Have you ever had an absolute passion for something?
I absolutely love the sport of basketball. I absolutely love College basketball. I love the Kentucky Wildcats. I love everything about the sport. I like hearing the roar of the crowd. I like seeing the players do amazing feats like defying gravity. The one thing that I might like more is actually playing the sport. I love the feel of the ball in my hands. Being able to move and shoot and run and jump. I love the sound the ball makes when it hits the floor. I feel totally alive when I go around somebody and shoot a lay-up. I love to watch others eyes as they watch me play. When I am on the court, you’ll have no doubt who wants to win the most. I absolutely love to win. The great Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. I think you get the point that I am absolutely passionate about basketball.
What are some things that you are passionate about? What gets you excited? What are you so passionate about that you know every little detail?
Before I was called to ministry, I was so shy that I was afraid to talk to myself. After Michelle and I started dating a couple of times, she asked my best friend if I was mute, because I hardly talked at all. I was just a really shy and quiet person. I really liked to go on dates to the movies or to the library because you’re supposed to be quiet in those places.
I believe I’ve told you that I have often felt a real similar experience with Peter in the bible. So for the next few minutes, let’s take a few instances in his life and let’s see if you can see the similarity.
Peter was ashamed. He was scared. He was a chicken.
Well after Michelle and I dated for a while she found out that my shyness was only temporary. I was afraid that if I spoke she wouldn’t like what I said, or the way I sounded, so I was quiet. I was afraid that I might say something stupid. I came to find out however, that if I really wanted her to like me, she had to know who I was. So the first words out of my mouth were, “me Preston”. So I ended up sounding stupid anyway. But I already had her tricked by then anyway.
What was the point in Peter’s life when he became “the rock”? Where was the point when he became the one that Jesus said he would build his church upon? In John 21:15-19
Acts 2:14-first part 22-24
What is it that now gives me the ability to get up here and proclaim the love of Christ Jesus? What gave Peter the passion to preach to thousands? What was the difference between denying Christ before and being crucified upside down for him now?
Allow me to ask you now. What are you passionate about? What are you willing to get up and speak up and cheer for? I am passionate about basketball. I am PASSIONATE about ministry and winning souls to Jesus Christ. You may feel shy; you may feel like you’re not able to speak what God has done for you to your unsaved loved ones, or to your community. I feel the exact same way. God, who am I? What do I have to offer that’s of any value to you?
Peter was passionate about the church. He was passionate about seeing ministry take place, and people healed and souls saved. What should we be passionate about? I’ve come to a very sobering and scary thought. What will I say or do one day when I am standing in heaven and just on the other side of the gate is one of my loved ones. When they are standing there in pain and I am in peace. When I feel love and they feel hate. I have safety and they have fear. When they ask me why I didn’t share the gospel with them, what am I going to say? I don’t quite think that I’m sorry will cover it. So how can I, how can we find the courage, the passion to tell our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and our community about the saving loving God that we have found? Look at verse 8 again filled with the Holy Spirit.