John 2 – True Passion

Leonardo da Vinci once said; “Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.”

To do anything without passion is nothing more than a chore, including serving Christ.

In John chapter 2 we read where Christ showed the perfect example of passion for His Father’s house and His love for His Father’s house when, in the face of nothing but opposition, He overturned those doing business in the temple. Jesus stood for what He loved and believed in when no one else stood by Him. I’ve heard it said that “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

The Jews practiced their religion but didn’t love what they believed in. What they loved was making money, looking important, and being in charge. Their zeal was for worldly things, not heavenly. A person’s true passion eventually will always reveal itself if you’re around a person long enough. Even Jesus said, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There are far too many people in the church today calling themselves Christians while displaying a passion for worldly things. Jesus said,“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and possessions.”
 
I’ve heard people defending wealth as a Christian by saying, “God never said a Christian couldn’t be rich.” Although that is a true statement, the argument reveals the desire. In other words, a Christian who has wealth, yet has a true heart towards serving the LORD isn’t going to boast about their wealth or defend having it. What they will do is quietly seek the LORD on how to be faithful with it. They won’t display a heart that is inclined to accumulating possessions.

Often times people in the church will talk about God or Jesus when it’s convenient but will gladly talk about the things they own or want to own whenever they have the opportunity. Here’s a good self-check for each person in the Church to evaluate themselves by; What do you talk about or think about the most? If your thoughts are consumed with the next best thing, your bank account, 401K, position at work, or whether or not what you’re wearing or driving will impress someone else, then you may want to ask God to help redirect your zeal towards Him. If your passion (the very thing that motivates and drives you each day) isn’t for Christ, then it’s for something else.

Jesus said in Luke chapter 14,“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” The point of the message was this; count the cost of what being a follower of Jesus really means before vowing to commit. The church in Laodicea got slam dunked by Christ when He told them, “you are neither cold nor hot… So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
They had a zeal, but it was for worldly things, not for God.

Do you have a zeal for God or is your passion for things? Will you stand for Jesus above all else in this world? Does your passion towards God, Jesus, and His word consume you like it did Jesus? It should. There’s no place for God if He’s only second best in your life. He can’t be tied with anything either. One of the greatest Psalms is Psalm 119 when it comes to having a zeal for God. It repeatedly speaks about the Psalmist’s passion towards God and His word. If you want help in redirecting your heart and zeal towards God I suggest you take some time to meditate on this Psalm. It’s only through God’s word that we gain the perspective we need on what’s truly important in this life.

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” – Psalm 119: 33-36