Christianity, faith, God, inspiration

Where Is My Passion?

 

            If I had loads of money would my life be better? Easier? More satisfying? In my current financial condition, how do I see the Lord working in my life and through me? Am I looking for God’s guidance, wisdom, and direction each day? Or am I hoping for a miraculous change—a heavenly rescue.

            Do I think I will be more useful after my life changes (according to my imaginary plans). If I strike at rich or win the lottery or get a surprise knock at the door telling me my great uncle Zebulon passed on and left me $50 million, do I believe my life will then be good, compared to what it is now?

            As a Bible-believing Christian, how does God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit impact my life as it is? Has Jesus Christ become nothing more than Fire Insurance to me? As the old saying goes, “If I were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?”

            During the NFL season,  literally millions of fans race to their favorite team’s games—jamming into parking lots to spark-up the BBQ’s at thousands of tail gate parties. The atmosphere is festive, communal, and enthusiastic. And beginning with the first kickoff, passion explodes across America with people cheering, screaming, shaking fists and raising arms in excitement and victory. All this for something temporary, something that will fade into obscurity at the last trumpet blast; something that will melt with a fervent heat when almighty God speaks it into being!

            And what of the believer? Where is our passion? We have a treasure hidden in our hearts, the greatest gift ever given, a gift never to erode or pass away. It is the gift of forgiveness, redemption and eternal life. So where are our tailgate parties and festive, cheering meetings? As receivers of the greatest gift given at the greatest price, where is our football-like excitement and passion? It seems as though it is hidden. Rather than telling our workmates and neighbors about life eternal and the Salvation of Jesus Christ, we would rather take off our armor, set aside the grace of Jesus Christ and join in Monday morning sports talk.

Revelation 3:15-16  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.   

Romans 12:1-21  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. 20On the contrary:  If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Where Is My Passion?

  1. Interesting post. In turn, I have an interesting response.

    What should zeal for the Lord look like? Does Christ expect us to jump around and pump our fists into the air to show our passion for him? I lean toward ‘no.’ Since my earthly marriage functions as an illustration of the church’s relationship to Christ, that is how I approach Him. When my husband comes home from work or surprises me with a nice gift, I don’t jump around and scream. Instead, I throw my arms around him, kiss him, bathe in his presence, and then look for ways to serve and please him. I think if I cheered at my husband’s homecoming but then sat on my butt and never did a thing for him, he probably wouldn’t say I was passionate about him.

    I heard messages like this a lot when I was involved with a charismatic youth group in my teens. That verse in Revelations 3 was practically crammed down our throats. To my youth pastor, passion for Christ was measured by how much people danced or waved their arms at the altar. But many of the teens who did such (myself included) often walked out of the church building and straight into sinful activities. Yeah, we cheered the name of Christ. But we didn’t keep His commands.

    I’m not at all saying that Christians shouldn’t praise Jesus with enthusiasm or testify with joy. I love to be in a service where people kneel, dance, shout, sing and raise their hands in worship. But just from what I’ve read in the rest of the Bible, Jesus isn’t judging my passion for him by how much I cheer at His name; He’s judging by my steadfastness in the faith–loving my neighbor, caring for the poor, and sharing the gospel. Just my two cents. Be blessed!

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    1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply. I fully agree with your comments, April. Jumping and spinning do not a sold-out Christian make. Obviously my football analogy didn’t work for you…and perhaps not for others as well. Emotion is a part of our lives but does not validate the depth of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Actually, your description of married life fits more accurately with:

      Romans 12:1-21 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

      To love and to serve should be our proof of Christianity; should be our passion for Christ played out in our lives. It sounds as though you have found that to be true. Thanks for sharing your heart with me and for helping me to stay on point.

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      1. You’re welcome. I hope you didn’t take my comment as a slam to what you wrote. That wasn’t my intention. Christians should praise God with enthusiasm, which is where your football analogy works. I just wanted to add that Christ measures enthusiasm in other ways as well. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

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      2. Not a slam. I figured you were sharing your personal feelings, Biblical ideas and “youth group” shock and awe! I appreciate any comment you wish to make. Thanks. By the way, thank you for so many thoughtful blogs. David

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