Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesdays with Jesus #200

#200 "What Is Your Passion?"
May 24, 2011
"But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." (Jeremiah 20: 9 NIV)
If you go by the number of Google results I hit when I entered "What is your passion?", 111,000,000 entries will give you methods, lists, and guidelines to help you find out what exactly it is that gets your juices flowing and makes it worthwhile to get out of bed every morning. Some of those results are secular and some are from Christian authors. I'm just a little too strapped for time to read all of those entries, but over the years I have found two ways from the pages of Scripture that can point you in the direction of your own personal passion.
There are so many things that we can be passionate about and give our time to. Via the internet, we have the world literally at our fingertips. With just a few key strokes, we can see children starving, villages with no clean water, tragedy, injustice, heinous acts of violence, prejudice and mistreatment in just a matter of seconds. There is also no shortage of organizations, Christian and non, who are on the front lines of fighting countless numbers of causes. We are given opportunities to donate our time and our financial resources to a host of different things.
I believe that God created us in such a way that what gets to you, may not necessarily get to me. If He didn't work it that way, we would all be jumping on the same bandwagons. Each heart is uniquely created to break over just the thing that God has created it to break over. God's heart is breaking over it all and He wants to use us to be His hands and feet walking planet Earth in His name. There is a world full of things God wants us to do and there's enough work for all of us.
Jeremiah was appointed by God to be a prophet. He was ridiculed, insulted and suffered reproach. Eventually he was accused of treason and convicted.  He would have done well to keep his mouth closed, but in his own words, he could not. He had found his passion.
"But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak anymore in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."
(Jeremiah 20: 9)
What is it that burns in you like a fire? A fire shut up in your bones? You've tried and tried to hold it in, but, indeed, you cannot? That, my friend, is your passion.
One of my absolute favorite Greek words in Scripture is the word "dei". This word means, "necessity"; "established by the counsel and decree of God". Our English words for "dei" that we read in the bible, are "must", "ought" and "should". This word is used in reference to Jesus many times.
When the child Jesus was lost for three days, He told His parents, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house, about my Father's business?" (Luke 2: 49) Those words, "had to be"? Dei. Jesus was telling Mary and Joseph that it was a necessity that He stay behind. It had been established by the decree of His heavenly Father, to be in His house and about His business.
In Luke 4:43, Jesus revealed His mission statement. He said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." Dei. Must. It was a necessity. Jesus and His Father were one and His Father's passion was His passion. That passion became His mission.
That passion would lead all the way to Jerusalem and to a cross where He would die for our sins. "The Son of Man must [dei] suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must [dei] be killed and on the third day be raised to life." (Luke 9: 22)  
What is your dei? What fires you up? What brings tears to your eyes? What breaks your heart? What is it that no matter how you try to contain yourself, you just have to speak, you just have to open your wallet; you just have to do something? That is your passion. Now make your passion your mission.
God Himself has placed that fire on the inside of you. It is His fiery passion as well. He is commissioning you to acknowledge it and go forth in His strength with purpose and determination to make a difference in your world. Your unique passion and zeal over that one thing was given to you for such a time as this.
There will be many, many good things demanding your attention, your time and your finances. That is why there are so many of us. There is enough work for each and every one of us to do until Jesus comes or until He calls us home to glory. If He didn't have work for us to do, He would have saved us and taken us up right then and there. But He fills us with His Spirit, the One who will lead us and guide us and reveal our specific purpose and passion to our hearts. He will reveal that one thing.
"You can't do everything, but you can do something. What you can do, you should do. Today, determine that in the power and grace of God you will do it."  [Haddon Robinson. Love Needs Expression. Our Daily Bread. December, 2005.]
Let the fire burn. Don't quench it. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit spurring you on to do His work. You know it. You can feel it. Your eyes sting with its tears. Your heart aches with its pain. It is a necessity. It is established for you by the counsel and the decree of the living God. It is your dei.
Living the Word along with you,  

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