May your supreme passion be to know Jesus intimately
“That I may know Jesus in the power of His resurrection.” Philippians 3:10 NKJV
My thoughts and comments today are about, “a holy passion.”
Life is meant to be passionate. Life is less when passion is lacking or absent. As passion lessens, a marriage weakens. Where passion suffers, achievements diminish. When meaningful interaction is less important, friendships weaken. More importantly, spiritual life declines when priorities are misplaced. Most people do not intentionally choose that loss of enthusiasm. Without care and attention, it just happens in ways too small to notice. Passion is often more misdirected than reduced, displaced on things other than where it should have remained.
By the Holy Spirit, I feel challenged daily to pursue and preserve an authentic relationship with God and others. Here is the challenge. Apart from the Holy Spirit, a holy passion is not normal to our nature, nor easy to sustain in an oppositional, secular culture. Yet, spiritual passion is the only way you will truly know God in a depth of experience that is releasing and transforming. Do not indulge lesser passions to diminish a holy, empowering passion for Jesus.
The Church in the ancient city of Laodicea was described by Jesus as, “lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold.” Lukewarmness is not a tolerable option. See Revelation 3:14-22 NIV. How could this have happened to those loving, Christ-followers in contrast to what had previously been true of them? Their passion diminished because they described themselves as, “rich, and have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” They became wrongly content, foolishly self-satisfied, and seriously mistaken.
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 as you did at first.” Revelation 2:4 NKJV/TEV. Did you notice the description – left, not lost? That happens more easily than you recognize and more quickly than you notice, always with the same tragic result.
If you can remember a time when your passion and priority for Christ, the Word of God, and worship alongside others was more than today, you have lost your “love as at the first.” Repentance is in order immediately and sincerely. The remedy is simple enough, “Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to Me again and work as you did at first.” Read Revelation 2:1-7 NLT.
By commandment, Jesus established this fact: wholehearted love for God is non-negotiable. Jesus required that your love for God must be comprehensive, “. . with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 NKJV. Notice the absolute inclusiveness of Jesus’ words. Love God with everything you are and have, in every area of your abilities and personal resources.
There were seasons in my life when lesser passions competed for my focus and energies. Automobiles, tennis, golf, travel, business, and such trivial matters vied for attention at one time or another. In their proper place, such pursuits are fine. But if they at all supplant His place in your heart and life, they are too costly. As I grow older, my marriage and family, ministry, and friendships have owned more of my loyalties. Since college, my lifelong passion remains, “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 NKJV. May your passion be to know Jesus intimately.
Today, I pray for your love to be fervent about Jesus and inspire others to do so.
Christian Communications 2017