Adrienne, Alisa, and I have been in Orlando since Thursday, and I have been constantly awed by how well everything is going with this baby of mine. I’ll admit I was rather anxious – she’s been more unpredictable as of late and I had started to wonder if this trip was completely foolish and if I would spend the entire time sitting in my hotel room. But instead, God’s blessings abound, and I have been able to listen and participate in each session thus far with a happy or sleeping baby beside me.
With that, my heart and mind are overflowing and I don’t know where to begin with processing all of it. I’m hoping to post highlights from each session, but that means I have to start wrapping my mind around all of the truth I’m hearing.
One thing that has become clear to me over the past couple of years and continues to be reiterated in my time here is this: I am not a Gospel graduate. It may sound dumb or obvious, but I spent years in the church as a “Christian” who “knew” the Gospel and was ready for “deeper” things. We could be “seeker-friendly” and share the Gospel every week, but that was for them and not for me. As a result, I also spent years wasted, having walked away from Jesus and fluctuating between wallowing in the guilt and shame of my sin and occasionally trying to follow some rules.
It wasn’t until I entered my church and heard the Gospel – the real Gospel – for the first time that I was shaken to my core. I was confronted by a magnificent, holy God and realized the depth of my sin against Him. It was there that I really met Jesus, my Savior, for the first time, only by His grace, and learned that the Gospel is not what we should do, it’s what God has already done through Christ.
Yes, that’s the Gospel. But instead of moving on from there, I long to abide in it. To let it flow into everything I do; to change everything I am. There is nothing basic or elementary about it. As Don Carson said in his session yesterday, “Gospel-centeredness stamps everything.”
So as I listen to these wonderful speakers delight in the glory and goodness of God, I am struck by the way it all points to Jesus. And I’m reminded at how, not too long ago, I might have rolled my eyes and said, “I’ve got Jesus – give me the deep stuff.” Then I’m moved to a point of deep, overwhelming gratitude – that God has and continues to rescue me from myself and bring me back to His Son and remind me, “It doesn’t get deeper than this.”