Monday

Ignite Conference 2013: GSM - HS Fall Retreat

Wow... there is so much to say about the Ignite Conference weekend.  I was blessed to have gone to the fall retreat this year with our high school students.  I will say though, I've been somewhat avoiding this post because I'm afraid I won't do the teaching justice.  Literally every moment of the teaching was helpful, challenging, encouraging, motivating, and truthful.  So... I will TRY to provide you some of my favorite nuggets from the weekend. 


We were beyond blessed to have Dr. Rick Holland teaching each of the 5 sessions this weekend.  He brought the truth of the gospel over and over again.  If you're not familiar with Dr. Holland - he is now the senior pastor for Mission Road Bible Church and was previously the college pastor at Grace Community Church for 20+ years, where John MacArthur pastors.  He has a little bit of experience...

The theme of this weekend was fostering a Biblical Worldview - and if someone left unchallenged-- then they simply weren't listening.

Here are some of the highlights from the teaching.  (I realize highlights typically means short and sweet  #sorrynotsorry... I'm already leaving out SO much!) You should probably know that most of these comments below are paraphrased (I'm not the most talented at getting word for word quotes written).


Session 1 Highlights:

-2 Peter 1:16-19 --- Peter is saying that he as experienced Jesus first hand and yet he trusts the Bible over his own experiences

-We heavily rely on our experiences to shape our thinking/feeling/beliefs - when we SHOULD heavily rely on scripture to shape our thinking/feeling/beliefs.  Even Peter who experienced Christ first hand - relied on the Word over his own experiences!!

-It could be that the bible is not interesting to you b/c you're not interested in the God of the bible

-Either scripture will shape your worldview or sin will


Question to consider:
-If your bible could talk... what would it say about you?--- if we asked your bible, 'how was your week?' what would it reveal about you?

-Will you love your life based on the Bible or based on your experiences?

Session 2 Highlights:

-Colossians 2:6-10 - discussed 4 essential elements for developing a christian worldview:
1) Conversion by Christ;
2) Compulsion in Christ (walk in Him... a sustained patter of living... consistency)
3) Contemplation according to Christ
4) Completion by Christ

-Worldview defined:  "The window by which we look through and decide what is real and important and decide what is unreal and unimportant."

-You believe so that you understand... you don't understand and then believe... that is spiritual mathematics

-Jesus has no intention to be a part of your life... He wants to be the POINT of your life

-The adolescent mind is similar to a soupy concrete mixture hardening... this is the best time to shape your worldview.  Once you head to college, it is often too hardened

-Satan wil be after your mind... get it right now - if you don't define how you think - someone else will for you

-Christ is UNlike anyone else -- He is the only person that as you get to know Him more... the better He gets.  Everyone else... we have flaws - and the more we get to know someone... the more flaws we see.  Not Christ -- but how often do we expect to see and often look for flaws in Him?

Questions to consider:
-Is your life defined by Christ?
-Do you think about Christ much? What He was life, what he said, what he did and didn't do?
-Is Christ your life or just a part of it?

Session 3 Highlights:

-Romans 3:9-18 "The problem with self-imaging"

-We discussed 12 different descriptions of man's total depravity - too much to include here but I've captured the highlights below:

-If sin is not the problem... then God is not the answer

-You are the problem - not the world.  How often are we quick to blame the culture around us for the temptations and failures?  It is our sinful hearts to blame... not the culture around us

-If your view of yourself isn't right .. then you will never see His glory

-Sin makes us relationally reckless (Romans 3:16)

-The better we understand the totality of our depravity... the more amazing the gospel is to us

-As bad as you think you are... you are worse.  As good as you think God is... He is better!

Questions to consider:
-What fills you?


Session 4 Highlights:

This session resulted in 4 pages of notes... so this is a VERY brief summary

-Lamentations 3:37-40 "A theology for problems"

-3 Reminders for when troubles come:
     1. God is sovereign over people v. 37
           -no trial comes to you and is a surprise to God
     2. God is sovereign over circumstances v.38
           -nothing is random
           -difference between sovereignty and providence: sovereign = overall power; providence = gets in
            your kitchen... specifics
           -God's sovereignty is either your greatest comfort or your greatest nightmare
     3. God is serious about our response v.39
           -Man's dislike at God's sovereignty is because of man's suspicion of God's heart {ouch}

-interesting perspective: for the believer, this world is the closest we'll ever come to hell

When a trial arrives... take yourself (or those around you) through the following process:

1. What do I feel?
2. What do I think?
3. What do I know?

-It is important to go in this order.  As we start contemplating what we know about God {His promises - and we can only know these things if we spend time in His word} - then it will begin to start changing the way we think about the trial/suffering situation.  It will not always change the way we feel... but it will allow us to control our feelings.

-Our feelings aren't trustworthy - they are often spurred by our thinking first - not by what we know, which is why this process is so helpful

This process/concept is huge friends - by far the biggest takeaway from the weekend for me

Session 5 Highlights:

1 Peter 2:11-12: The war against your soul

-The lethal threats to our souls are inside us: fleshly lusts

3 rationales for fighting fleshly lusts:

1. christian citizenship demands the fight v.11
     -idol = something you will sin if you don't get and something you will sin to get
     -sin is ultimately man's attempt to turn this world into heaven (quoting Al Mohler)

2. fleshly lusts provoke a fight v.11
     -lusts = strong desire for something
     -the lusts of your flesh are fighting the health of your soul
     -labor to know what associates satan has in your heart (quoting John Owen) -- know where you are
       weak... where you are temptable
     -if you are fighting sin... you are alive (quoting John Piper) --- unbelievers don't care
     -when in a discipleship relationship - ask yes and no questions - they are the best way to keep one
      another accountable - open ended questions lead to open ended vague answers

3. Fruitful evangelism motivates the fight v.12
     -unbeliever's questions about your life is an invitation for sharing the gospel
     -be killing sin or it will be killing you

Questions to consider:
Do you feel the battle?
Do you hate your sin? (unbelievers don't care)
Do you see your own progression towards Christ?


This was so helpful to revisit the content of this weekend - thanks for mulling over it with me.  Hope something encourages you.


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