We cannot light this fire. In ourselves we cannot produce it. No man can kindle in himself that celestial fire; it must come from the altar above. Wesley Duewel Ablaze for God
A passion for those far from God is a direct result of our intimacy with God
Passion is the direct result of our intimacy with God, our love for Jesus Christ and our commitment to see the people of the world come to know him in a real and transformational way. Passion for God is a result of a decision to no longer live for what we discover is a self-serving bias but to live fully into the high calling of Christ and fulfilling God's glory. Once we are filled with a sense of God's holy love we can become convinced of the truth of Christ and what he did for all humankind. As the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "It is no longer I who live but Christ in me."
Passion for the lost comes from God.
God opens his heart and shares his passion for the lost with us. The passion for people far from God is maintained through staying connected to him. Our soul is impacted deeply by practicing the spiritual disciplines and staying closely aligned with God's purposes. Other people can help keep our energy turned outward toward others. It is very tempting to focus inward and only take care of our personal spiritual lives. But that is an easy way to lose the intensity of God's presence. God's presence is not something we can manufacture or invent of our own devices. God moves first toward a broken humanity and impacts our lives. But, like any important relationship we value, we must maintain the fire for the long haul.
The population of our planet has surpassed seven billion people. The church has been in existence and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ for almost two thousand years. Only one-third of the global population has responded positively to the claims of the Gospel. Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World, states," We are living in the time of the largest ingathering of people into the Kingdom of God that the world has ever seen." The global community looks approximately like this:
1. More than two billion people are followers of Christ. These people say,, "Thank you Jesus!"
2. More than two billion people are non-Christians who have access to the Gospel. They live where they can hear the truth, learn from others and respond to the gospel but are not yet following Jesus Christ. These people say, "No thank you, Jesus."
3. More than two billion people remain unreached. They have little or no access to the Gospel. They have no Christian influence in their lives, no churches, no communities of faith and no Bible. These people are saying, "Who is Jesus?"
Identify God's goals
Can you identify God's goals for your life? How about the lives of people who are close to you? Some people say Jesus had his job description--for the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. (Luke19:10 NIV) In what ways have you helped his kingdom flourish? Who will be with him in paradise because of your influence? Join us this weekend as we challenge one another toward God's vision, passion and goals.
The passion of Christianity comes from deliberately signing away my own rights and becoming a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest