Today’s message of April 9, 2017 from Melvin Gaines:
There are plenty of messages that reach out to those who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. I sense that there is a great need, however, to encourage believers to get better and stronger in their own faith. It is too often that believers in Jesus Christ have poor growth and development, or even irregular or inconsistent growth spurts that may build up in one area but remain inadequate in others. If we can show and help people, including non-believers, to see that being a believer in Jesus Christ is attractive and an admirable attribute, then we can leave it up to the Holy Spirit to prick the hearts, minds and souls of those who are on the fence to get off and declare Christ as Lord in their lives.
This past weekend, we explored how believers can take the necessary steps to live for Jesus Christ with PASSION. It involved self-examination and self-evaluation, and it gives recognition that you are a special creation in God’s eyes—He knew of you and all about you before you were even conceived—and that you have your own uniqueness with God-given talents, gifts and abilities. When you recognize your true purpose in Jesus Christ, you are on your way to serving Him and glorifying Him with your greatest potential being realized! He wants you to be successful in your efforts to move people to see the grace and glory of Christ in everything you do! This PASSION is the realization that you are truly living according to His purpose, and you are unstoppable! Satan can try to slow you down, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, He sustains you, protects you, and gives you the ability to overcome adversity and shine before others.
So what is this PASSION? It is the realization of a fulfilling life in Christ. It is the ongoing effort to be the best that you can be in Christ. He wants you to grow and learn through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. All of this, however, begins with you:
Your desire to live for Christ.
Your desire to learn more about Christ and your relationship with Him.
Your desire to get involved in this thing called the Great Commission, and even if it means doing things outside of the box or challenging yourself to move out of your comfort zone at the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Passion describes the height of emotion, and it reflects a powerful emotional connection to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit facilitates this connection with encouragement, reinforcement and guidance. A passion-filled believer serves Jesus Christ with the confidence of one who knows who he or she is in Christ, and is readily available. When Isaiah received the call and prompting from the Lord, his response was “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). A passion-filled believer accepts the call and goes forth to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Do you have the passion for Jesus Christ that He really desires for you to have? If you are confident in your abilities and are aware of the talents and gifts that God has given you, then you are certainly on your way. If you lack the drive and energy that it takes to truly shine before others as you live your ministry, consider that you can find this passion if you truly seek the Lord and consider the following requisites of being a passion-filled believer.
The P in PASSION represents principled.
Principled believers adhere to a lifestyle that honors God and keeps His commands.
They rely upon the wisdom and words of God for daily living.
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
The A in PASSION represents the abundant life.
The ultimate goal of every person, believer or not, is to live an abundant life. A life of abundance has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with living in Christ’s power and energy as you serve him each and every day, and the joy that you experience knowing that you are living life to the fullest for Him!
John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
What is the abundant life? It depends on how you look at it. The non-believer, or even some believers, may associate abundance with wealth or riches. That is not God’s definition of abundance. He wants you to have a life that overflows with God’s presence in every aspect of your existence. He wants you to experience the completeness of life according to His will and purpose for you. The effect of an abundant life will be the blessings of life that God will show you because of your faithfulness to Him.
When you get right down to it, the only thing that keep us from living the abundant life is our lack of faith in the power of Jesus Christ over the enemy. The enemy is Satan, who is described in John 10:10 as the one who seeks to kill and destroy, but God’s power and ability overcomes anything and everything that Satan can do. The key to living the abundant life is to resist Satan and to seek and remain in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.
James 4:7 NIV
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
You are worth so much more in your relationship with Jesus Christ! In order to experience the abundant life, you will have to throw caution to the wind and life a life of faithfulness in trusting the words of Jesus Christ. He wants so much more for you! A passion-filled believer lives with purpose, and experiences the abundant life in Christ!
The first S in PASSION represents Spirit-filled.
The true abundant life can only be achieved by the believer in Jesus Christ. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the catalyst that enables you to achieve this abundance and live a passion-filled existence!
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is instantaneous upon accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life, but the Spirit does not turn the believer into a mind-numbed robot. You have to allow the Spirit to be in control in order to offset your own fleshly nature.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Being Spirit-filled means successful living in reverence and service for Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The Holy Spirit teaches believers how to live a Christlike existence, and His lessons are invaluable as He sanctifies with His presence.
Being Spirit-filled gives you the ability to live a life a passion for Jesus Christ:
Colossians 3:12-17 HCSB
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The second S in PASSION stands for sanctified.
The Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer is a sanctifying presence. Sanctification is the combination of the believer’s growth in the likeness of Christ. It is the accumulation and application of God’s wisdom and knowledge from none other than Jesus Christ, who A. B. Simpson refers to as “The Sanctifier.” Jesus Christ proclaimed that the Holy Spirit is the One who will teach and remind believers of the words of Jesus Christ.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit works within you from the moment of your conversion in recognition that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. It is best described as an ongoing cleansing process as you put off the old and grow in your new life in Jesus Christ.
Sanctification is what God desires for your life. You cannot live a life of passion in Christ without sanctification, because it is the essence of an obedient lifestyle.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 NIV
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Sanctification does not mean a life of perfection, but it does mean that you desire to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). It means that the believer desires a greater faith walk and a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, and both of these requires a humble, teachable role within the presence of the Spirit.
The I in PASSION represents being an influencer.
Sharing your faith, in the leading of the Holy Spirit, is influential. The words spoken are given with conviction and in righteousness to those who hear them. A passion-filled believer is speaking in accord with the will of God, who desires for every person to enter into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 HCSB
This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
There is a difference between an influencer and a coercer. An influencer shows the love of Christ in their speech to others. One who coerces is not really allowing the Spirit to work in the life of the hearer. The words spoken are to reflect the love and concern of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
An influencer provides words of wisdom and knowledge about not just the gospel, but everything that is beneficial.
Proverbs 9:9 ESV
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
The O in PASSION represents being obedient to God and His Word.
Being obedient to God means loving Him with all of your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37), and it includes an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
1 John 5:3 ESV
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Loving God and obedience to Him are synonymous. You cannot do one without the other. A passion-filled believer strives to live in faithfulness and trust in the Word each day.
And finally, the N in PASSION represents being a new creation in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ’s sanctifying power through the Holy Spirit transforms you as a new creation each day. Your actions of reading, studying, meditating on His Word and living out a faithful life in Jesus Christ is a constant life transition that will also show the growth and development as a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 HCSB
From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
This ongoing “newness” in Jesus Christ is an ongoing development. Our challenge is to remain close to Him, and in our closeness, obedience and service to Him, He will continue to renew us as we strive for holiness. He continues to provide us with the ability to resist sin and those things that block our ongoing transformation to a place of freedom and righteousness in His name. We are being made new every day in Jesus Christ! A passion-filled believer puts nothing above the importance of fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Obedient to God and His Word.
Each of these requisites will lead to a believer truly living a passion-filled, abundant life in service for Jesus Christ. If you are ready to take your relationship with Jesus Christ to the next level, He only wants you to take steps of faith towards Him, and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit will continue to work in you and sanctify you in your efforts to serve Him. He will affirm you with blessings and enable you to endure any opposition. You will become a positive influence before others as a light in a dark world, and an encourager to those who need it most. As the Holy Spirit fills and sanctifies you, it is only a matter of time before you can live a passion-filled life in Jesus Christ!
Copyright © Melvin Gaines