Passion is attractive, inspiring, and contagious, and it points people to Jesus. The active ingredient in a movement of Hope is passion. We dream about our passions, we’re excited to talk about our passions, and we’re willing to sacrifice, invest, and suffer for our passions. Passion creates discipline in our lives. We reclaim lost passion in our lives when we remember, repent, and return to the things we did when we had it.
Alright everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad that you are here whatever campus you’re at, come on, let’s give it up for all of our campuses. Let’s welcome everybody in. Wherever you are, whatever’s going on in your life, we believe hope is here because Jesus is here. We are so glad that you came to hang out with us today. And we are right in the middle of our series called reclaim. And we’re taking a couple weeks of just talking about this concept of taking back what we’ve lost. And this has been a way bigger series honestly then even I thought it was going to be as we’ve gotten into it. God’s been moving, he’s been inviting us, he’s been showing us different things, and we’re taking some things back in Jesus name. Because the reality is, is as you walk through life, some things get lost, some things get stolen, some things get misplaced, some areas that you used to have victory in, authority over, freedom in, places where used to be abundant and joyful in your life sometimes they can just get lost and stolen, and so it’s time to reclaim them. It’s time to take those things back in Jesus name.
And so we’re going on this journey and what we’re discovering is that before you can move forward in life, sometimes you got to go back and get what you’ve lost. We all get excited about pioneering, and moving forward, and new things, and new ground but sometimes before you can move forward you got to go back and get what you lost. And before you can go back and get what you lost, you got to be humble enough to actually acknowledge that you’ve lost some things along the way. And that’s really what this series is about, in fact Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” That’s what we’re doing, we’re examining our lives in this series, we’re saying, “What have I lost?” Well, what’s kind of disappeared, what’s gotten misplaced or stolen, and I want to be humble enough to acknowledge it’s gone, and I want to go back and get it because I want to return to the Lord, I want to return to the life that he has for me.
And when you reclaim something you go back and you get it, it becomes even better than it was before. It has a depth, a richness, a character to it. And when you lose and reclaim it, you always have a deeper sense of appreciation for it. Like do you remember the story of the “Prodigal Son,” it’s kind of one of those famous stories that we tell a lot of times out of the Bible. And it’s a story of this boy who kind of wishes his father’s dead, wants his inheritance. And the father kind of reluctantly gives it to him and the son goes off and he blows his inheritance, hits rock bottom, he loses everything in his life. He loses his relationship with his father, he loses his home, he loses his dignity, he loses his identity, and his worth. And what I love is what it says in the scripture, it says, when he came to his senses, it’s the actual words, when he realized what he is lost, he humbled himself, turned around, went back to his father, reclaimed his relationship with his father, reclaimed his home, reclaimed his life. And from that day forward that boy had a totally different sense of appreciation of what he really had. It was even better than it was before.
So if you’ve lost something somewhere along the way, when you take it back, it’ll be even better than it was before. And so what we’re doing in this series is I’m just trying to talk to your heart. It’s a different tone, it’s a different series, if you’ve missed the last few weeks, I want to encourage you go back and watch them online, reclaiming your relationship with God, reclaiming your heart because these things kind of build and they move us forward. But again we’re just going to say Holy Spirit we invite you into this place. We invite you to come and help us examine our ways and give us the humility to return to the Lord. You see, I love what this next verse tells us, it says, “Your lives light up the world, let others see your light from a distance for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop.”
Your lives light up the world in other words when you put your faith in Jesus you become the light of the world. God literally sets a fire inside of your soul, a big bonfire if you will think about it like that. And now you’re supposed to live this life of enthusiasm, and abundance, and excitement, and joy and passion. And God’s lit this fire inside of you to show the lost and dark world the way to Jesus. We’re called and created to be people of passion. In fact what I want to tell you is that in today’s generation, in today’s world, passion is the ultimate apologetic. Passion more than anything else points people to Jesus. In a world of doubt and skepticism, and unbelief, people don’t want to hear your words, they want to see your life. And they want to see the passion that you say you have for Jesus so they will actually believe what you say you believe.
