Saturday, August 28, 2010

True Passion

When people hear the word: Passion, they immediately think of sensual passion, but the true meaning of passion is far from this fleshly attitude, it is the driving force of life. Passion inspires, ignites and moves us directions we never dreamed possible. Passion is what drives an artist to paint or to chisel a sculpture out of stone; a poet to compose a sonnet; an explorer to go farther than his predecessors or a craftsman to perfect his craft.

It was passion that brought Jesus to earth. It was passion that held him on the cross, not the nails. It was passion that caused the first disciples to take the gospel to all nations, regardless of personal cost. The Bible is a book of God’s passion for his creation, which continues to this day. He is ever-present to the fears and concerns of his children.

You may not have considered Elohim, which means “the Sovereign, Mighty Creator”, as passionate, but that is the heart of God. He has stopped at nothing to open his arms of love to us. We are his creation and glory. By our very existence proves his love is unconditional. He is patient, kind, merciful and ready to forgive (Numbers 14:18). We may feel so small and insignificant in the grand theme, but when we truly draw near to the one who loves us unconditionally, we begin to live with his passion.

Passion and Zeal are quite different. Passion presses harder; is more intense, and is a driving force that stops at nothing; where Zeal leads to a goal. Unfortunately zeal can be misguided passion. This is what Jesus confronted during his earthly ministry. He outraged the zealous religious leaders with his passion and not observing their traditions. The Jewish leaders had become so ingrained with religious baggage that they could not see the author of life standing right in front of them.

As we read scripture, we find that many people were filled with this passion. Paul authored many letters in the New Testament, within a few sentences his heart is revealed, Jesus was the driving force of his life. Paul devoted the rest of his life to this passionate pursuit. He inspired others to join him in dumping the religious baggage and live the life that God gave us. He learned the secret of God’s passionate love and was willing to share this truth.

Yes, we are new creations, created in Jesus to live with passion; it is the heart of the gospel. So how have you approached this new life in Christ? Are you stopping at nothing to reach the lost with the good news of freedom, using every gift and talent to its fullest potential for the kingdom of God? If not start today pursuing Jesus with all your heart, mind, body and soul.

Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39 NLT)

Copyright©2010 – tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learning to Walk

I love the prayers of a new believer; they are so honest and pure. A new believer’s heart is wide open to praise God with all that they are, from a soul that has been set free. No one has to tell them what to say or how to pray, they know their Lord.

I remember those first few days and months of receiving the gift of salvation. How my heart leaped with joy of the truth, becoming alive in Christ. The craving for God’s Word was unbelievable, I couldn't put it down. I could not get a prayer off my lips before it was answered, and I could not stop talking about Jesus, telling everyone how he saved me. For the first time in my life, I knew what it was like to be fully loved and fully free. I heard clearly from God and I obeyed him without hesitation.

If this testimony sounds familiar, ever wonder why the new believer has a similar story of overwhelming love, gratitude, hunger and obedience? I think that we are never closer to God than we are when we are new born. That new life in the spirit is fresh and pure, coming from the darkness into the light.

It was not long before my faith was tested. This is where many new believers have trouble. Somehow, they believe that they have done something wrong or that somehow their deliverance was not real and begin to drift away. It was not until I came across this verse that my mind was eased.

Peter wrote “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials that you are going through. As if something strange were happening to you. Instead be very glad, because these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT)

When we begin to grow, that is when the real work begins. Nothing of any value is achieved without sacrifice; our commitment will cost us something. Jesus said, “If you love your father, mother, brother or sister more than me, you are not worthy of being mine” (Matthew 10:37 NLT). God’s love and commitment to us cost him the life’s blood of Jesus, so that we could know him and be in an eternal love relationship with him.

Growing to become like Jesus is not for the faint of heart. The Lord desires his children to be so secure in his love and his provision, that they never look anywhere else for their needs. That is the truth that challenges us every moment of everyday and causes us to choose righteousness over the flesh. When we choose according to God’s will, it shows our deep commitment to the One who has set us free. When we make a wrong choice it only shows that the Lord has more work to do in our thoughts and attitudes.

Learning to walk is a struggle and we will be tested in every area of our life so that there will be no thought, action or attitude that does not reflect Jesus Christ. The refining may cause us to pause, but keep your eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, he will not disappoint you.

“As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness”
(2 Peter 1:3 NLT)

Copyright©2010 tathorpe–All Rights Reserved