What am I passionate about?
What flows from my mouth into conversation and through my fingers onto social media?
What drives me to ecstatic exuberance?
What motivates the choices that I make and the way I spend my time?
What is my purpose for being here?
These questions are regularly rolling around in my mind. I want to live a life that is all about the glory of God. I fall short of that desire all the time. But I strive for it. I strive to live for Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and discipleship. EVERYTHING else is just extra.
Maybe I’m crazy. I honestly feel that way at times. But I can’t escape the fire in my heart that drives me to want to spread the Kingdom of God on earth. I want to light a fire in the hearts of others as well.
Just this morning, I started a biography on Hudson and Maria Taylor, missionaries to China. I was knocked off guard in the first pages by the reality that Hudson’s father, get this, PRAYED FOR HIS NOT YET BORN SON TO BECOME A MISSIONARY TO THE VASTLY UNREACHED CHINESE PEOPLE. I write that in all caps because it blows me away.
Who is doing that today?
Are we praying that God would send their future children into dangerous parts of the world for the spread of the Kingdom of God?
Or are we praying that our future children ‘make an impact for Jesus’ while accumulating all the benefits of the American dream and likely selling their soul for earthly trinkets?
Church, this must not be.
It cannot be.
This morning I also began a book on the state of the global church. The two brilliant authors spoke about the following:
- The Western church is polarized by doctrine and social issues. Sound familiar?
- The Pentecostal church is exploding throughout the globe, due to its emphasis on God still being at work.
- Jesus didn’t come to simply establish traditional modern churches. He came to inaugurate the Kingdom.
Here’s my quick takeaway. To my fellow Westerners, what is your passion? Is it truly the gospel and discipleship? If someone looked at your time, money, conversations, and arguments, would they see a desire to make God known?
I don’t think that would be the answer for most of us. If you asked me, I’d think that most would see us Christians as the most polarizing of all. Just look at what you’ve said about Covid-19. Have you posted about politics and plots and government takeovers? Or have you posted about God and His glory, for instance how Psalm 9 says that all of the nations are under His control (by the way, when it says ALL nations are under His control, there’s no caveat dependent upon whether a Republican or Democrat is in office)?
The other night, one of my close friends showed me this awesome new telescope he had just purchased. It’s awesome.
This guy is a stinking genius, so once he got to talking about the intricacies of the telescope and the intricacies of space, he lost me. But he was so passionate about it. It was awesome.
I started thinking, I wish I was that passionate about Jesus. Not my doctrinal beliefs. Not my vision for our church (albeit these aren’t bad things). Not my political opinions or my favorite hobbies. Not even my family or my dog. What if I just couldn’t help but talk about Jesus?
What if the Kingdom of God was everything to me?
And just like that, the spark was lit afresh.
Maybe you’re there. Maybe, the spark is lit in your heart.
Here’s how you fan it into flame.
If you aren’t reflecting on the truths of the gospel, you obviously will have no passion to share it.
Just think about Ephesians 2. We were DEAD in our sins. Straight up dead. And then we get this phrase:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, – Ephesians 2:4
The verses that follow this one tease out the gospel message.
We were dead.
But God was rich in mercy and great in love.
The times I’m most on fire for Jesus follow the times I’m deeply communing with Him. I’m talking distraction-free time with Him. For me it looks like leaving my phone away, grabbing a Message version of the Bible, and going to pray. I love to study Scripture and journal and go through reading plans, and so I have to keep it really simple so that I’m actually communing with God rather than filling my mind with more knowledge.
I don’t know what it will look like for you, but commune with God your Father. Let Him fan your heart into flame.
I will try and keep this simple.
Meet with someone.
One on one.
We need to remember there is a difference between spiritual community (a common faith in God that bonds friendships) and Biblical community (a common study of God’s Word).
I have lots of spiritual community, but I’m not sure how much Biblical community I have.
But discipleship, that lights my fire.
I had lunch yesterday with a young man I used to mentor and then met with a young man I currently am mentoring. Hearing them talk about Jesus is the most amazing thing in the world.
Our churches will die without discipleship.
Oops, I hope that was simple.
This book I read on the global church talked about how the church how we know it is dying. It is.
The church will not grow by pragmatic plans or programs. It won’t grow by clinging tight to tradition and ‘how we’ve always done it’. It won’t grow by complaining or arguing or debating. It won’t grow by simply wishing things were different. It won’t grow by coming up with some great new model of church although those things aren’t bad. It certainly won’t grow by sitting in our ivory towers and judging the world around us for how they dress, talk, and live.
It will grow by doing everything we can to reach a new generation while clinging to the truth of the gospel. This gets me amped because student ministry shouldn’t be a thing. We’ve created a mini church for youth because our churches as a whole won’t often adapt to them. We are called to disciple them, to grow together. Older men and women investing in younger men and women. That’s the call of the book of Titus. If we as churches did this, I wouldn’t have a job. The church would reach the next generation, not one man. And I would be so overjoyed if that came to pass.
The church will grow by going.
By using every single day, every one, to make an impact for the Kingdom of God.
Why are you here?
To make it to the weekend? To get a promotion? To raise ‘good’ kids? To leave a legacy for your own name and praise?
I want to live in such a way that I am answering my own prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”
In His Name,
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