Paul (Philippians 1:21, Philippians 3:7-8, Acts 21:13, 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, Romans 9:1-5)
Almighty, Victorious, Ancient of Days!
You are most gracious! Most glorious! Who is like you? Your great name I praise now and forever! Halleluiah! I could shout it from the mountain tops, I just want the whole world to know what I know!
Lord, I wrack my brain to think of what I can do to capture people’s attention. I will run through the streets in just my underwear like King David if that is what would make them listen! They just seem so lackluster. So asleep! I want to wave my hands in front of their faces and scream to get them to wake up. Don’t they notice?!? Don’t they care?
They talk about things that just seem so dull and unimportant, how much the cattle are going for, the strange disease that has taken over the goats, the rising cost of cotton, what the Romans are up to these days, even the weather! WHO CARES. Don’t they care at all that salvation is at hand?!
This is life or death! Even the Christians seem sluggish. Who has time for sleeping, eating, and parties? What a waste! How can I make them see?! How can I help them understand?
A Passionate Pastor
My Dear Paul,
You are exactly who I made you! I have loved seeing you throw your entire heart, soul, and body into whatever you do. You have been that way since you were a young man. And you’ve accomplished many things as a result of that gifting. But all those things are not what I really want from you. All I really want is your heart.
Remember, every good personality trait you have comes from Me. Your love for people, your endless energy, your passion for this life. That is a reflection of my heart to yours. I know you don’t always understand other people, and that’s OK. You don’t have to. I don’t want everyone to be the same. I know you try so hard. Remember when you told me you would become all things to all people to save just one? Oh, did that make me smile. You couldn’t be shy or quiet if you tried!
I just want to remind you not to get so caught up in the mission you miss the ministry. It wasn’t that long ago; your passions resulted in killing Christians. I don’t bring it up to condemn you, but to remind you to give others grace. Love is patient; love is kind. I have each person on a journey towards me. My timing is not your timing. My ways are not your ways.
Above all, my grace is enough for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.
Your Loving Father
(Isaiah 55:8-9, James 1:17, 1 Corinthians 9:22, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 2 Corinthians 12:9)
Would you describe yourself as more passionate or passive? Why? What are you passionate about?
Jesus was the perfect example of passion with purpose. He has tons of passion, but he also knew his purpose and what he was here to do. That knowledge helped him perfectly use his passion. How is the knowledge that Jesus had passion with purpose give you comfort when you’re frustrated?
Read the following passionate verses written by Paul. Does Paul’s writing inspire you or intimidate you? Why?
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be lost in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
Acts 21:13 “Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 “I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.”
Romans 9:1-5 I speak the truth in Christ-I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.