NEXT 2010 Conference: Day One

Our trip to NEXT started with five guys and six girls in two minivans. We left Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27th at 7:30pm. We drove through the night–I only got around three hours of sleep on the way…not quite enough. The night seems so much longer when you’re awake for most of it! As we got closer to Chicago, we started hitting a ton of tolls. We had bought a pass for the tolls but quickly found out that it was not working! After some investigating, we read that it had to be activated. This was difficult to do in the middle of the night! Thus, we made a stop in order to try to activate it online. As Eric (one of the leaders of the group) went inside to figure all that stuff out, the rest of us were left sitting in a parking lot at 1am. It didn’t take long before we got music bang’n in the van and then began the…epic…late night race between Caleb and Aaron M. (two of the guys).This race was the first of many challenges/races between these two. Guys are definitely different then girls but, it made the trip a whole lot more fun to have them with us! Back on the road again…we didn’t stop again until around 7:30am for breakfast at Panera Bread. To skip ahead a bit, we arrived in Baltimore at around 4:30pm. We checked into our hotel rooms at the Marriott. We quickly had supper at Noodles & Company, we headed to the Baltimore Convention Center to check in. It was such a great and weird feeling to finally arrive in Baltimore and actually be at the conference. Up to that point, it never felt like it was ever going to happen, especially with it being my first time there. We had special passes so we could pick our spot before everyone else came in. It was so fun to see how excited everyone was to get a good spot! They looked like ants running out of the ant hill when being attacked. It was hilarious to watch! Then the music started. Wow. It was really starting! I was really at Next and not just thinking about when I would finally be able to go.

Top 4 favorite songs from the night:

How Great is Your Faithfulness (Redman/Myrin)

Completely Done (Baird/Baird/Gunderlock)

All I Have is Christ (Jordan Kauflin)

In Christ Alone (Getty/Townend)

Session One: What are you Built Upon? (Joshua Harris):

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and so not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against the house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of the house was great. –Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)

Jesus loves to save religious hypocrites. He saved my life from a life lived in religious hypocrisy. Does the way I live “match up” with what I say? What am I building my life upon? Am I building on the wrong foundation? We are all theologians, but is what I say about God right?

Question: How do we dig down deep? How do we make sure we are using the right building materials?

  1. Doctrine isn’t an end in itself. Doctrine helps us to know, love, and trust the person of Jesus Christ.

All the truth of the Bible points us to Jesus Christ. Doctrine is the truth and teaching of God’s word. Doctrine shows us that we are in need of a Savior! Salvation MUST be found in Jesus Christ alone. Anything else that I am building my house upon will be washed away in the storms of life. Moments and methods of man will fail. Jesus Christ alone will never fail. He alone must be the rock of my salvation.

2.   A real, saving relationship with Jesus Christ necessarily involves doctrine.

We need doctrine to love Jesus! It is impossible to have passion for God if that passion is not defined by truth.  We cannot relate to the Lord without doctrine. We serve a living God who speaks to us, the facts and history mean something! Doctrine is at the heart of love & passion for Jesus Christ.

3.   Knowing right doctrine is not enough! We have to put Jesus’ words into   practice.

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts he will be blessed in his doing.” –James 1:22-25 (ESV)

A person who builds his life on sand:

  • Is unaffected by Christ’s words
  • Is content with hearing and not doing
  • The storms of life will reveal the stability and foundation of his faith. A faith that is shallow and not dug down deep. Thus, when the storms come, his faith is shaken.

A person who builds his life on the rock:

  • Is affected by Christ’s words
  • Is not content with just hearing and writing down notes but actually puts into practice what he has heard.
  • The storms of life reveal the stability of this person’s faith. A faith that is dug down deep in the doctrine of God, resulting in a love & passion for Jesus Christ. So when the storms come, this person’s faith cannot be shaken.

What is your foundation built on?

Best Memory from the Day:

It is hard to narrow it down to one! I really enjoyed walking down by the harbor after Josh’s message and then stopping by California Tortilla and talking about what we learned. This was the first time on the trip in which I realized how sweet fellowship with other believers really is. Praise God that we can have true and deep fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ!

My Notes:

Maybe by now you are wondering why I am taking all this time to tell you about all that happened on the trip. There are two reasons why. People wanted to hear about my trip and what I learned. There is no possible way to do this in a quick paragraph. I learned so much! The second reason is because I want to apply what I learned and this is definitely making me think again about what was said.

Josh’s message that night really spoke to me. After thinking about it and discussing it as a group, I was really convicted. I was convicted about how I am quick to listen but slow to apply what I hear. I was convicted about my lack of knowledge of Jesus. Especially when he talked about the need for doctrine in order to love Jesus. The one thing I was most convicted about was where my hope is found. The Lord has been revealing that I have put my hope in marriage, a relationship, control, peace, or even a specific person. This must not be where I put my hope! My hope must be found in Christ alone. Everything else in this life will let my down. That is why when singing “All I have is Christ” that night, I fought back tears. It is my hearts desire to sing, “Hallelujah, All I have is Christ” and truly be content with that. All I really need is Christ. So in closing, I want to post the lyrics to this song.

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

Come back next Thursday for Day Two…..

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