And in fact if you think about passion, passion is attractive. It’s inspiring, it’s contagious, it draws us in. When you see other passionate people, you’re drawn to that, like you lean into it. And what I want you to know is passion is the active ingredient in a movement of hope. If we’re going to fulfill our vision of being a movement of hope, it’s passion that’s the active ingredient that actually makes that thing start to work. In fact I would say it to you like this, passion is the wind in the sail of a culture of discipleship. It’s passion more than anything else that helps people start following Jesus. When we create a passionate culture and a passionate environment, all the sudden, all this passion is moving forward. And people who weren’t really excited about Jesus, they kind of look around, and all the sudden they get caught up in it, and all of a sudden they start moving forward. That’s why in our culture passion is so important because people don’t care what we have to say, they’re watching how we live.
Come on, can you imagine if every week I got up here, and was apathetic. Today we’re going to talk about Jesus, you should believe in him. Come on, you’re going to come for like three weeks and be like that guy doesn’t even believe what he’s saying, I’m going somewhere else. Come on, do you like being around apathetic people? Come on, do you like being around apathetic people? No, because it’s infectious and it pulls you down. Being around passionate people inspires you, it’s contagious, and it moves you forward. This is why it says in the next verse, it says, “live such good lives among the world, live such passionate lives in this world that they may see your passion and then they will glorify God and put their faith in Jesus. That’s what it’s telling us, is that passion is the great apologetic of our day.
So here’s the question you already know I’m going to ask you, how’s your passion? Today, how’s your passion? How’s the fire inside your soul. Come on, how’s your passion for Jesus and his kingdom, and his mission, and his people. How’s your passion for life? Like if you were the barometer that we would look at to see whether or not we’re a passionate church, when we look at your life, would we say we are people of passion? In fact here’s what I want to show you, let’s just go ahead and put ourselves on the scale like we’ve been doing the last few weeks. Again just this is between you and Jesus, like where are you? If 10, man, this is the most passion that I’ve ever been; and zero is, man, I’m pretty apathetic in my life right now. Like where are you? Where have you been and maybe where have you lost some ground?
Let’s take it back in Jesus name. Let’s be humble enough to acknowledge where we are and take it back in Jesus name. Like are you passionate, full of enthusiasm, and excitement, and joy, and abundance, and awe and wonder, or is there a lot of apathy in your life? Like this is as good as it gets, like I’m too tired to care. A spirit of indifference, a spirit of lethargy, like why bother, it doesn’t matter anyways. Like where are you between you and Jesus, just be honest. You see here’s what’s interesting, do you know what passion actually means? We think passion is a feeling, passion is not a feeling, passion is that what you’re willing to suffer for, it’s the actual definition of it. Passion is that what you’re willing to suffer for. Like if you’re passionate about the Cowboys, you will suffer through a whole lot of fourth quarter heartbreaking defeats.
But somehow they’re still your team and you cheer for them again next week, you suffered through it, you keep going. If you’re passionate about being physically fit you’re going to suffer through a whole lot of early morning workouts and you’re not going to eat all the other good food that the rest of us eat, right? If you’re passionate about education, you’re going to suffer through reading and discovering while everyone else is watching Netflix. Come on. If you’re passionate about your kids, you’ll suffer through driving them all kinds of places and using all of your resources to help them better their life. And if you’re passionate about Jesus you will suffer through a whole lot of things that the people around you won’t. But when you’re passionate about something, that doesn’t actually feel like suffering, why? Because passion is how love is expressed. Passion is how genuine love is expressed from the heart.
