People in our world today are very passionate about different things in their life. There are sports fans who are passionate about their favorite sports team wanting to see them win over the opposing team. These fans will also wear their team’s jersey or even go so far in painting parts of their body the team colors. However, what I have also seen is fans of sports teams is to allow their passion for their teams to be become misguided in hurtful ways. A group of fans maybe in the stands harassing the person in the next row because he is wearing the opposing team’s laundry. The combination of these men being ultra-competitive and having too much alcohol can cause an unnecessary confrontation and the person wearing the opposing team’s jersey assaulted and hospitalized.
However, there are other positive ways we see people demonstrate their passion for the things that they love in our society. We see people’s passion demonstrated when they come together to celebrate important events to raise awareness for a social issue or to find a cure for an incurable disease. Some of these events have been like marches to let people know that not only do black lives matter but all lives should matter to us all. The passion of people is also made known when people raise awareness to find a cure for cancer which has affected so many men, women, and children. The question that I would like to ask you today is what do you have a passion for in this life. Is that passion something temporary in this world or is your passion something that the Lord has birth on the inside of you? These questions about passion are something we should try to have answered by the help of the Lord. If we fail to understand what we have a passion for the cold winds of life can blow out our fire of passion. The three most important things we should have a passion for I believe in having a passion for the Presence of the Lord. We should also have a passion for God’s word and we should have a passion for lost souls.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures (Luke 24:32)?
A Passion for His Presence
The record of the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus is one of the many eyewitnesses that Jesus had risen from the grave. The disciples in which one of them was named Cleopas were both talking with one another about the things that happen in the last few days. As the two of them talked a man began to walk along with them who was Jesus. However, because they were so focused on the recent events, I believed their eyes were restrained from knowing that the Lord was walking with them. The man listened to their conversation and observed their emotional state which clearly showed they were both sad. Their response to the man was asking Him was he a stranger in Jerusalem and how is it that he did not know what had happened to Jesus of Nazareth. The two men shared that Jesus had been turned over by the religious rulers to be condemned to death. All of His disciples had believed that He would be the one to redeem Israel from their oppressors, however, He had been put to death. When the women of their company came early in the morning to bring spices to the tomb, His body could not be found and the disciples were too slow to believe that the Lord had risen from the grave (Luke 24:1-24).
As men in Christ, I believe it is important that we have a passion for the Presence of the Lord. Here Jesus was walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus in His resurrected body, but because they were so focused on all the terrible events which had to Jesus they did not recognize Him. The word of God does not tell us why the Lord permitted the disciple’s eyes to be restrained from recognizing Him, however, they had taken their focus off of His promises to them. In Matthew 16:21, Jesus told His disciples that “Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day”. Sometimes in life, we go through adversities that are filled with intense pressure which causes us lose our focus and passion for God. When the Holy Spirit reveals this to us we have to ask Him “to restore the joy of our salvation” because our joy or passion cannot be sustained by things it can only be sustained by Him. Our passion in this life has to be for the Presence of the Lord, because “in His presence is the fullness of joy and at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11 and Psalms 51:12).
A Passion for the Word of God
In response to what the two disciples had told the man traveling with them, Jesus began to explain how He would “suffer at the hands of men but would also enter into His glory”. He also shared with them how the word of God confirmed from “the beginning of Moses, all of the Prophets and other scriptures” which spoke of the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah. I believe some of the scriptures in the beginning of Moses that Jesus may had shared would have pointed to the Old Testament sacrificial systems and the symbols and types which pointed to the suffering and death of the Messiah. He may have also pointed the disciples to the major prophetic passages which spoke about the crucifixion of Jesus which could be found in such passages like Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53:12, and Zechariah 12:10 and 13:7. As Jesus shared the word of God with the disciples their hearts would begin to burn within them with fire and passion.
It is the word of God that is able to cause the fire and passion of God to burn within us again. The word of God says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. There is a part of us that we keep hidden from others because we do not want to let them to get to close to us so we keep them at a distance with our smile. When our dreams have broken by discouragement, we have to remember that the word of God can resurrect in us the passion to get back in the fight because “greater is He, that is in us, then he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). When we become disappointed by people or even disappointed with ourselves, the Lord can reignite in us to have a heart of forgiveness for others and to forgive ourselves. When we have experienced delay on several occasions, the word of God can revive in us the conviction that the delay we have dealt with is not God’s denial.
A Passion for the Lost
As the hour grew late, the two disciples encouraged the man to stay with them and to break bread with them and to continue his journey the next day. As they all sat down to share a meal together, the man lifted up the bread and gave thanks to the Lord for it. In the midst of Jesus doing this, the two disciple’s eyes opened and they recognized that the man they had been with them was the Lord. As the disciples came to the realization that they were in the presence of the Lord, the Lord vanished from their presence. The two disciples immediately then left and went and told their company and the eleven disciples that they had seen the Lord. The disciples who had earlier been traveling on the road to Emmaus had now been armed with the message that the resurrection of Jesus was real.
Since the foundation of time God’s heart has been to see all men reconciled back onto Himself. It is not His will for any man to perish but to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus and to accept the gift of eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). The Lord has created us as free moral agent and He has given us the freedom of choice to either accept His Son or to reject Him. Our responsibility when we become born again is to take the message that Jesus is alive and share it with those that are dying in their sins. We have to go after them with a passion like the woman in the parable of the lost coin who kept looking for her coin until she found it. The woman shone her light and swept throughout her house until she found her coin. The same passion that God had for us to be rescued from hell and the grave, He wants us to introduce men to Christ so that their hearts can be changed and restore by His grace (Luke 15:8-10).