This post could actually take me years if I wanted to express to you all the ways my heart has been blessed in the last 48 hours. Oh, and the title will make sense by the end.
Whether young or old, I would love for you to take a moment a see through my eyes and listen to my heart.
I attended a conference this weekend put on by Summit Church of Raleigh-Durham called Advance College. The theme of the weekend was: leverage your calling.
I had seen this conference advertised several times in the spring and throughout the summer and I wanted to go, but I wanted someone else to sign up before me so that I could follow them… Yeah you caught that? I have a fear of getting out of my bubble. Well, had.
I finally committed to the conference a week ago today, and I committed on my own. I decided I was going to fly solo to this thing. Little did I know, I would be in for a massive turning point in my life.
This weekend I have never felt more apart of a biblical community and family, and I went to the place by myself. I know, right? Awesome.
Anyways, the purpose of this weekend was for college kids to understand that we have been called to do something, and whatever we are called to do, we must do it for the glory of God.
With an introduction from DA Horton and Trip Lee, I was reminded about God-given gifts(say that three times fast). Before this weekend, I saw my gifts as something to do on the side for my enjoyment. That’s right, my enjoyment.
It was in that moment that I recognized selfishness, and self righteousness. Our gifts were not given to us for our own self glory; they were given to us for God’s glory.
We then moved to Louie Giglio. He talked to us about how our calling, fits into the story of God. He made an incredible point when he talked about going through a crisis of faith; which is basically when you become spiritually stagnant. We often times give up on our faith or “fake it til’ we make it”. Louie brought the good news when he said “the mantra of Christianity is being able to say, ‘I can’t live this life, but You can. I can’t make promises, but You can. Jesus was pretty great at living the Christian life considering it was named after him’. That is truth my friends.
The most freeing part about that message came from Colossians 3:17. This is where God gives us all that open door that we wait our whole life for and he says, “Whatever you choose to do, work hard and do it for the glory of God” There it is. God has given us a choice!
Its no longer about the stable career, the amount of money you make, or the retirement home you want to build, its about doing what you love, doing it well, and more importantly, doing it for the glory of God. This is worshipful work.
Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of so many books, brought the next message, reminding us that we did not come to Christ, but He came to us. She talked about seeking the kingdom of God and she told us that when we worry, that is us seeking our own kingdom, our own desires. She brought up the justification of us by Christ and that because of His willingness to give His life, we have been justified. This frees us from self-righteousness and constant self approval or disapproval.
My best take away from her message was this: God is able to use all of my weaknesses and sin to make me contagiously grateful for grace.
Tony Merida, author and pastor, talked about community and the importance of investing your heart and time into the church. He made the argument that many of us love the idea of community but never act on it. He brought it when he said that Christ lived a life of love, and died as an act of love. Our culture has successfully destroyed the meaning of love giving us endless, meaningless uses of “love”. We “love” Netflix. No. That’s not okay. We love through action. Sympathizing for someone does NOTHING when we do not act to help them. So love is cross centered.
Nik Ripken brought a gut wrenching message when speaking on international missions. This guy has an awesome testimony. He has seen more death, murder, poverty, illness, and starvation than anyone I know because of God’s call for him to go into nations such as those. He made evident, the power of following God’s call even when we don’t want to listen. Nothing I write could do Dr. Ripken’s testimony justice.
Lastly, one of my role models and my pastor, JD Greear, gave the final sermon. His topic was: whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. He mentioned key points from earlier speakers and he elaborated on our willingness to share the gospel. His main point was “God changes the world through ordinary people, filled with the spirit, willing to suffer“
He ended by saying, “every saved person on this side of heaven owes the gospel to every unsaved person on this side of hell” Now that is powerful my friends.
If you have made it this far down the page without giving up on me, thanks.
Maybe you already knew half of these things that changed my life this weekend, and if that is true, I hope this was an encouraging reminder. If you didn’t already know this stuff, you are not alone.
The most beautiful part about this weekend was the realization that I don’t have to live some try hard life maintaining a “success checklist”, because my identity is in Christ Jesus. So whatever I choose to do, I want to be great at it, and I want that greatness to impact everyone around me for God’s glory.
Life is so empty when you try to fulfill yourself through your own selfish desires. Submit to my friend, Jesus, cherish Him, love Him, seek His kingdom, and you will never go wrong. No matter what profession.
Thanks to Summit Church, and my Savior, for filling my cup this weekend. My heart has been truly touched, my mind has been equipped, and I cannot wait to continue living for some(One) so much greater than myself.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~Galatians 2:20