Like think of two people who are in love and genuinely love each other from the heart, you don’t have to tell them to be passionate. You don’t have to tell them to say kind things to each other, and spend time together, and meet each other’s needs, and learn how to talk and communicate, and just to spend time together. Obviously, you don’t have to tell them that stuff, why, because there’s so much love in their heart it naturally flows out through passion for one another, and it doesn’t feel like suffering. In fact this is why in John 14, what Jesus tells us, is he says, “Loving me empowers you to obey my commands.” In other words, when you really love God, obeying his commands become easy. Passion creates a disciplined life. When you’re passionate it’s easy to be disciplined about something. But an undisciplined life will always come from an apathetic heart, why bother, who cares, it’s too much effort anyways.
Come on, this is why God says love me with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. You know what he’s saying? Is he’s saying don’t give me lip service, he’s saying I want the passion of your life. And when you love me like that it’s easy to follow me. Come on, think of passion for a second, go to the grid for me please or the list. No, the list. This is, if you’re passionate about something you dream about. It’s in your mind, it’s in your heart, you’re constantly thinking about it. If you’re passionate about something you got internal excitement and external expression. Don’t tell me you’re passionate about something and then have no passionate expression coming out of your life. Because if I’m genuinely passionate about it, I can’t, come on man, you’re passionate about the Cowboys you don’t go there and go, yehey. You let it ride. Come on, if you’re passionate you sacrifice for it, you invest into it, you’re inconvenienced by it, that’s passion. You’re willing to suffer for it because you love it. And you were created to live a passionate life.
Okay, apathy on the other hand, apathy destroys your life. An apathetic heart will lead to a defeated life. If passion is birthed in the kingdom of God, apathy is birthed in the kingdom of darkness. And what apathy does is it makes your heart numb, it’s like letting a bunch of termites in your heart, it eats your heart from the inside out. And like an avalanche all of a sudden you wake up one day and you got nothing left in your life. You’ve gone numb, you’ve gone cold, you’ve gone dark, apathy steals your present and it hides your future. Look you can’t live in the moment and you have no hope for tomorrow, it’s barely getting by at best. And the problem with apathy is apathy always leads to atrophy. If I’m apathetic, it means I pull back and I stop using things. And when I stop using things they atrophy on me and they begin to die.
See as we’ve been talking about taking ground apathy is the fastest way to lose ground. If I become apathetic I will atrophy in my mind, in my heart, in my body, in my life, in my relationships, in my purpose, in my destiny. I will lose ground so fast I won’t even know what happened. This is why apathy is a big deal. And we spend so much time behind the glass screen watching everyone else live passionate lives, come on, you’re supposed to get out from behind the glass screen and go live the passionate life that God has for you. I mean, this is why Matthew 15 says, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” That’s apathy. Lip service, nothing in here. Going through the motions. And what you have to understand is apathy is the birthplace of religion. When I become apathetic I go through the motions, I say, yehey, Jesus, but in here I got nothing.
And God doesn’t want to be loved with your lips, he wants to be loved with your life. I mean, do you remember this story, it’s a really interesting story, it’s kind of hidden in the Old Testament. So Elijah and one of the kings. And if you’ll go to it for me, Elijah the Prophet is meeting with one of the Old Testament kings talking about his future and his destiny. And Elijah tells the king, he says, “Take the arrows.” So they’re in a room and there’s a bunch of arrows there, he says, “Take the arrows,” and the King took them. Elijah told him strike the ground, he struck it three times and stopped. The man of God Elisha was angry with him and said, you should have struck the ground five or six times, then you had have defeated Arum and completely destroyed it, but now you will defeat it only three times. Like what does that mean? The man of God speaking on behalf of God tells the King to do something and he does it half-heartedly. He picks up the arrows and goes, she’s going through the motions, religion.
And Elijah says, are you for real bro? Because I told you to strike the ground, keep striking the ground til I tell you to stop and then you would have had a victory. But because you’re so apathetic you’re not only going to get a temporary victory. And I wonder how many times into our lives is that how we live. See, casual obedience is disobedience in the kingdom of God. How much of our lives are we walking around in our marriage? Going through the motions with our kids, with our ministry, with our relationship with God, when he’s saying come on, I made you to be passionate, keep striking the ground until the victory comes until the breakthrough is here you got to rise up to wholehearted living even though it doesn’t make sense.
