A heavy-hitting conference on the theme of truth.

The 24th Annual Pure Life Conference this year was both sobering and encouraging. This year’s theme was, “Truth: It will set you free and it will keep you free.” I had the privilege of taking part in several sessions, including emceeing the Pre-Conference, hosting two question and answer panel discussions, and speaking in one of the main sessions.

The Pre-Conference on Thursday was tailored toward marriages and families. Pastor Jeff and Rose Colon shared about the need for truth in our marriages. Adam and Shelly Gardner spoke from a parenting perspective. They gave a lot of practical advice about raising kids separated from the world and pursuing the things of God. The third Pre-Conference session was a Q and A with those two couples and myself. We answered questions about how to develop a godly marriage and how to raise children in a godly home despite the overarching godlessness in our culture.

The first main conference session on Friday morning was preached by Pastor Steve Gallagher, the President and Founder of Pure Life Ministries. His message was called “The Eternal Word of Truth.” He gave us an accurate depiction of the deception that is taking place in the world all around us. Then, he encouraged us to dig into the Word of God like never before. Too often, believers allow other things to become a priority over our time in the Word, but neglecting that area of our spiritual lives is certain to lead us into deception.

That afternoon, I hosted a men’s Roundtable Discussion on the topic, “Walking in the Truth in Daily Life.” Many questions came in for the panel and we were able to hear various viewpoints on how to practically live in the truth and avoid deception. The panel was made up of five Pure Life graduates including myself. It was a blessing to learn from each man’s unique perspective on how the Lord has taught them to walk in His truth since their time in the program.

My message was called, “The Truth About Deception.” In it, I shared the stories of five people from the New Testament and how they each were deceived in different ways. I spoke about Judas Iscariot and how proximity with Jesus should not be confused with intimacy. Demas provides an example of someone deceived by love for this world. Agrippa was deceived to think he had more time to make the most important decision of his life. Pontius Pilate was controlled by the fear of man. And Saul the Pharisee was blinded by his own religious effort and zeal until he encountered Jesus and came out of deception. I realized as I prepared this message that every deception from the beginning of time until now is really founded upon allegiance toward ourselves rather than God. It is when we exalt ourselves that we end up becoming deceived. And the way out is to embrace the truth and apply it humbly to our lives. To watch the full message, please check it out at the link below.

Saturday morning’s session was preached by Brother Dave Leopold, who ministers at the Faith Homes in Zion, Illinois. He shared truths about the need for us to walk in humility as believers in his message, “Jesus, God’s Truth.” His simple but compelling call to believers to live in lowliness and humility is always refreshing.

Pastor Jeff had the final session and preached a message called “Truth in the Inner Parts.” He was the President of Pure Life Ministries at the time I was in the program. He now pastors Lighthouse on the Rock Church in Dry Ridge, Kentucky and runs the Lighthouse Biblical Counseling Center. One thing that always sticks out to me about his ministry is how much he honors the authority and power of Scripture. His session called us to live in the truth of God’s Word in every area of our lives.

The conference closed with the banquet on Saturday night. There were two powerful video presentations shown. The first was the story of a couple who went through Pure Life Ministries in 2018, detailing the incredible miracle the Lord did in their lives and marriage. The second video highlighted all that Pure Life does outside of its residential program, including their phone program for men and women, overseas work with PLM Brazil, social media and publishing ministries as well as their work in prisons throughout the USA. However, the highlight of the banquet for myself and many others is when the men currently in the residential program sang in the choir. It is always moving to hear men crying out to the Lord in desperation, as well as a reminder of where I was 13 years ago. I’m so grateful for the mercy of God!

I am so thankful for how the Lord orchestrated this year’s conference, and always humbled to be asked to be a part of such a great time of ministry. For more information about Pure Life, please visit their website at: www.purelifeministries.org

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