Friday, January 8, 2010

Passion 2010: Days 3&4


We began bright and early again in our community groups. This time to discuss Colossians 1:28 & 2:6-13.

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. … So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins."

Again, too many notes to transcribe, but here are the things that spoke to me:

  • 1:28: We are proclaiming HIM & Paul lovingly warns us to hold on to Jesus. Paul wants us to be presented before Jesus as mature.

  • We live through the Spirit of God. Continue to live in Him through faith. (Because all things were made BY HIM and FOR HIM!)

  • We are to be rooted and established in him. (A little Greek etymology: established means immovable)

  • In order to not be overtaken by hollow deception, we should stay connected with scripture and be under Spiritual leadership. Someone older who will keep us on track in our faith, but also can give us spiritual guidance when we need it.
  • Jesus is fully God & we are full of Jesus!! :)

  • Our circumcision happened by Christ in our hearts & with baptism…not anything that man could ever do.

  • God forgives ALL our sins and trespasses. (Not a few of them, not some of them, ALL of them!)

So in two days of studying Colossians, we focused in on the supremacy of Christ, but also in the sufficiency of Christ. That through Him, we have everything we need! (After all, Jesus is fully God and when we are completely devoted to Him, we are compete in Him!)

The main session was led by Andy Stanley.
His quote was: "It's always a mistake to decide what you want to DO before you determine who you want to BE!" Everything we do and the relationships we have and create are determined by the types of people we are.

He quoted from Daniel 6:3-5: "[The administrators] could find no corruption in him…"

He also posed the questions "What do you want said about you at your funeral?" and "What are your non-negotiables?"

These questions are two that I have given some quick thought, but not something I've really delved into just yet. They're still processing in my mind and heart. I know that I want to have a heart imitating Christ's, but determining what that will look like in my daily walk with God is definitely something that I must take time to determine and develop.

The Breakout Session I attended on Monday focused on the Watoto Children in Uganda. Marilyn Skinner and Chris Tomlin spoke about the accounts they had with some of these former child soldiers and how the Watoto Villages have helped impact thousands of lives! It was amazing to hear these stories and how these children's lives were impacted. They came from broken and battered pasts, but Marilyn and her husband were called to move to Uganda and help take these children in and to bring God into their lives.

It brings such joy to my heart to know that we're broadcasting the fame of God all across the world! =]
I just hope that someday I will find my "place" to bring the passion and joy of God's love and to do so with as much fervor and passion that Marilyn and Chris do.

The main session was led by John Piper. Amazing.
You can read his sermon here:
"Is Jesus an Egomaniac?"

Basically, he started off by raising the issue that many non-believers cannot overcome: "Is God an egomaniac?"
Now, when I first heard him pose this question, I thought to myself, "No! He is the Creator of everything in this world and the Sustainer of life! He deserves our praise more than anything!" But I realized that not everyone will understand my reasoning nor will everyone agree with it.

But John Piper made great points in his sermon. My "favorites" being:

  • We can only experience true & complete joy when we see God's greatness!

  • We were not made to be significant, rather, we were meant to forget "self" in praising God.

  • Praising God is the capstone of our joy.

  • The cross is the intersection of God's glory and our self-centeredness. Jesus became the propitiation of our sins and to show God's righteousness. God couldn't just "look over" our sins; He needed to show His glory. This is why Christ died for us.

  • "The Cross is primarily about God & secondarily a statement about me."

Another question that was posed was "Do I love the cross because it makes much of me? Or do I love the cross because it enables me to make much of God?"
This was an absolutely humbling question…

…we discussed John Piper's sermon in community groups.
And I just really had to confess the fact that I am a prideful person and I would like to think that this life is about me, but I'm constantly reminded that it's about bringing GOD glory! Only in bringing Him glory and "losing my life for His sake" will I experience true joy and happiness.
And I must say, becoming insignificant for God's glory is an absolutely amazing feeling.


It was definitely a bittersweet morning. I was so sad to leave this amazing place and to leave the people I just met, but connected so much with. I was sad to leave this amazing atmosphere of worship. Yet I was fired up about God. Fired up about the fact that it's not ending…it's just beginning.

Everything I experienced at Passion is only going to be shared in the future.

In community group, we discussed how our life, character, or ways of thinking will be different because of Passion 2010 and the things we will be facing as we come back to our normal lives, away from the environment of Passion, including spiritual attack, and people who "won't get it" or who will doubt that we've even changed at all.

The last main session was kicked off with worship. Philippians 2:12-13 was shared:

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

It's all about saying:

"God, I can't but you can!" It's not about trying to earn grace or trying to "be good". We're already under grace, we can't earn it.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generations, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

…then, some amazing news came!
We, as students, were encouraged to pray about sowing into several causes. There were 12 causes that we could donate to (from AIDS awareness, to digging wells, to building border outposts to stop sex trafficking), all totaling $500,000 to be raised. As of Tuesday morning, we had raised over $668,000 and almost all our causes were funded. But a family had seen the impact of Passion and wanted to donate to our causes, and not only that, but they wanted to MATCH it! So at the end of the weekend, over $1.3 MILLION was raised for organizations such as Cure International, Living Water, World Vision, etc.

It's amazing to think that we, even as young college-aged students, were able to make an impact for God's glory!

Reminds me of this verse:
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Passion for me has been an absolute LIFE-CHANGING experience. It's definitely not the end…but, rather, the beginning of an AWAKENING in my soul :) An Awakening for God's Glory. An Awakening to lose my life in order to live for God! :)

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your truth, we eagerly wait for you. For your name and renown are the desire of our souls. --Isaiah 26:8

I'm proud to be part of a 268 generation! One that says "Yes, Lord" before the question is even asked! =D

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