”I want to know Christ.” Philippians 3:10 NLT
My thoughts today are about,
“A Passion for God.”
Life is best lived with enthusiasm, optimism, and especially passion. When enthusiasm dwindles, achievement diminishes. When optimism wanes, effort dwindles. But let’s talk about spiritual life and true passion.
When attention is misdirected from priorities, changes happen in small and subtle ways. When the essential priority of spiritual life drifts elsewhere, the resulting decline becomes obvious, even spiritually dangerous.
By the loving conviction of the Holy Spirit, you and I are challenged to prioritize daily time for fellowship with God through His Word and prayerful meditation. And gathering with others of similar heart is fundamental. ”Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 NIV.
Such a holy passion and practice is not normal to our fallen nature, nor easy to sustain in the surrounding, secular culture. Sustaining spiritual passion daily is the only way you will truly know God in a depth of transforming experience. You feed that passion with a priority for God’s Word, worship, and fellowship with others of similar hearts.
Why wouldn’t anyone choose to stay passionate about Jesus? You must remain spiritually diligent or your hunger to know and serve Jesus diminishes.
”As Jesus and His disciples came to a village, where Martha opened her home to Him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” Luke 10:38 NIV.
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. Mary welcomed Jesus into her heart.
Mary savored Jesus’ company and life-giving words. She delighted in His presence. Jesus praised Mary’s priority but corrected Martha’s distraction with serving.
Similarly, in the Book of Revelation, Jesus cautioned the church of Laodicea. He preferred they were, “either hot or cold.” Lukewarm remains unworthy of our God. Dispassionate is never an option for a follower of Jesus.
How could this have happened to these loving, Christ-followers in contrast to what had previously been true of them? Their passion waned exactly because they envisioned themselves as, “rich and increased with goods, having need of nothing.” Foolishly, they became self-satisfied with lesser things.
In contrast, Jesus praised the Church at Ephesus for their zeal for matters of righteousness but judged their diminished passion for God. “You have left your first love . . you do not love Me as you did at first.” With tragic result, that happens more easily than we know and more quickly than we realize.
By commandment, Jesus established wholehearted love for God to be non-negotiable. Your supreme love for God must be, “with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30. Love God with everything you are, everything you have, and in every area of your time, personal resources, and abilities. As a young man, I recall fervently singing, “All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will always love and serve Him. In His presence daily live.” I will sing it still.
When I was younger, lesser passions competed for my focus and energies. As I have grown older, my marriage, family, ministry, and friendships have owned more of my loyalties and time. But the great and holy passion of my life was, and remains as Paul described, ”I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.” Philippians 3:10 NLT.
Tears flow as I write those words. They were true when I was a young Bible College student, and I pray they will remain so for every day of my life. Jesus was clear, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
My prayer for you today is that you live live with passion and purpose for Jesus.
EDL Communications 2021
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