Listen to a Sermon on Spiritual Passion
Renewing Spiritual Passion
Spiritual passion is essential for anyone who desires to experience a vital relationship with the Lord. We are to “hunger and thirst” for righteousness, we are to “keep up our spiritual passion” as we serve the Lord.
Jesus takes issue with the church in Ephesus because they lost their first love (see The Revelation 2:1-5). In other words, they had lost their passion to love and serve the Lord. That can happen in our lives. Sometimes difficult times cause us to lose our joy and sometimes good times can cause us to lose our focus. We drift, we get discouraged, we get distracted.
In expressing his concerns to the church in Ephesus, Jesus calls them to restore and renew their spiritual passion by offering a three-part prescription: Remember, Repent, and Do what you used to do.
Remembering what our Lord has done for us helps renew and restore our passion. We need to remember those moments in our lives when God did great things for us, remember those “spiritual mountaintop” experiences when we were swept up in joy and gratitude, remember those times when God provided just what we needed, just when we needed it. The command to “remember” is one of the most often repeated commands in scripture because remembering who we are, whose we are, and what our Lord has done for us is a key to renewing our passion.
To repent means “to turn in a new direction” or “change your attitude.” The idea here is to recognize that you are not headed down the right path and you turn towards God. To repent means to acknowledge that you are drifting (or perhaps even running) from God, and to turn back towards the Lord who offers forgiveness and new life. This also renews our passion.
Then finally, passion is restored and renewed when we do the things we used to do when the passion was strong. Spiritual passion is like a fire, but the fire must be fueled. The spiritual disciplines of worship, meditation on scripture, prayer, service, solitude and fellowship can help us keep the fire burning. If you feel like your passion for the Lord has diminished, ask yourself, “what am I not doing to keep the spiritual flame burning?” Like any relationship, our relationship with the Lord requires an investment of time, effort and energy. That’s what love requires, and that’s what fuels our passion.
As the new year begins, let’s make a commitment to keep our spiritual passion burning strong for our Lord. We don’t want to lose the love we had at first, but if we do, it’s time to remember, repent and do what we used to do to keep the flame alive!
Pastor Mark Miller