Archive for December, 2011

14
Dec
11

passion

What gets you fired up? I’m not talking about angry. I’m talking about so excited that it feels like you are going to come unglued inside. What I’m asking is this: what are you passionate about?

I know there are probably a few ways you can answer the question. I know there are for me. I could answer in the context of my marriage, my family or my hobbies. But when I really get down to the thing I am most passionate about, it is the transformation that has taken place in my life through Jesus Christ and sharing the message of transformation with other people. I have concluded that if I am not excited about my experience with Jesus, and therefore willing to tell everyone I can about it, there must be something different about my encounter with him than that of those I read about in Scripture. Those individuals did some very demonstrative things to express the great joy they had because of what Jesus had done for them, and they wanted to tell everyone about it.

Another reason I may not be as effective as I would like to be in sharing my faith is because I’ve just forgotten how awesome God’s grace is. More often then not, this is due to the fact I have become preoccupied with carnal pursuits.

I don’t think the answer for the lack of evangelism results in America today has anything to do with too little funding, the need for more Christian education or insufficient time. I think it all has to do with passion. The Bible says that in the last days people would not know how to properly express their affections (2 Timothy 3:3) and that their passion would lose its intensity (Matthew 24:12) all because of the effect of sin. Our attention has become so divided, our emotions so skewed, and our minds so saturated by unnatural desires that we have lost sight of the reality that Jesus really can, and will, fill all the empty spots in our lives. He not only fills those spots, he gives us abundant, satisfying and everlasting life. When we have experienced that life-giving transformation in a fresh way we will want to share it with everyone we come in contact with.

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06
Dec
11

toothpaste

I was reading a book on prayer not too long ago and the author asked the question, “If you believed beyond any doubt that God would answer your prayer what would you ask for?” Lately, I have been challenged by questions like that – questions that have to do with God’s willingness to hear and answer my prayers.

As I was thinking about that question I was reminded of a recent occurrence in my life. My son and daughter-in-law had come for a visit and realized they had forgotten their toothpaste. I heard my son call out to my wife, “Mom, do you have some toothpaste we can use?” Immediately my wife responded by taking him a spare tube we had in the bathroom. As I listened to the exchange I thought about how much I enjoy meeting even the smallest needs in my children’s lives. At that moment the Spirit spoke into my life and said, “You take such great joy and pleasure in meeting your children’s needs, and you’re human. Don’t you believe that I enjoy meeting my children’s needs as well?” (That almost sounds biblical {See Matthew 7:11}).

I was floored! To think that God loves me, at a bare minimum, as much as I love my children. And, that he takes as much pleasure in meeting my needs as I do in meeting my children’s needs is absolutely astounding. I know it shouldn’t be. It’s Sunday school 101, I get that. But it is amazing how often we have to relearn the basic principles of our faith. God is always loving, gracious and patient as he leads us through the process… again and again. I’m also amazed at how instead of using something really profound, God often uses something as simple as toothpaste to get his point across.