The Gospel Coalition’s 2013 National Conference was a a whirlwind couple of days for everyone in attendance. Over the course of three days (or five if you made it to the pre-conference), around 5,000 of us did our best to keep up with a staggering number of must-hear sessions as they came at us in rapid succession. It was a blast. But, as I’ve found myself doing in years past, I now await the release of the audio and video from the conference which I’m counting on to help me re-digest what I so quickly took in at the conference (and to fill in some of the gaps of sessions I missed).
One of the sessions I got to sit in on was Stephen Um’s plenary on “Jesus and Money.” I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever heard a Christ-centered sermon on Luke 16’s “Dishonest Manager” (a notoriously difficult passage), so this session was very helpful, convicting, and comforting. While conference media is still forthcoming, you may find these session notes from Aaron Armstrong at Blogging Theologically to be good food for thought. Here’s an excerpt:
The Pharisees were all about self-justification. They were finding their own salvation in their money and external behavior, not trying to build an internal radiance. And Jesus says it’s not about being praised by others or good on your own–God knows your heart.
The only way for you to not be a truster of money is to know that you’ve been secured by God, you’ve been mastered by God and you are loved by God.
God is not asking us to justify ourselves. The world accepts us when we are at our best and rejects us when we’re at our worst—but GOD accepts us at our worst! And if he accepts us at our worst, how will he not be gracious to give us all things?
That’s going to stir our hearts to radical generosity.
We’ll keep you in the loop as conference media becomes available.