Summary: The Fire of passion will ward off the wolves in sheep clothing. The fires of passion will let you lay down and find rest and peace which the Psalmist described as green pastures and still waters and arise refreshed ready to take up your cross and follow the Great Shepard, Jesus Christ.

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Intro: There’s a question the world is asking Christians. It’s a question that should haunt us since, according to a Pew Research Center survey, more and more people are abandoning religion and giving up on God. The religious dropouts or never believers make up about 23 percent of the US adult population. And one-in-five Americans (18 percent) who were raised as Christians or members of another faith now claim no religious affiliation.

Many who have left the church perceive Christians as finger-pointing, self-righteous people who are quick to judge others but not themselves. In the church, they experienced backbiting, envy, and materialism, but none of these sins were addressed. Their congregations highlighted moral and social issues and were quick to criticize those who disagreed with their religion. In walking away from the church, they also walked away from God.

Where is the living God, the Holy Ghost, the amazing Jesus whose presence and anointing holds people in ecstasy? Where is the fullness of His love, where is the compassion, the holiness? How I long and pray for that day when the prayers of the men and women of Harvest Fellowship will shake the very foundation of this building. Where the evidence found in Mark 16:16, 17, 18 is produced and is just a normal service in the church Jesus named “My Church”.

We the people who are called by His name, churches, and religious originations in this day and time are perceived by the world as being blind to our own hypocrisy, professing with our tongues the righteousness and Holiness of God but reality proves something different. Some hold up and even hold onto their sins basing their eternal life on the ungodly, unscriptural, unfounded, and ridicules phrase, “Ain't nobody perfect,” “we sin every day.” Well, horsefeathers, we are saved by grace from our wrenched sinful nature, not to sin. This is religion, man-made, doing whatsoever seems right unto man. The vast majority of the church world has substituted religion for relationship. With manmade imitation smoke, strove lights that pierce the darkness of the sanctuary steeling the anointing and the power of the true and mighty God. God is not looking for religious men and women but He craves for burning passionate daily, intimate relationships with His most prized creation, mankind.

1. God demands relationship: Our text today proves that we are to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. “Thou shall love the Lord thy God.” What is Love if not a relationship? How can you love someone without having a relationship? The Webster’s New Dictionary defines Love as “a strong affection or liking for someone or something.” but I describe Love as passionate emotions, like a flame that burns deep within your heart that cannot be satisfied. At sometimes it’s sensations is like having an IV filled with happiness, excitement inserted into my veins making me feel as though I am invincible, exalting me above the valley, over the mountain tops, higher than the clouds, filling me with great joy and strength that will give me the power too over-come even the downward pull of the gravity of this world. Where every attempt of the Devil to disillusion me is but a joke and I can laugh in his face. With great excitement, I can image Satan standing in front of God asking His permission to temp and devour one of His children, and God says, “Satan have you considered my servant Dale Carter Sr.,” and Satan response is, “no sir God, he has beaten me every time I have tried to pull him down and away, he will not even look upon the goodness of the fruit I offer, I cannot sway him I cannot trick him I cannot conquer him, he is just too much like You.

I’m talking about a relationship, a Love relationship between God and one, of His children. The kind of a love relationship that is driven with passion, a burning flame of passion that cannot be weakened by the wounds and the scares of a war-torn heart. A heated passion that will not cool off. A passion that will not allow us to pull back, look back, let down, be swayed from a relationship with the mighty power of an unexplainable all knowing, all powerful always present all caring mighty God whose passionate love for us is a driving force of the fire in a passion filled heart that pushes us onward that makes us determine to lay hold on the destiny that God has provided for each of us. As the prophet Jeremiah declared, “his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones,”

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