Day 50: 50 Days of Passion

How is your passion? I wonder if anyone has any stories over the past 50 days of their passion increasing? If you do would love to hear from you as passion is infectious.

 

““What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.””
Mark 10:51 NIV

 

I wonder how many times in our crying out to Jesus to help us or to increase our passion, we forget to stop crying out to listen for a response. We can focus solely on the problem at hand and that’s it. We never see the forest through the trees.

 

If in the last month and a half if you haven’t seen an increase in your passion yet you have been praying for it today it might be the time to wait in his presence. In our busyness it is easy to ask for things but even harder to wait for them. We want things now and don’t want to wait.

 

Maybe Jesus is right there asking the same question to you as He was giving the blind man.

 

My challenge you today is once you have called out to Jesus is to then wait on His reply. He may very well ask you “what do you want Me to do for you?”

 

Dear Jesus, sometimes when we pray we never stop talking, but it is a two-way conversation and we need to start listening to You, help us to listen. You reveal yourself in many ways, through your word, our relationships and sometimes you even speak to us. Thank you for not being a silent God. Help us to ignite our passion and start being mission centered people. Amen

 

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Day 49: 50 Days of Passion

For the last 48 days we have been working to increase our passion in our faith. We have looked at many aspects such as prayer, church, relationships and our own personal relationships. When we boil it all down passion for Jesus needs to flow from our relation ship with God himself. How we see Him will ultimately generate the passion we have. A disconnected God doesn’t encourage passion. Our God is connected, interactive and loving, when we truly realize this and let the Holy Spirit, who is God, work in us, our passion will come naturally. There will be times where we find ourselves in a lull, but we can come back to God and ask him to reignite the passion, he promises He will give good gifts to his children. We get distracted from the mission, but he can give us focus.

 

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Ephesians 3:17 NLT

 

We are promised if we give our lives to Christ, wholly and freely, he will come make a home in our hearts. This relationship aspect of Christianity is one of the major things that sets it apart from any other religion or idea out there. Most other faith based groups provide a deity who is so far way that you must work hard to get its attention. But not Christianity.

 

The bible shows us that Jesus is at the door of every heart waiting to be heard. His message is clear, I have died for you, so you may live, invite me in, confess your sins and I will forgive you, then let’s work to live a life with me. No other group offers this relationship with the creator.  They work hard to make you feel you aren’t good enough to be forgiven, that you must continue to do more and more to be free. I heard of one faith where if you sin and ask for forgiveness you may or may not be forgiven, but you can’t know for sure if your offering was acceptable.

 

We can be assured that if we stumble and sin and bring it to our saviour Jesus Christ he is just and will forgive us our sins. Just like he forgave when he was walking the earth he continues to tell us your sin is forgiven, go and sin no more. He doesn’t let us walk away back to sin, his desire is we walk away and change, so we don’t keep doing the same things that we just asked forgiveness for. But that doesn’t mean he will turn away from us if we do it again. But here is what we must remember, if we truly repent we must be ready to do a 180 from what brought us to our repentance. Stop hanging out in a mine field hoping that we won’t step on a mine, it will always lead to you getting hurt.

 

Our relationship with Jesus will be what leads other to follow. They will see how we live our lives, and it will be attractive. You will want to share your faith. You will want to do things not to be forgiven but because you are forgiven. Are you ready to grow your roots deeper? Trust him and see where he will take you.

 

Jesus, I pray that those reading this today have a relationship with you. If they don’t I pray right now that they will ask you to come into their lives and forgive them of their sin. As we move forward in our faith I pray Jesus, that we put our faith into action. Let our works be because of forgiveness not to earn it. Let us be an example to those round us. Let them see you in us. Give us moment where we can tell them about you and what your forgiveness is all about. They matter to you Jesus and they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 48: 50 Days of Passion

Whatever you do, do well. Do you work at restaurant as a cashier? Do it well. Stocking shelves for a living? Do it well. Adding numbers? Do it well. Managing people? Do it well.  Working for a volunteer organization? Do it well. Whatever you do with your life, whatever aspect, your work, your family, volunteering, whatever it may be, when you are there give it your best.

 

 

“Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 NLT

 

 

Many people who are unhappy in life simply aren’t giving their all into what they are doing. They are more concerned about what others have and that they don’t. What a miserable life to live when we focus on what others have. If we stop looking outward and notice what’s around us, we are a bless people here. Work for the most part is there for those who are willing to work and work at it their very best. Sometimes we have to settle on a job before finding the job we really want but we must still give it all in the job we have while we wait for opportunities. Trust that God will motivate you in the job you have preparing you for more responsibilities.

