betting sites that accept paypal Daltonganj One of the awesome benefits of living in the frozen tundra that is Minneapolis is that we share the city with several great Christian networks and ministries. The most influential of these (in my life) is Desiring God. This year was the first opportunity I (the intern) had to attend the National Conference with the team of pastors and pastors-in-training from my local church.
pragmatic play casinos 25 free spins Weißensee The conference theme this year was The Vine: union with Christ and the plenary speakers were Michael Horton, Sinclair Ferguson, and John Piper. I’m just going to highlight a few points throughout the 3 days that are still sticking with me.
- Piper said (in summation), Do not miss the work of the Vinedresser in John 15. His cleaning and pruning are necessary works. The goal and the result is the Vine’s flourishing. The suffering and trials we endure are not due to a spiteful Judeo-Christian ogre god, but the suffering brought into our life comes from a God who is all love who molds and prunes for our very flourishing!
- Ferguson said, “Your citizenship is not based on how you feel but is based on who you are.” This came after some discussion on Jesus’ baptism into Adam and our baptism into Christ. Without being divisive Ferguson talked about baptism as a naming ceremony where we are baptized into the name of Christ from Adam giving us a picture of our true citizenship. We are not chiefly sons of Adam any more but sons of God! There are times, possibly at some point in every week, where I don’t feel as though I am Christ’s. My union with Christ is not something that changes based on my communion with God or my own feeling but on the reality of what has already been procured without a doubt!
- Ferguson mentioned that the two tasks of the pastor can be mined out of our unbreakable union with Christ and those tasks are to convince unbelievers under the dominion of sin that they are under the dominion of sin and to convince believers not under the dominion of sin that they are no longer under sin’s dominion. What a simple summation of the work. I do not mean the work is simple, but that the summation of the work is simple. I have found that preaching the Gospel to myself is simply a renewed focus on my forgiveness in Jesus. I am holy in the sight of my Father. I have found that when counseling others the primary thing to convince them of is the unwavering acceptance God has for them in Christ. If pastoral ministry moves from these two tasks we have probably missed what is the most important aspect of the work.
- One final thing that I have been considering a lot lately (encouraged by a mentor of mine) was touched on during my time at the PasCon. Sometimes our expectations are just too high for ourselves and as a result we miss celebrating the miraculous small movements toward Christ that take place in our lives and in the lives of others. Ministry, as Ferguson reminded us, comes with triumph and tragedy. It is the natural flow of ministry. As a young man I have dreams that might be lofty; they might even be ridiculous. I do not think it is wrong to dream. Piper has said, “Dream big God-centered dreams.” I do think these dreams need to be tempered though that the reality of ministry is that there will be triumph, but also tragedy. Maybe a big God- centered dream is that I will continue to love my wife and that by others seeing that their marriage would be helped. Maybe a big God-centered dream is that I would be exuberant when my children obey me someday and that some other parent may see Christ in that exuberance. I want my big dreams for life to be tempered by the reality that any movement by any individual is a miracle of God’s grace. I don’t want to forget that. I don’t want to underestimate that.
jennifer tilly poker player Were you at the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference? If you were I’d love to here about some of the things that encouraged your heart. Comment or Tweet at me. All conference media is now available.
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