I want to share with you something the Lord has been speaking to me about…
There are two scriptures that have been speaking to me over and over again recently
And the focus of the scriptures is “passion”
Or, how to energize your life so you live it ‘alive’ for the Lord – up, excited, engaged
But first, a video that I discovered this past week…
As you watched that video – you saw / felt / experienced “passion” – a feeling that rose up inside you
That is what I want to share on tonight / Passion energizes your life
Let’s look at my first Scripture
Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”
The Passion Translation: “From the moment John stepped onto the scene until now, the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth, and passionate people have taken hold of its power.
There is the key: Passionate people take hold of and move in the power of God
The word “violent” in the ESV translation / “passionate” in TPT
This verse is saying that as disciples we cannot be “passive” and be a part of the powerful and active Kingdom of God which is forever growing and expanding
“Church” as we know it today tends to be ‘passive’
You come – sit – learn information – take notes – leave > Passive
Church, as part of the Kingdom, was meant to be active and powerful – so powerful that we rush the ‘gates of hell’ and they cannot withstand the assault (Matthew 16:18)
I asked the Lord recently:
What is the opposite to ‘passive’
I’m thinking it would be ‘active’ but inside I knew that was not right
The Lord said, the opposite to ‘passive’ is ‘passionate’ (violent)
The Father loved us so much – passionately – that He sent His only Son to be one of us and to die for us (John 3:16)
The Christmas story / Not passive – But passionate
Jesus loved us so much – was so passionate about us – that He willingly died on the Cross for us (John 19:28-30)
The Easter story / Not passive – But passionate
In response we are to love the Lord our God with all of our mind, soul, body, and strength (Matthew 22:37-38)
We are to be deeply in love with Him – Not passive but passionate about Him and His cause
His cause: “Seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10)
His cause: “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19)
His cause: “the Gospel of the Kingdom must be heard…” (Matthew 24:14)
We are to live lives of passion – being passionate about the King and His Kingdom
Want to know what you are passionate about?
What do you sing about?
What do you cry about?
What do you dream about?
What do you spend time thinking about?
What do you talk about?
What do you spend time doing?
The answer to these questions tell you – us what you are passionate about
As Christian, – disciples, followers, believers – we must have a deep passion for Him
Be passionate about Him
Be passionate about His cause
Be passionate about His Kingdom and the Church
Most believers seldom talk about Jesus
Their focus in life is themselves and so their conversation is about “self”
Believers get wrapped up in and passionate about
Add your focus to the list…
But, when you “fall in love” with someone or something
That becomes your total focus
You are always talking about him, her, it
You are engaged, embraced…
The opposite to “passive” is “passionate”…
If I wanted to know your “passion” I would look at three things:
1> What are your priorities in life?
Being safe and secure
Being noticed – ministry
You always prioritize your life according to your passion
If Jesus is your passion – time with Him and His Word (Bible) would be a daily priority which you would cherish and look forward to
2> What do you protect?
You protect what you value and what is important to you
You might even find friends to help you protect it and guard it
Fire Lighters who help keep your passion burning
Avoiding Fire Fighters who work to extinguish your passion
What do you protect?
Time on some video game?
Coffee with your friend?
Time alone with a good novel?
3> What are you pursuing?
What are you chasing after?
What are you committed to?
Where does the majority of your free time get spent?
Of course, as a preacher, I would recommend that you make Jesus your focus and your passion
And you will know if He is your passion by remembering…
You prioritize your life according to your passion
You protect what you are passionate about
You pursue your passion
The second Scripture passage that has been speaking to me and many others recently …
Really impacting and touching my heart
Same topic – same direction – similar message…
Jumping off the page everywhere I go…
Romans 12:11 “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
The Message Version: “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.”
The Passion Translation: “Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.”
Why should we keep our passion towards Him boiling hot?
