When you think of the word “passion”, what do you think of? Do you think about the movie where two people have a “passionate moment”? What about business? Have you ever heard of someone pursuing their “passion” and being successful? Now think of those who are in the news yelling and screaming about change. Aren’t they described as being “passionate”? In my opinion, the word “passion” is grossly overused and totally misunderstood.
Recently, I was speaking with someone regarding a situation where they upset me. As loving as I could muster, at that time, I asked the individual several questions, asking them to explain their actions. Their response to me was, “I can hear your passion.” After think about this for a moment, I thought to myself, “This isn’t passion. This is being pissed.” If it was “passion”, my strong desire would have led me to do something that I would probably regret. Luckily for everyone involved, we were able to come to an agreement that we would never agree.
The term “passion” is used for so many things. When someone voices their anger, we call it passion. When someone pursues their dreams, we call it passion. When someone is in “love” or “lust”, we call that passion.
So what is passion? In the simplest of terms, passion is an overwhelming desire that leads one to action. This could be negative or positive action, but in all cases, the overwhelming desire leads to action. What is your greatest passion? What are you so excited about that it led you to action? Not just saying words, but actual action?
In Scripture, we see a verse that so many people in our culture have become familiar with…
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. That whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
Have you ever thought about this in detail? Have you ever considered its implications? If not, let me share some quick thoughts.
First, this verse says that “God so loved the world…” In the Greek, the word “loved” translated from the word “agapos”. We get the term “agape” or “unconditional” from this word. It is a form of decided unconditional love.
Second, what did this “agape” love trigger? “…that He gave His only Son.” Did you catch it? The God of the all creation unconditionally loved us so much that it led Him to action, to send His only Son. God was so passionate about us, that it led him to act accordingly. What’s even more mind blowing is this verse:
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” – John 10:17-18
Isn’t that amazing? After John wrote how much God passionately loved the world, Jesus confirms this with stating, “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” Jesus was so obedient to the Father, that He too passionately loved the world. So much so, that He gave His life up for us.
Think of it this way. God (Father) passionately loved us so much that He gave His Son (Jesus). Jesus passionately loved the Father and the world that He gave His life up by his own willingness. He wasn’t surprised to see Judas and the soldiers when they came for Him. It wasn’t unexpected when they beat Him and cursed at Him. He wasn’t surprised or shocked when He hung on the cross and suffered. In fact, it was Jesus who asked the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t realize what we were doing. Jesus was passionately in love with you and I. His love led Him to action.
So, what is your greatest passion?
Maybe, you love your career so much that you work as much as you can. Is it possibly your kids or spouse? You desire to spend as much time with them that even your work schedule revolves around them?
Whatever, your “passion” is, may I suggest that if you are not passionate about Jesus Christ, you are not living your “greatest life”? We all have dreams and goals. We all want to achieve the best for our families. We all desire to be the best, but without Christ, our lives won’t be the greatest they can be.
As I stated earlier, Jesus was so passionately in love with the Father and us, that He gave His life for us. It is because of Christ and Christ alone, that we can go to the Father and worship. It is because of Christ alone, that we can pray with confidence.
We call the time surrounding Easter, “The Passion of Christ”. This proves that our understanding of what passion is, is correct at times. Those who termed that time of the year understood that His love for us was so great, so real, it led Him to take action.
We didn’t deserve His passionate love and still don’t. Yet, Christ in all His understanding decided to love us with action. So what should our response be?
I don’t know about you, but for me, our response is logical. We should respond to Christ by accepting His free gift of eternal life. Then once we do that, He places a “passion” in us to serve the Father. That “inserted free passion” allows us show the love of Christ to others through action.
“Faith without works, is dead.” – James 2:17
Are we acting in a way that shows the passionate love of Christ? Do we say things that show others how passionately in love He is with them? When we take this perspective of Christ’s passion for us, we see the world differently. We see what others can be in Christ, rather than who they are. We act in love toward others, caring for them in every way. Not just those we like, but also to those who hate us.
Living your greatest life, must include the passion of Christ. Living your greatest life must include loving others like Christ loves us. Living your greatest life must include a living, breathing, action packed life that displays the supernatural change that only God can do through Christ. Live your greatest life and make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. He passionately loves you. What’s your action toward love going to be?