Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
Paul's Powerful Priorities (Part 5)
But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always.
Galatians 4:18 (NKJV)
These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My Mouth... Therefore be zealous and repent.'
Revelation 3:14-16,19 (NKJV)*
Clearly, Paul was a man of passion. He felt deeply. Before he met Jesus, Paul was a passionate prosecutor of Christians: 'Advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries... being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers' (Galatians 1:14).
After he met Jesus, Paul became His most ardent apostle: 'I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe' (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Paul was passionately angry with a self-righteous priest: 'God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!' (Acts 23:3). But also a duty-departing saint: 'The contention became so sharp that they parted from one another' (Acts 15:39).
Paul was passionately interested in the welfare of his brethren: 'I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you' (2 Corinthians 2:4).
Ultimately, Paul was passionately prepared to give God his all: 'For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus' (Acts 21:13). And so he did. And so must we.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Passion is nothing more and nothing less than whole-heartedness, a quality demanded not only by God, but also by the entertainment industry. If you're not all in, both the King of kings and the kings of media will spit you out.*
I understand second-guessing and looking back, because I am tempted. But consider Lot's wife.** Therefore, we must keep our eyes on our Destination, with full-screen excitement and sold-out hearts. 'One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:13-14).
'For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the Gift of God' (2 Timothy 1:6), which is pure Passion: the Holy Spirit of God.
To Be Continued...
* Jesus' Letter to the Lukewarm Church in Laodicea: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=rev+3%3A14-22&version=NKJV
** Consider also the cost of discipleship in the Words of Jesus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+9:57-62
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.