 

Are you happy in your job today? Is it the job or is it something else? Why not focus on doing the job you have well and trust that God will grow you in it. The bible says if we are faithful to God he will give us the desires of our heart, so be faithful in what you have now and see what happens.

 

All to often we go through the motions and one work as much as needed with out going the extra mile, working the extra 5 min or taking on the volunteer task. If you look hard enough you will see that in most cases it is those who show interest and some passion in their job, if they like their job or not, that move ahead.

 

The same can be said about our involvement in church ministries and the mission of reaching the lost. The effective workers in the church are those who dive in, not dependant if the passion is there or not. They get involved in things because they know they want to see things happen in the church and the world around them. If you are not experiencing any passion in your faith maybe it is time to some self evaluation and see what you are putting into your faith. Pray that God will show you how you can use your talents and gifts to be an effective part of your church family and reach your world.

 

Jesus, if there are people reading this who are unsatisfied in their current job, I pray you give them a new perspective. Help them to work hard and start seeing their job as an opportunity to grow. Let new opportunities come there way as a result of this attitude change. Let their coworkers see a change and question them on it, becoming a fantastic in to share your love with them. Maybe they are unsatisfied on their Spiritual life. I pray that they will look to you to seek out opportunities to grow in their church and the world around them fulfilling the mission of reaching the lost.  They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to us. Amen

 

 

Day 47: 50 Days of Passion

What are you working on right now for Jesus? Are you involved in a ministry at your church? Maybe you are helping out in the community? As believers we are called to action, action leads to passion. We are motivated by doing and the results that come with doing. Some get stuck in the weeds of preparation and never put their plan into action. Others jump in without a plan, or maybe someone else has already set the plan in motion and you are joining in. Whatever the case as believers we need to be doing something to love our community, family, neighbors, enemies and friends. You will not experience true passion for your faith locked in your bedroom.

 

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

 

Some people I know must have everything exactly right before they start something. They must have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. If they aren’t 100% prepared they won’t begin.

I don’t think our Christian life always works like that, we sometimes need to take a step of faith even when we’re not ready to allow God to show us that He has our back, he is our power in the weakness.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t take time to plan at all but the need to be a perfectionist isn’t always necessarily needed as there will always be more to do. There is a time to say okay God lets do this, ready or not I am moving forward with what you are calling me to do.

So, have you been planning on doing something for God? Have you been waiting till it is all planned out or is it time to get going on it and trust God to fill in the blanks. Let his power work in His plan. Let him use our weakness, to showcase his power.

Jesus, in our weakness you are strong. Show us your power in our daily walk, help us to rely on you in the plans you have for us. If I have been holding back give me momentum to push forward and trust you. Grow my passion for my faith as I serve you. Help us to witness to others showing your love and strength for today. Amen

 

Day 46: 50 Days of Passion

Ever try to share about Jesus and the love he has shown you, only to have the other person just laugh it off? Of keep coming back with arguments against? We try not to be hurt when this happens, yet it isn’t easy to just shrug it off. Many times, it has to do with them just not understanding, because they have little to no interest. Other times it could be because they are afraid that you know the truth and they don’t want to accept that they have to surrender their life. Just like a person who refuses directions and walks around aimlessly, until he or she is willing to accept they need help it is hard to steer them in any other direction.

 

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

 

One day I shared a picture of a child writing a quick letter that read “Dear atheist, if you don’t believe in God why does it offend you that I pray to Him” or something very similar. I knew that it may bring a comment of two because on my friends list are, now don’t be shocked, those who don’t know Jesus.

 

I didn’t do it to start a debate, nor did I do I to feed off the need for controversy. When I saw the first response, it took me a long time to come up with a reply that I felt was fair and honest.

 

But it in case shows the truth to the above verse, those who are stuck in the mind set of ‘believe whatever you want, just don’t force it down my throat’ are really just being that way because they don’t have the Holy Spirit in their lives. No matter what response I come with, no matter how true it is, if the Holy Spirit isn’t in the other person he will only see it as more religious jargon. How do you reach a world where anything is acceptable except Christ?

 

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to work in these people’s hearts. If we want to see lives changed and people coming to Jesus, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to soften hearts, to remove the hurt that religion has done in their lives. Until we purposely focus our prayers on their salvation our work will always seem fruitless. Just another debate.

 

So, when someone says something on a post you put up on FB, your blog, tweet or post something you disagree with, I suggest one thing. Before you respond take some time to pray fully ask the Holy Spirit to work on the person(s) you are responding to. Ask Him to show you the right words or scripture that will not be foolishness to the person who you are writing the repose for. Trust that the Holy Spirit will use you to reach the lost.

