In this past weekend’s message, the Apostle Paul challenged us with his passion for gospel ministry. He wrote in 9:15 that “he would rather die than….” The sentence’s silent ending speaks eloquently of his zeal and earnestness for the gospel. I concluded that, “The world is dying for something to believe in and the gospel of Jesus Christ is so massive and beautiful, that when we claim to believe it but have no passion, their conclusion is that it must not be true.”
How can we increase our personal passion for God? Here are some suggestions:
Think daily and deeply about the gospel
Nothing stirs the heart more than deep meditation on my utter helplessness before God, His grace, Christ’s love, and the gift of eternal life. The gospel is a fountain of passion when rightly understood in the head and in the heart.
Get around passionate Christians
A plain truth is that we are spiritually influenced by the people with whom we spend time. I find it immensely helpful to my spiritual walk to spend time with people whose fervor, love, and joy in God is greater than my own. It rubs off on me and I am better for my time with them. Who could you intentionally ask to lunch, coffee, worship with at church, go camping, join their small group, or invite over for the express purpose of their spiritual flame heating your heart?
Read about passionate Christians
Christian biography ought to be a regular part of your reading/devotional schedule. I find that reading about Spurgeon, Eric Little, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Moody, and many others stokes the embers of passion in my heart. I want to be like them! There are some helpful biographies of passionate Christians available in the bookstore.
Regularly Meditate about Hell
There is no more sobering reality than eternity without God in conscious punishment. The glimpses we get from Scripture (Lk. 16:23, Matt. 25:41, Rev. 20:15) will ignite soberness and energy toward the gospel that saves us from such a place. Hell creates urgency for ministry and for others in our lives.
Ask God for it
In our seasons of spiritual dryness, cry out like the Psalmist for God to animate our cold hearts. God wants us to be passionate! When we pray for his help, we are praying according to his will.
On the journey with you,
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2009 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.