Passionate

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What is one thing that if it happened today would get you jumping up and down in unrestrained excitement?

Read 2 Samuel 24:18-25 

This is passage is the last chapter in the book of 2 Samuel and is the last of David’s recorded thoughts just before he died. I believe this probably indicates that he saw it as one of the most significant events of his life. It probably took place several years after the incident with Bathsheba that we discussed last week. David had made up with God and then gone on to conquer all of Israel’s remaining enemies. And then for some reason, he decided to take a census of all the able-bodied men who could be enlisted in the army.

While taking a census was not a sin in itself, there are a couple of reasons why this action may have displeased God.

1. Misplaced Trust. It’s possible that David wanted to assess his strength and abilities forgetting that it was God – not the size of his army – that had given him victory from his enemies.
2. Disobedience. God had given specific instructions about how any census was to be conducted in Exodus 30:11-16, including a special tax that was to be levied at such times, but that David had gone ahead and done it his own way.

Whatever the case, the result was that God punished the nation of Israel with a plague that lasted 3 days and killed thousands of people. In one sense, this is a troubling passage because it shows how a leader’s sin can harm the people he/she leads. This is why we must keep praying for our national leaders, whether we voted for them or agreed with their policies or not. If they fail, we all fail. As the destruction was happening, David humbled himself and called to God for help.

I guess it’s clear by now that David, one of the bible’s most courageous leaders, was far from being an angel! He had major issues and sinned greatly against God. In fact, truth be told, David’s sins seem much worse than Saul’s! Saul didn’t commit adultery, or murder his neighbor to steal his wife. And if Saul was fired as king for refusing to carry out God’s commands to the letter, well in this passage, that’s exactly what David did!

So how is it that despite all his issues, David still gets such high ratings in the bible? In a sense, David gives us all hope that despite our flaws and issues, we too can be courageous people who fulfill our God-given purpose. If God could allow an adulterer and murderer to live out their purpose along with the great sense of fulfillment that comes with it, then there’s hope for us as well! So what was his secret? Here it comes – The one thing that distinguished David – that set him apart throughout his whole life – is the fact that David was fully sold out to God. And this is our 5th lesson;

True Courage Is Fueled By Passion

David’s passion for God shows in almost any story you read about him.  The 1st place we see his passion is in his…

UNCONDITIONAL REPENTANCE – It is true that David failed…as we’ve seen, when David failed, he failed big time! But each time David sinned, he came back and clung to God, confessing his sin and asking for forgiveness. Instead of going on the defensive, David admitted his sin openly and clung to God for forgiveness. The same thing happened after the Bathsheba incident. David openly admitted his sin – didn’t try to hide it – even wrote it out for everyone to read! His prayer in Psalm 51 – shows a broken man who was ready to take full responsibility for his sins. We learnt last week that pride can rob us of passion. But David did not let his pride get in the way of throwing himself at God’s mercy, acknowledging his mistakes and asking for forgiveness. This was a huge difference between David and many other people!

God isn’t looking for perfect people… but He is attracted to passionate followers! Passion is what refuses to let go of God – even if you have messed up! It’s what admits fully what you’ve done wrong but clings to Him nonetheless, as the God of the second chance. Without this kind of passion, our faith becomes cold and our ability to live courageously fails.

True courage is fueled by passion

2. UNRESERVED WORSHIP – God directed David through the prophet Gad to build an altar so that he could pray for mercy for his people. David obeyed immediately and approached Araunah the Jebusite to buy his field. The Jebusites had been the original inhabitants of Jerusalem before David had defeated them and made it his capital city. David had every right to take that land. Nobody would have questioned him! He could even have used government money to purchase it! But he gave his famous reply, ‘I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing’. He paid 50 shekels of his own money for the threshing floor and oxen, and 1 Chronicles 21:18 also tells us he paid 600 shekels of gold for the surrounding land (which incidentally became the site of the temple)! David singlehandedly purchased the land for the temple!

Passion for God is more than just a feeling – passion means that you’re willing to pay the cost! David loved God so much that he did not want to give God something that was of no value to him. He knew that if his gift had cost him nothing, it was not worth giving at all.

True courage is fueled by passion

David’s whole life was characterized by a passion for God. When he was made king, he danced with such might before God that his clothes almost fell off! David was so passionate about God’s house that he’s the one who asked the remarkable question in 2 Samuel 7:3, ‘how can I live in a palace, while God’s ark remains in a tent?’ In Psalm 69:9 he said words quoted later by Jesus, ‘zeal for your house consumes me!’. And most of the psalms are his passionate prayers to God; either praising Him, thanking Him or asking for His help.

No wonder then that Acts 13:22, tells us ‘God testified concerning (David): ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ David was totally sold out to God, and God knew it!

