Over the course of the last several weeks, I've been blessed to sit under many soul-stirring speakers. I've been wanting to share some takeaways from these messages, and after my trip to Mars Hill Church in Seattle this past weekend to hear Elyse Fitzpatrick speak, I knew I should share these things sooner than later. I apologize for the bullet-styled post that you are about to read, but I hope that these snippets encourage you, spur new conversations, and give you gospel light for any dark situations that you are facing.
As I sat down to write out these takeaways, I realized that this post was going to be entirely wa-ay too long. I had originally planned to include some things from the Desiring God conference, but I've decided to just stick with Seattle stuff for now. And, even with just that on the docket, you won't be disappointed. I jokingly tell people that I never miss an opportunity to hear my girl, Elyse Fitzpatrick, speak. I'm kind of like a rock band groupie without the rock band. Because, in this case, I'm following a grandma-- a very wise, hilarious, and theologically sound woman who is not afraid to speak truth. And that is why I say you will not be disappointed. (Or, if you are, count it against my lack of skill in the writing department!) I hope you enjoy a few shots of Seattle while you read too! (My friend Angela and I arrived at Pike's Place market right before opening time and found our way in through a propped open door. We immediately found the doughnuts and Starbucks and enjoyed a quiet morning at the market before heading on to the conference.)
When I or anyone I know is struggling, the first message that needs to be asked or heard is, 'Do you understand that God has set his love on you? Can you believe that God decided to love you? The only bad news is if you don't believe. We may not understand, but we can still believe. Do you know you are loved?' -- That's the starting point.
Has the gospel become white noise to us? 'Jesus friend of sinners.' White noise? 'Your Father feeds the birds.' White noise? 'Jesus loves me.' 'He was crucified and buried and rose again on the third day.' Have these giant truths become white noise to us today?
We're worried because we're trying to build our kingdom-- this kingdom where 'all good things come to me'. Do we really need something? God will give it! // All of our sin flows out of our unbelief. When I doubt God and his provision in my life, I am not believing that God is good enough to give me all I need. Original sin is believing that God is not good. // We can love sinners because we are sinners who've been loved. I need to love someone more than I need that person. // We can give people law, but it must be in the context of grace. The law stirs up sin. The law drives an unsaved person to Christ. We give law to the unbeliever until grace breaks through.
Obedience must flow from gratitude. // When you don't forgive, you're not hurting that person, you are enslaved to that person. // We have a great high priest. One who, in every respect, was tempted as we are tempted. We don't know the whys of some situations-- we aren't God-- but we know who He is! // Seeing Christ will make us love him. Every sin we commit is from a lack of love. // "To see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice changes a slave into a child and duty into choice." William Cowper
And on that note, I think I can wish you a really, really wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for reading here.