 

Dear Jesus, help me to take the time to consult the Holy Spirit before responding to any “debate” or controversial religion comments. Help me to pray for the person I am responding to asking the Holy Spirit for the right words or verse to reach them. Give me wise words. I pray that I can reach others as that is the mission to spread hope. Amen

 

Day 45: 50 Days of Passion

Like many, we may have given up on people who have walked away from God. They either grew up in church or became a believer in their teens or as a young adult. Maybe  it is someone older who came to Jesus later on. No matter something happened they lost their way. We fervently prayed for them and talked with them but as the weeks, months and years passed by, we lost our passion for them and slowly forget to pray. It may not be that we have given up but as a society in general we are result based, wherein we want to see results for our efforts. If that is our mind set why then continue praying for a lost cause? Because Jesus hasn’t given up.

 

 

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.”

Psalms 51:1-3 NLT

 

The one thing that baffles me is those who have either grown up in church or once knew Jesus and have walked away. They rebel against what they once held to be truth and choose to walk in darkness. Some even become so disillusioned that they feel that they can never be good enough to come back home. This causes me much sadness as we all know that this isn’t the case.

 

The temptation to walk away and “experience” life is a lie, set in motion by the enemy to draw our youth and new believers away. The life he offers is only a road to pain and suffering. He makes things look like rainbows and puppies only until he has you drawn away, then reality will begin to hit, addictions, abuse and other evil things will slowly but surly consume them. Or worse he draws you to a life of normalcy where you feel you just don’t need God.

 

The amazing news is that Jesus is always there with open arms to receive his children home. Like the father of the prodigal son, he hasn’t stopped expecting their return. He patiently waits with redeeming grace for all those who accept the relationship with him.

 

We as believer must not give up on those who have walked away from the faith. We must earnestly pray and make ever effort to show them that Jesus still loves them. That they don’t need to get their lives back in order first to meet the Father. Come as they are, dirty, smelly, broken. He will welcome them home no matter their condition. He loves them with everything in his being and desires to have relationship with them.

 

If you have family or friends who have walked away from Jesus, why not this weekend invite them to church and lunch after. Take them out for a coffee. Show them the love of Jesus through your actions and words. Pray for them, not in general passing breaths, but take the time to intercede for them. Let’s see a revival in our family and friends this upcoming Christmas season.

 

Jesus, we pray for our family and friends who don’t know you. Some never have and others know but have turned their backs. We pray earnestly for their return to you. We ask you to give us boldness, direction and the words to speak. Give us opportunities even this weekend to remind them that you love them. The matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 44: 50 Days of Passion

The passion we have for the church and our relationship with God is infectious. When the younger generation see us full of passion for the Gospel it will ignite their hearts and pull them towards the truth. If we look like we have been baptisted in pickle juice and either display apathy or even distain for the church family, why would our young people be interested in being a part of that?

 

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”

Proverbs 29:18 NLT

 

How many teens have you seen grow up in a youth group only to leave the church as soon as they could get free? Why is this phenomenon happening in the church? If you work in youth ministry they tell you that’s 1 in 10 you will stay in the church. That number is staggering for the amount of work that gets poured into each and every youth that attends a ministry.

 

We must not put all the blame on the leaders of these ministries for failing. The youth them selves are the ones who grow up, and decided to walk away from the truth. They see the life of university as a time to experience new things and expand their world. They set aside all the values that many people, from leaders, pastors to parents have work hard to I still in their lives. We continue to pray for these now young adults that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives to reveal to them the true God and how important and relevant Jesus is to them.

 

How the young people see those who are the corner stones of the church behave will have significant impact on their choices. If church is a place of argument, or where if feels like one family runs the place, there will be no attachment. Contrary if a church strives to connect with God and reach the community with love and passion, those things are attractive.

 

But for the youth who stays, they are most likely active, listening for what the Holy Spirit is calling them to do, they are plugged into God. When we get plugged into God amazing things will happen, God will show up in incredible ways. We need to encourage our youth and children to not just attend church, but to seek God with all their heart, focus on him, ask the Holy Spirit to guide them. Love them as Christ loves you. Encourage them in their faith. Don’t ever give up on them. Keep praying for them.

 

Jesus, we want to see you move in our children and youth, reverse the trend of today where young adults run from the church the first opportunity they get. We need a generation of fired up young adults with a passion for you. We need your passion to be able to reach this generation and mentor them in love. Amen