The Sovereign Grace Small Group Leaders’ Conference was amazing as usual. This conference is truly one of my favorites, and now that it only happens once every three years, I am even more aware of the unique blessing it is. I can only describe being there in terms of experiencing wave after wave of God’s grace through worship, a musical review, teachings, workshops, and fellowship. For my own benefit more than anything, here are three of the many, many things I learned:
- In C.J.’s teaching, “the Priority and Practice of Application” I learned that I am simple, and so is everyone else I know. The implications are that I am not going to be able to apply a ton of truth to a ton of areas in my life that need growth. My kids aren’t either. My husband isn’t. The ladies I am called to minister to aren’t. But one bit of scripture applied to one bit of life will begin the momentum of change in other areas. This will not limit growth, it will ensure it.
- In Mike Bullmore’s teaching, which was a work of art as far as teachings go, entitled “The Functional Centrality of the Gospel”, I learned all over again that all Christian behavior should flow out of the gospel. I must see the connection. I must help others see the connection. I think of this with my kids. How often I have issued a moral command apart from the gospel (Stop being unkind to your brother. No grumbling and complaining, please. Say you’re sorry to your sister.) I must stick the post-it note of behavioral moral exhortation to the fly wheel of the gospel because the momentum is already there. And also, may these not just be buzz words that I have learned to parrot, and taught my kids to parrot, but may it become an increasing genuine practice in the Reyes house as Jason seeks to lead us in it.
- In Dave Harvey’s teaching about faith I learned that faith looks up and faith looks back. Faith looks up and believes that God exists, and God is good. This has extremely practical application. In fact, this morning I remembered it when my kids woke up at their body’s normal time 7 am, but the clock had been turned back to 6 am. My hope was to wake before them and have a leisurely time with the Lord, but that did not happen. I complained. I asked my husband why he let them come down early. I was angry. In that moment I remembered to ask myself the question Dave Harvey told us to ask: Does God exist? Is God good? My disappointment seemed silly after considering the fact that God was there and had my good in mind even if it meant I wouldn’t get the long time in His word that I was hoping for. I was able to confess my sin, and be at peace with the kids up an hour earlier than usual. Ah faith…so practical.
Those are just a few of the jewels I found in the treasure trove of the conference. I am so happy that some of my favorite people, our care group leaders, were able to be there to benefit from the wealth as well. I pray for grace for all of us to make application a priority as we enter reality this week.