I love the annual Shepherds’ Conference at Grace to You. It is a conference organized thirty years ago at John MacArthur’s church with the sole and express purpose of training up men and supporting them in their leadership positions at their home churches. It is a time for the pastors of our faith to come and enjoy being preached to, nurtured, prayed over, and to worship together. It is a moving experience to see them gather and sing, praising the Lord and loving on each other.
Of course, the preaching is stellar. It is expository, the word is central and it is illuminated by men of maturity and wisdom. There is audio available for the sessions here. The web page will soon have the video of these services, but they are already appearing on Youtube as you can see the links below.
Here are some of the many words of wisdom which struck me to the heart. I share them with you and hope that you may find time to click on one or more of the links to listen to the singing or hear a good word. Have a blessed Sunday.
[Street demonstrating atheists] “are not nearly as dangerous as church leaders who cultivate a gentle, pious, friendly demeanor but they hack away at the foundations of the faith, under the guise of keeping in step with the changing world.” ~Phil Johnson, Shepherds’ Conference 2013, general session #2
“No Christian should imagine naively that heresy is always conspicuous. That every purveyor of theological mischief is going to lay out his agenda in plain and honest terms. They almost never do that. Wolves come in sheep’s clothing.” ~Phil Johnson, Shepherds’ Conference 2013, general session #2
“There is a dramatic account of God’s judgment in Leviticus 9 and 10. The people had been ready to worship. They now had priests. They had standards by which they were to come before God, and offer Him their worship. In the 9th chapter, they came according to God’s law, a sacrifice was offered, God sent down miraculous fire and consumed the sacrifice. In chapter 10, however, another sacrifice was offered, and God consumed the offerers, because they violated His standard, and offered strange fire.” … Worship is a very serious matter. How you come before a holy God is the most important thing you will ever do.” ~John MacArthur, Shepherds’ Conference 2013 – General Session #9
“A high view of Christ leads to a high and holy regard for the church that He purchased with His own blood. A high view of Christ leads to a driving commitment to reach the world for Christ. But conversely, a low view of Christ produces low worship, little regard for His word, low esteem of the pulpit, low standard of holiness, low involvement of spreading God’s word. Everything hinges upon your vision of who Jesus Christ is. That is why we need to see the awe-inspiring vision of Christ.” Steve Lawson, Shepherds’ Conference 2013 – General Session #3
“Too many people see the Christ of the manger. The Christ of Galilee and Jerusalem. Too many only see the Christ of the Garden of Gethsemane, the Christ of the cross at Calvary and the empty tomb. As glorious as these aspects of Christ’s earthly and ministry are, they do not tell the whole story. If we are to grow in grace and mature in faith, we must not only see Christ as He once was, but as He now is: KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords! We must see not only the meek Messiah and the humble Galilean, but the Sovereign Lord, the Head of the church. The enthroned Christ invested with all power and authority in the universe. … The one before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~Steve Lawson, Shepherds’ Conference 2013 – General Session #3
Of hymns: “We were singing songs the saints have sung for a very long time. I am not on a rant against modern technologies- I use them. I am not on a rant against all contemporary and modern hymns. There are many that are wonderful and we sang one of them tonight. But it is very important that we sing songs that people know are as worship of the One True and Living God. That these songs are not merely emotional expressions that end up flashing on a screen and then disappear. They are songs that belong to the saints. ~Al Mohler, Shepherds’ Conference 2013, General session #6 [emphasis mine]
I second that. I appreciate OUR music. It is not the world’s music, it is immediately identifiable as ours, the church’s, and separate from the world. It is worshipful music, not just worship music.
“God is not just the mayor of Jerusalem. He is the judge of ALL.” ~Al Mohler, Shepherds’ Conference 2013, General session #6
Now for some good, short essays on other topics:
Locusts arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel (it’s a small pack and not a massive swarm. Officials hope that already-completed preventative spraying will keep them at bay)
Damascus, Syria is still imploding.
“The danger of Syria’s impending implosion”: 5 ways the collapse of Syria might be more dangerous than most people realize.”
Specks and Beams: the importance of judging
The sun isn’t producing many sunspots like it was ‘supposed’ to in its solar maximum. Scientists can’t figure out why it’s quiet…too quiet.