Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This message explores the question, "What are you passionate about?"

If I were to ask you, “What is your passion?” How would you answer?

Passion is an emotion - its something or someone that we feel strongly about.

I think we can be passionate about a lot of things...

I see a lot of people that are passionate for sports. Okay, I confess, I am one of those... In fact, I brought a little evidence this morning. This is the Soccer Jersey for Germany. Today at 1:30, I’ll be at home with this jersey on watching Germany play Spain in the Euro cup finals. But you know... I have a lot of Jerseys. I like putting on a jersey because it makes me feel like I am part of the team - part of what’s going to push my team across the line or help them score the winning goal.

I also am passionate about my family. I love my wife very much, but I never expected to love my kids as much as I do. Its amazing how wrapped up and passionate I can get about their lives. I love how some of you are passionate about your grandkids - ...Just talk to Hilliard about his granddaughter Sahara or his grandson Max, and chances are if you speak to Mattie for very long, you are going to get to see the latest photos of her grand-baby...

Sometimes our passions are for less noble things - If I am not careful, I can get obsessed over things I think I need. lately for instance, I’ve been thinking I need a new putter - so I’ve checked out all the reviews for different putters online, and I’ve wasted time at golfsmith putting on their putting green...

But what about God? Would you say that you are passionate for him? This mornings text is from Psalm 42:1-2. (Read Text) Its a passage that we are a little familiar with, mainly because of a song... It speaks of longing for God as a deer longs for water. It says I thirst for you...

But if you read the rest of this passage, you find out that the author is really struggling. He says his heart is breaking, he’s discouraged, he says his heart is sad... As I read this Psalm over and over this week, I realized that more than a lesson in developing passion its really a psalm about keeping your passion alive when life doesn’t go according to plan.

How do we keep our passions alive when things don’t go according to plan?

I think if we are not careful, we can lose our passion for God - we let it slip...

In Revelation, God warns the church at Ephesus about this: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” (Rev. 2:2-5)

Sometimes its our effort that does us in - we do and we do and we do - we keep pressing on... But we lose something. We’re like an engine that’s run too long with out an oil change, we just start to break down.

Songwriter Keith Green put it this way: "My eyes are dry, my faith is old, my heart is hard, my prayers are cold. And I know what I ought to be, alive to you and dead to me." We have probably all experienced this in our own lives. This is not what we need. What we need is a heart which is hungry for God. What we need is a passion restored. Keith Green goes on to say in his song, "Oh what can be done with an old heart like mine, soften it Lord with oil and wine. The oil is you, your Spirit of love. Come wash me anew in the wine of your blood."

Do you remember the time when Mary and Martha were hosting Jesus? Martha was busy making preparations, and Mary was sitting listening to Jesus. Martha got jealous, and she finally complained. Do you remember what Jesus told her? “The Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

So how do we renew our passion? We need to understand that passion comes from relationship... The closer you get to something the more passionate you will become about it.

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