Summary: Passion is the driving force in the life of the church and the life of a Christian.

Propelled by Passion

Mark 12:28-34

June 1999


I. W.E. Sangster

A. Interviewing ministerial candidates

1. Interview process: Group of individuals interviewed ministry applicants, Sangster was a part of this group, this was a large task in the Methodist church

2. One specific pastoral candidate: One applicant admitted that he shy and quite, he stated that he would probably never set the Thames on fire, meaning to turn a community upside down

B. Sangster’s response: “I’m not interested to know if you can set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: If I picked you up by the scruff of the neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?”

Q – If someone threw a bucket of water on you would you sizzle with passion for God?

II. What is passion?

A. Isn’t passion a bad thing?

1. Nature of emotions: Passion is neutral but the things we pursue are not, passion can be a good or bad, the choice is ours in what we pursue

2. Jean de le Fontaine: “Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.”

B. Biblical examples of passion

1. Negative: Samson and David – Passion led them to lust and sexual immorality, Balam – Passion for money, Pharisees – Passion for religion, Peter – passion for vengence

2. Positive: Moses – Passion for the people of Israel, Nehemiah – Passion to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Paul – Passion to plant new church

C. Definitions of passion

1. Webster

a.) Intense driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction

b.) Intense emotion compelling action

c.) Strong desire or devotion to some object, activity or concept

2. True passion is Christian passion: Being centered in and driven by Christ in such a way that we are moved to action

Main Body – Mark 12:28-34

I. The need for passion – Why do we need passion?

A. Passion is absolutely needed in life

1. A Christian without passion is like a river without water

2. Passion energizes the Christian life

a.) Passion gives us additional focus in life

b.) Without the passion of God in our lives we will lead dull and draining existence

3. Passion is one of the ways that God empowers our lives

B. True passion begins with God

1. We need a fresh filling of God’s love

a.) Passion starts with God’s love for us

b.) Life is draining and we need to be continually recharging our passion batteries with God’s love

2. True passion empowers our lives and moves us to action

a.) God gives us the ability to love Him completely

b.) God gives us the ability to love others

1.) Not every person is easy to love – yes there are some difficult people out there

2.) In our own strength and ability we cannot do it, so God gives us His love to pass on

C. Passion will take us beyond ourselves

1. Society is just self centered

a.) The attitude of American society is to look out for “Number 1”

b.) We have built a monument to I, me, my, mine and myself

c.) There is a complete “I don’t care” attitude in our nation

2. Christians are called to follow Christ

a.) Our focus in life must be Christ – This is the first key to gaining passion

b.) We must be interested in the needs of others

1.) Physical

2.) Emotional

3.) Spiritual

II. The impact of passion

A. Passion creates change in us

1. Passion makes it possible for us to truly live life

a.) No reserve, no retreat and no regrets – Bill Bordon: Missionary to China

b.) Only when we have passion will we find the abundant life that Jesus promised us

2. Passion allows us to become what God has planned for us to become

a.) Passion helps us to reach the potential that God instilled in our lives

b.) Passion propels us toward greatness in life

B. Passion creates change in others

1. Passion makes change in us

a.) The world around us ought to see a difference in us

b.) Passion should make us stand out in the crowd

1.) Passion changes our attitude

2.) Passion changes our behavior

3.) Passion changes our relationships

2. Passion is contagious

a.) Passion is caught by other people it cannot be taught

b.) Passion reveals the living witness of Jesus christ in our lives

c.) Passion works like a magnet – some people will be drawn to you and others will be pushed away

III. The results of passion

A. True passion leads us to heaven

1. True passion is being centered in and driven by Christ in such a way that we are moved to action

2. True passion leads us in our walk with Jesus

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