This is a message I sent out way back in April of 2009, and the message is still appropriate for us, six year later. In fact, in our Wednesday Bible Study this week, we were discussing this. You see, I love people who are passionate about things. Some folks are passionate about sports — they know every player and every team; others, are passionate about hunting. A friend of mine is passionate about automobiles. He can recognize make and model, simply by looking at the grill! Granted, I don’t understand his passion, but he loves to talk about them whenever he can.
Me? What am I passionate about? I suppose I can think of three things: I am passionate about reading. I read all kinds of books. When we go on vacation my wife loves to look through the souvenier shops . . . I love to cruise stores with old and used books. And, as you can tell, I am also passionate about talking (although, I prefer when I get paid for it). But mostly . . . I am passionate about the Scripture. Back in 1784, John Jay wrote, “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
That’s right. I’m a pastor and a teacher who loves the Scriptures. I love reading them; I love studying them and most of all, I love teaching them. When I read the New Testament, I am amazed by Paul’s passion. It reminds of something Steve Jobs said: “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
That certainly applied to Paul! He had a sense of urgency for those under his care! He wanted the best in their lives! In fact, when I see his passion, it makes me begin to think whether I have such an intensity and concern . . . what about you other Pastors out there? Do you burden yourself with your “flock.” Do you know what is happening in their lives? If one of them is ill, do you know about it? Oh, this doesn’t just apply to Pastors. What about Lay Ministers, Home Group Leaders . . . shoot, what about you parents? Do you know what is happeing in the lives of your children? This is something each of us should be asking ourselves. Turn over to the first chapter of Colossians and let me show you what I’m talking about. Paul wrote:
“We preach and proclaim Jesus, warning and admonishing and instructing everyone in a comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God, [why?] so we may present every person complete, and perfect in Christ. [That is his goal . . . his desire . . . his passion]
[Now get this:] I labor at this even until I’m weary, striving with all the super-human energy He en-kindles and works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
See what I mean? When I read that, I began to wonder if I have spent enough time and energy in prayer; if I have a burden for my family and friends to pursue the Messiah: “even until weary”–and like Paul, to be consumed with this passionate pursuit of the Messiah. As a parent, do I “labor until I’m weary” over my kids?
Let’s not stop there! What about my coworkers? What about my extended family? Are we as urgent for them, as well? Are we willing to pray for them until we are “weary, striving with all the energy which our Lord so mightily en-kindles and works within us“? Let’s pray about it:
Father, we know that Your hand is gracious to anyone who seeks You, and that Your anger burns against anyone who abandons You (Ezra 8:22). I pray that whoever listens to this, will indeed seek you while you may be found and call to You while You are near. Father, I am asking that we abandon our wicked, sinful thoughts, and that we return to You, so that we can know Your heart and receive Your compassion (Isaiah 55:6-7)
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
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It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.