May 2, 2016
THE PASSION FLOWER
While visiting the Biltmore Estate and their beautiful gardens, I took several pictures, one being a passion flower. The passion flower was discovered in Peru in 1596 by Spanish explorers. They believed the flower symbolized Christ’s passion. PASSION FLOWERS are known for their sweet smelling fragrance. When added to other ingredients, their fruit enhance the flavor. When ingested, it promotes healthy bodies and has a calming effect on one’s nervous system.
Likewise, PASSIONATE BELIEVERS are the “sweet fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). Their passion for Christ is demonstrated by living each day with a burning desire to honor God. They love Him, spend time in His Word, are sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, love others and tell them about Him. Their passion involves desire, enthusiasm, great challenge, discipline, risk, rejection (Luke 10:16} and sometimes suffering (Philippians 1:29).
God provided us with an Operating Manual composed of 66 Love Letters. In it, we find three keys for operating passionately, effectively and successfully in our spheres of influence:
Those who have a passion for Christ desire to bring glory to God by trusting in His Word, submitting to the Spirit, loving the lost and looking for opportunities to share the Good News with them. If we love someone, we will be concerned about their spiritual condition. We will share because we love.
What raises your passion dial: money, position, prestige, sports, hobbies, entertainment or vacations? Life is full of seemingly endless options that compete for our time and attention and can diminish our passion for Christ. Only God’s Spirit can call us out of hesitancy or complacency and empower us to engage the lost and help change the eternal destinies of their thirsty souls.
Let’s look for opportunities to awaken the longing in the hearts of those we encounter and share the truth that Jesus is more satisfying than anything the world has to offer. If needed, make a passion-shift and begin sharing Christ’s love with those in your centers of influence.
Think on these words from two hymns written in the late 1800’s:
Elisha A. Hoffman
Albert B. Simpson
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:3-4). We serve a passionate Lord and He honors those who passionately pursue His desires.
PRAYER: Father, restore to me the joy and passion of my salvation so that Christ is seen in me. Set my heart on being the fragrant aroma of Christ, no longer content to be silent about your great love for my perishing neighbors.