A Firm Grasp

6 Jul

We are back from sunny California!

I realized that I never shared with you the purpose of our vacation. Besides visiting many of Shady’s relatives who we have not seen for years, the reason we travelled to California was to attend the 2012 Resolved conference. If you have never heard of this conference, I strongly encourage you to visit www.resolved.org  to learn more about it. This conference is a ministry of Grace Community Church which is pastored by John MacArthur.  After eight years, this was the final time that the conference would be held, and we were so blessed to be able to attend!

This year the conference focused on the topic of “The Church”.  It was four days of listening to one edifying sermon after another.  Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of my personal highlights from the conference, including what I have learned from the various pastors. For today I would love to briefly share something I heard that resonated with me in a powerful way.

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

Our hearts are constantly grasping…reaching for something to embrace in the hopes of finding momentary happiness and satisfaction. This passage admonishes us to set our hearts on the Gospel…to hold fast to it as with a firm grip. One of the blessings of meeting together in a conference such as Resolved  is the encouragement our hearts receive to tighten our grip even more on the truth of the Gospel.

What does it mean, practically speaking, to hold tight to the Gospel?  It means to be unswerving in my commitment to God (something which I can only do through His power) .It means love for the Lord that is nurtured with scripture towards constant growth. It means obedience without compromise.  It means that Jesus Christ sits on the throne of life…my heart and my hands hold fast to Him.

Amanda knows what it means to hold something in her grip. She’s actually quite skilled at holding tight to just about anything that catches her attention. These days it’s my hair…my collar bone…but especially my nose. Don’t be deceived by the fragile appearance of her hands. Once those fingers hold onto something they are determined not to let it go. That is of course until she spots something more interesting.

My behaviour often resembles that of Amanda’s. I resolve to hold tight the words of the Gospel to my heart. But worldly temptations and distractions compete with my allegiance and slowly pry my fingers off of God’s words. Like Amanda I temporary release my grip to make room for that which looks attractive and appealing.

This is why it is so important to be in God’s word on a regular basis…why we need to encourage each other with the truth of Gospel…and why we need to be committed to our local church. As I was reminded this weekend, Christ didn’t die for a conference…He died for the church.  As much as conferences are exciting and edifying, they do not replace the assembling together as a church family on a weekly basis. We are called to be committed to a local church where we can experience all that the Gospel has to offer, within the context of His body.  And as we spend time with those in the body of believers we should be striving to encourage our brothers and sisters to tighten their grip on the truth of the gospel and to release our affection for anything that hinders our commitment to God.

How can I encourage others to hold fast to their commitment to the faith? How can you do the same? This is what I was left to ask myself…and I hope you will do the same.

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13

I’m including a list of the pastors that spoke at the conference, along with the link to their respective ministries/church. Each one of these pastors love God with their whole heart, soul and mind, and their passion for Scripture, for teaching it clearly, faithfully and applying it to their lives was so evident to me.

John MacArthur               www.gty.org

Steve Lawson                    http://www.cfbcmobile.org

Albert Mohler                   http://www.albertmohler.com

CJ Mahaney                       http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org

Rick Holland                        http://www.missionroadbiblechurch.com

Austin Duncan                   http://www.gracechurch.org/crossroads/media

Jonathan Rorke                 http://www.gracechurch.org/media/?filter=speaker&id=44

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One Response to “A Firm Grasp”

  1. digdeepwithdina July 14, 2012 at 8:25 AM #

    Well put Dina, I love how you always use Amanda to emphasize your point. God bless you.

    Ee

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