In my previous post (see “Think on These Things, Part 1”) we discussed the importance of what we allowed into our minds. I’d like to continue that discussion today. If you recall, we focused our attention on Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (HCSB). So what does this look like as we apply it in our daily lives?
I think we all recognize the importance of the food we allow to enter into our bodies. If we eat a lot of sweets or fried and unhealthy foods, we’re going to be fat, lazy and sick. When we eat healthy fruits and vegetables while limiting our intake of the less healthy stuff, we will be reasonably trim, energetic and healthy. Whether we choose to eat the right foods or not is an issue unto itself, but my point is we all understand at an intellectual level what we should eat and the consequences of not doing so. Yet when it comes to what we feed our minds, we seem to be much more reckless and perhaps even unaware of the consequences.
As you go throughout your days, are you pursuing a life of holiness? Are you consciously striving to be the person God created you to be, a person who is consumed by the love of Jesus? This isn’t a new concept, but it has been brought to my mind in fresh ways through recent teachings by Bill Hybels and David Platt. Not only has God placed a unique combination of passions and skills in each of us in order that we might do the work He created us to do, but He has also charged us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to Him (Philippians 1:27).
When you decided to commit your life to Christ, this was a choice you determined to make. No one can do this for you; following Jesus is a personal commitment and a personal decision. For many, this is the only choice they will make. In reality, we must choose repeatedly throughout our lives to follow Him. Being a disciple is not a one and done kind of deal. We choose to commit our lives to Him, and then we must spend the rest of our lives choosing to follow Him. When the rubber meets the road, many choose to take the off ramp. Making a onetime decision is easy; a lifetime commitment is something exponentially more.
What does it mean to live with passion for the sake of Jesus Christ? Those of us who seek to follow Him would probably agree that it is our desire to live a life full of passion, a life fully alive in Him. In practice, however, our resolve can wane and we end up swept away by the tides of life.
As long as we are focused on ourselves, we will never come to terms with what it means to live a life of devotion. To experience the life of joy found only in Christ, our focus must be on Him and Him alone. [Read more…] about Living with Passion