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Friday, March 2, 2012

.If His Grace is An Ocean.

If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking. (David Crowder)

Notice a theme on here lately? Yeah, I am noticing a theme in my life lately - grace. I think God is trying to teach me something. {grin}

God gave me an extra heaping of grace this week. I'm not sure if I can put down in words yet what God is cultivating in my heart. If you are friends with me on facebook, I am sure you could not help but notice my obnoxious postings the past two days about the Verge 2012 Conference that I was blessed to participate in via the world wide web. How amazing that I could listen to some of our generations' greatest speakers and pastors from the comfort of my own home, while doing my mundane house chores. Grace? Yes, indeed, grace.

I didn't realize how parched I had been and needing this - two solid days saturated in the Word of God. How weary and dare I say, discouraged,  Jim and I were becoming in walking this ministry God had led us to. Ministry is not easy - no ministry, whatever it is is easy. It's not supposed to be, though. We were never promised easy. We were actually promised the opposite if we are truly followers of Jesus. How quickly my flesh forgets that and cries out for easy and comfortable again. I needed some refreshment and encouragement, but just as much I needed to be pushed back out of the comfortableness I so easily fall back into. I needed to be convicted and prodded and pushed in my faith again. How easily I become stagnant and forget.

The theme of the conference was missional incarnational ministry and discipleship.I took away a lot from the conference - a lot. My soul is so saturated right now. Anyone who knows my husband and I, knows how much God has used Pastor David Platt in our lives to show us how very blinded we had been to many basic truths of the Gospel. So of course we were excited to listen to him close out the conference last night. Let's just say, David Platt did not disappoint. He wrapped everything up so well, and of course pointed it all back to Jesus. I have literally listened to hundreds of his sermons (my favorite thing to do while my children nap, and I clean) and read his book, so nothing he said was really new. But one thing stood out for me for the very first time (I love how the Holy Spirit does that!). Jim and I have wrestled and wrestled with why God would place a burden on our hearts for global missions, and then just leave us here to stay. The Spirit gently and graciously began showing both of us last night that part of the reason we are here is to mobilize the church globally. David Platt even went as far as to say that if a Pastor is not doing this, that he is not being obedient as a shepherd (And of course like everything he says, it is backed up an inundated by Scripture. That is perhaps what I appreciate about him most.) Wow.

I have a lot more stirring in my heart where that came from, but I just wanted to share a taste of my excitement. I don't want to scare you all away! Although, I am feeling pretty confident in this, so not too much worrying me about what others will think. Grace again! I am excited that through our family and the power of the Spirit in us God might use us to reach our neighbors and our city for Jesus Christ, and I am excited to stand beside my husband as he passionately equips and motivates the church for global discipleship. Until I can wrap the words around my heart, I will leave you with some quotes that resonated in my soul. Forgive me for not recalling the originator of every quote - all came from the conference.

"The health of a church is judged by its sending capacity not its seating capacity."

"Jesus was passionate about the nations, so we should be passionate about the nations." Platt

"Jesus didn't ask the lost sheep if they wanted to come home. We should stop asking permission to preach the Gospel." Ying Kai

"If our people would just learn to make disciples in their context and vocation here, they might get the idea to go and do that elsewhere."

"We are not missional if we are not engaging the unreached among the nations. Lost people are everywhere, but unreached means people with NO access to the Gospel. There are over 6500 unreached people groups. If we [pastors and church leaders] are not mobilizing our people to go to unreached people groups, than we are not being obedient to the Great Commission. If you heart is not breaking for these people, then stop everything and ask God to give you His heart. " Platt

"The Church's focus must be both local and global. Not either/or. It is commanded to be a both/and."

"Ministry begins with, 'come and see', which leads to 'go and tell', which leads to 'come and die'."

"Maybe one of the reasons people in the Church are not making disciples, is because they are not disciples themselves." Platt

I have a lot more where that came from, but those are some of the quotes and thoughts spinning round my mind and entangling themselves into my heart. Such good stuff.

Drowning in the ocean of His grace, that He would choose me to be His disciple, and that I am blessed to be given the opportunity to share the Gospel, to participate in the Great Commission, and to seek out others to become His disciples, so that they may make disciples, and so that all the glory, all the fame, all the renown goes to my great God and King.


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