"Daddy! Daddy! Look at all my new clothes!" Those were the first words my husband heard as he came into the house after a long day at work. My daughter had taken ALL of her new clothes an old friend passed down to me and had them spread out all over my living room. She went through each piece and showed him what was on the dress/shirt/shorts/jacket while he still stood in the doorway, keys in hand, and smiled lovingly at his daughter. This was the third time I had heard this story, so it was losing it's appeal for me. But not for my daughter. Not one bit. She went through the whole story again and again as a new person came over. She had a story to tell!
It got me thinking about Sunday's sermon in church. We are going through Acts, and we got to the part where Peter and John were sent to "court" to be reprimanded for healing a crippled man in the name of Jesus. The verse that stuck out to me was Acts 4:20 (above). They were basically threatened and told to stop preaching about Jesus. Those two brave men said, "Uh...I don't think that's going to happen. I'm going to tell others about the Lord!" (my paraphrase).
Now jump to the other stories in the Bible of Jesus and the miracles he did: Jesus heals the man with leprosy and Jesus heals the blind and the mute. After healing those people, did you notice what Jesus says? "Don't tell anyone?" Notice what they do? They tell everyone! And these are just two of many cases where Jesus healed and the good news of Jesus was spread. Their lives were changed forever, and they were desperate to share who changed it for them. That passion is the same kind of passion that so many experience when they first come to the Lord. They are so happy to tell others! They have that mountaintop experience where they are just in awe of the power of the cross. Unfortunately, though, that passion, that overwhelming joy, fades. In many true believers, it's a roller coaster of emotions throughout our spiritual walk. One minute we are singing His praises, and the next, we forget to make time for Him, therefore, our passion is not as strong, not as obvious. There is a constant renewal of love for Jesus. He gently taps on your heart's door and reminds you that He is love.
Just as my excitement over my daughter's new (adorable!!) clothes had faded after the story was repeated 20 times, there are times when I forget how much God truly loves me. This past Sunday, it hit me that my passion for the Lord fades. He gives me the constant reminders that He is the source of my joy; He is the source of my everything. I should have the passion of those who are healed (doesn't God heal our hearts all the time?). I should shout to the streets that God is my savior and my strength. I should have the courage of Peter and John. Christianity, in our society, is daily threatened (don't be disheartened. Jesus warned of this, but we also know who comes out victor in the end!). It won't be long before Christians are seen as racists, sexists, bullies, etc, because we stand for His truth, not the world's version of it. Peter and John set a good example of how to stay strong and continue sharing. Those who were healed set a good example of the passion we should have to share His love.
And we Christians should always be willing to admit when our passion has faded and work to restrengthening our love with Him. When my daughter actually wore one of her new dresses to church, my excitement was there again. I wanted to show off her new dress, just like she did. If I can get excited about a new dress for my daughter, then I should most definitely get excited about the constant love, patience, strength, and dependability I find in God.
Where do your passions lie? Has your love for the Lord faded over the days, weeks, months, even years? The good news is that He is right where you left Him, and He is more than willing to have an active relationship with you. And by all means, tell the world of Jesus! There are so many who need that hope and passion as well!