A month ago, Every Nation held a three-day Asian Campus Conference here in Manila: the IGNITE 2013!

I was blessed to be a part of this second IGNITE conference. It only happens once every two years, and every delegates from all the Asian countries with Every Nation churches are encouraged to go. IGNITE 2013 is hosted by LifeBox, the campus ministry of Every Nation Philippines. This year’s theme is “Holiness: Holy God, Holy Life, Holy Calling.” Their vision is to stir up a passion in everyone to pursue God’s holiness even in a world that disregards it. (See more here)

The conference had seven sessions, focusing on a certain biblical character on each and envisioning that character in today's setting: the modern day campus dwellers. Here's my take on what I learned and gained knowledge of in those sessions:

Session 1: JOSHUA -- Consecrate and Concentrate!

The speaker, Mr. Olajide Pariola emphasized the significance of dedicating oneself for a sacred purpose, which is to be holy. We are called to be holy because we serve a holy God. Separating ourselves from the 'rubbish' that this world surrounds us with will help us to concentrate on how to live a pleasing and glorifying life for our Lord.

Here's another point that I got from this session:
Be holy, not do holiness. It's who you are, not what you do.

Session 2: DANIEL -- Resolve or Dissolve?

As Ptr. Edrei Canda talked about Daniel, he highlighted the two options that we have today in our fighting chance of living a holy life: to resolve and take a stand or to dissolve and melt into the a culture. This is a good point to discuss among the youth, for it is a real battling issue for everyone. Peer pressure, temptations, persecutions, bashing and the like are all round every Christian youth, and it is not easy to just shrug these things off. It's so hard to live holy when almost everything around you seems to be pulling you into the opposite direction!

But as Nate Punzalan pointed out in this quote:

knowing and being secured with all the promises that the Lord gave us as His precious sons and daughters, we wouldn't even dare to go astray! For we know that God has the best things in store for us. That His plans are far greater than whatever we could ever conceive. So who would you trust yourself with? The world who has constantly persecuted and inflicted pain on you, or to Jesus Christ who did nothing to harm you? Who comforts you, and who actually saved and redeemed you? Who gave you life and light?

Session 3: ESTHER -- God provides the opportunity & ability!

Ms. Lianne Silla talked about the position and situation God has placed Esther in her time to be able to make a difference to her people. Esther's life is a good reflection of how God is truly mindful of our every situation, and that He does not do things for nothing. He has planned our lives for specific purposes and He carefully threads our situations that will be favorable and in line with His plans.

We may not understand immediately why and how did we end up in such situations, but if we hold still in His unfailing love and guidance, we are sure to see His will for us and He Himself will grace us with everything that we'll need to materialize His plans. Our God will never let us down, so if He has set you to do something for Him and His people, we should take heart and courage from our Ultimate Provider, and glorify His name by fulfilling our destinies determined by Him.

Session 4: SAMSON -- Don't trade your birthright for something that feels right!

For this part, Ptr. CJ Nunag tackled the sad fate of Samson; a blessed man who tuned his focus away from God and in the end, was left by God. He is such an iconic Bible character, but understanding his poor choices and decision makings is such a pitiful experience. As was pointed out in Session 3, when God provides the opportunity and the ability--a thing which is bountiful in Samson--we should use both to glorify His name and do His will.  But Samson was blinded by what this world had offered him, and he let himself be succumbed.

The gifts and potentials that God gave us are tools for the fulfillment of His grand plans. We shouldn't waste them, making ourselves a tool of the enemy. We are born for more glorious things!

Session 5: ANANIAS -- Be bold and conquer your fears!

Everyone gets jitters when asked to disciple someone. Especially if that someone is way beyond of our league, and is actually very vocal about not wanting to be a part of any 'spiritual' stuff. Well, God actually asked us to "go and make disciples", and no one is exempted from this order! Ptr. Dan Monterde talked about the importance of discipleship and being a disciple.

Before you came to know Christ, someone had been bold enough to invite you or to share with you the Gospel. Someone took a leap of faith and conquered his fears of rejection or persecution, with the thought of wanting you to be saved and be blessed. God sent that someone for you, and aren't you glad that He did? You are now experiencing His great, overflowing love because someone introduces you to Him! Wouldn't you want that happiness and love be felt by everyone, anyone? Especially the people close to you? Well, God is now sending you to these people to make them closer to Him!

Session 6: JONAH -- Will you run away from God's calling?

The life of Jonah depicts a life of faith, but lacking of courage. Jonah has been talking directly to God and he has received so many favors from Him. But when he was asked to go forth someplace, he refused and ran away from God! How is this possible? Why did fear get the better of this blessed man?

Sometimes, we get overwhelmed by the things that God has called us to do, thinking that there is no way that we can do such. Or sometimes we have other things in mind that we'd like to get busy with. Nonetheless, turning back from God's will is never a great scenario. First is that we're disobeying the will of the Perfect Planner, the Author of all things! Second is we'll be missing out the best moments of our lives--the fulfilling sense of being able to glorify our Father.

Whatever our reasons may be, there should actually never be a reason to go out of God's paved path for us.

Session 7: PAUL -- The radical disciple

Ptr. Steve Murell pointed out Paul's character as someone who "considered his life 'worth nothing' compared to everything that Jesus did for him." Only if every sinner would have the same perspective as Paul, it'd be a better and brighter world for everyone! But not all has the knowledge of the race that we're in--sharing the gospel and proclaiming God's goodness and greatness--, the task that we're given--our mission to make disciples and make Jesus' sacrifice for everyone be known to men--, and the gospel that we share--Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the way we should have died!

And because we know these three things, we should spread these to everyone! Not among ourselves who's already been equipped by God to be His witnesses, but to the people who still hasn't got a clue of the light that Jesus had shed for them so they could have a new life!

All in all, this experience has been a wonderful and an emotional thing for me. I was pumped up to GO OUT more for Christ, and share how He changed me and my life as a whole.

We ended the conference with a declaration:



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