Praise the Lord! We are overwhelmed by all the work that God did at Sparrow Conference 2012. We are so thankful that many of you were able to attend. It is our hope and prayer that those of you that were not able to come will join us next year in the fall at Sparrow 2013.
It has been exactly one month since Sparrow 2012 and the dust has settled from the conference itself. The chaos of life is back in full swing: class, work, coffee breaks, study group, lab, hangout with friends (repeat cycle again). It is easy in these moments to forget what the Lord has put before us to remember. In Psalm 77, we are encouraged to remember the works of the Lord and the words that he has spoken to us.
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.” Psalm 77:11-14
Have you forgotten? I will be the first to admit, I have a difficult time remembering what happened five minutes ago, much less a month or a year. It is easy to come home from an encounter with the Lord, desire true change, feel convicted over sin, and be truly humbled by God’s mercy and love toward us. However, the farther removed we are, the voice of the Lord can grow quiet in our hearts and the voice of the world tends to blare. In remembering, we are encouraged by the steadfast faithfulness of the Lord to press on towards maturity. We remember His works in the past so that we can pursue His purposes in the future.
In the Old Testament we see the people of God continually finding ways to remember what He has done. They would build an altar, pillar, or Ebenezer in that place to remember and mark His presence and promises. In Genesis 28, Jacob on the run from his brother Esau, received a promise of deliverance and blessing from God. He set up a pillar of remembrance and poured oil on the top of it. Jacob named this place Bethal which means “house of God”. In Genesis 35, Jacob returned to Bethal upon the fulfillment of God’s promise. It was in this place where he again received a new name and a new set of promises. We see the building of a memorial altar again in Joshua 4:19-24, when God split the Jordan river and Israel crossed into the promised land to fight for their inheritance, the Lord had them bring twelve stones from the middle of the river to pile on the other side. This would serve as a memorial to future generations, so that they would know, “the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever” (v. 24). Our modern-day altars of remembrance might look like a journal entry or a marked place of prayer, but they drive our mind’s attention and hearts affection to the faithful and steadfast love of God.
The Lord is always moving and working. I believe that the Lord was doing a mighty work in each of your lives before the conference. What was it that you walked away with from Sparrow Conference? What was it that the Lord was speaking to you before, during, and after the conference?
At Sparrow 2012, we heard Danielle Anderson speak on Truth. What truths have settled into your life in the last month that are speaking louder than the Truth of the Gospel?
Saturday morning at the conference, Lauren Chandler discussed Freedom. She spoke on John 4 where Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. Remember he met the woman at her well, in the middle of the day, in the hot sun. He was there. He didn’t just speak to her about her circumstances but He went straight for her heart. This woman could not help but speak of what Christ did in that one conversation. She was freed and forever changed. What is your well that you tend to draw from apart from Christ? What has the Lord asked you to leave at your well?
Mary Anderson talked about identity in Christ alone. It is so easy in our culture to find our identity in a myriad of things. Where are you finding your identity today? What label have you hinged your life on?
And finally, Colleen Searcy spoke on Purpose. The Gospel does not paralyze us, it moves us toward confession, repentance, community, and mission. We are to present ourselves “to God as those who have been brought from death to life and your members as instruments for righteousness” Romans 8:13. What has He called you to specifically?
We were never meant to walk alone in change or in mission. We were created to walk in community. Walking through life with others that know you and are passionately pursuing the Lord will sharpen you in truth, freedom, identity, and purpose as you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. The church is a place to pursue Jesus alongside others for the glory of the Lord. Become apart of the local expression of the body of Christ. Be loved and challenged there.
It is our prayer that the Lord would powerfully move in your life. That He would bring to mind the things that He has spoken to you and wants you to remember and fix in your heart. Let these things serve as an altar of God’s faithfulness and stir in you a greater ferverence for the Lord. It is our prayer that as you walk through life that you would do it in a church community constantly being sharpened in the truth, which produces freedom, identity, and purpose.
Here is a link to the 2012 Resource Booklet. In the back you will find a list of gospel-centered churches, ministries, recovery/ counseling resources, and articles.
Below you will find links to the videos shown at the conference as well as pictures from Sparrow 2012.
Keep on the lookout for more blogs. Follow us on Twitter @sparrowconf.