Humans are created to be passionate. We all have different passions and that is what makes us unique. But what we have in common is that we should be passionate about something. Some are passionate about sports. Others are passionate about food. Still others are passionate about reading or writing. As Christ followers, it is my prayer that at least one of your passions is our mission of sharing Christ with others, and being transformed more and more into His image daily.
Let me back up just a moment and tell you what got me thinking about our passions. Back at the end of February, while I was thinking through and working on our churches March newsletter, I was trying to figure out what to write about. I remembered that just a few days before, February 23, was the “Shine the Light on Slavery” day. You see, there are more people in slavery and human trafficking today than at any time in history. When I realized that I had just posted about this, trying to shine a light on a very broken part of our world, I thought what better topic to cover in our newsletter.
My first thought was to write the article, but also to contact a friend of ours that has spent years researching and fighting this epidemic. I thought it would be good to get some statistics from her to help the article out. Then I had one of my best ideas I’ve had in a while. Why write the article myself when I could ask Em to write it as a guest post for Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak and our church newsletter? I called Em, and while she was excited for the opportunity, she had too much going on to be able to write the article for March. We agreed that she would write it for our April newsletter.
This past weekend, she sent me her first draft, and we are in the process of editing and proofing it now. But this whole process is what has got me thinking about passion. Em is passionate about ending human trafficking and sexual exploitation of people. And you can tell from her writing. I won’t go into too much detail now because I don’t want to take away from her article that will come out sometime next week.
Here’s the deal. When you are passionate about something, other people can tell. When there is a passion in your soul for something, it takes a prominent place in your life. For Em, she has spent time overseas, working with girls that were rescued from the sex slave trade. She looks for opportunities to raise awareness anywhere and everywhere she can about this issue. And she does it because of an even bigger passion in her life. Her ultimate passion is Jesus Christ. She does all she does about human trafficking because of her relationship with Jesus.
When there is a passion in your soul for something, it takes a prominent place in your life.
I try to live with the ultimate passion in my life being Jesus as well. That’s why I preach. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me, and because of that I have a passion of preaching His word, trying to introduce others to Him. Jesus is why I write here on Thoughts From a Crosseyed Jesus Freak. I have a passion for writing, but it’s not just because I like to write. I like to shine a light on Jesus and help others in their walk of faith.
Recently, through some of the sermons I’ve preached, books I’ve read, and the writing challenge I just completed, I’ve developed another passion. One that I should have had for a long time. But I have a passion for trying to get to know my neighbors and building a relationship with them so that I can, along with my wife, share Jesus with them.
Scripture is filled with passionate people. Some of those people had their passions in the wrong place. Think Saul of the Old Testament, and even Solomon. They ended up being passionate about the things of this world. And it cost them in the end. Paul, once he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, became passionate about spreading Jesus to anyone and everyone that would listen to him. Jesus’ disciples, minus Judas, became passionate about taking the gospel to the ends of the earth as well. And believe me, their passion was real. I don’t have time or space to go through all of it here, but only one of the apostles died a natural death after a long life. That was John. All of the others were tortured and martyred for the passionate following of and teaching Jesus.
Scripture is filled with passionate people.
One story sticks out in a vivid way, however, when I think of passion for Jesus. That’s the story of the first person killed for his faith in Jesus. In other words, he became the first martyr in Christianity. That’s the story of Stephen. You can find it recorded in the book of Acts. Specifically in the sixth and seventh chapters. You can read it here and here if you’re not familiar with the story. Let me give you a short synopsis before I wrap up. Stephen was chosen to be a servant. He was helping by taking care of some widows, but he was also sharing his faith. No one that would challenge him could actually stand up to his arguments. The religious leaders of the day (the Sanhedrin) seized him and put him on trial. Stephen boldly told them the history of the Jews and stated that they killed Jesus, who was the Son of God. And because of this, they killed him. His passion was Jesus, and it didn’t matter what he faced in opposition, he stayed focused on Him.
What about you? What are you passionate about? There is nothing wrong with being passionate about food, or sports, or reading etc. But is that your only passion? If people were to look at your life, could they tell that you were passionate about Jesus because of something that you do with your life? And I don’t just mean “going to church on Sundays”. Is there something in your life that you do because of your passion with Jesus, and it costs you something? Time, money, friendships, just some of the things a passionate relationship with Jesus could cost you. But it is so worth it in the end. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
What about you? What are you passionate about? There is nothing wrong with being passionate about food, or sports, or reading etc. But is that your only passion?
So let me ask you again. What are you passionate about? Don’t have a good answer right now? Figure it out and start putting your passion to work for Jesus Christ. It was His passion for you that led Him to the cross. Return His passion. It might cost something now, but I promise it is so worth it.