I must admit I’m a talk radio show fanatic. When I’m driving down the road in Dallas, if my radio is on, it’s on talk radio. One of my favorite talk show hosts, Rush Limbaugh, often says, “Passion is the magnet!” (hence the source of my title). When it comes to relationships, having passion is what will build strength and desire to pursue quality, lasting relationships. And the central relationship we must all be working on is our relationship with God. I wonder, just how many students today can say they are truly passionate about God?
A strong relationship with God is really where everything starts. It breeds healthy relationships within families, friendships, and so on. It took me a long time to realize a healthy, strong relationship with God consists of being passionate about God. In the small group series, “Passion with a Purpose,” Pastor Anthony Tamel describes very well what it means to have a passionate relationship with God. When we think of passionate relationships, we can tend to view passion and love as synonymous. However, passion is the emotion associated with great love. Our decision about what or whom we love may be influenced by the opinion of others or our past experiences. But we ultimately make a choice to love something or someone. The truth is, when we love something enough, we will develop a passion for it.
Passion is the emotional measurement of our love. Whatever we’re passionate about, we are willing to make sacrifices for it. The Greek word for that kind of love is agape, a perfect or complete love. It’s a selfless, sacrificial love God has for us. Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The King James Version of the Bible even describes Christ’s suffering for us as His passion: “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).
Genesis 1:27 reads, “So God created man in His own image: in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” We were made to experience the same emotions God has because He wants us to relate to Him. He made us like Himself, and we are made to be passionate because God is passionate. King David wrote, “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14). We are far more than tissue, bones, and a brain. We were created to feel emotion. And one of the most powerful emotions that we will ever experience is passion.
As a youth pastor for over six years, I observed students who possessed amazing passion for different things. When I was able to direct that passion toward God, I watched those students accomplish amazing things and experience depths in their walk with God that escapes many. Because God made us like Himself, He wants us to be passionate first and foremost about Him. Someone once asked Jesus what was the greatest and most important commandment. In Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus said unto him, ‘you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’” We are to love God with our whole being. Basically, we are to love Him with passion.
Being passionate about our relationship with God brings great benefits to us. First, it will cause us to make our life a sacrifice for Him. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1 that we are to become “living sacrifices” for Him. Sacrificing certain experiences, opportunities, or relationships with others makes sense if we’re passionate about Him. The second thing a passionate relationship with God will do for us is keep us from wrongdoing. It causes us to consider first the one we love before we give into temptation to do something we shouldn’t. Finally, a passionate relationship with God will cause us to take pleasure in Him. When we take pleasure in loving God, God blesses our lives by giving us what our heart is longing for.
Today, many students lack passion. Students go through the motions of going to church, but there is no consuming fire throughout the week. They live out a form of religion devoid of life-altering passion. Remember, the one you love will always be the one you serve. And we’re all going to love and serve something or someone.
We might as well make our relationship with God the most passionate relationship in our life!
Chad Flowers is married to his best friend and teammate, Mendy. He’s a daddy to two incredible little girls, Jadyn & Keira, and he lives in Mesquite, Texas where he has a private practice as a licensed professional counselor and serves as pastor of Emmanuel Pentecostal Church.