What makes the difference in a close athletic competition? Strength? Speed? Agility? Training? How about wars? The number of soldiers? Guns? Planes? Ships? How about passion! Passion has been the difference in more wars and competitions than we might imagine.
The Passion of Faith is what the Christian Church needs today. The Apostles often used athletic competitions and battles as examples of pushing forward in the Christian life and the life of the Body of Christ even when it seemed the cause was lost. A small group of people, trained personally by the Lord of Glory, believing deeply in His Mission, and filled with the holy Passion of Faith, touched the world in an amazing way … and it can happen again!
Let’s look at five passionate people in the Bible to see what we can learn from them that could make the difference in how the Church ministers to a needy world today. First, a young shepherd boy who God chose to be a powerful king.
The Passion of David
“Therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines.” (NKJV)
“Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them. Then the Philistines went and made a raid on the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of God, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?’ The LORD said to him, ‘Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.’ So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, ‘God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.’ Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And when they left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire. Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, ‘You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.’ So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.”
“When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians.”
“O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
“I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.”
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.”
“I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”
“For the king trusts in the LORD, And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved. Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them.”
“Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Next, the Son of God who became flesh so He could give His Life to save His people from their sins.
The Passion of Jesus Christ
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”
“Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
“Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
“And when He [Jesus] was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it.”
“And He went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
“This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
“It is finished!”
What I read in all these verses is PASSION!
King David and King of Kings Jesus Christ — they had Passion — Passion for God, Passion for Knowledge, Passion for Ministry, Passion for People, Passion for Righteousness.
We have a great challenge ahead of us. We will need Passion and God’s Power to accomplish the great goals God has for us in the coming months and years. Remember that God’s Passion lives “in” us. Christ is “in” us and we are “in” Christ. Our Passion is Christ!
Tomorrow, we will look at the passionate lives of three men God used to change the world forever!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,