Humans are passionate creatures. Despite what you may have heard, men, too, are passionate. But what are we passionate about?
Some men are passionate about sports. Have you seen fans at football games with their faces and bodies painted to match their favorite team? Did you know the word “fan” was short for “fanatic”? Men can be passionate! Ever known a real NASCAR fan? Passionate! Deer hunters? Passionate! Fishermen? Passionate! Some men are passionate over their golf game. Some men are passionate over their job. Men can and do spend a lot of time and money pursuing their passions.
I’m not saying these things are wrong, but the prophet Isaiah said, “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not?” (Isaiah 55:2). Passion is an investment, it’s a resource. Are we using it wisely? Are we good stewards of our passion? (I’ve heard lots of sermons on stewardship, but can’t recall any mention of passion.) If we’re not careful, our passion can get misplaced, misused, and misspent!
Think about what you talk about when you get together with your friends, or people you work with, especially those who don’t know Jesus. If you had watched a great football game over the weekend that went into overtime and ended with some dramatic play, would you talk about it? If you had downed a big buck from your tree stand on a foggy Saturday morning, would you talk about it? If you'd made a great shot from the rough on the 18th hole, would you talk about it? If you’d just watched a terrific movie at the theater, would you talk about it? What are you passionate about?
Have you told your unsaved friends and family members about what God is doing in your life? Have you talked to your coworkers about the move of God happening in your church? What are you passionate about?
Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37).
Am I saying its wrong to talk about our hobbies and the things which interest us? No, I’m just asking, where is the passion for Jesus? Where is the passion for His church? His people? For reaching the lost? I tell you, Satan is passionate about his work! He’s not middle-of-the-road. He’s not straddling a fence trying to keep one foot in heaven and one foot in hell – he’s chosen his way! He’s committed! He’s passionate! And he wants you, your friends, and your family, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get them. Are we as passionate about God’s work? What will it take to get us to get out of the middle of the road? To come down off the fence? To commit to the Kingdom of God and His work? We cannot continue to sit idly by while the world goes to hell around us.
I know we sometimes worry – what will people think? If I start talking to my buddies about Jesus they’re going to think I’m some kind of nut, and pretty soon I won’t have any friends. Maybe so. But if that happens you’ll be in good company. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) The prophet Jeremiah said, “O Lord, you ÿinduced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am ÿin derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not. For I heard many mocking: “Fear on every side!” “Report,” they say, “and we will report it!” All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, “Perhaps he can be induced; then we will prevail against him, and we will take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 20:7-11) The passion was there even in the midst of rejection and ridicule. What are you passionate about?
I believe we are in the end times; the era leading up to the rapture of the church and the second coming of Jesus. I don’t even have to take you to the scriptures for evidence of it, just go down to the service station and read the covers of the newspapers and magazines there! But even if I’m wrong, there is no arguing that we are living in a world in desperate need of Jesus. We are living in a world where compromise has replaced conviction and popularity has replaced principle. And from many church pulpits, entertainment has replaced truth, and a prosperity gospel has replaced calls for repentance. Do you know there are more people living in the world today than all who have gone before us? There are more lost souls in the world today than ever in history. Brothers, it is time. If you are waiting for a sign, it is now. This country, this world, is headed down a dark road. It’s time again for men to be men. Its time for us to make what we say line up with what we do. Get out of the middle of the road. Get off the fence. Come down on the side of Jesus.
Take the church to someone this week – you’ll both benefit!(originally presented July 11, 2009, at Lakeview Church of God, Columbia, MS)
© 2009 Randall Buchanan
King’s Invitation Ministries
P.O. Box 501
Foxworth MS 39483