this weekend and for continuing to fulfill this song in my daily life.
-Stay tuned for reflection by others and for video from the conference!