I meant to post this yesterday, but I got distracted, so I will now be writing two days in a row.
Today, I wanted to reflect on some of the messages from Passion 2017 in the Georgia Dome.
Again, Passion is a movement that brings college students together to worship and learn more about Jesus. They are built upon the verse found in Isaiah 26:8 making the Lord’s renown and glory the desire of our soul.
The first night of the conference, we entered into the Georgia Dome mobbed by thousands of college students and welcomed by joyful greeters at the door. They refer to the greeters as “Door Holders”. They are in place to create an awesome experience from the very beginning as they high five and clap for people coming in. Their smile warmed us up after standing outside in the cold. They were wonderful.
After a spirit filled worship experience, led by the Passion Worship Band and others, the first speaker came on to the stage.
Christine Caine, the founder of The A21 Campaign (www.A21.org), came into the place with high energy. She is no stranger to speaking to larger crowds and bringing excitement into the room. Her message was powerful, exciting, and empowering. Her focus was centered on enduring in our faith through struggle and hardship. She led the Dome in a message encouraging believers to embrace struggle and endure through the pain for the glory of our Creator.
The next day was speaker overload, but in a good way.
The morning session came with an early morning lesson from John Piper. Piper came in, as he always does, with authority. His presence is overwhelming on the stage, at least for me. I enjoy hearing his teaching. For many, he is heavy, but his message is powerful and loads with biblical truth. His focus was on “the root and fruit of evil”. He argued that the essence of evil is found when we prefer anything over the glory of God. A truth that many needed to hear, especially in today’s thought that we should live for ourselves and God can be secondary.
Beth Moore followed Piper in the afternoon focused on continuing in the faith and standing firm in the truth of Scripture while maintaining love. Then, she spoke of Paul’s ministry and brought the story of his stoning in Lystra. When Paul was stoned in Lystra and left for dead, the disciples gathered around him and watched him get back up and go back into the city. She shared how Timothy, Paul’s disciple, could have been there watching Paul get beat up and left for dead. She suggested that Timothy might have seen this and could have doubted his own faith and questioned whether or not he wanted to be a church leader. Then, Paul got back up and continued the work. Timothy went on to lead the church. What she shared led me to think, perhaps there are young church leaders who need to see old church leaders get beat up and keep going to be encouraged in their journey. I was very encouraged in her words.
The last afternoon session was Francis Chan. His messages are always filled with humor, energy, and passion. His main point was to encourage everyone in Who they belong to. He shared that through his reading and from what we can find in Scripture is the fact that “God’s glorious inheritance is us”. He wanted the listeners to understand that God’s glory is our ultimate purpose, but to know that our identity is found in Him. We cannot place our identity in jobs, titles, etc. Our identity is found in Christ which has given us a place in the Kingdom of God.
Louie Giglio closed out the 2nd night with a in depth explanation of the gospel of Jesus. His message was focused on the glory of God found in us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The life that is changed through Jesus and death that is conquered by our Savior.
On the third and final morning, Levi Lusko spoke and shared his story with the conference. He shared his experience of his daughter dying at a young age. He spoke about maintaining faith in Christ and pushing forward in our journey after everything falls apart. Lusko discussed Paul being chained in prison, but the twist was he was chained to government soldiers and was able to share the good news of Jesus while chained to them. Lusko’s point was “there are two sides to every chain”. We need to find joy in the pain and struggle. Paul found pain as something to be cherished because it brought glory to God not himself. He was able to still share the message of hope found in Jesus while chained in prison. The joy is found when we consider it a gift to experience trials because it shines a light on the glory of Jesus. It was a message that encouraged, empowered, and motivated people to push through the pain and remain in the hope of Jesus.
I am not doing any of these messages justice, but you can check them out on 268generation.com and you can actually get a pass to download the messages.
Passion was amazing this year and I am looking forward to 2018 and what God does through the team. Tomorrow, I will share about how Passion challenged the attendees to “Make History Together” and how it was achieved. It was an exciting experience.