Friday, May 30, 2008

A barely controllable emotion.

PASSION: A strong and barely controllable emotion.  A state of outburst of such emotion.  An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.  

I came across a passage in Scripture this week that got my attention.  It was in John 2, when Jesus--the gentle and peaceful leader, the one who cared for all people, the healer, the comforter, the loving shepherd-- saw something that ticked Him off so much, that He angrily turned over tables and chased off animals and people with a whip!

He saw people turning the Temple into a market place, a place for personal profit.  The thing is that most people, including myself, sometimes miss the whole point of this event.  It is hard to understand what happened if you think Jesus got so mad simply because a building was being misused.  It was never about that Temple.

You see, in the midst of His outburst of emotion, the disciples remembered an O.T. prophecy, "Passion for God's house will consume me" (John 2:17 / Psalm 69:9).  The Temple represented God's desire to live in HUMAN temples.  God's passion was to make His home inside of normal people like us.  Distorting the image of the Temple building, was so offensive to Jesus because of what it represented: HIS ULTIMATE PASSION.  A passion so big, that eventually it literally consumed Him on the cross.  

It was a passion to live inside of us.  Stephen died believing in this truth, "The Most High does not live in temples made by human hands" (Acts 7:48).  I've been convicted this week with this thought: 'how often in my day do I remember that passion that consumed Jesus' life? How often do I open my heart to Him, so that He can fulfill His passionate desire to live inside of me?'  More than anything else, I believe God's passion is for me and you.  

What makes Him happy is when I stop and remove the junk from my life so that He can make His home in me and thus fulfill His passion.  

"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him."  Eph. 3:16
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