Because we are followers and disciples of the Lord…
1> Passion can/should energize every aspect of a believer’s life
Passion creates energy…
A person with limited talent but having passion will out perform a passive person who possesses great talent
Passionate people act with boundless enthusiasm and just keep going and going
Jesus is a good example of this point
He was always present – there for you – connecting – engaging – embracing
He put in long days with people being His constant focus – they had constant demands
That must have been very draining
But He was like the Energizer Bunny – just kept going, and going and going
My point: Passion energizes
2> Passion is the first step towards achievement
Being passionate – loving what you do – is key to being active and engaged in your life
Key to personal fulfillment
Key to consistency
Key to faithfulness
Key to being fruitful and productive
Example: following Jesus
You need to have a desire to follow Him and obey Him
Passion for Him leads to having that desire
That desire leads to discipline in spending time with Him and His Word
When you don’t have passion it shows
You will be passive and your spiritual life will lack that zeal, fire, calm expectancy
You won’t be boiling hot
Jesus had passion – He was passionate about His purpose and reason for being here
He was passionate about seeking and saving the lost – and so achieved His purpose and died on the cross
3> Passion increases will power
Going back to my three questions:
1> What do you sing about?
2> What do you cry about?
3> What do you dream about?
The first two shows us what touches you at a deep heart level
The third question tells us what will bring fulfillment tomorrow
What you are passionate about – you will accomplish
Passion gives you will power, the “stay with it” that you need
What you are passionate about needs to be discovered
Everyone possesses passion for something or someone – not everyone takes the time to discover what their passion is
Passion is fuel for the will – will power – keeps the engine fueled
Passion turns your “have to’s” into “want to’s”
Jesus knew His passion and it fueled His entire life and ministry – gave Him the will to keep going
Age 12: “I must be about My Father’s business.”
4> Passion produces physical, emotional, and mental energy – Perseverance
When you have passion you become seriously energized
Perseverance will be present deep inside you – you simply keep at it
Esther (my daughter) – book writing and getting that first book published
When you have passion for something you enjoy the journey – even the tough spots on the journey
Without passion – getting there, doing what must be done – becomes a long, boring, difficult road
Some people say they feel ‘burned out’
The truth is that they probably never were on fire in the first place
Or, they let the fire go out
They failed to “keep yourself fueled and aflame”
It is your personal responsibility
I have recently entered by 51st year of preaching and teaching
It can become routine and mundane unless I keep myself ‘stirred up” and ‘on fire”
Careful, you could end up like the person whose tombstone read: “Died at 30. Buried at 60.”
Norman Cousins: “Death isn’t the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss in what dies inside of us while we live.”
Without passion – a part of us becomes dead
Our will to accomplish something or get somewhere dies
Our emotions die
Our thoughts go stale and we cease to learn, think, and grow
Jesus had passion – and He had physical, emotional, mental energy
And was spiritual alive and passionate
5> Passion is the foundation of purpose
What this means: Out of passion comes purpose
Martin Luther King Jr. “If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for (passion), he isn’t fit to live.”
When you have passion – you find purpose
Passion for Jesus means…
Purpose in life is to glorify God and honour Jesus
Purpose is to seek and save the lost
Purpose is to expand His Kingdom
Purpose is to obey everything He asks of you
Jesus loved the Father (passion) and so discovered His purpose early in life
6> Passion removes impossible
When something fires your soul, impossible vanishes
“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26)
“But what seems impossible to you is never impossible to God!” (TPT)
Jesus overcame every obstacle that was in His way … and nothing was impossible for Him
7> Passion makes a person contagious
People don’t follow ‘passive’ people
Passive people who don’t engage life are boring, lifeless, and draining ….
They are not contagious – people are not attracted to them, wanting to be with them
People are instructed by reason – teach your head (mind)
People are inspired by passion – touch the heart (emotion)
“You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burns within your own.”
Needless to say: Jesus was seriously contagious!
The opposite to passive – is passion
Church attendee / believer – passive
Disciple – passionate
Peter before the resurrection – Passive
Peter after the resurrection – Passionate
Paul was passionate about sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom
2 Corinthians 5:11 “Since we are those who stand in holy awe of the Lord, we make it our passion to persuade others to turn to Him.” (The Passion Translation)
Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength…”
TPT: “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’