Sunday, September 25, 2016



There is a great deal of discourse in our day about "passion" or "purpose" - finding your passion, following your passion, etc. It almost seems that finding and fulfilling one's passion is the key to happiness.

This philosophy has even become a mainstay in many churches today, to the point where in some cases it is presented as the actual center of the gospel message - i.e. Christ died to help us find our passion.

But is this really what the Bible teaches?

Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (emphasis added)

Let us ask a three simple questions about what this verse teaches:

1. Why did Jesus die and rise again for us?
According to Paul's writing, Jesus came to make us alive? Why? Because we were dead in trespasses and sin!

2. Can sinners "find their passion?"
Verse three plain teaches us that while we were still lost, we...
  • Conducted ourselves in the flesh
  • Fulfilled the desires of the flesh and mind
  • Were by nature children of wrath
Mankind is fallen! Therefore his natural passions and purposes are also fallen!

Beloved, because we are all born as sinners, our very tendencies and passions are intuitively in conflict with God! It is only after we are reborn out of spiritual death through Jesus Christ that our passions and purposes can even begin to align with God!

Look at the facts. We hear people testify regularly  how they found happiness once they  "discovered their passion" in acting, singing, science, athletic pursuits, business acumen or thousands of other possibilities!

Yet so many of these, perhaps the vast majority, are confirmed atheists or nominal believers in God!

Therefore, isn't it obvious that finding your passion has nothing to do with being in right relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Or that it is very possible to find one's passion apart from any relationship with The Living God?

3. Are all passions good?
Hitler found his passion - to steal, kill and destroy. Serial killers find their passion - to kill. In fact, is not every evil act a matter of following one's passion?

We are told, "Follow your heart."

Consider what Jesus said about what can come from "following the heart":

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Matthew 15:19 (emphasis added)

Being right with God, then, is not a matter of finding one's passion or following one's heart.

It is a matter of aligning our dreams, passions, purposes,will and mind and heart with God's!

Jesus did not come to help us find our passion or purpose.

Jesus came to help us to turn from and to die to our own selfish, human passions - and to allow God to plant the dreams, passions and purposes of His own heart into ours! 




Wednesday, September 14, 2016


14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Most Christians know that we are to be the light of the world. But let us consider what that really means.

In a general sense, we can bring "light" to a situation. Carrying another's load, meeting a need or simply lending a shoulder to cry on are all examples of binging light to darkness to varying degrees.

A person's burden may be shared or immediate needs met. Yet that person may remain in darkness. A drug dealer can meet the immediate need of an addict by giving him a free dose of the drug he craves. To those abiding in the dark world of drug addiction, this may even seem like an act of kindness. The dealer may appear to temporarily bring "light" to an addict. Yet, when the addict's "fix" wears off, he will awaken to find that he is still in darkness.

The drug addict may feel that his greatest need is his next dose. In reality, his greatest need is to be delivered from this vicious cycle of torment and temporary relief.

Does not the modern church, in many ways, do the same thing?

Churches are known for meeting the temporary needs of the world such as food, clothing, employment and housing.

Yet, in truth, is not the greatest need of each and every person, a genuine, supernatural relationship with Jesus Christ?


Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12

If we as a church impart only the "felt needs" of the world, without imparting Jesus Christ, are we not exactly like the drug dealer? Are we not meeting temporal needs while neglecting the far greater eternal need? As a result, is not the world left in darkness?

 Jesus claimed to be the light of the world. Surely there were times before Jesus came in the flesh that physical needs were met. What light, then, did Jesus bring to the world?

It was the light of God Himself!

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:3-4

It is the light of Christ, then, that we are to shine to the world, not merely the light of good works. Good works may be done in Christ or apart from Christ. Atheists may do many good works. Yet they are unable to impart Christ to anyone - the greatest need of mankind!

Of course the church will always be called to meet physical and temporal needs. But we err greatly if that is the sum of what we can impart to the lost dying world.

It goes without saying that we can only impart light when it is emanating from us! Therefore, the modern church has further erred by diminishing or completely discarding the need for its members to strive for fullness of God, personally and corporately - since He is the source of all true light!

Instead, we have adapted a theology of good works above godliness!

In short, true godliness always leads to good works - but good works may certainly be done apart from godliness!