Paul: Passion Revisited
Paul’s life was one marked by a passion for Jesus and a passion for people. Everything else was framed in this zealous love that Paul possessed.
However, just because Paul exuded a fascinating amount of passion in these two arenas, it is not correct for us to assume what most assume about Paul: that’s the apostle Paul, I could never live like that.
I do not think the New Testament allows us this copout. Before Paul was ever converted on the road to Damascus, Jesus was asked what He considered to be the greatest commandment in all the old covenant.
In other words, if you lined up ALL that God had commanded of His people throughout the Bible at that time, what would be the most important one that trumped all others.
You would think Jesus would say something like “All of God’s laws are equally important.” Yet, he didn’t. Instead he said this,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Propehts.” Matthew 22:36-39
Jesus answers the lawyers question directy and without hesitation. It is these two things that should direct and guide our lives:
Love God. Love people.
As a church we have sanctioned these two commandments as our motto, not because we find it trendy, but because we find it expedient as God’s children to take Him at His Word.
So what does it look like to love God and love people in everyday life? Here are a few thoughts that may help frame your week this week.
1.) Spend time with Lord
Those who we love, we spend time with. It is not a duty, but a pleasure, a delight, and an eager expectation. We simply want to be around those we love. Spend time in prayer, in the Word, and perhaps even journaling this week. This may sound trivial, but it is imperative, and will change your week.
2.) Spend time in community
We tend to treat our Christianity as we treat most other things in life. We do what we can, when we can, on our own. Yet, this is not God’s design for your life. On the contrary, to know God more fully, we must be in community. Others that are also pursuing Jesus have the ability to exhort us, encourage us, admonish us, and help us in our journey. There are things you don’t know, but others believers can come along side you. Also, there is no better way to take advantage of loving people than to spend time with others. You can’t love peopel when you are never in their lives. Spend time in community!
3.) Take advantage of everyday interaction.
Sometimes we trump up “loving people” so much that it becomes almost an event that we have to put on weekly to prove our passion for our community. In reality, God has meticulously designed each of our lives so that we all have daily opportunities to love people in Jesus’ name. You spouse, your family, your co-workers, your employees, your employer, your barista at Starbucks, your grocery store attendant, your bank teller, or maybe even the homeless man on the side of the road are all God’s ways of ordaining opportunities for His children. We can love them in different ways, but love them weMUST!
4.) Attend a service project with your home group
Very practically speaking, get involved this trimester in your home group’s service project. This is a great way reflect the character of our loving God in a tangible way to people who may not know Him.Providence, if for nothing else, may our church be known as a church that loves God deeply, and loves people well. Jesus’ promise is that if we do those things well, everything else will take care of itself. Paul, lived his life this way. I desire to model that. Blessings,