Passion

PPT Slide.jpg

How would you define the word “passion?” If I could have individual conversations with you all, I would imagine that I’d hear a wide variety of definitions. Some might say that passion is something that you really like or care about. Others might equate passion to physical or sexual acts of attraction between a man and a woman. While others might define passion pursuing. As I was writing this article, I decided to check out the definition of passion from the dictionary. I couldn’t believe that there were over 10 different entries (not to mention the synonyms and antonyms) for the word passion. Many of your answers were covered in the overall definition. All of this leads me to the conclusion that passion is such a broad word that many of us are limited in our understanding of the word. 

Our limited understanding of passion often leads us to an impotent view of what passion really is. And as I oftentimes suggest, let’s take our definition from Jesus. His definition of passion includes many of our definitions—being motivated to action, caring, pursuing. But when I look at Jesus and His passion, one thing I notice is a definition that many of us wouldn’t give, but the dictionary does list it a long way down—passion is about submission. When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, we see three things: Jesus is passionate about people (loves us deeply); Jesus humbled Himself to make salvation and restoration possible (came to Earth as God Incarnate); and He submitted Himself to God’s plan of redemption (suffering and dying on the cross for us). Jesus is passionate about the mission of restoring our relationship with Himself. This is what drove Him. It is why He came. It is why He suffered and submitted to the plan. 

We have a theme each year for our Annual Business and Prayer Gathering. This year’s theme is Passion. As we come to our gathering to seek the face of God passionately, I want to ask you to pray over and meditate on these three questions that will shape our church and ministry and relationship with Jesus and His church over the next year. 

  • Would you classify yourself as passionate for Jesus? 

  • How does your passion for Jesus enhance your life and ministry? 

  • Who are you sharing your passion for Jesus with? 

While these are very basic questions, I firmly believe that it’s in the basic (simple) questions that the greatest depth takes place. 

I look forward to interacting with you about your passion for Jesus and how/where it is expressed. I know that when we are passionate about Jesus and the things He’s passionate about, our lives will be transformed to be more like Him each and every day. 

Together

Together.jpg

Have you ever had a time in your life (I would imagine that you have if you think about it for a little while) where it seems that everywhere you look or the thoughts that you think revolve around a single theme? I’m experiencing one of those times in my life right now. It doesn’t matter what I read, what message I listen to, or how God whispers in my prayer and devotional life, there is a single theme that God is communicating to me. While these times are a little daunting and sometimes even unnerving, God usually uses these times as an incredible growth period for me. The topic that God is speaking to me about right now is a very simple one, yet is at the very core of our walk with Jesus—He’s talking to me about living our life of faith together. 

The notion of being together is one that is growing more complex as time passes by. If we look back 30 years ago, together meant face to face contact, living near family and friends, people knowing your face, personality, and makeup. But with the progression of technology, together in 2017 looks a lot different. We live in a transient society where people don’t plant roots in a specific place. We rely on social media to be connected with loved ones. I can’t even imagine how technology will evolve in the upcoming years and how community and togetherness will be impacted by it. 

There is one sure fact—we need to be together. Humans were wired by God for community, family, togetherness. Scripture addresses this all over, informing us of the necessity to community. “Don’t give up meeting together” is written in Hebrews. We see how the early church had everything in common and believers in Jesus were never seen alone—they had everything in common (not a plug for socialism, but rather a family). In fact, as Jesus was preparing to ascend to heaven after His resurrection, His priority was to commission the church—a place to live life together with the faithful. 

We need to be together. God knows this. We cannot hope to be successful followers of Jesus on our own. But what does this look like? How can we live our life of faith together? Our message series for the month of September is called “Together.” We’re going to examine 4 areas where we, as the church need to live life together—Our Purpose, Our Passion, Our Provision, Our Personalities. 

As we head into this new series, I want to ask you to enter into a season of prayer and seek God. Seek Him for His leading as you hear and respond to these messages. Seek Him for conviction if you’ve been neglecting the community. I know that Jesus longs to work as we come even closer together as His body.