Hello blog friends! 'Just finished reading Ephesians 1-2, and the beautiful language there which describes our salvation and inheritance in Christ. Take a look if you haven't read it in a while. :) But this jogged my memory, reminding me of all I learned at the TGC conference a couple of weeks ago. A few key things have stayed with me from that time, and sharing them with you here may be good for me (and maybe you?)
Our weekend-long journey through the redemption story began with Pastor Tim Keller's Friday evening plenary session, with a talk centering on Moses' encounter with God on Mt. Sinai. Paige Benton Brown moved us from the mount, to the OT temple, and God's promise to dwell among us. On Saturday morning, we began with the Getty's modern day hymns (check them out here)...followed by a talk by John Piper on Isaiah 6, which was particularly moving.
"Holiness is Christ's infinite worth, when on display, it is His glory...His holiness has gone public."--John Piper, on holiness
What a challenge to have to choose between many wonderful speakers for our break-out sessions Saturday afternoon! But Lord willing (amidst a busy week of packing and lesson planning...) I will get back for Part 3 of this series, in which I will share a few nuggets I picked up from those sessions.
Her words have stuck with me since that weekend, as I've gone through my day, spent time in prayer, and interacted with others. Her text was Revelation 4-5, with this main theme: The Creator, Redeemer God reigns....worship Him! Perhaps you, like me, approach this book with a bit of trepidation. However, Nielson's explanation of the symbols found in the book was very helpful: the throne of God at the center of all, the reflective beauty of the stones, the colors which show His majesty and glory, etc. We imagined with her, the 24 elders sitting around the throne, the lightening flashes, the torches of fire, and the sea of glass. Add to this the 4 creatures....and you have a pretty dramatic scene. But her emphasis was not on FEAR, as it is for many, but on AWE and WORSHIP. Yes, we do tremble, as Isaiah did here, but having studied the indwelling God all weekend, and then to hear this culminating talk on His greatness displayed in the throne room....I was brought to my knees in grateful praise (okay, I was still sitting, but you get the point :) ).
The first chapter of the text, chapter 4, is intended to lay the foundation for what will happen in chapter 5, and at this point, I felt like I was right there, watching it all happen. (I was going to thank Kathleen here, just now...but the inspired Word and our Great God are to be praised!) The drama created in chapter 5, as the scroll in God's right hand is mentioned, and then horror at the thought of NO ONE being able to open it, well that kept me at the edge of my seat. This is better than any box-office hit we have today! But I won't spoil it for you....go and read the two chapters yourself. PS--it's a good ending. Really good! And it has caused me to worship God with a glad heart this past couple of weeks, humble myself in His presence, and thank Him, that He would stoop down to choose us, to choose me, knowing my sin and weakness.
Praise be to our Almighty and Gracious God!
[One more to come in this series...and be sure to keep checking the TGC website for the videos, which were promised to be coming soon!]