be restored in '24: passion
Have your ever thought about passion? Apart from romantic passion, have you ever tried to define it? This is a very passionate time of year when it comes to football. As we go through this playoff season, the emotions run high for the team that is our favorite. We all had high hopes for the Jaguars, but the hopes and dreams faded as the season reached an end. Yet there is still hope for next year! Passion is important because it helps us through disappointments and problems to see greater hope! When we have passion, we are less likely to give up or give in because our passion for something, or even someone, refuses to surrender. In our series, Be Restored in ’24 the sermon this week is Passion. We are using Romans 12:1-10. It begins with the Apostle Paul encouraging the early believers to “offer themselves as a living sacrifice.” In light of God’s compassion for us in Jesus Christ, this is our most reasonable and thoughtful response to what God has done for us. Yet this is a challenge because it is a transforming shift from the passion for ourselves to the passion for what God wants in our lives. Even though it may seem like the most thoughtful response, it is also the most difficult because it shifts our foundational drive from self-protection to self-sacrifice! How is this even possible? The beauty and power of these words are partly found in their practicality. Paul does not give us a theory but a process that will transform our living. As we live into this process, we will experience the power of a greater hope that helps us confront doubts, disappointments, and despair, but it also shares with us enduring strength and joy! Our prayer is that we will all experience a deeper passion to offer our broken lives to our living God, who will transform us by his wonderful grace through Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:1-10 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God– this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (NIV)