Monday, February 25, 2013
Today’s Topic: Press On
Today’s Text: Hosea 6:3 (ESV) Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
I am still being showered with the blessings of our Jubilee worship service yesterday. Every part of the service displayed God’s handiwork. He completely directed our attention to himself from the very beginning when our media computer crashed. We adjusted our schedule, turned our eyes on Jesus, and proceeded to worship from our hearts without dependence on multi-media assistance.
The testimonies of people who have been touched by the discipleship ministries of Calvary were incredible. What an encouragement to hear how God is personally at work in so many lives! We were blessed yesterday to hear a variety of sermons.
When it came time for me to share what God had laid on my heart from our theme verse in Hosea, we were already well past the normal ending time of our worship services. So a condensed version was presented under the power of the Holy Spirit. So for the rest of this week, I am praying that the Lord will expand our understanding of the four truths that were introduced yesterday as we dive deeper into them in these devotionals.
The first point from Hosea 6:3 is based on the words “Press On.” This is to be our passion. Have you ever thought about what the word passion means? For most of us it has an emotional context. We think of passion in terms of intense desire for things or goals. We equate passion with love – from love of things to love of people to love of activities. While all of these applications of passion have some validity, did you know that the word passion primarily means suffering, yet according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary that meaning is obsolete? Culture has re-defined the word passion from its original roots to something more definitive of man’s fleshly desires.
True passion originated in the Bible. Our English word passion is the translation of the Greek word paskho, and is translated 39 times in the New Testament as suffering. That’s why the time of our Savior’s life between His arrest and His resurrection is called the passion of Christ.
So what does this mean for us today? Pressing on requires the courage to suffer for what one believes in. There is no true passion in a person’s life without the willingness to suffer as they press on to achieve what they believe in.
A rock-climber has a passion for reaching the top, which means they will suffer whatever physical pain and contortions of the body are necessary to accomplish it, all potentially based on a love for adrenaline and the belief that the meaning of life will be found in the view from the top.
A single mom has a passion to protect and raise her children in a safe environment, and will endure whatever financial and emotional suffering she must to see her children grow up strong and stable.
A football player has a passion to be the best at his position, and will endure whatever pain he must to recover from injury and play through pain to become the MVP of his league.
Passion always requires the courage to suffer for what one believes. It is the same in pressing on to know the Lord. We cannot claim to be passionate for Christ while living our lives in fear of rejection or retribution from the world. It is unreasonable to state that we are passionate for the Lord and press on to know Him through consistent prayer and Bible Study, using our busy schedules as an excuse. We dare not claim to be passionate for the souls of the lost while we hide our faith in public and seek to be accepted by our culture.
Passion always requires sacrifice. Passion always requires suffering. It is the nature of the word that originated with Christ, and is fulfilled in the context of Christ’s life in us. Pressing on to know Christ is our passion, because Christ’s passion was His love for us that He courageously expressed in His sacrifice for our sins. He suffered for us, so we who are His children willingly suffer for Him. He is our passion, and His passion becomes our life. We will press on to know Him no matter what it costs or how it hurts.