by Sharnessa Shelton
Hey guys and girls! This is the 2nd part of my 5-part devotional series that I'm doing, so if you didn't catch the first one 2 weeks ago, go check it out in the archive section! Here goes the next devo!
After I prayed about being productive and fruitful with my day, the word "passion" popped into my mind. And I thought, "Yeah! I want to live each day with passion as well! Being passionate for Jesus and passionate for those around me!" You know, I want to be sooo in love with Jesus, more than anything else. And that IS our highest calling, to be in a relationship with Him and fall more in love with Him each day! And in addition to that, we're called to be Jesus to those around us and love them with a HUGE love that is unconditional - just like Jesus loves us!!!
It's a pretty well-known thing that you become like who you're spending time with, and at the end of 1 John 4:8 it says "God is love." So from our friendship with Him, love should be flowing from us to those around us! 2 John 1:6 says, "Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another " Our friends and family and those around us deserve nothing less, do they!?! And even on top of that, there is a world that is watching us, and as it says in John 13:35, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." So we have a responsibility as Christians to love each other with a pure love, treating one another with honour and awe. I know that may sound a bit funny, thinking that your fam and friends should be treated with "awe," but you know what?! They, just like you, have been made by and in the image of THE God of the universe!! So they deserve nothing less than to be treated with respect and loved with a passion!! By the way, I looked up the word "passion" in the dictionary, and what stuck out most were these four words, "Ardent love; boundless enthusiasm." Cool, eh?! And to go even deeper, I looked up "ardent" and words like "zeal," "glowing," "shining," and "burning" came up! And I thought that was SOOOO cool - that we're to love Jesus, and those around us with a love like that!! Isn't that totally beautiful?!?!
Now, when there's something you're really excited about, you tell others about it, right? I remember when I was a kid, every Christmas after plowing through the present-opening craziness in the morning and doing our at-home traditions we'd go to my grandparents' house, and I could not wait to show all my cousins what I had received!! Granted, that wasn't exactly a deep thing to be passionate about : ), but that is the same kind of passion that we're called to have towards Jesus, that we can't wait open our mouths and tell others about Him!! (Even if it's just our lives that do the talking in certain situations!) Have you ever been around someone that really has a genuine excitement for Jesus, and you walk away from them feeling totally inspired!?! (or totally inept! J) It's completely contagious, isn't it?!?! Don't you totally want to be one of those people that has the "God Flu"?! That everyone you come in contact with "catches" it by being challenged, or by seeing a spark in you that's indescribable!!! Wouldn't that be awesome?!
The most important things are that we're passionate about Jesus and passionate about those around us, because if we truly are, the lives around us will be changed. True passion is contagious - it's like a forest fire, it doesn't stop with us. Have you heard of the major forest fires that have happened over the last couple of years? They've started with one little spark from cigarette butt or a campfire and have destroyed thousands and thousands of miles of forests - from one little spark. Imagine the fire of the Holy Spirit moving in and through you so much that YOU have the same effect as that little spark on the lives of those around you!!!! WOW!!!
I once heard a story of a farmer who was passionate about Jesus, and was attending the revival meetings that had come to his town. He invited one of his "farm hands" to attend the meeting with him that night, and the boy said, "No thanks, I'm not too interested." So the farmer made him a deal, he said, "Well, I'll let you drive my truck if you come to the meeting with me." And the boy's eyes lit up and he said, "Sure! I wanna drive your truck!!" That night the boy got saved and guess what his name was? Billy Graham. That farmer had no idea just how far his little spark was gonna spread!!!!
Practically speaking, to get the fire going or to keep it going, surround yourself with holy things like music that's pure and lifting up Jesus' name, reading your Bible, hanging out with people who love Jesus and encouraging them in their walk with Jesus while they encourage you, and purpose to love Jesus more and more each day - those are all ways to "ignite" or keep ablaze your passion for Jesus!!
Now, if you're not yet in the place of really desiring Jesus, or really wanting to do any of the above mentioned suggestions, know that that's normal, but DON'T STAY THERE!!! Satan will do anything to rob you of your relationship and intimacy with Jesus, because he knows the "damage" that can and WILL be done to him and his kingdom when you're on fire for Jesus and passionately in love with Him!! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to want to want Him!!!!! I can guarantee that even if it sounds like the least exciting thing for you to do (the above mentioned things), that if you're faithful and just start doing them, God will honour that and your passion and love for Jesus (and for others) will begin to blossom!! James 4:8 (NKJ) says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." And that's a promise!!! And the closer you get to Him, I guarantee, the more you'll fall in love with Him and the more passionate you'll get about Him - you won't be able to do anything else BUT fall for Him - the Creator of the Universe, the Lover of your soul!!!