Last weekend, over two hundred young people of Slavic descent, gathered together in SoCal for the Annual Beach Party & Youth Service. This year, our church was the host for the service on Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting many new people and reconnecting with old friends. As I greeted the young people coming in, I was encouraged to see everyone in great spirits, ready for corporate worship.
The service lasted for about three hours which is not uncommon. Most people present were fairly conditioned for elongated gatherings due to their heritage. Overall, it was a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led time of fellowship.
The whole service was absolutely centered on giving glory to God. We witnessed how His glorious gospel moved powerfully in the lives of those who have put their faith in Jesus the Christ. Everyone who participated encouraged the listeners to love Jesus and pursue Him passionately. I wanted to share with you eight aspects of the service that made a huge impact for me personally:
- Being in the same facility with over two hundred young people, worshiping Jesus together.
- Singing together as one body in Christ while being led in worship by two different worship bands.
- Participating in Communion together with our brothers and sisters.
- Hearing the host church worship team sing Be Thou My Vision.
- Singing “Be Thou My Vision” while partaking in the Lord’s Supper together as one body, unified by our Savior and King, Jesus.
- Listening to Elvira Dimova share her testimony about how Jesus saved her. This was a transparent proclamation of the potent power of the gospel. It was for sure a highlight of the service.
- Listening to Dima K Karpov share how God is using him to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to those who are incarcerated.
- Listening to Vlad Burlaka (who by the way still has no online presence whatsoever ) as he preached a message entitled “Owned For Joy” from 1 Pet. 1:6-9.
- We must think like Christ
- We must desire like Christ
- We must reason like Christ
- We must speak like Christ
- We must love like Christ
- We must forgive like Christ
- We must be generous like Christ
All of our passions, affections, desires, feelings, wants, needs and dreams must be centered on and around the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is not partiality. It is an exhaustive totality of our life that is:
- consumed in the gospel
- drenched in the gospel
- dripping with gospel truths
- the glorious gospel permeating every sphere of our existence!