Summary: To show that as believer’s our passions must be directed toward Christ and not to our fleshly desires.
I love to watch the Olympics, I always have
1980 Men’s Hockey team
Eric Heiden’s 5 gold speed skating medals
Sarah’s Hughes’ upset ice skating gold 4 years ago
Luge, alpine skiing, bobsled, ski jumping
All of these bring me excitement to watch
Even curling (an ice version of shuffleboard)
This time around, the organizers selected what I think is an interesting theme for the games
That theme is “Passion lives here”
I’m sure they selected that theme because the event is being held in Italy, a country known for romance
Yet, it is quite an accurate theme for most of the athletes
Many have worked for years to get there
Many have sacrificed greatly in order to get there
Socially, physically and financially
Yet, while this theme is true for these athletes, this same theme can and should be true for all of those who claim the name of Christ
“Passion” literally means “an intense enthusiasm for something”
I. Passionate People Are Controlled By Their Passions
A. It affects their actions
They cannot help many of the things they do
In relation to their passion
Their passion becomes, in a sense, an addiction to them
They do things that others would consider to be weird
Because others likely do not understand the passion that the individual has
In fact, they have no concern for what others think about what they do I regards to what they are passionate about
B. It affects their thinking
They have no control over their thinking in this area Their thoughts are constantly on what their passion is
The more they try to stop it, the greater it becomes
II. Passionate People Are Known For Their Passions
A. Because it is all they talk about
They want to tell the world what they think of what they are passionate about
B. Because it is all they act on
1. Consuming a great deal of their time
2. Consuming a great deal of their finances
3. Consuming a great deal of their energy
III. Passionate People Fuel Their Passions
A. Focusing on the prize
Have you ever seen the focus in an athlete’s eyes?
1. Not on the spectators
-Women’s Snowcross - Lindsey Jacobellis
2. Not on other runners
3. Not on the past
Yesterdays victories are not good for today’s challenges
Let the faults of the past serve only as lessons and motivations to do better
Not as weights to tie you down
B. Working hard
To attain the prize
Learning about what you will be doing
Do the book stuff, the schooling
Preparing yourself for the challenges that will come
C. Ignoring the pain
No Pain, No Gain
The pain actually becomes pleasure to them
And pain is always a part of the process
Truly passionate people push through the pain
To make their marriages stronger and lasting
To make their jobs more secure
To make their accomplishments greater
Think of what Christ did in regards to pain for what He was passionate about
The question this morning is, what are you passionate about? What is your one overriding passion above all others?
Things of this world? Things of God?
You are either going to be truly passionate about one or the other
Mind you, not everything in this world is evil in and of itself
Although, many things are
Things such as jobs and school and family and sports and entertainment and leisure are not inherently against God’s will for your life
What makes them such is when your passion for them becomes greater than your passion for God
Those with passion for Christ allow Him to guide and control their lives much more than their fleshly passion and desires
Which we are told here are to actually be crucified
This morning, I want to remind you that God is passionate about you
That is why Christ went to the cross
How passionate are you for God?
Are you controlled by your passion for God?
Does it make you do things that others may not understand?
Do you constantly think about Him? Or only on Sundays?
Do others know about your passion for God?
Because it is all you talk about?
Because you act on it all the time?
Do you fuel you passion for God?
By keeping your focus solidly on Him?
By working hard at doing well and improving?
By ignoring the pain caused by the competing fleshly desires?
Today, if you find yourself less passionate about God that you should be, if He is not the top passion in your life, I urge you to crucify your fleshly passion and desires at His cross and become fired-up and passionate for God