Loving Passionately

“Let the great and holy passion of your life first be to know Jesus intimately.”

All of life is best lived with passion. A marriage weakens as passion lessens. Your achievements diminish where passion suffers. Friendship and fellowship lose their luster as time and activity together grows of lesser importance. Spiritual life and growth decline when priority is placed elsewhere.

I don’t think anyone intentionally chooses that cooling of ardor; without care it just happens, often without intent or notice, in the smallest of ways. Actually, a person’s passion is often more misdirected than reduced – misplaced on another person or other things rather that where it should have remained.

I have felt challenged by the conviction of the Holy Spirit to “keep it real” in my daily walk with God. Such a holy passion is not normal to your nature, nor easy to sustain in the surrounding culture. But that is the only way you will truly know God in a depth of experience that is releasing and transforming. Why wouldn’t you and I choose to stay unashamedly passionate about Jesus?

Jesus cautioned the church of the ancient city of Laodicea that He would prefer they were “either hot or cold.” Lukewarmness is never a viable, tolerable option. See Revelation 2:13-22. 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 “rich and increased with goods, having need of nothing,” foolishly content and self-satisfied. Verse 17.

Writing to the church at Ephesus, Jesus praised their zeal for matters of righteousness, but judged their loss of passion in their love for God. You have left your first love . . this is what I have against you: you do not love me at you did at first.” Revelation 2:4 NKJV/TEV. That can happen more easily than you know and more quickly than you may realize – with tragic result. Revelation 2:1-7.

Jesus established by commandment that such wholehearted love for God is non-negotiable in His Kingdom. 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. Notice the absolute inclusiveness of Jesus’ words – loving God with everything you are and have in every area of your personal resources and ability.

There were seasons in my life when lesser passions competed for my focus and energies. Automobiles, tennis, golf, travel, business, and such trivial matters held my attention. As I have grown older my marriage and family, friendships, and ministry have owned more of my loyalties. But the great and holy passion of my life was, and still is, “That I may know (Jesus) in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:10.

My prayer for you today is: let your real passion for Jesus inspire and excite others.

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