“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).
What is His passion? I am His passion. God gave His highest for me–His very life and his very heart. There is nothing more He could have given. His passionate love bought my freedom from sin. While I was still a sinner, He died for me. He held nothing back. Jesus Christ loves me completely and passionately. His passionate grace was costly. It cost Him everything, and even though His grace cost me nothing, that amazing grace calls for my surrender and obedience.
Through the years I have wondered if I have loved Him as passionately as He has loved me. Have I burned with the forgiving fire of His grace? Have I burned with His unconditional love instead of my own selfish love filled with expectations I have placed on others? Have I made His desire for my life second to mine? Have I been stirred by the Holy Spirit, but never changed? Do I just want to “feel good”, and never allow the Holy Spirit to refine me? Have I allowed my failures, my problems, my attitude, and even memory of sins that were crucified with Christ hold me back? Yesterday as he finished the “p” in the word “leap” in his series, “Leap into 2016”, our pastor spoke of the passionate fire of Jesus Christ that should burn within me. The passion of the cross yearns for my passion in return. I am called to be sold out as He was sold out for me. Christ calls me to let go of all that has defined me–all that holds me back–all the excuses that mount, and surrender to His passionate grace.
In 1 Kings 19:21, Elisha, having been chosen by Elijah, walks away from all He has been. He destroys what is left in his life that might draw him back from his call. He accepts the cloak and purpose of His Master without hesitation. Jesus calls me to walk away from all that I have Him. He calls me let go of all that has defined my life, and give up that which will keep me from His purpose. He wishes my complete surrender without hesitation. With that surrender I am not only guided by His purpose for my life; I am “cloaked” under His ultimate passion at the cross. I am His passion, and with my total surrender, He becomes mine.
Have you surrendered to His passion for you? Acknowledge that God wants to use you. What are you doing with what God has given you? He uses flawed people. I know, because He uses me. Commit to serve Him. Surrender to His purpose for your life. Our pastor said “abandon yourself” to follow Jesus. I love the mental picture that gives. Just as Elisha there is nothing holding or calling you back. We want our faith to be easy. Surrendering to Christ is costly. Just as it cost Jesus His life, it will cost ours. But with that surrender comes the greatest fulfillment–the amazing knowledge that you were created for that very purpose.
Do you know what your passion is? I have a passion to help believers discover their potential in Jesus Christ. I yearn to not only write it, but to hopefully live it. I want to help others realize the Holy Spirit is their healer and power to overcome the pain of the past–their strength to overcome suffering in hard circumstances of life–and their promise for greater faith to believe in God's lasting victory. He has given each one of us spiritual gifts that we need to accomplish our passion, but it is our responsibility to invest our gifts in the lives of others. The gifts He has chosen for me and for you come from the very heart and purpose for His passion for us. In response we can either offer them to Him, powerfully fulfilled, or we can allow them to die on the vine.
“What more could have been done for my vineyard,” God asks in Isaiah 5:4, “than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?” What more could He have given, but that of His passionate sacrifice for me? He seeks good fruit in my life. What does He see? Am I a bad grape in His vineyard? I want to be good fruit. I want to receive all the gifts He has for me, and to invest each gift wisely and passionately in the lives of those He brings into my life.
Being a Christian is not a passive faith. It is a passionate faith. Jesus Christ saved us to serve, love, and burn with His passion. Surrender your life fully, and allow Him to use you in His kingdom. Our passion for Him honors the passion He gave for us. While we were yet sinners, He burned with love for us. Strike the match of your calling, and burn with passion for Him. Give as He has given for you. Give your highest for His.