The month of April is what some call The Passion Month because of the Passion of Christ, the Cross and the Resurrection.
However because of those events, every day should be a day of Passion.
I realize that as humans we have our 'ups and downs'...
but with Christ, the 'up times' should be more than the 'down times'.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an Educator.
If our greatest need was technology, God would have sent us a Scientist.
If our greatest need was money, He would have sent an Economist.
If our greatest need was pleasures, He would have sent an Entertainer.
But...our greatest need was Forgiveness, so God sent a Savior!
What a difference it can make when His Passion becomes OUR passion!
Americans have passion for so many things, there seems to be no room for Jesus.
Each year, the basketball teams around the nation play in the NCAA National Tournaments. Here in Oklahoma, both the men and womens' teams did well.
It's called 'March Madness'!
Our children played basketball in Jr. High, High School and College, so we've always enjoyed watching sports. In fact, our gr'daughter plays softball for Sam Houston State University, so we've been able to watch some of her games on our computer!
But when the games and the tournaments are over, they're over!
Our experience with Jesus can be Everlasting for us (and through us) to others.
We need to have Passion in something that will outlast us.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Christ in you is Everlasting in (and through) you with a Passion for that which is Eternal.
Meeting Jesus DOES make a difference!
That encounter reminds me of this:
"Went to a party, ate cold burgers, listened to recycled jokes, danced a few slow ones.
Worst party I ever went to!
Met you....got off in a corner, heard all about you, told all about me.
Drove you home...
Best party I ever went to!"
(Meeting my 'Moyne was a moment I'll always cherish)
The difference was that he met and experienced Passion with someone.
The question is...have you really met Jesus?
Have you let Him make a difference in you and in your life?
Meeting Jesus was the defining moment/encounter in my life!
Webster defines 'Passion' as:
~the suffering of Jesus during the Crucifixion
~any extreme emotion
~any object of strong desire or fondness
My own definition of Passion is emotion:
~initiated by God
~controlled by God
~for God's purposes
When God called me to the pastoral ministry, I was coaching basketball, baseball and teaching History. I had to get my teams 'up' for not only the games...
but to encourage them to play hard ALL of the game!
Preaching and pastoring for over 50 yrs. has required Passion in me...
and for me to communicate that by life (and lip) to others.
We're to help lead others from the 'blahs' to the 'Blessings' of life through Christ...
and for God. The Holy Spirit will energize you to 'be and do'.
Jesus wishes the same for us in the Game of Life.
Jeremiah did this....he lived and prophesied during the worst of times...
but he knew where his Passion came from!
~The POSSESSION of God....he knew 'whose' he was (Jer. 1)
~The POTTER (God) he needed every day (Jer. 18:1-6)
~The PRAYER-LIFE he had to have. (Jer. 33:3)
~The PROSPECTS he faced by faith. (Jer. 32:6-9)
Kirby Puckett who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, died a few years ago. 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'.
This is a quote from someone about that 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 was born in Seoul, Korea while we served as missionaries there.
During the Olympics, he called and said, "Did you see the athletes from North and South Korea walking in together??"
He (like we) wonder why that can't be done outside the arena of the Olympics!
"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
~ 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 a song written by 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."