Do you ever find yourself wondering if God really loves you? Are there times when, despite the shiny, happy image you portray to those around you, you feel like a failure in God’s eyes because of your secret doubts, sins and struggles? For many Christians, although we understand God’s love and grace as concepts, their life-changing power gets buried under the struggles, sufferings and disappointments that real life brings our way each day. A relationship with God that was once fresh, vibrant and new often turns into a stale, religious routine that becomes much more about what I need to do for God than about the amazing things he’s done for me. Many of us end up feeling burdened and burned out … in need of refreshment, renewal and a refocusing on what it really means to be an adopted child of God through the work of Jesus on our behalf.
If that sounds like you, then the four-day LIBERATE conference coming to Fort Lauderdale this month is just what the Doctor ordered. “LIBERATE 2013: Grace in Practice” is being held at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale from February 21-24, and promises to bring the lofty theological concepts of God’s love and grace down to earth to be worked down into your heart and then out into the practical experiences of your daily life.
Scheduled speakers include author, pastor and LIBERATE founder Tullian Tchividjian, as well as Bryan Chapell (Chancellor of Covenant Theological Seminary), author and speaker Elyse Fitzpatick, Mark Galli (Senior Managing Editor of Christianity Today), pastor and speaker Ray Ortlund, David Zahl (Director of Mockingbird Ministries), pastor and author Paul Tripp, Sally Lloyd-Jones (author of The Jesus Storybook Bible), author and Key Life radio host Steve Brown, pastor and author Tony Merida, and author and speaker Mike Horton (Founder of the White Horse Inn). This second annual LIBERATE conference event will unpack practical grace in the Christian life, in personal failure, in families, in the church, in pop-culture and more. Worship for the entire weekend will be led by renowned Christian duo Shane & Shane. The event will also feature a church planting pre-conference on Thursday, “Grace in Artistic Practice” tours with art critic and professor Dan Siedell on Friday and Saturday, and a marriage seminar and brunch with Paul Tripp on Sunday, among many other highlights.
The scope of LIBERATE is not limited to an annual conference, but also includes a well-resourced website with sermons, blog posts, videos and more for gospel growth and encouragement year-round. LIBERATE’s mission is “to announce (and then announce again and again) the liberating word of the gospel to a wounded and worn out world, hoping that the burdened and burnt out, the Christian and the non-Christian, will hear and rest in the freedom that Jesus came, died, and lives to give.” All of the resources presented through the LIBERATE conference and website alike are in line with this mission. As the liberatenet.org website states, “We want Christians to know that they can believe the promise that frees us from our past of guilt and shame; frees us from the present bondage of bitterness, insecurity, self-reliance, and fear; and frees us for the joy of worshiping God and serving our neighbor.”
Tchividjian shares, “As I traveled and shared the message that Jesus + Nothing = Everything, and that the gospel is the good news that because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail; because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose–I always got two questions: First, ‘Is this true?’ and, secondly, ‘If it is, why have I been in church my whole life and never heard this before?’ The message of God’s scandalous grace comes as water to souls burned out on do more, try harder religion, and it is a message that is so needed in the church today. I pray that you will come to LIBERATE and hear it for yourself!”
To learn more, or to register for LIBERATE for only $85 before February 15, visit 2013.liberatenet.org. You can also follow LIBERATE on Twitter at @liberatenet, or by searching for the hashtag #2013liberate.