'Does Passion Live Here?'
by Travis Wiginton
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This is an important question for all of us, but only each individual can answer.
You have a lot of help from your past, present ...
and especially from:
God your Father
Jesus your Savior...and
the Holy Spirit your energizer.
So look at your life and see if Passion lives within you!
It MUST in order for you to make a difference.
Kirby Puckett who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, died recently. At his funeral, it was said, "He brought joy to the game and elevated the play of everyone around him."
You and I need to do the same in the 'game of life'.
The theme of the 2006 Olympics was 'Passion'. A recent quote about the Olympics:
"The world came together at the Winter Olympics in the spirit of brotherhood, unselfishness and determination. Performers danced in the formation of a beating heart while the 'Flames of Passion' roller-bladed around the arena with fire raging from their helmets."
Our youngest son, Kyle (born in Seoul, Korea while we served as missionaries there) called us from Louisiana where he's working and said,
"Did you just see the athletes from North and South Korea walking in together??"
He was SO excited to see that happening, as were we!
The world rises with emotions and passion for sports....
and any 'unifying' of this old world is appreciated!
This was the purpose for Jesus and The Cross...
and why we will celebrate Good Friday this week.
But how many people will do this? And for more than one day?
My question for you (and us) is, 'Does Passion live here? And for more than one day?'
Passion has to have an adequate object and motive.
II Corinthians 5:14 gives the One and Only object/motive which is: Our love for Jesus.
This comes through a personal experience with Jesus called 'Salvation'.
When we talk about Salvation, we talk about a past experience called 'The New Birth'.
We need also to be enthusiastic about letting God 'work out of us'...
what He has 'worked in'.
Physical birth is a point in time after 9 months, but so much takes place AFTER the birth!
Too many people are more concerned about 'life after death'.....
than about 'life after birth'.
The word 'Enthusiasm' is from two Greek words....
'En' and 'Theos'....meaning 'In God'.
We are created by God and as Creator, He knows what we need..
and enthusiasm is a big ingredient of the Christian life.
However, somewhere between the New Birth (John 3:1-16)
and 'becoming' (II Cor. 5:17), we may make enthusiasm just an outward show....
and forget to have passion!
Oh, we may have a passion for a new gadget...or a new car.....or the newest TV show
...or...on and on it goes.
The NCAA Basketball Tournaments are some of my favorite things to watch, but the games pale in comparison to my time with God each week while preparing and delivering this website paper.
Jeremiah lived and prophesied during the worst of times,
but he knew where his passion came from:
1) The POSSESSION of God....that he knew he was. (Jer. 1)
2) The POTTER (God) he needed every day. (Jer. 18:1-6)
3) The PRAYER-LIFE he had to have. (Jer. 33:3)
4) The PROSPECTS he faced by faith. (Jeremiah 32:6-9)
5) The PASSION he enjoyed. (Jeremiah 31:3)
"The Lord appeared unto me saying, 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love and with loving kindness, I draw you unto myself'.
We must be careful about Passion for it can be 'spasmodic'.
The Olympians left Turin, Italy and all of the 'hubbub' when they went back to the 'real world', but did they leave their Passion for real life?
This can happen when we leave home for college or leave church for the 'work world'.
Here in our town, there is a store named 'Spirits' where you can get a temporary lift (?) out of a bottle.
We who have experienced the Presence, Power, Provisions and Promises of God know that the REAL Spirit (Holy Spirit) can be and give what we need.
(John 16:7-16 and Pauls' words in Eph. 5:14-21)
The Dictionary gives one definition of Passion as 'the object of strong desire or fondness'.
The word 'Passion' is only used 3 times in the Bible (Acts 1:3 & 14:15 & James 5:17)
but the thought and conviction is lived out in many places, usually referring to The Cross.
The Passion of Jesus' life can be summed up in the following:
1) The Passion of His call:
Luke 4:16-22: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
2) The Passion of His commitment:
Jesus used the word 'must' many times. (John 3:14 and 4:4)
Later He said, "I must needs go to Jerusalem"....in spite of KNOWING what awaited Him there!
3) The Passion of His Cross:
Because of what happened on that Good Friday, every day can be a better day....
if we give it to the Lord.
Let us look at the words of Jesus, from the Cross and see the genuine Passion He had for those people..and for us.
WORDS OF FORGIVENESS:
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Because of His Passion to go to the Cross, we can go to Him now, to be saved, sanctified, supplied with Spirit and Passion for whatever and wherever He leads us.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE:
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise."
He could make this promise to the repentant thief because of His Cross and His impending Resurrection.
WORDS OF CARE: (John 19:27)
"Here is your Mother" for He wanted John to take care of her.
No one ever cared like Jesus...and He still cares!
WORDS OF LONELINESS:
Because He bore our sins and judgment, He felt very lonely.
Therefore He can help you in your times of loneliness ...and He promised this in Matt.28:20: "I am with you always even unto the end of time."
Hebrews 13:5 and 8: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever and He will never leave you nor forsake you."
WORDS OF TRUST:
"Into thy hands, I commit my spirit."
Where have YOU committed your life, your spirit and your eternal soul?
WORDS OF VICTORY:
"It is finished" His sacrifice for our sins had been accomplished.
Now, let us remember His words in John 12:32:
"If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people unto myself."
Jesus won the war by His death at Calvary and later, His Resurrection.
Now, let Him provide the help you need to win life's battles and eventually win over death.
"Whether therefore we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, do all for the glory of God."
(I Cor. 10:31)
"Whatsoever your hands find to do, do it with all your might." (Eccl. 9:10)
"You shall love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deut. 6:5)
"Whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive the reward, for you serve the Lord Jesus." (Col. 3:23-24)
There are 'emotion words' (Passion words) that are used, that we need in our life.
"DELIGHT thyself in the Lord"........(Psalms 37:4)
"The JOY of the Lord is my strength"......(Neh. 8:10)
"The JOY of salvation can be restored"......(Psalms 51:12)
"REJOICE in the Lord always and again I say REJOICE"......(Philippians 4:4)
LOVE is the best 'Passion word'. In the words of George Matheson who was blind,
"Oh love that will not let me go. I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Your ocean depths it's flow, may richer, fuller be."
Two of my favorites are: "Love to live and live to love" and.....
"What God desires, He will inspire."
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Oh dear Travis, I feel that His Spirit living in us should cause us to have great passion for the lost and a burning desire to see Him pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh! That is what burns in my heart. Your articles are wonderful bringing to light things we really need to look at! Blessings, Sharon