The Southern Baptist Pastor Conference took place on Monday (and maybe other days) this past week. I was able to watch most of Matt Chandler's talk in the morning and then was able to catch part of Francis Chan in the afternoon. I want to talk mostly about Matt's message so I will briefly point out something about Francis. Have you ever been listening to a sermon or teaching when the pastor/teacher stops in the middle and says, "I just really need to pray right now"? That's what Francis did. In the middle of his message to pastors he just stops and says that he really needs to pray for peace, focus and direction on what to say. He sought the Spirit in real time and didn't care if it made him look unprepared or out of control. It was really cool and I wish more pastors would follow his example.
First, you might want to go here and read about what Matt had to say. I haven't found a video that I can post but if I do you can be sure that I will.
I pray that God gives Matt more time on this earth because he preaches the Word without reservation or dilution. This was in front of fellow pastors and he is calling out their watered down teaching, their duplicitous hearts and their rejoicing more in numbers in the pews than deepening and strengthening believers. That is how I would like to think I would preach if I were a pastor although if I did so I know I would struggle with either pride or shame every day depending on how my walk with God was going...even though I agree with Matt 100% that my right standing in front of God has absolutely nothing to do with me.
The part that really spoke to me was when he talked about controlling versus killing our sin. I struggle with this. Let's face it...we sin because we like it...on some level...even if it grieves us before, during and after on another level. So then, trying to kill something that we enjoy is extremely difficult when our flesh, the world and spiritual darkness conspire against us. We put up some fight in the hopes of getting cleaner but we aren't committed to being spotless because we don't really want to give up the comfort and enjoyment that sin provides. But you can't "kinda" give your heart and life to God. You either love him or you don't. God spoke through Matt to remind me He not only desires us to love him completely, but He commands it. I don't want to be one of those desperate souls pleading in Matthew 7.
I will do better.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Midnight on a Monday night after softball and I am just getting home. If it took 10 years of playing on this team, 4 years of coaching, countless last minute cancellations from team members and added stress on my Mondays...just to give the Gospel presentation that I helped give tonight to a struggling Catholic who is having trouble believing that Jesus Christ is indeed the perfect and complete substitute for all of his sin and offers restoration to God and eternal life...than it has been worth every second.
Thank you God.
Thank you God.