To say last night was amazing is… well, I don’t know. All I know is that amazing just would not cut it. To better describe the last night of Hillsong's 2013 Conference one would have to use words like inspiring; revelation; mind-opening; surprising; emotional; humorous; love-filled; spirit-filled; infinite; you know, something along those lines.
However, because it is physically impossible for me to rewind time and bring you with me, I suppose I could just give you the key points I received from Pastor Judah Smith's all-those-above-words-and-a-bit-more message.
1. John 3:16 + Romans 5:6-8 are alive and real because God is love. (1 John 4:8). It is literally impossible for Him not to love us and everyone including the bad people because He knows no other way. He is love and He will always be love
2. God is a groupie. For example, look at Justin Beiber and his groupies. A bunch of people willing to do anything to meet, see, and hear Justin Beiber no matter the cost. They follow him to all - if not, most - of his shows; they dream of the day that he will be theirs; and every thing he does they hope it’s for them even though they know that there’s a strong possibility that won’t ever happen. Hence, God is our groupie. He longs to be with us, to hear us, to speak to us, and to see us even though He knows some will reject Him. God longs for our praises and will never stop looking for them.
3. He’s got a bad case of the so-loves. I mean just look at John 3:16 for example. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have everlasting life.” With that then comes so many other things:
For God so loves us that…
- He continues to forgive us EVERY time we stuff up (1 John 1:9)
- He helps us find our way when we find ourselves lost. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- He wants nothing but an awesome life for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- makeup, muscles, clothes, and looks don’t matter to Him. (1 Samuel 16:7)
- He will NEVER forget you - even though it feels as though He has. (Isaiah 49: 15-16)
- His loving ways will remain the same forever - (Hebrews 13:8)
There are so many other cases where His love is evident. It’s not only the Bible that will show you them, just look back at your life ad see the proof! It’s unbelievable to think such a great being can work on such a microscopic level too.
4. He is the Hosea to our Gomer. If you flip through the book of Hosea, you will find a story of a wealthy and prominent man in society who was told by God to marry a woman of lesser value, a prostitute (Mind you, back then that had got to be one of the most embarrassing and awkward things you could do). So Hosea married her and they were living a pretty good life with their 3 kids until one day she ran out on him. Hosea looked everywhere for her only to finally find her back in the slums selling herself again. It was after he had seen his own wife in her demoralizing position that God told Hosea, take her back (Hosea 3:1). God wanted Hosea to forgive her and have her come back with him. (Just hold on, it gets crazier). Not only did he have to take her back, he then found out that he had to buy her back - his own wife! Being the man he was, Hosea bought her from another and then proclaimed his love with a new set of vows (Hosea 3:3).
Imagine that, having to buy something that you didn’t lose, that you cherished, that you loved, something that was already yours. That is what God did with us. We were His until sin took us away. He then had to send His only son to die for us as a wage to get us back. If that is not real love I do not know what is.
The message given by Pastor Judah went a bit deeper than what you just read but the whole point of it still remains. We are loved so much by God that it’s too crazy to wrap our heads or hearts around it. In short, we are loved by God.
I just want to end this post with some of the last words Pastor Judah said:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:10-11