A young American engineer was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to comely Irish lasses.The young engineer wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes I’m tempted. But I fight it. I’m keeping myself for you."
In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. "I’m sending this to you," she wrote, "so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls."The engineer replied, "Thanks for the harmonica. I’m practicing on it every night and thinking of you."
At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer 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 held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissin’ and huggin’ gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica!"
Your true passion will reveal who you are and what you really believe. Passion speaks louder than words!
People want to see a fire, zeal, enthusiasm among Christians that makes going to church meaningful. This is what made Jesus ministry so affective! He lived passionately for others, and He died passionately for us!
For the most part, much of America is really struggling to be passionate about life.
4 out of 5 Americans feel that they lack passion in their lives. - Harris Poll, 2007
That means only 20% of Americans woke up today saying, “Come on, let’s go for it!”
THE PICTURE OF PASSION – V. 11 – “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
What good is a fuse without the match? What good is the engine without the fuel? What good is life without the passion that motivates it?
Passion makes all the difference if we are going to show compassion to the hurting, stand unashamed of biblical truth, develop relationships and enhance worship to God! Passion will put our legs into action, help us think like Christ and see with eyes wide open.
Three Truths About Passion:
• Nothing significant is ever done in life without passion.
• Most winners in life are just ex-losers who finally got passionate.
• The worst poverty in the world is the person who has lost passion.
What is passion? “A strong feeling, a great devotion and intense conviction which fuels or motivates us toward compelling action.”
Passion is living like you really believe what you believe! Passion is behaving like your faith really matters to you! Passion is living on purpose! Passion is matching your attitudes and your actions with what you say you believe.
As Christians, I’m convinced that passion is commanded of each of us…
Ecclesiastes 9:10 - “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”
John 10:10 - “…My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
Ro. 12:11 - “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Eph. 6:6 - “…Do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm.”
May I ask, who was the person or what was the event in life that stopped you from being passionate about life?
Live with urgency – “don’t be lazy” – “don’t lag” – “live like it matters”
THE WORD PICTURE HERE IS REVEALING.
fervent” = “boiling”
Boiling water produces energy. This energy when under control can be very powerful and productive!
BUT – When it is out of control - when it boils over or when it explodes it can cause great damage!
Jesus is the water
Holy Spirit is the heat
You are the boiler
Spiritual disciplines are the pressure valves
THE POINT OF PASSION - V. 11 – “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
I think we sometimes believe that passion flows to God. In other words it is up to me to muster up some positive emotional feelings often enough so I can make this following Christ thing worth it.
So, I come to you this morning talking about passion and how to find it and you are thinking, “Right! With all I have going I am lucky to just LIKE my life! I would love to feel passionate about my spouse again, it’s a little easier to feel passionate about the kids cause they are so darn cute, I would like to just tolerate the people I work with, not to mention that I never have time for the things I REALLY could get passionate about. And now you come to church and I am pushing passion on you. Wow! Thanks, Brad!”
But, the truth is that passion flows FROM God! And it is much more that just emotional feelings. We don’t have to conjure up feeling FOR Him, we just have to come TO Him and, and connect with Him, and receive FROM Him. When we get passion from Him we become a connecting point for His passion to all we love.
Passion is the point where you find meaning and purpose. Meaning is found in Christ
The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and costly tombs ever built, but there is something fascinating about its beginnings. In 1629, when the favorite wife of Indian ruler Shah Jahan died, he ordered that a magnificent tomb be built as a memorial to her. The shah placed his wife’s casket in the middle of a parcel of land, and construction of the temple literally began around it. But several years into the venture, the Shah’s grief for his wife gave way to a passion for the project. One day while he was surveying the sight, he reportedly stumbled over a wooden box, and he had some workers throw it out. It was months before he realized that his wife’s casket had been destroyed. The original purpose for the memorial became lost in the details of construction.
We lose our passion when we lose touch with the Person of Jesus and His purpose for our lives. Doesn’t it make sense that a person who lives in Christ should have a level of passion that others don’t have?
THE POWER OF PASSION, V. 12-13 – “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
I recognize passion in others, but I am not sure if I have it. How can I know?
Look at your kids……
They will tend to be passionate about the things your are TRULY passionate over.
Look at your checkbook – where you spend your money betrays your passion
Look at your date book – where you spend your time shows your passion
Joy, patience, and faithfulness in serving and sharing are the true evidences of godly passion!
How do I know I have passion? I have joy as I serve! Do I recognize joy in my life?
How do I know I have passion? I can serve patiently! Do I recognize patience in my life?
How do I know I have passion? I can pray faithfully! Do I recognize patience in my life? Do I demonstrate faithfulness?
George Gallop did a survey of 13,000 people in 130 countries. It was a survey of people who used to go to church but no longer go. There were a number of questions in the survey, but one of the questions asked, “What would need to happen for you to return to church?” The number one answer was “See passion in the lives of the members and leaders.”
A church that has passion is a church where "Discouraged folks cheer up, dishonest folks fees up, sour folks sweeten up, closed folk, open up, gossipers shut up, conflicted folks make up, sleeping folks wake up, lukewarm folk, fire up, dry bones shake up, and pew potatoes stand up! But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up."
If I don’t recognize passion in my life, how do I reclaim it?
SURRENDER - Water
SERVE - Heat
SINCERE LOVE - Boil
My passion for FredWes is just that! I am passionate to see true unity resulting from surrender to the Spirit of God. A church united around the Spirit will be a passionate church!
My passion is for us to discover our places of service and use the gifts He has given us to serve one another in the church. That builds community in the midst of unity! That church will be a passionate powerful church!
My passion of FWC is for us to live in sincere love for God and one another! That will cause us to be passionate for Him and toward those He is passionate about - lost people!
God give us passion!