It’s finally here! WorshipGod11 is the bi-annual conference put on by Sovereign Grace Ministries held at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. About 2,000 worship leaders/pastors/musicians gather for 3 1/2 days of worship, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and fun.
Our first day was great, I have the joy of attending with my wife this year and also 5 other couples from our church, including our new Sr. Pastor and his wife! What a blessing.
We gathered for an amazing time of worship, singing many songs from the newest SG album – “Risen.” Singing songs of praise to our heavenly father at these conferences is like nothing else to me. The passion, energy and Holy Spirit are heavy in the air.
Then, Ray Ortland, Jr. spoke — I’ve only read snippets of quotes from him previously, so I was looking forward to hearing him speak.
He spoke on 2 Cor 3:1-18, primarily on v18. And broke apart each phrase in v18.
- We all gather – we gather to behold the glory of God. No where is this more clear than in the gospel of Jesus Christ. If there are things in our service that don’t fit in and point to Jesus, they need to come out! We get to do this week by week, where the works righteousness that we have built up during the week gets broken down.
- Being transformed – sin has gone deep we need constant immersion in the gospel. Are we being transformed? We should plainly see that something happened to us when Christ gave us new life – we should see the change. This change is really the early stirrings of the new heaven and the new Earth that we get to see and participate in now. Ortlund gave a great quote from Edwards here:
- ‘Such a work is, in its nature and kind, the most glorious of any work of God whatsoever,’ Edwards protests. ‘It is the work of redemption (the great end of all the other works of God, and of which the work of creation was but a shadow). It is the work of new creation, which is infinitely more glorious than the old. I am bold to say that the work of God in the conversion of one soul… is a more glorious work than the creation of the whole material universe.’
- Into the same image – we participate in this work – with God at our church, week by week.
- It comes from the Lord – it is his work, not ours. There is no “sanctify one another” found in scripture.
- “I’m an idiot, my future is bright, and anyone can get in on this” – his church’s mantra.
- Ortlund listed three conditions of God’s work on his terms:
- Are we turning to the Lord, or are we just going to church?
- Are we removing the veils or hiding behind them?
- Is he being displayed as glorious or are we?
- The ministry of the Gospel is a supernatural event – comes thru us but not OF us.
- Our souls have senses – Eph 1:18 – open the EYES of my heart…
- We cannot present God like he is able to be fully known, present the gospel as trivialized – it’s like dipping a spoon in the ocean and then saying “this is the ocean!”
- We may have to suspend the horizontal connection (NFL, what’s for lunch) to connect vertically
- Don’t just connect with one another – connect with Christ
- Are we worshiping community or Christ?
- Do people actually meet God when they are at church? or just go to meet with each other?