There were hundreds that went forward on Friday night to make a first time profession of faith, and hundreds more that went forward to rededicate themselves to Christ following Mike Guzzardo’s message entitled “Trouble Town.” The drama was told through the eyes of a modern day Mary Magdalene who is interrogated by a crime scene detective who discovers through his investigation and her account that Jesus was killed without cause, but did not resist when as he willingly sacrificed himself for to save mankind. Mike also clearly explained that we have “needs” and we have “wants.” Wants are those things we think we need like a great job, the latest computer, the coolest shoes, designer clothes, money, a girl friend or boy friend. Needs are those things we can’t live without the air we breath, food to eat, water to drink, friends, family, and most assuredly Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
On Saturday, Ron Luce spoke and his message was also interspersed with live drama. The scene included Jesus’ huge cross surrounded by our crosses that lay at the foot of Jesus’ cross. He challenged us to deny ourselves, cast away those things that hinder us from being totally sold out, and put Jesus first by taking up our cross in His name. The youth by the thousands wrote down what they wanted to deny of themselves, or rid themselves of that would allow them to walk closer and bolder with Jesus. It was a very powerful scene when the crosses were carried to various parts of the coliseum and each youth nailed their sins/issues on a cross. The thing that made the biggest impact on me is the thought that with I-pods and My-space and Face-book that the world is all about me, but to truly follow Jesus we must deny ourselves, and make Jesus Lord of our hearts to be His true disciples and to change the world for Him.
There were some great concerts by Newsboys with newly acquired Michael Tate formerly of DC Talk, Leeland, and Jeremy Camp. But my favorite was the house band praise and worship group Unhindered who were truly spirit filled and it spilled over to us all.