Passion is an interesting and versatile word. It is used to describe crimes committed in the heat and intensity of emotion — crimes of passion. It is also used to describe our affection or strong feelings for anything from food to hobbies to strongly held personal opinions and beliefs. We often hear people say “I’m passionate about … !”
Passion is important. It determines our priorities and pursuits. It influences our choices and actions. It generates inspiration and investment. Its presence can be a great blessing and the lack of it, a terrible curse. Pure and good passions are invaluable. They are a key to a productive and fulfilled life. Polluted passions are dangerous and destructive, to us and others.
For our passions to be pure, they must be properly checked and filtered by God, His Word and His Holy Spirit. The right passions are those that are in sync with the passions of God’s heart.
Yes, God is a passionate God. There are certain things that are near and dear to His heart — things He passionately cares about. One of the best ways to determine God’s passions is by looking at the life and ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ.
When we look at the life of Jesus we discover a number of things that were very important to Him. Throughout His ministry we find moments when Jesus’ intensity of feelings brought to light the passions of God’s heart.
One such occasion was the time Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple. His actions revealed the passion God has for His house. Note how the gospel writer John recorded this event:
“It was time for the annual Passover celebration, and Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; and he saw money changers behind their counters. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and oxen, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, ‘Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!'” — John 2:13-16 (NLT)
Also notice John’s follow-up comment to this event:
“Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: ‘Passion for God’s house burns within me.’” — John 2:17 (NLT)
Jesus had a passion for God’s house. His passion revealed God’s deep love for His house.
What is God’s house in today’s world? God’s house is His church. God is passionate about building, strengthening, unifying and sanctifying His people — the church. He cares deeply about our love for and involvement in His church. He wants us to share His passion for His house!
Are you passionate about connecting with and investing in building, strengthening and unifying God’s house — His church? May this become one of the primary passions in our lives!