On Saturday morning, the first day of the conference, I was reading in Deuteronomy, and as I read Mark Dever's commentary, I came across this passage:
When you begin to grasp the great truth of this book--that God chooses his people--you begin to realize that our fundamental posture as Christians should never be anxiety or pride, but gratitude and hope. Anxiety may look more humble than pride, but it's really just pride with no make-up on. More than anything else, a confident knowledge of God and his Word will kill our pride and fuel our hope. It was true for God's people back in Moses' time, and it's true for God's people today. If you want to kill pride and fuel hope, study and learn God's Word. Grow in your confidence in him. (The Message of the Old Testament, p. 162)
As I read that, I realized that the area in which I really wanted to grow was in humility. I'm very good at knowing what I believe (orthodoxy), but I'm a very proud person who loves to share his own opinions instead of listening to others.
During one of the times of worship, the speakers all read meditations on the cross from different church fathers, and CJ read a quote from Charles Spurgeon that pierced me to the heart:
I received some years ago orders from my Master to stand at the foot of the cross until he came. He has not come yet, but I mean to stand there till he does. Here, then, I stand at the foot of the cross and tell out the old, old story, stale though it sound to itching ears, and worn threadbare as critics may deem it. It is of Christ I love to speak, of Christ who loved, and lived, and died, the substitute for sinners, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.
That's what I need to do! I need to spend every day at the foot of the cross, because only there do I realize my own insignificance and unworthiness. In the shadow of the cross, what reason do I have for pride? As we continued to sing about the cross, I was moved to tears to think that Christ would come to die for me, an arrogant sinner shaking my fist in the face of my Creator.
Am I humble now? Nope. But hopefully I have been humbled just a little more, and a little bit more of my pride is gone. Because that's how sanctification works: slowly but surely, God is faithful to bring my life into conformity with his character. As long as I dwell in the shadow of the cross, I will be humbled.
So that was one of my key takeaway points from the weekend. But for a general recap: the sermons were amazing, all eight of them (and are available for free from Sovereign Grace), the fellowship was incredible, and I had a great time in my first "singles" event without supervision. It was so much fun, I can't even begin to describe it. However, over the next few days I plan to write up an account of my experiences over on my Xanga, so feel free to check it out. And if you want to read some other detailed accounts, there were liveblogs everywhere, including Tim Challies, The Rebelution, Boundless, Kevin, and of course New Attitude itself. (Did I mention that I met Tim, Alex, and Brett? That was pretty cool, let me tell you.) So have fun reading about it, and start making plans to come next year!