If I’m the king, I’m like, bro, tell me that and I’ll do it. That’s the point. That’s the point. Passion is a test, we’re supposed to be passionate regardless of what we know about what’s going to happen or what’s not going to happen or the future or the past. It’s like man I’m wholehearted and everything I do, casual obedience is disobedience in the kingdom of God, he doesn’t want half-hearted living, because it hurts you. And the paradox is, is apathy masquerades itself as maturity. I’m so mature that I’m not going to look like a fool and start pounding the arrows. Sure about that? Listen to me, the kingdom of heaven does not golf-clap.
And we sit there and say, I’m too dignified for this, raising my hands and shouting out and saying things that other people might hear, that’s between me and the Lord, I’m so mature I don’t need to do that, I’m just saying. If the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children maybe we need to become a little more childlike in the daily realities of our life, okay? Now listen, I know, some of you are like, bro, this is like uncomfortable. I know, because here’s the reality, it’s hard to stay passionate in an apathetic world isn’t it? So what I’m trying to get you, I mean, check this next verse. It says, “There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness of darkness in the world that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God will grow cold.” Does that feel like life sometimes? Like there’s so much apathy around me that my heart used to be passionate but I’ve lost some ground and it’s gone cold. That’s reality.
You see, I think we all go through this cycle, like check this out for a second. If you look at this cycle this would be a great cycle to like just kind of look at marriage. And marriage is a good example of our relationship with God. If you think about two people that get married, man, there’s this sense of anticipation before they get married. Like, oh my goodness, I found the one. This is amazing, the rest of our life is going to be incredible. Anticipation, right? Then there’s the honeymoon, it’s like this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, I love my life. If every day can be like this, it’s going to be amazing, yes? Okay. And then you can return from the honeymoon and you realize, okay, this is normalcy, this is the normal way that we’re going to go through life, this is how we’re going to do things, this is okay. And then you wake up one day and it feels like you’re in a desert. You’re like, I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where this came from, I’m not okay with his life. But if you push through you get to the promised land, the land of abundance and breakthrough and redemption and restoration.
This is our relationship with God, we come in and we hear about this Jesus, and we think, could this be true? Could there be someone who really would forgive me and set me free? Could there be a God out there who really wants to walk with me in life? And then all of a sudden we put our faith in Jesus and it’s a honeymoon. It’s like this is amazing, you get front-row parking spots everywhere you go, right? You’re just like pray, like, Lord, give me a front-row parking, all my goodness, he loves me, so good. You hear his voice, oh, it’s like unbelievable. And then it’s kind of like okay, this is how it goes, I have to park in the back, that’s good, I get it, teaching me servanthood. You know, that kind of like, this is the normal life. And then you wake up one day and you feel like you’re in a desert with God. Like, where did he go? And why is it so quiet? And why can’t I find him? And if you keep pressing through, you break out, and you find the promised land. The land of walking with him regardless of the circumstances.
You see, this is apathy, and this is passion. When you go through life and relationship you will hit a point of apathy. And what happens to us in here, we all look for a way out. And when you stop looking for a way out you’ll find a way forward. And when you find the way forward you’ll come out here and all of a sudden you’ll have a life of passion because this is just feelings, this is passion. I’m willing to express my love regardless of the circumstances or the conditions because you understand on this cycle it’s not that the circumstances has changed, it’s that the posture of your heart changed. So let’s reignite it in Jesus name and take it back. You see what passion is, is passion comes from a childlike heart. This is why Proverbs 4:23, we talked about it last week, “Above all else, guard your heart.” If it’s a fire, you got to stoke the fire. You got to put logs on, you got to build it, you got to keep the thing going so it keeps building and growing. And what you have to remember is that at the end of the day a whole heart will live a passionate life. But a half heart will live an apathetic life.
