Sunday Recap for October 17, 2010

We had a few folks out of town today, but also some new faces and a good time together. I talked about what happens when you lose your passion. Most of us were excited about the things of God when we first began to follow Jesus, but it seems for all of us, that at one point or another that excitement, that passion, wanes. How are we to think about this and what has to happen for the passion to return? We looked at Colossians 3 to give us instruction on this issue. I talked from the text how sometimes discipline will keep you where your passion has brought you. Verse 1 tells us to set our hearts on things above. When the excitement fades, it is crucial to remember that Christianity is fundamentally a religion of the heart. Even when following Jesus is exciting, we are to focus our minds and hearts on heavenly things, not earthly things.  Focusing our hearts and minds on the things of God and the excitement will return in time.  Secondly, sometimes correction will keep you where passion has brought you. Paul continues in verses 5-10 describing behavior that has no place in the life of a follower of Christ. These things are contrary to the Gospel. He talks about sexual sin and monetary sin in the same place and equates both with idolatry. Idolatry is when we have an inordinate or misplaced desire, a focus upon earthly things, not upon God.  Most of us have no problem recognizing pornography or adultery as contrary to the Gospel and glory of God, but we have a way of justifying our stinginess rather than being generous. Jesus spoke extensively about money and we can either worship God with the way we handle it, or worship money and deny God with the way we handle it.  When our behavior regarding sexuality, finances, or attitude are opposed to the Gospel, God will bring correction to us. But this correction is good for us because it returns us to a place where we can bring him glory and bring value to his Kingdom. When correction works its purpose within us, our passion returns.  Lastly, sometimes other people keep us where passion has brought us.  I have a fire pit on my deck that I enjoy sitting beside on cool evenings or roasting marshmallows on with my family. If I take one of the embers and move it away from the others, its heat diminishes quickly. There is a similar principle for those of us who follow Christ. There is an element of community that is inherent to living out the Gospel in our lives. When we neglect that, our passion and excitement cool.  We need the community of believers to keep excited about the things of God.  You cannot practice forgiveness alone, you need community. You cannot practice kindness alone. Love is quite limited when you are alone. We need the church if we are to apply the Gospel to our lives.  Being around others who are passionate about Jesus and excited about the things of God will help your passion return.

There may be other things that are helpful to restoring your passion for the things of God. But focusing on heavenly things, removing sinful practices from your life, and participation in the community of believers is certainly a great place to start.

You can hear the sermon on podcast in a few days here.


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