Journey Through The Bible Hero

FEBRUARY 26, 2021 DEVOTION

Leviticus 19:1 – 20:21, Mark 8:11-38, Psalm 42:1-11, Proverbs 10:17

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before Him?” Psalm 42:1-2

For the most part, passion is a wonderful emotion and experience in life. Although there are certainly ungodly passions that we are to guard against and reject from our lives, being passionate about that which is good and godly should be a characteristic of each of our lives. Too often, however, this is where many Christians stumble.

We oftentimes fail and fall even when we are concerned about prioritizing our lives around God and His agenda for our lives, and even when we are concerned about purging ungodliness from our lives. Our failure is oftentimes a result of not having all the passion we need to prioritize and pursue the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).

Question – “Who and what are you passionate about?” We are all passionate about someone or something. We may be passionate about our marriage partner (or the one we are pursuing for marriage) – or our family members. We may be passionate about our vocation, or about some sort of hobby or activity. Many people are passionate about pursuing wealth, recognition or even pleasure in their lives. Have you ever wondered, however, why it’s sometimes difficult to be as passionate about the Lord and living for Him as it is about other relationships, activities or even pleasures in our lives?

I think it’s because the Lord is not as “tangible” to us as the people we can hold or hear from, possessions we can see, and pleasures we can pursue. At the same time, I have discovered that even when I can’t see or hear from my family members, I am moved to emotion and passion for them by remembering who they are to me, remembering what they have done for me or meant to me and by looking at pictures of them or reading cards or letters from them. In other words, I can still be passionate about those closest to me even when they are not “tangibly” around my life because of my memories of them, experiences with them, and because of the feelings and emotions I’ve shared with them.

The same thing is true in our relationship with the Lord. Even though we can’t tangibly see Him, we can still reflect on who He is to us, what He’s done for us, and remember how He’s spoken to us, provided for us, and protected us throughout our lives. Even though we can’t see the Lord, we can be passionate about Him and our relationship with Him, even as the Psalmist was in our text.

The greatest of Christians have always been those who have had a passion to really get to know the Lord and live for the Lord. Moses (Exodus 33:18) and Paul (Philippians 3:10-11) are among those whose passionate pursuit of the Lord and His presence and power in their lives led them to greatness. I believe that you and I can experience much of the goodness and great ministry that Moses and Paul experienced in their lives if we will be as passionate about the Lord as they were.

When we consider God’s great love for us and what He has done for us, this should stir us up to be passionate about our relationship with the Lord. Paul wrote, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love (passion) for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”
(Romans 5:6-8). We should be so thankful that we have such a loving, compassionate and passionate Lord!

As you pray today: 1) Pray that the Lord would reveal to you anyone or anything that you are more passionate about than your relationship with Him – and ask Him to forgive you for not loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; 2) Pray for the Lord to fill your heart and mind with an incredible passion for Him that supersedes everything and everyone else in your life; and 3) Pray for the Lord to show you ways that you can further cultivate your passion for and relationship with Him.