Sunday, September 1, 2019
Reigniting Your Passion for God Essay
The creative force behind all great art, all great drama, all great music, all great architecture and all great writing is passion. Nothing great is ever accomplished in life without passion. Nothing great is ever sustained in life without passion. Passion is what energizes life. Passion makes the impossible possible. Passion gives you a reason to get up in the morning and go and say, Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢m going to do something with my life today.Ã¢â¬ Without passion life becomes boring. It becomes monotonous. It becomes routine. It becomes dull. God created you with the emotions to have passion in your life and He wants you to live a passionate life for Him. Passion is what mobilizes armies into action. Passion is what causes explorers to boldly go where no manÃ¢â¬â¢s gone before. Passion is what causes scientists to spend late night hours trying to find the cure to a dreaded disease. Passion is what takes a good athlete and turns him or her into a great athlete where theyÃ¢â¬â¢r e breaking records. YouÃ¢â¬â¢ve got to have passion in your life. One day a man walks up to Jesus and he says, Ã¢â¬Å"Lord, whatÃ¢â¬â¢s the most important thing in the Bible?Ã¢â¬ And you know what the Great Commandment is. WeÃ¢â¬â¢ve talked about it many times. Jesus said, Ã¢â¬Å"I want you to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. Nothing matters more than that. ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s the number one thing in life. I want you to love Me passionately.Ã¢â¬ Nothing else matters in life if you donÃ¢â¬â¢t love God with passion. God doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t want you to love Him half-heartedly. He wants you to love Him with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. I love the paraphrase of that verse, Mark 11:30, from The Message Ã¢â¬Å"Jesus said, Ã¢â¬â¢Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.Ã¢â¬ Circle the word Ã¢â¬Å"passionÃ¢â¬ . That word, in Greek, is the word Ã¢â¬Å"heart.Ã¢â¬ God is saying I want you to put some muscle into it, put some energy, put some emotion into your relationship with Me. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t be a wimp about your relationship with Me. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t be namby-pamby. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t be half-hearted. Give it all youÃ¢â¬â¢ve got. Jesus is saying, Ã¢â¬Å"If youÃ¢â¬â¢re going to follow Me, youÃ¢â¬â¢ve got to go it with passion. YouÃ¢â¬â¢ve got to give it some oomph, some spark, some zip, some enthusiasm, some zest. In other words I want you to live your life with me passionately.Ã¢â¬ In fact, this truth is all through the Bible. The Bible tells us that weÃ¢â¬â¢re to seek God passionately. WeÃ¢â¬â¢re to love God passionately. The Bible says that weÃ¢â¬â¢re to serve and obey God passionately. WeÃ¢â¬â¢re to trust God passionately. Then as if you didnÃ¢â¬â¢t get the message, in Colossians 3:23 He says Ã¢â¬Å"Whatever you do, do it with all of your heart as unto the Lord and not unto men.Ã¢â¬ He says I want you to do everything passionately when it comes to loving Me, serving Me, living for Me. HereÃ¢â¬â¢s the amazing thing. In America itÃ¢â¬â¢s ok to be passionate about anything except God. That is not politically correct Ã¢â¬â to be passionate about God. I can be passionate about movies. I can be passionate about sports. I can be passionate about politics. I can be passionate about fashions and clothes. I can be passionate about restaurants. But I cannot be passionate about God. ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s a no-no. I typed in the phrase Ã¢â¬Å"a passion forÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ into Amazon.com and found a couple hundred books with that title. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s a book call A Passion for Birds, A Passion for Books, A Passion for Cactus, A Passion for Chocolate (thatÃ¢â¬â¢s understandable), A Passion for Fashion, Ã¢â¬ ¦ for FishingÃ¢â¬ ¦ for Flying, Ã¢â¬ ¦ for Gardening, Ã¢â¬ ¦ Golf, Hunting. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s even a book called A Passion For Mushrooms. A Passion for Needlepoint, Pasta, Ponies. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s a book called, A Passion for Potatoes, for Roses, for Shoes. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s even a book called A Passion for Steam. I canÃ¢â¬â¢t figure out what that oneÃ¢â¬â¢s all about! I donÃ¢â¬â¢t know why youÃ¢â¬â¢d get passionate about steam. But in our culture today itÃ¢â¬â¢s ok to be passionate about anything except your religion, except your faith, except your relationship with God. I can go to a concert, or a political rally or a baseball game and I can shout my head off. I can get excited. I can get hoarse from yelling so loud. When my team loses I could cry. Nobody thinks thatÃ¢â¬â¢s a big deal. When my team wins I can jump up and dance around and wave my hands in the air. If I do that at a game people go, Ã¢â¬Å"HeÃ¢â¬â¢s a real fan!Ã¢â¬ But if I do that in church people say, Ã¢â¬Å"HeÃ¢â¬â¢s a fanatic! HeÃ¢â¬â¢s a nut case.Ã¢â¬ You donÃ¢â¬â¢t want to get too emotional about your faith. Its ok about anything else but not that. Romans 12:1 Ã¢â¬Å"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.Ã¢â¬ Keep the fires going in your life. Circle the word Ã¢â¬Å"keep.Ã¢â¬ Notice, itÃ¢â¬â¢s not automatic. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s a choice. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s a discipline. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s something you must maintain. You are not by nature passionate about God. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s something that you must choose to do. You get distracted and everything in life conspires to keep you from being passionate about God. So He says keep your passion going. Keep the fires going. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s a discipline. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s not just automatic. This kind of thing Ã¢â¬â being passionate about God has nothing to do with either your personality or your age. Our churches are filled with hundreds if not thousands of senior believers who have walked with God a long, long time and are still passionate. But everything in life conspires to keep you from being passionate. And it dissipates your energy. When you first become a believer and you really understand what a good deal youÃ¢â¬â¢ve got you get excited about it, Ã¢â¬Å"This is quite a big deal! All my sins were forgiven. I now have a purpose for living, and I now have a future home in heaven. What a deal! And you get excited about that when you give your life to Christ and youÃ¢â¬â¢re pretty passionate. But as time goes by you begin to lose your steam. You begin to lose your zip, your zest, your enthusiasm. What happened? Why does that happen? ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s what weÃ¢â¬â¢re going to look at today. As we go through GodÃ¢â¬â¢s word weÃ¢â¬â¢re going to look at seven passion killers, things that rob the joy out of your life. I thought this would be a very appropriate message, right in the middle of winter, when nobody feels very passionate about much of anything. You want the warmth of summer back. So this morning weÃ¢â¬â¢re going to look at these passion killers together. I want you to use it as a checklist. Because God says, I want you to love Me with all of your heart.