Passion comes from a childlike heart, this is why last week’s message so matters in this conversation. in fact, do you remember the story of Joshua and Caleb, the two guys that there’s part of the spies, they go in and they spy out the land. And when they come back the whole nation is apathetic, they don’t want to go and fight the Giants. And so they have to wander the wilderness for 40 years. So catch this, this is Caleb talking, he says, “I was 40 years old when Moses sent me to explore the land, the promise land. I followed the Lord my God whole heartedly. Now then, just as the Lord promised he has kept me alive for 45 years since the time he said this to Moses while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today 85 years old and I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out. Now, give me this hill country full of giants, the most rugged nasty country out there and I will drive them out in Jesus name.
Catch this, Caleb goes in, he’s got the faith, everyone else is apathetic, so they got to wander the desert for 40 years. I’m just saying if I got to wander the desert for 40 years, probably the apathy of my life is going to get pretty strong. Because I’m in a nation of people who are apathetic and they’re all dying one by one because apathy will kill you with a very slow painful death. And yet all the while they’re wandering in the desert, Caleb’s taking ground in his heart. See if you can catch this with me for a second, taking ground in your heart is how you grow young, losing ground in your heart is how you grow old. Taking ground in your heart is how you grow young, losing ground in your heart is how you grow old, like understand the reality that age has nothing to do with your body, it has everything to do with your heart.
If the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children then age has nothing to do with the years on your body, it has everything to do with the health of your heart. That’s why you can see a 16 year old that’s like incredibly old or an 80 year old that’s incredibly young. See we guard the wrong thing, we guard this body and we get so worried about wrinkles and sagginess. But your body isn’t you, you should be worried about wrinkles and sagginess in your heart. Why? Because if you keep taking ground in your heart, the more the kingdom comes, the more childlike you become. The more childlike you become, the more passionate you will be. And when you have passion you can pioneer even at 85 and say give me some giants to go fight because I ain’t done with this thing yet. Come on, think about this passion, passion by nature implies energy and movement and momentum, that’s childlike.
Just as last week, I was sitting in a waiting room, it was 5:00 in the morning, there was all these adults in there and one little two-year-old girl. And this little girl was having the time of her life. She was running around and flipping on things, and somersaults, and rolling, and laughing, and giggling. And I was having — I was so locked in there, I was just watching all the time. And I looked up, I started looking at all the adults, and I was like passion, apathy. Why? Because a childlike heart is living a passionate life, an old heart lives an apathetic life. Because we’ve been beat down by life, so we’re like, why bother, who cares, it’s not going to change anything anyways. Come on, the more the kingdom we let in our heart the more childlike we become, the more childlike you become, the more passionate you will be. The more passionate you are, the more you can pioneer. Hear me, you cannot pioneer with apathy, it’s impossible. Passion implies initiative, apathy implies in action. That’s a reality, are you with me on this? Come on, and it matters, because apathy will cost everyone in your life something.
Like do you remember King David, the man after God’s own heart. If you read the Bible, that do this, it’s full of passion. He kills Goliath, and lions, and bears, and worships, and dances before the Lord, he’s got a childlike heart. And yet even David had some apathy that crept in. In the spring, at the time, when Kings go off to war, he’s supposed to go fight some giants and pioneer. David sent Joab with the king’s men in the whole Israelite army but David remained in Jerusalem. When he’s supposed to be out fighting battles, he stayed home to watch Netflix. One evening he got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace where he’s not even supposed to be, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing. If you remember the rest of the story, she’s a beautiful woman, is married to someone else, he takes her, she gets pregnant, he has her husband killed, and it goes from bad doors.
