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Around Cornerstone: News

A Renewed Mindset

You know what doesn't make the news but should? 21,000 students and leaders from all over the world gathered together to experience the presence of God. Today, Cornerstone senior, Isaac Howerton, shares how Passion inspired him to realize that it’s time to boldly and confidently share, testify, encourage, build, and fulfill the plans of Christ! 

As with any stadium, when you first step into the concourse you have an immediate sense of awe. At Passion, however, this awe never faded. The thought of twenty-one thousand people all gathering together to give praise to and worship God was amazing.   

The Presence of God

Christine Caine opened Passion with a sermon that perfectly fit this feeling. She spoke of the presence of God. While the Israelites worshiped God in their wilderness camp, it was only Moses and Joshua who sought after and truly lingered in the presence of God. She encouraged us to do the same, not to stop at merely the sense of awe, but to go further into the presence and glory of God saying that “no amount of success is worth the absence of God.” Following this sermon, singing felt like it meant so much more. What started as a song about God became the very praise that we spoke directly to Him in His presence. We all returned to our hotel that night even more excited for the coming days than when we had arrived. 

God’s Faithfulness

The second day of Passion took the idea of dwelling with God a step further. Jackie Hill Perry spoke of God’s faithfulness and pointed out how though we've seen God’s provision in the past we continue to doubt Him. This was a powerful message on trusting God and His goodness and constantly remembering and praising Him for His faithfulness in the past. Following this, Katherine Wolf told her amazing life story encouraging us that just because this life may be hard with God we can always find good in the hardship. 

Our Idols or Our Passion

Jonathan Pokluda then spoke on the story of the rich young ruler. He shared that we have idols in our lives that keep us in fear and that keep us from following God. This was a simple sermon though it had a profound impact on me. This lesson brought together for me the previous sermons into one idea and that despite God’s faithfulness, His powerful presence, and His goodness that I've seen in my life, I have kept myself and my joy as the idol in my life. This was an idea that I would keep with me for the rest of Passion and onwards. Louie Giglio’s next sermon played perfectly into this idea. As the founder of Passion, Louie Giglio has spent a lot of time developing and understanding the meaning and impact behind the word passion. Passion means that we are willing to sacrifice for something greater or in other words that something is so important in our lives that everything else shies away as it takes hold. 

This sparked in my mind both a realization that I had failed to be passionate about my faith in the past and an urgent desire to be passionate about it going forward. 

Louie Giglio went on to speak of how our lives reflect what we focus on. If we focus on the Lord, we will reflect His glory and His love will overflow through our life. To me, this was a way forward, to begin to better focus my life on the Lord so that His plans and love may flow through me. He then issued a call to action, a call to say “yes” to God, no matter the circumstance, no matter our plan, to accept God and His will for us. While I know as a sinful human my “yes” isn’t guaranteed, I decided that wholly sacrificing my life for God was something that I truly desired and would go through with. We ended our second session in worship and reverence to God, wishing to linger in the presence we felt forever. 

In the last session, Tim Tebow picked up right where Louie Giglio left off on the passion we should have for Christ. He told his own story, where much like me he wasn't truly passionate about the Lord above all else, and he encouraged us to build this passion and focus for Christ. 

Staying in His Presence

Passion concluded with Sadie Robertson. She shared a sermon on the personal life of Peter and how Jesus stepped directly into it for His ministry. This sermon inspired me to bring Jesus into my personal life, to rely on Him in all struggles, and to not be embarrassed or afraid to proclaim my faith. This was one of my biggest takeaways and a first step towards becoming passionate about my faith. Inviting Jesus into our personal lives is not a burden, but a gift. It give us the ability to spend every moment dwelling in God’s presence, trusting His provision.  

Leaving Passion was heartbreaking, but I left knowing that the presence I felt and the inspiration I gained would stay with me. However, the hardest challenge of our faith comes after Passion. I was challenged to take what I learned and applying it to my life as I promised God I would. This is a mindset I hope to take forward, to dwell in God’s presence, to focus on his goodness and provision, and to let my life reflect the love that God has shown me.     

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 
2 Timothy 1:8

There are times in our lives when we all need renewing and refreshing. If Isaac’s story inspires you, it’s not too late to watch all of the Passion sessions. Click here to sign up to rewatch any or all of the sessions. 

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