John MacArthur, keynote speaker for this year's DG conference, brought great messages on essential to persevering in the ministry. The main text that he taught from was 2 Corinthians 4:1-9
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
Some points of impact for me:
- The call to radical personal holiness and the training of a biblically informed conscience. MacArthur explained that the conscience is for the soul as pain is for the body. Pain is a very good thing because without it we might allow ourselves to die because we would not understand some of the danger of our actions or what is being done to us. The same way the conscience is for the soul. It is dangerous to sin against it, likewise we are foolish to think that we do not have to educate and train it with the Word of Christ.
- I commend to you his teaching on the treasure in "jars of clay." What a great message on the treasure of the gospel, planted in us, these breakable, dispensable, ugly, jars.
You can listen/view his messages as well as the messages of others at http://www.desiringgod.org
Conversation with John
Before the conference began, I received an e-mail from a man who stumbled upon this blog and wanted to get together to discuss missions in Mexico as well as theological training for leaders in that country. We later discovered that we would both be attending the Desiring God conference! So we met for coffee and I must tell you, it is great to see what the Lord is doing in this brother's life.
We both share a common interest in seeing leaders trained to correctly handle the Word! Would you join us in praying toward this? First, that there would be people saved in these areas. Second, that the Lord would set apart leaders for His people. Finally, that there would be some of us that would stop using the argument that "there must be people closer and more qualified to go" as a reason to not devote time, energy, and resources to this area.
John, if you read this, I want you to know that appreciate our short time together during the conference and I look forward to speaking with you more in the future!!!
Missions in 2008
Lord willing, we are going to take 2 larger trips to Centenario next summer. The information is now available. I am encouraging everyone to go ahead and register as soon as possible with the church office by calling 636-464-1460 or visiting our website at http://www.rockportbaptist.org for more information.