Day Five: How Much More WHOA!

When was the last time you saw or experienced something and all you could say was, “Whoa!” During the last moment of worship at the college conference, all we could say was “Whoa!” because it was just beyond words. And we need more of that… to be blown away by God… We need more moments where all we can say is, “Whoa… God…”

I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed… the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory… To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:25-29)

Christ among us is our hope of glory… our only hope of glory. The only hope you have is Christ in you. The mystery of the world is Christ in relationship to us. This is why we proclaim. That’s why Paul’s so excited. I want to see others experience this!

Don’t go back home and just be conquerors… we’re called to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Don’t just be students, professionals, parents… you’re called to be “more than” these things. Conquerors can only hope in what they themselves can achieve. We are to live as more than conquerors, and as more than conquerors we hope in what Christ is able to do! Christ in us, the hope of glory! WHOA! [Notes taken from P. Nate’s Post-conference Sunday message given at AMC]
Let’s sing “One Thing”! (Click here)

– JP


Day Four: Instagram Envy Syndrome

Why is there a hype machine? Because all creation is groaning (Romans 8). And we’re groaning… groaning for something to save us… But because of our hope in Christ, we are not groaning in despair, but eager anticipation of what God has promised to bring to fulfillment.

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

For most of us, our suffering is not persecution like the apostle Paul experience. Our suffering is missing out on the things… especially things that have been hyped up by the hype machine. When we follow God, we are going to fear, at times, missing out on what we once participated in, or on what everyone else seems to be doing. Maybe coming to the conference, some were afraid of missing out on more studying, or going to a particular event, etc. When we hope in Christ, we actually boast about missing out on the hype. Hope grows when you are willing to stay behind even if you are the only one. Hype disappoints because there is not love there. Hope in Christ never disappoints because God’s love is being poured into our hearts through the Spirit.

Pray and let the Spirit help you… groaning alongside you, interceding for you… encounter Him and trust Him… The Spirit will lead us to what God desires for us. [Notes taken from P. Nate’s message given at the College Conference]
Let’s sing “Open Heaven”! (Click here)

– JP


Day Three: Living with a Fyre or Fire?

Oftentimes we equate hope with hype. Remember the Fyre festival? A lot of hype, celebrity endorsements… but instead of a luxury festival, it looked more like a refugee camp.

This happens so many times where the hype machine works on us, building expectations. Rarely does it live up to the hype and we get disappointed. Or maybe it’s kind of okay… but how long does it last though? And is it ever really life-changing? Then we become cynical, not wanting to believe in hype/hope anymore.

Romans 5 contrasts hype to our hope in Christ, a hope that never disappoints. Moments like this weekend, we get a glimpse of what is real, good, how God call us as His children… everything makes so much sense… grace breaks through and breaks down the barriers of hype to reveal true hope.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)

How can we live in this hope that is so much more than the hype of this world?

Because of what Christ has done for us, we can now live in the realm/kingdom of God’s favor through His grace. We have the favor of the King on our lives. Let’s boast in this! [Notes taken from P. Nate’s message given at the College Conference]

Let’s sing “Living With a Fire”! (Click here)

– JP


Day Two: Can Anything Good Come Out of Chambersburg?

John 1:43-51 – The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote —Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

Nazareth is unimpressive. Nathanael assumes he knows all there is to know about Nazareth. Nonetheless he takes Philip’s invitation to come and see. That’s all he had to do to receive Jesus’ prophetic word and vision for his life.

Do you feel like you know all there is to know about worship, or prayer, or church or Jesus? Do you have low expectations when you go to church, or small group, or campus meetings? Do you want to see the greater things that Jesus has in store for you? Lay aside any misgivings and just come and see!  Sing “Fullness” (Click here). [Notes taken from P. Ed’s message given at the College Conference]

– JP


Day One: Like Finding the OG Flu-Game J’s in a Thrift Store… And Buying the Thrift Store!

Many times we are fooled by the unassuming appearances and don’t realize the real value of what’s in front of us. The famous street artist, Banksy, whose art has sold for over 1 million dollars, set up a cheap stand on the streets of NY, selling his work for just $60. Most people ignored the stand assuming the works of art were of little value. Who would believe that a world renowned artist would display and sell his art in such a humble manner? Sometimes we just don’t recognize the real worth of things right in front of us.

Jesus talks about the kingdom of God in similar terms in Matthew 13:44: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

The kingdom of heaven is something valuable that we want to possess. But it’s hidden in a field. To most people it was just another field. But something caught this man’s attention, he saw something there to cause him to stop and investigate further. He saw something past the grass and weeds. It wasn’t obvious or flashy. We need to be able to look beyond the mundane appearance of things, to see something that is far more worthy underneath the surface. [Notes taken from P. Ed’s message given at the College Conference]

Have you felt this kind of excitement in discovering the kingdom of God in the midst of the ordinariness of life? Ask the Lord to reveal His kingdom to you! Let’s sing “Great Things” (Click here)!

– JP