‘Then he isn’t safe,’ said Lucy.
‘Safe?’ said Mr Beaver. ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.’
(CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Geoffrey Bles, 1950)
i’ve been at Women’s Katoomba Convention all weekend with a group of women from church – it’s the first time i’ve been to WKC and it was absolutely wonderful. it was so what i needed – a shot of adrenalin for the soul (to quote one of the conference speakers completely out of context). i guess lately i’ve been getting distracted from my ultimate goal, and taking my eyes off Jesus, and feeling a bit rudderless. so to have a weekend of being completely drenched in the Word and being blown away all over again by the amazing mercy and blessings we have been given in Christ was just such a privilege.
the theme of the weekend was Jesus uncut: meeting the real Jesus. it is so easy to cut Jesus down into a manageable, tame version of himself; we often can look away from the Jesus shown to us in the Bible and tweak him into something we find easier to cope with, someone we can slot into our busy lives. the talks were all aimed at refreshing our vision of the real Jesus, to be “confronted by his call to radical discipleship and comforted by his compassion” (qtd from the conference book).
the speakers (Jenny Salt, Greta Gaut, Susan Thorpe and Maxine Cook) were all fantastic. i can’t really work out what i want to say about it all, so i’ll just list some of the notes i jotted down in my book from the main talks. some things are fairly obvious truths that were good to have reiterated, and some others were really timely words i needed to hear. (if any of it doesn’t make sense, feel free to ask me to elaborate or explain my incoherent notes!)
from Jenny Salt’s talks (Matthew 8-9)
- Jesus has authority over all – he is more powerful than anything the world can throw at us
- don’t underestimate the cost, but don’t underestimate the privilege of following him
- the more we understand our sin and our need, the more we will marvel at our salvation
- those who think they are worthy are as needy as those who know they are needy – “there is no one righteous, not even one” (rom 3:10)
- we mustn’t be fooled by the facade of a successful life – everyone needs Jesus
- we need to hold in balance a realistic view of who we are without Jesus, and a realistic view of who he is – Jesus is in complete control, he is absolutely trustworthy, and he has dealt with sin completely
from Greta Gaut’s talks (Hebrew 4:12-16, 12:1-13)
- because God sees it all, he can forgive it all! we can’t hide anything from him, but his mercy is great
- don’t hold on to guilt – confess, repent, move on
- Jesus is our great High Priest – we need no other mediator to bring us to God
- we need to constantly make a deliberate commitment to draw near to Jesus and to hold fast, white knuckled
- focusing on Jesus will give us the endurance to finish the race – adrenalin for the soul
- wrong thinking about suffering – it isn’t about God punishing us, but disciplining us, which involves teaching, leading, training and correcting
- clean up – get rid of everything that distracts and the sin that so easily entangles. i loved this quote – “don’t jeopardise your weak spiritual ankles by crashing down the path of temptation”
i really needed to be up there this weekend with those 2000 Christian sisters. i am so grateful to God that he has given us so much, that we have that opportunity for such learning. but most of all i am so grateful and overwhelmed that he loves me – me! – so much that he sent his Son to take away all the muck, all the blackness of my heart, all the sin, and that he sees me as perfect through Jesus. it is just incredible.
and he did it for you, too!