My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you have a passion for loving Jesus? Did you know that there is a difference between passion for ministry and becoming passionate in ministry?.
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Growing up football was an important part of my boyhood. Living on a block with a lot of boys who felt the same and also living in the era of the Packer glory years, playing football was natural. My buddies and I built a football field replete with yard markings and makeshift goalposts. Football was serious business for us and we went to great lengths to authenticate both field and players uniforms. Our field was Lambeau Stadium to us and helmets and shirts were Packer jerseys. There was one of my friends though who took it beyond mere appearances and passion. My best friend Bill Johnson wasn’t content with just our sandlot games and pretending; he signed up for Punt, Pass and Kick competition at the local High School. Bill was willing to sacrifice his time after school and some weekends to win the Punt, Pass and Kick prize. In his mind just being like a Packer wasn’t good enough; he wanted to become like a Packer.
Bill never became a Packer, but he did achieve success in the Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. I always admired his passion not only for the game but his passion in becoming something of the game.
Here’s a story. When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, “I do not want to be like a Paul … or any mere man. I want to be like Christ … I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints … Oh, to be more like Christ!” (Source Unknown.)
When the Rich Young Man in Mark 10:21 came to Jesus wanting to follow him, it was obvious he had a passion for Jesus’s ministry. Our Savior looked at him, as he does at you and me, and loved him, but also challenged him. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.” Why was Jesus making such a severe demand of this man? Because mere passion, although necessary for motivation, doesn’t in and of itself translate into ministry. Adoniram Judson similarly wasn’t interested in exhibiting a Christian ministry, he was dedicated to becoming a Christian minister. Jesus is the ultimate measure of ministry and therefore his goal. My friend Bill, similarly, took his passion for football and made it his becoming. If he could become a Bart Starr it would be a worthy goal. Judson knew there was only one Christ as Bill knew there was only one Starr. No matter. Becoming despite its impossibilities offers each of us the opportunity to translate a passion into an action. I’m convinced Bart Starr would have been proud of Bill. I believe Jesus was pleased with Judson. The question is, if he is also looking at us as he did that Rich Young Man, who does he see––Mere passion or a becoming that surpasses mere passion? Knowing the difference shapes our Christian purpose.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for challenging us to become ministers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Help us Lord to remain faithful to this calling by striving to make this work the primary priority in our lives, ahead of all other things. Forgive us when we fail to translate a passion for Christ into a life serving others in Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to “This Passing Day!” <email@example.com> God bless you for Jesus sake.