Jan 3, 2014

CrossCon 2013: Reflections on the Cross Conference

I showed up at the Cross Conference in Louisville, Kentucky expecting to have my passion for God and the gospel rekindled.

That's exactly what I came away with.

John Piper, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and Matt Chandler are all pastors that have influenced me through books, blogs, and sermons. So of course, it was incredible to hear them all in the same place and even have the opportunity to ask them questions in special Q&A sessions.

Words cannot describe how incredibly glorious it is to be surrounded by over 3,000 college students who are on fire for Christ along with these passionate teachers of God's Word!

Not only was I challenged in my calling to proclaim the gospel to the nations, I was reminded just how much I need the gospel, how it's still the most vital aspect of my daily life.

So often I forget to be consistently amazed by God's grace and treasure the gospel.

"Until Christ is our treasure, any motivation we have to go out and suffer for him is a fool's errand."— Matt Chandler

Because I have chosen my degree in order to pursue full-time missions, it was such a joy for me to speak to the dozens sending agencies and missions organizations set up at the conference. There are so many resources and supports for missionaries today!

As David Platt prepared to give the closing session, he prefaced everything by saying at the end he was going to ask some of us to stand if we were willing to commit to making a move towards long-term missions. By standing, we would be committing to approach our church leaders about our desire to pursue missions.

At that point, I knew in my head that that's exactly what I wanted to do with my life—that's the very reason I chose English ed as my major. Still, the fact that I was being asked to make such a decided and binding commitment daunted me. This was serious commitment that could effect the entire trajectory of my life.

Was I ready? Was this really what God's purpose for my life was?

I began searching for a "feeling" of confirmation, some kind of heartfelt "calling" to give me confidence in my decision all through David Platt's session. I hoped that he would give a powerful list of motivations or some words that would so set my heart ablaze that I wouldn't have any doubts as to whether I would stand or sit when the time came.

However, instead of the closing words from David Platt that I was expecting, the last CrossCon session was directly from God.

David Platt said, "What if all it took was the word of God to inspire the worship of God?" Then he dove right in to a recitation of Romans 1-8.

What followed was literally one of the most glorious things I have ever experienced.

As he was reciting the first 8 chapters of Romans, people all over the room began standing in worship, raising their hands in adoration, rejoicing in the Word with shouts of joy, "amen's," and "hallelujah's." I experienced what it is like to be so moved the gospel of Jesus Christ! It is absolutely the power of God to salvation!

For the second greatest time in my life (the first being my salvation), I experienced the gospel's power in my life. By chapter 8, I had been moved to be feet, hands in the air, tears streaming down my face. 

The biggest motivation for missions is not anything any evangelist or speaker can say—it is the gospel and the gospel alone that is our motivation!

No longer did I have any doubts about my decision. I was ready to stand and commit my life to the proclamation of this powerful gospel of Christ to the nations, even if it meant risking my life and giving up everything. 

This gospel is worth it.

"Count the cost and count it well. Then pay it joyfully because Jesus is worth it." — David Sitton