True courage is fueled by passion

The interesting thing is that in our culture, its okay to be passionate about anything except God. I can be passionate about MOVIES. I can be passionate about SPORTS. I can be passionate about POLITICS. I can be passionate about FASHION or CLOTHES. I can be passionate about RAVING. I can be passionate about MUSIC. I can be passionate about CARS … But it’s not politically correct to be passionate about God!

In Mark 11:30, Jesus said that the most important thing in life is to love God with all your ‘heart, soul, mind and strength’. In the MSG, it says, ‘Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ I love that – PASSION, PRAYER, INTELLIGENCE,ENERGY! Jesus is saying I want you to put some oomph into your relationship with me, put some emotion, some zest, some psyche into it. Don’t be half-hearted about your love for me. Give it all you’ve got! Jesus is saying, ‘If you’re going to follow Me, you’ve got to do it with passion! It’s all or nothing!

That’s why I like hanging out with new believers. For new believers, it’s completely fresh – they know they’ve just gotten away with the deal of their lives! ‘What? You mean all my sins are forgiven? You mean God has accepted me with all my issues? You mean God answers my prayers? You mean I can find out my purpose for living? How awesome is that!’ They’re so pumped about it, they can’t stop talking to their friends. And they challenge me because with time, it’s easy for me to become so used to God’s miracles in my life that I begin to lose my sense of awe and wonder.

True courage is fueled by passion!

God is looking for men and women of passion! People after His own heart that are totally sold out to Him. So how do I develop a passion for God? From our passage, there are at least 2 things you can do to nurture your passion…

UNCONDITIONAL REPENTANCE – Un-confessed sin is a passion killer. Have you badly messed up in your faith? Though others may not see it, you know that there are things you have done or are doing that are destroying your relationship with God. Sadly, some of us have shut ourselves out from a relationship with God because you feel you failed him. ‘I gave people my testimony! ALL Christians stumble and occasionally fall. Even the most holy and righteous looking ones! ISo listen – when you fall, you don’t have to stay down! Proverbs 24:16 says, ‘for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again’. God’s grace is more than sufficient and there is no sin so big that He will not forgive and restore you if you come clean about it! The 2nd way to nurture our passion is…

UNRESERVED WORSHIP – Passion is not convenient! David’s relationship with God was not one of convenience. He says, ‘Lord, I will not give to you something that costs me nothing, or that is easy or convenient. I’ll pay whatever price you desire me to pay to please you and advance your kingdom.’ Passion is not an EMOTION! It is a CHOICE to give to God EVEN WHEN it is completely inconvenient to us. This goes against everything our convenience-loving society teaches us! Passionate Christ followers only become that because they made a DECISION.

Passion is built by choice! You must make a choice to engage with what God is doing. Here are 3 challenges based on our series this month; 

1. Bible Reading – I challenged you to begin to read through the bible. You can buy a One Year Bible or download one free from olivetree.comor youversion.com. Some of you started and have stopped. Pick it up again and determine to finish the year strong! And pray for an undivided heart. Read not because you feel like it BUT as a choice.

2. Serving –If this is your church, plug in! And if it’s not, please find a good church and serve!

3. Giving – Give to God’s work. Like David, don’t sacrifice to God only that which is convenient!

Passion is not convenient, but it’s vital!

True courage is fueled by passion

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5 Responses to “Passionate”

  1. Gave my cousin the following sermon to watch, his response was “Manze nimekua too passionate for shetani sana, huyu shetani nimemdansia every week, na hata i have invented new styles for him every week, manze sasa its high time I have the same passion for God, dance katika for God”. His way to stay passionate, I ahve invited him for the next praise and worship, we cant wait for the fireworks.

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  2. This Sermon series, like many ive listened to at mavuno, has completely changed me. i have in this last month boldly surrendered areas in my life that i didnt let God into. He afterwards rewarded my obedience with such great peace and opened doors in ways i had not dreamed and imagined. Thank you so much Pastor M. for this phenomenal word, i am now aligning myself with God’s will by reading his word every day and just at Deuteronomy God has revealed so much of himself and of me, now i cant go to bed without a whiff of what has in offer its ‘so amazing.
    May Mavuno live long and prosper, may every one on staff see the goodness of the Lord and the joy of his bounty, may all mavunites know that God rescued us so that we may never again be salves and in that knowledge we must walk with our heads held high.
    A Lovely fearless week to all!!

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  3. Jackline Says:

    Among the things i learnt in yesterday‘s word is being able to give to God that which costs me.l prayed about it..and guess what?I walked in the office this morning and received a cheque double my salary..and yes..it wasnt a mistake…a got a double increament,am jumping up and down and am now going to fulfill my pledge.God bless you pastor M.

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  4. Wow! Lets talk about passion for a minute…..swimming against the current is a deliberate choice…. many at times people mistake passion… i can tell you its a powerful drive!

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  5. Reblogged this on samdemic and commented:
    Let us be passionate in all we do…. just like a light that cannot be hidden.

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