MAnnVange

The keynote sessions of the TGC Women’s Conference were designed to show us Jesus (Behold) and encourage a response (Believe) and were derived from the I AM statements of Jesus. (Friendly quiz: how many can you name?)    Jesus said:

I AM the Bread of Life John 6:22-59
I AM the Light of the World John 8:12-30
I AM the Door John 10:1-10
I AM the Good Shepherd John 10:11-18
I AM the Resurrection and the Life John 11:17-44
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life John 14:1-14
I AM the True Vine John 15:1-11

Those who delivered the seven keynotes, one for each I AM statement, are theologians, authors, bible teachers, artists, podcasters, founders of organizations, and other things I’ve left out for space. They are recognized as reputable teachers in whom we can have confidence: Melissa Kruger, Jen Wilkin, Vanessa Hawkins, Courtney Doctor, Nancy Guthrie, Ruth Chou Simons, and David Platt.

Impossible, of course, to cover what was said in a short article, but the thing that is staying with me from these teachings is the weight of Jesus, of all he is and has done for us.  A few highlights: Vanessa Hawkins, who spoke on  I AM the Door,” told us that this was such good news because there was a day the door closed, a day on which Adam and Eve didn’t run to God. People have since been looking for access in many other ways (“everything new ain’t improved”), but JESUS is the door. He made a spectacle of death, and through the Door, death has no power over us. 

In “I AM The Good Shepherd,” Courtney Doctor taught  that the shepherd is a low-key figure from the beginning of scripture, and there were some “bad” shepherds. But the whole shepherd story comes together when Jesus calls 

himself the Good Shepherd, and though he may lead us down unexpected paths, we will never lack if he is ours. 

If “Jesus is The Way, Truth, and Life” Ruth Chou Simons, any other man-made way is “categorically false.” But we should look to Jesus the person and want him more than just the direction he offers, she taught. David Platt continued this idea when he spoke on “I AM the True Vine.” He encouraged us that we can experience abundant, supernatural life in Jesus every moment of every day, and that this changes everything about us. But we are to remain in Jesus, pursuing intimacy with him. Abide, abide, abide.

There was so much rich teaching, and the sessions are now available to stream. TGCW24 tap this link! (You will be asked to register to listen, but I don’t believe there’s a cost. Most likely you’ll be placed on an email list, from which you can unsubscribe, if you wish.)

I can’t end without saying a word about the corporate worship in music. It was led by the group Shane and Shane, with women guesting. The songs were so meaningful and were released as an album. Here’s a link to Apple Music, but I’m sure it’s on other platforms, as well as Spotify. Just search “Behold and Believe.” Behold&Believe-tap to hear!

And finally, a companion bible study by some of the same speakers is available on the seven I AM statements of Jesus. Here it is: TGC Behold&Believe study guide!

I am thankful that Vange and I were able to attend this conference! Ask us about it (and the adventures to which she referred)! 

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