David the guy with a passionate heart allowed some apathy in there, and he hung back when he was supposed to be moving forward. And so because he stayed back and did the things that everyone else was doing, he was in a place he was never supposed to be, he ended up doing something he was never supposed to do, and it cost everyone in his life something big. Beth, Shiva’s husband was killed, the woman he took, he killed her husband. The baby dies, a lot of his children die, he loses his kingdom, his son rebels and overthrows him. That son gets killed, the whole nation has to be ruled by a dictator. I mean, it goes from bad to worse, all because one man allowed some apathy in his heart. Can I ask you a question? What does the apathy in your heart cost the people in your life? Hey dads, what’s your apathy towards Jesus costing your family? Hey moms, what’s the apathy in your heart causing your family?
Hey students, hey coaches, hey leaders, hey businesspeople, what’s the apathy costing the people in your life? What does the apathy of Jesus’s church at large cost the world? Because if passion is contagious, if it’s a fire that’s supposed to jump from person to person in Jesus name, then if I allow my fire to go out, why on earth what I expect it to ignite in my children or in my spouse or in my friends or in my — the people I hang out with or in the world. Come on, in the spring, when the people of Valley Creek are supposed to be hope carriers, we do not stay back and watch Netflix. We pioneer, we move forward, why, because we’re passionate about God. And so David doesn’t even realize he’s got apathy in his heart, he’s sitting in an environment just like this and a prophet came to him and said, “Hey, David, you lost some ground bro.”
I haven’t lost any ground, I’m actually doing great, I’m the man after God’s own heart remember? So the prophet asks them a bunch of questions, and all the sudden he realizes what happens, he hits his knees and go to the next verse. “And he cries out to God, create a new clean heart within me, fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires ready to please you, let my passion for life be restored in Jesus name.” Come on, there is no passion that’s too far gone that Jesus can’t bring back. You see I got to rip through this really fast, but there’s like three main reasons I think we lose passion in our life. First one is this, we just lose sight of grace. When you lose sight of the grace of God, you will always lose passion, why? Because passion comes from grace. Hype is man motivated man maintained, rah, rah, Yahoo, yu ya, passion is spirit inspired, spirit and sustained. It comes from grace.
And when you forget the grace of Jesus in your life, you will always lose the fire of passion in your heart. Have you lost sight of grace, the forgiveness of Jesus, the redemption of life, the finished work of the cross, what he has done for you that is the fastest way to put your fire out. The second reason we lose grace is apathy of others. Let’s be honest, it’s really hard to be passionate in a world of apathy, isn’t it? Come on, if passion is contagious, guess what, apathy is infectious. It almost spreads even faster than passion. And if you’re here and you’re like, man, it’s so hard, it’s so hard to be a group leader, a serve team member to make disciples. It’s so hard to be the mom in my house that’s the only one who cares about Jesus, or to be the dad in my house and no one else wants to go to church, or to be the person in the office place that’s the only one who believes in Jesus and wants to do the right thing. And everyone else is apathetic, that is the fastest way to put the fire out in your heart.
But guess what, whether they’re apathetic or not, Jesus is still worth your passion in this life. Can I just tell you something? I have struggled with this for years. For years if you’ve been here, you watch me, I give you everything. You have no idea how exhausted I go home most times after this, because I just give you everything. I try to build my fire as high as I can make it, and I hope it gets contagious, and catches something inside of you that you get to go and leave with. And there’s times and there’s seasons where I’ll be giving everything I got trying to let the fire burn and I’m looking at people doing this at me. Okay, that’s okay if you’re doing that to me today, that’s okay. And what ends up happening is I get so discouraged and I think, man, does the gospel even work? Is something happening in this room, is the spirit here, are people’s lives changing?
And then I always have to go on this whole cycle and say, you know what, it doesn’t matter in the end. Because I can’t let your view of God determine my response to him. I can’t let, hang-on, I can’t let your response to God determine my view of him either way. And the same is true with you, you may have a spouse, a friend, a neighbor, a work environment, the person sitting next to you in service, and they may be apathetic, but guess what, in a world of apathy Jesus is still worth your passion. Because when you stand before him, he’s not going to say, hey, tell me how apathetic the other people in your life were. He’s going to say, tell me about your passion for me. And guess what, the darker it is around you, the brighter your fire actually burns.
