“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev 3:19
“…zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14
Would you consider yourself a passionate person? One definition of passion is, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”; some synonyms for passion are: fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, and zeal. Passion is a good thing when its object is a good thing.
My husband is a very passionate man. He is passionate about many things: sailing, wood, his work, his children, his grandchildren, his wife (that’s me :)), but mostly he is passionate about His God, and teaching God’s Word. We can be enthusiastic about lots of things, and they can all be good, in fact you can tell where a person’s main passion is directed by the fruit that result from their lives. For example, if I get enthusiastic about a hobby, that is passion and it is okay. But if I neglect my family, or get angry because I cannot spend the time on my hobby that I would like, and then say or do something to hurt someone else as a result of that anger, then the fruit of that passion is rotten. However, if, like my husband, I am passionate about God’s Word, and I teach it with zeal and enthusiasm, and people’s lives are changed for the better because of that teaching – well, then “the proof is in the pudding”, the fruit is good!
The great Apostle Paul was a passionate man, in Acts 22:3-4 Paul says that he “…was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” Now that zeal was misdirected out of ignorance, before he was saved he thought he was doing God’s will by persecuting Christians, but once the Lord got a hold of him on the road to Damascus and he accepted Christ as his Saviour, Paul became zealous about the right things. He, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, preached the gospel to thousands of people, both Jews and Gentiles, he authored most of the New Testament and he was a major impetus behind the early Church which “turned the world upside down.”
Then there’s David, a man whom God called, “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22), was also a passionate man, in the book of Psalms, he shared his complete trust and submission to the Lord whom he loved. But when misdirected to his own lusts, that passion caused him to commit adultery and then add to that sin by arranging the murder of the woman’s husband (2 Samuel 11).
God used the passion of Samson to obtain many victories over His people’s enemies (Judges 13-15), but Samson’s passion got him into trouble with that notorious woman Delilah, who betrayed him and caused his demise (Judges 16).
Peter, one of my favorite apostles, was known to be a passionate man, his zeal caused him to cut off someone’s ear (John 18:10), nearly drown (Matthew 14:29-31), and then vehemently deny his Lord (Matthew 26:69-74). But once the Holy Spirit got a hold of him, Peter became a great man, a man who passionately served God and preached the gospel, whose very shadow was enough to heal people (Acts 5:15).
So passion can be good or bad depending on the object of that passion. When our passion is directed at serving and obeying the Lord, there will be abundant fruit, but when our passion is bent on serving ourselves and obeying our own lusts, we get into trouble!
The last week of our Lord Jesus’ life on this earth is often called the “Passion Week” – it began with Palm Sunday when the people praised Him shouting “Hosanna!”; the turning of the tables again in the Temple, the last supper with His disciples, His passionate prayer in the garden, His trial, crucifixion, death, and burial, and then His glorious resurrection! It is when Jesus showed His absolute love for us by allowing Himself to be sacrificed for our sins – that was perfect fruit from perfect passion. As Passion week begins, let us remember Jesus’ great love for us, the reason that He came, and the reason that He died, and let’s share that love with others. “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)
~ Graced and Grateful Grammy
~Your passion’s object will determine it’s fruit ~