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May 2, 2016

 Passion Flower

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:

(1) Fulfill The Great Commitment - Humbly pray for my neighbor
(2) Fulfill The Great Commandment - Lovingly care for my neighbor
(3) Fulfill The Great Commission - Verbally share with my neighbor
 
The Great Commission should be our Everyday Commission. If we are living out what our Lord desires and what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives, we can’t help but share the Good News with others. The Holy Spirit took up residence in our hearts when we became followers of Christ. He grants us the love, courage and the boldness needed to share God’s love with a needy and dying world.
 
Why do some believers share their faith and others don’t? Is it a lack of passion for the Lord, conviction of the gospel or the fear of man? Maybe it’s the result of not being filled with or led by the Spirit. Spirit filled believers are deeply aware of the TRUTH that saves from death and provides life (John 14:6).  They have a true passion for Christ and for lost souls.
 
Ask yourself:
 
Do I have a passion for Christ and for lost souls? If we don’t have a passion for Christ, we won’t have a passion for the lost.

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.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
 

Think on these words from two hymns written in the late 1800’s:

There are lives that may be brightened by a word of hope and cheer,
There are souls with whom life’s blessings I should share;
There are hearts that may be lightened of the burdens which they bear;
Let me take the blessed hope of the gospel there.

                              Elisha A. Hoffman

‘Tis the Church’s Great Commission, ‘Tis the Masters last command;
Christ has died for every creature, Tell it out in every land.
Go and tell them, go and tell them Jesus died for sinful men;
Go and tell them, go and tell them He is coming back again.

                             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. 

Dave Signature

Dave Dagwell,
Assistant to the President