So as the apathy of others pulling you down, and the third thing is just simply this, distractions. Come on, we just get distracted. We get so distracted by the good things in our lives. When a good thing becomes the main thing, it’s a bad thing. When my side thing, my side business, my side hobby, my side activity, my side desire, that thing, the desires, the good things that God put in my life. When my side thing becomes my main thing, it’s a bad thing. In fact the word sin it just simply means to miss the mark. That’s all it is, it’s like instead of being right on the bullseye, it means you’ve missed the mark. And when we allow a side thing to become a main thing, we’ve missed the mark. We’ve missed something in Jesus name and so the question is, is there some passion in your life that’s burning brighter than your passion for God? If there is, you’ve gotten distracted.
So what do we got to do, we got to get our eyes off of that thing, and we got to get our eyes back on Jesus. And look back to him and let him ignite that passion in me, because when I’m passionate about Jesus, I will know how to steward my passion for everything else. See, we think God wants us to be passionate for him so he can squelch the other things in our life, it’s the opposite. This is why Matthew 6:33 says seek first, his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you. In other words, put God first, let him be the passion of your life and He will give you everything else. And then the great stewardship of your life is to not allow everything else to become the great passion of your life. When I’m passionate about him, he gives me passion for everything else. When I’m a pathetic about him I will have apathy towards everything else. Are you with me on this? Come on, we got to take it back in Jesus name, because sometimes the fire goes doesn’t it? Sometimes it goes out.
And that’s called humility and honesty to just acknowledge. Because if it went out and David, it’s okay that it goes out on us. But what are you going to do about it? This is why Revelation 2, it tells us, “Yet I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love.” He says your fire is going out, the passions gone down, that’s okay, let me help you get back on track. Remember the height from which you are fallen, how passionate you were and where we are now repent change your mind and your behavior and do the things you did at first. This is the key, if the fire goes out and you want to spark it back up, you got to remember, repent, and do the things you did at first. You got to remember what it was like when you used to have that passion with Jesus, when it first started, when you first experienced him. You got to remember, you got to repent, you got to own it and say, “God, I’ve lost some ground, I’ve gotten off-track.” And then do the things you did at first. In other words, think about when you are passionate about God, what did you do then, go back and do those things.
If you served when you used to be passionate about God, start serving again. If you lead when you were passionate about it, start leading again. If you worship, start worshipping; if you gave, start giving; if you read your Bible, start reading. Whatever you did when you can remember being more passionate about God than you are today, go back. He tells us, this is the plan, go back and do the things you did at first. Because obedience starts passion. You can’t make the fire of God fall but you can certainly stack the logs. Come on, I can’t turn the fire on in my heart but I can stack the logs in such a way that I’m expecting this fire to fall. Stop waiting on feelings and start moving forward and faith.
I’m going to stack the logs because the fires gone down. And even if it’s just a little coal, it’s [Blows] And he’ll bring it back. Are you with me? Okay, last thing is this, one day Jesus goes into the temple and there’s a bunch of money changers there and they’re ripping people off and they’re creating a barrier between people and the presence of God trying to sell them sacrifices and all this stuff. And if you ever heard the story, Jesus goes in, he’s mad, and he rips up all the tables, he throws him, he runs them all out. And there’s this fascinating verse in John 2:17 says, “Passion for God’s house will consume me.” He goes in and he gets rid of everything that’s a barrier between people and God. And says passion for God’s house will consume me. Jesus is passionate for God’s house and it’s consuming him. Do you know who God’s house is? It’s you.
God’s house is not a building, or a temple, or a church brick-and-mortar, it’s you. Passion for you consumes him. This is why the next verse says, don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the spirit of passion lives inside of you as a follower of Jesus. You see when we start to understand that he is passionate for us, that starts our passion for him. When I get that he loves me with all his heart, mind and soul and strength. All the sudden their fire turns on inside of me and I can love him with my heart, mind, soul, and strength. And so in Jesus name it’s time to take some passion back. It’s time to break the spirit of apathy and indifference, and say I’m done with that.
