A Response To Jonathan Pokluda's Powerful Message At Vertical
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A Response To Jonathan Pokluda's Powerful Message At Vertical

We want to know what is in it for us in every single situation; we are the center of our own worlds.

A Response To Jonathan Pokluda's Powerful Message At Vertical
Matthew McBrayer

I was so shaken by the Vertical message I received this week, and I wasn’t the only one. In this piece, I want to discuss the basic overview of the message, and how it resonates with me and my peers. Before I do that, I want to say that Vertical Ministries is one of the most amazing ways to involve college students, and give them a safe place to find God in their hectic lives.

Jonathan Pokluda from Dallas spoke at Vertical, and he admitted his sins to us before anything else happened. I think his confession came right after he introduced himself. Hearing someone who is supposed to be talking to us about Christ’s love talking about his own pornography and drug addiction, abusing women, and a list of many other sins really catches an audience off guard. He made it very clear to us that he was not here to condemn us for our sins; he is a sinner as well and has lived in the “trenches” that some of us are in the midst of as we speak.

To me, his message was simple: what’s in it for me? We want to know what is in it for us in every single situation; we are the center of our own worlds. We think that fancy cars, big houses, and $1,000,000+ in the bank will make us happy. He then showed us 3 different celebrities and quotes from them saying how they have it all and they don’t really know what’s missing. What's missing is Jesus.

Throughout this message we were in Mark 10, starting in verse 32 and continuing on through verse 45. The story is about when James and John ask to sit at the right and left side of Jesus as He goes into Jerusalem. Jonathan was heated on the stage at this point, almost yelling the following quote and it was incredibly powerful. "...Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45 NIV).

This message given resonated with me deep in my heart, and as he was closing, Jonathan mentioned something so slightly, but it really stuck with me. He said to still be faithful tomorrow. It’s easy to be fired up about God on a Monday night at 10 p.m. after hearing an incredible message about humbling ourselves and putting God in the center of our world, but are we still fired up when we wake up the next morning? I want to be the kind of believer that wakes up loving God each and every day, a believer that is faithful to Him each and every day. I want to be someone that practices keeping God above myself the day after, a week after, a month after, even a year after I hear a message like this. I want to be a believer that is always fired up about the love of God, and not letting that passion fade because it isn’t (quite literally) being told straight to us.

Thank you, Jonathan, and thank you, Vertical Ministries.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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