Summary: Well, how’s your level of passion for Jesus as we start 2008? Is your passion for Jesus still burning strong? Are you being truthful if you said “yes”?
Well, how’s your level of passion for Jesus as we start 2008? Is your passion for Jesus still burning strong? Are you being truthful if you said “yes”?
A young man was sent to Spain by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a 2 year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend. They wrote to each other every week, but as the lonely weeks went by, she wrote expressing doubts that he was being true to her, thinking that he was going to give into a European beauty.
The young man wrote back, declaring with great passion that he was not paying attention to the local girls. He wrote,“I admit, that sometimes I’m tempted, but I fight it. I’m keeping myself for you.”
In the next mail, the young man received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. She wrote, “I’m sending this to you, so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off the girls.”
The man replied, “Thanks for the harmonica. I’m practicing it every night while I only think of you.”
At the end of his 2 year, the man was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she said, “Just hold on there a minute, Billy, before any serious kissing and hugging, let me hear you play the harmonica!”
Aren’t you glad that God is always passionate about His relationship with each of us? Let me ask...Have you ever thought of God as being passionate about you?
Exodus 34:14 “You must worship only the Lord, for He…is passionate about His relationship with you.” NLT
What is passion? Webster’s Dictionary says its, “A great devotion and intense conviction which fuels or motivates toward compelling action.”
2 Timothy 1:6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you...”
“Stir up” = fan into a flame
KEY: Notice that Timothy didn’t need a new gift, but rather re-ignite the one he already had!
Paul was telling Timothy to get out of his muck and mire and return to his might as a child of God!! A roaring fire will only continue if you stir the wood and coals already on fire! Does your spiritual fire need to be stirred up?
The apostle Paul’s passion was threatened at times but he refused to let any circumstance, challenge or crisis beat it out of him!
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure…In our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…On him we have set our hope…”
The great evangelist John Wesley understood the pressures of life. While he was a small man, he weighed only 120 pounds. Samuel Johnson said of him, “He is always driven by God in an intense desire to obey him…”
He died when he was 90 years old and he still filled passion for God. He virtually lived in the saddle, on horseback, driven to serve his Savior.
The story is told of General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, and the day Queen Victoria of England asked to meet with him. Because she had heard so many favorable things about his work in the community, she asked him for the secret of his success.
He replied, “Your Majesty, some men have a passion for money. Some people have a passion for things. But I have a passion for people.”
So I ask - how many of us get out of bed every morning and say, “I can’t wait to see how I can live for Jesus today.” Is your life passionate about the Great Commission or poisoned by the great omission?
7 Passion Destroyers
Which of these 7 areas are destroying your passion for Jesus?
1. An Unclear Purpose.
Isaiah 49:4 “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.” NIV
I’m concerned that too many Christians live in their past purpose instead of creating a present purpose for their lives!
I suggest to you, that God is not as concerned about our past purpose as you and I might be! Are we still living off the old victories and old successes? Listen, we burn out and eventually our passion for Jesus fades out because we have no current purpose for our lives!
If we are going to be a distinctive church in the our community, that is, be “The Cure For The Common Church”.There maybe no cure for the common cold - but I assure you that there is a cure for the common church...which is...