Lord let your fire fall by faith not by feeling, and I’m going to start living as if it’s true. And so here’s what we’re going to do, our ushers are going to get up at all our campuses, and they’re going to pass out communion quick. And so ushers you guys can start passing that out and when it gets to you, if you have put your faith in Jesus, I want to invite you to grab it. And if you haven’t, maybe today’s your day, and you’re like man I’ve lived an apathetic life my whole life, it will always be apathetic without Jesus. And so maybe today’s the day that you’re going to put your faith in Him and reach out and take a hold of that. And here’s what I want you to think, what you’re holding in your hands is Jesus’s passion for you. Come on, he was so passionate for you that he was willing to be beaten and persecuted. That he was willing to be stripped down and hung on a cross and broken and poured out because passion for you consumed him.
And he wanted to express his love for you in every way, shape, and form. And what you’re holding in your hands is his passion for you. And when we start to understand what he did for us, it creates within us a passion back for him. You see I would bet a lot of us walked in here today and if we go to the scale for a second, if we’re honest, maybe we’re down here. Just life man, life beats us down sometimes. The fire goes out, the disappointment set in, the desert feels like it goes on forever. Like it doesn’t matter how hard we try or what we do, it doesn’t matter, and we get to this place where we’re just like too tired to care.
And so we try to numb the pain in our hearts and we go hide behind these glass screens, and we look at other people out there living behind our glass screens. And we think, that’s what I’m made for, but I got no idea how to find it. Maybe we find it by reclaiming the passion that’s been lost in Jesus name. Maybe today is the day we say I’m ready to take this thing back. I’ve had enough of it being lost and stolen, I’ve had enough of apathy like termites eating in my heart, I don’t want to grow old in my heart, I want to grow young in my spirit. And God I want you to let the fire fall on me today. You see, no matter where you are on the scale, no matter how down here it is, in Jesus name, guess what, passion still resides within you.
Because if that spirit of God is inside of you, no matter how many layers, it’s hidden beneath, it’s in there. And in Jesus name, we’re calling it to the surface. Passion is in you, in Jesus name, we’re calling it to the surface. You see one last verse for you, Psalm 116, “Because he was so kind and so gracious to me, because of his passion towards me he made everything right and he restored me again.” Come on, in Jesus name he wants to restore the fire in your soul again. So you do this with me, stand up, wherever you are, whatever campus you’re at, hold what you got in your hands. Come on, because part of this series is responding in faith, having an encounter with God. Sometimes we get so woe is me about communion, no, no this is passion for you that consumes him.
This is joy, this is celebration, we are breaking the spirit of apathy in Jesus name by partaking in this. You see this is Jesus’s broken body, and because he was so passionate for you it was broken. So in Jesus name, come on, this is faith right now, in Jesus name, lift it up like you actually believe. Come on, in Jesus name, say I receive his passion for me. We say that together. I receive his passion for me. Come on, say it like you believe it. I receive his passion for me. Come on receive it in Jesus name. And then this is the blood of the covenant, this is Jesus’s blood poured out. And not only is he passionate for you but because he’s put passion inside of you, this is now your passion back to him. So in Jesus name, let’s let the fire be turned on.
Let’s break the spirit of apathy in Jesus name. Let’s break off indifference in Jesus name. And let’s let the fire flow and let us live a little bit more of the life that we were called to live. Let’s reclaim in Jesus name. So Jesus right now in your name, we declare that you are passionate for us and we ask you to restart the passion in our lives for you. May today not be about feelings, may it be about faith, we stack the logs and we say come Holy Spirit come, bring a new fire, a new love, a new passion into our souls that we may move to a new place with you and in this life, in Jesus name, we reclaim it, amen.