Holy conferences

The other night two brothers and I had a cup of coffee and a little, impromptu holy conference in my living room — sharing lives, the Word and prayer. How sweet a time!

As puritan pastor Thomas Manton comments on Psalm 119, he calls believers to gather for “holy set-conferences” for sharing the Word of God and spiritual edification. While I think he is referring primarily to small groups and Bible studies, perhaps he also has something more commonplace in mind…

If our hearts were as they ought to be, we would have a gracious word more ready; we would either be beginning or carrying on good conversation wherever we come. …It is not the duty only of ministers, but also of private Christians… to instruct one another.

It is a great part of that holy communion that should pass between saints, this mutual exhorting, quickening, and strengthening one another’s hands in the work of the Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ even did something of this within in His little flock of disciples. He often singled out some for more intimate conversation and instruction — as with Peter, James & John at His transfiguration, and in Gethsemane.

This mutual edification differeth from ministerial or church-society, because the one is an act of authority, the other of charity; the one in the face of the congregation, the other by a few Christians in private; and it may be improved to awaken each other to consider of God, of the ways of God, the word of God, the works of creation and providence, redemption, the judgments he executes in the world, mercies towards His people, the experiments and proofs of His grace in your Christian warfare.

Find a brother or sister in Christ and have yourselves a holy conference!

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