Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 108- A Secret Church First

Today I attended a Secret Church simulcast for my "first."

Secret Church is a ministry of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham Alabama and their pastor Dr. David Platt.  The idea came from an experience Dr. Platt had while spending time with some Asian brothers and sisters in Christ. They would gather together for 8-12 hours at a time to worship, pray, and study God's word.  The leaders of The Church at Brooks Hills asked if they could try that.  They did.  They set aside an evening to worship, pray for the persecuted church, and mostly study the Word from about 6 p.m. till around midnight and about 1000 showed  up. They have continued doing that each year and it continues to grow.

I read Platt's book titled "Radical" several years ago and taught it as a small group study. That book had a significant impact on my life and the life of Hopewell Church.  Since reading that book and hearing about Secret Church, I have wanted to attend one.  It's hard to get to Birmingham plus these days their sanctuary fills up and it's hard to get in for a Secret Church event.

This year (and some years in the past) they have made Secret Church available through simulcast.  First Baptist of Andalusia provided a local place for people to attend Secret Church by means of simulcast.  So, I was able to attend.  Yay for godly uses of technology.

This year's topic was the cross and everyday life. They had times of focused prayer for the persecuted church in Turkey and took an offering to help the persecuted church.  It started at 6 p.m. and ended shortly after 1 a.m. We had several breaks and First Baptist was very gracious in having some drinks and snacks for us.

 Our study books for the  night

Dr. David Platt

This year there were Secret Church locations (simulcast) in every state and a bunch of other countries; I forgot how many.  They estimated around 60,000 people joined in. I'm very glad I spend my Good Friday at Secret Church. This was helpful for me to remember the sufferings of our Lord and the freedom He purchased for us at the cross at such a high price. The prayer time for people living in a persecuted country helped me to remember and pray for the sufferings of our brothers and sisters today.  The teaching was very powerful. Dr. Platt started with the purpose of our everyday lives and then taught through how the cross should affect things like our use of time, family relationships, relationships with non-believers, work, play, rest, hobbies, and even social media.  It was a very comprehensive view of how the cross should impact our everyday life. 

There were several take-aways for me. One was they had several video-taped interviews of Turkish believers. They darkened their faces because they did not want them to suffer anymore persecution because of someone seeing the video and recognizing them.  There was one pastor who said that he taught his people to be bold for Christ and therefore he did not want his face darkened or hid. He said something to the effect that they could spill his blood but they could not make him afraid to stand up for Jesus. That's powerful coming from a guy living in a country of religious persecution.

There were several things I was convicted of and need to repent from doing.  I saw some applications that I believe will be helpful to me as I seek to glorify God in my everyday life. Of course, it would be kind of sad to listen to 6 hours of intense and solid Bible teaching and not come away with anything helpful.  I do believe the study book will be very profitable to me if I will spend some time going over slowly the things that Dr. Platt taught tonight.  If I don't, it probably won't profit it me very much at all. There is much to chew on from the study. Now, it's about 2:00 a.m. and I think I may go try to apply that rest part of the sermon.

Glad the abundant life is no secret

3 things I thank God for today
1. Secret Church
2. First Baptist for hosting the simulcast and their hospitality
3. Good Friday; meaning our Savior giving His life for the Father's glory and our salvation

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