Do Something Pt 5: Passion
Pastor Dave Chiolero
Today we will be completing the DO SOMETHING series. In the gospel of John, during the last supper, there’s a lot that happens.
Jesus is giving His disciples some final instructions and encouraging them because He’s about to go to the cross and He won’t be with them any more.
In John 14:12, Jesus gives this instruction.
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Jesus is saying, that if you believe in me, you will live your life the same way I have.You will get out there and make a difference for the Kingdom of God.And when you do, you will see the power of God move just like you saw with me,Not only that, you will see God move in even more powerful ways than you've ever seen before.
So, all believers should be DOING SOMETHING to minister to others, because we’re modeling our lives after Jesus.
So, we have heard about the 5 ‘P’s” - Plan, Preparation, Purpose, Pain, Power
Today we’re talking about the 6th and final “P” in the series… Passion
About 6 months ago, I noticed I was feeling tired throughout the day, more tired than usual. I recently turned 40. I started a new job here at the church a year ago which seems to keep me sitting at my desk or in meetings more than before. I realized the need to add some exercise to my schedule.
Working out in the gym is not my favorite thing to do, in fact I would much rather play a sport than work out in the gym. But its hard to find an organized sport to be involved in on a regular bases, and I don’t have a lot of time to spare in my life.
I was talking with Roz and she told me about an app “from the couch to the 5k” that she had started working through, so I downloaded it and decided to make it my goal.
I remember the first few runs were pretty easy. You start off slow on the app, only running a minute at a time. But somewhere around the third or fourth week, when the running was increasing, I started to get these intense headaches in the back of my head. They were so strong that I wanted to quit. I talked to a few people about it and did some online research. It could be caffeine related, or hydration, of food intake, I could even have a very serious problem that I should go see my doctor about. Sometimes the internet provides too much information that it ceases to be helpful.
Ultimately, I just had to push my way through the pain. If I had to slow down a little, I would slow down. If I had to walk for a little bit, I’d walk and then start running again.
I was determined not to quit.
I remember on week 5, my 15th run, I was supposed to run for 20 minutes straight. I couldn’t do it. I ran for 17 minutes and thought I was going to die.
Up until this day, all my runs had been interval running. Run 2 minutes and walk 1, run 5 minutes and walk 3. This was my first run with no walking. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to 30 minute run at week 9.
One run at a time, with little increases along the way, I completed the app. Now I run a 5k about twice a week.
A couple weeks ago, I had to drive my vehicle somewhere to drop it off. It was about 4.5 miles away from my house. I decided to run home. This was an attempt to push myself further than I had ever run before. The first couple miles were fine. Mile 3 started to get tough. The last mile and a half was terrible. My muscles were sore, my feet were killing me, my brain was telling me to stop and my body was in agreement. But I pushed myself on. I told myself, “just another block then you can stop.” After that block, “just run over the bridge then you can stop.” “Just get across the railroad tracks then you can stop.” And I ran all the way home.
Did I tell you, I don’t like to run?
There’s a much bigger reason why I exercise, and it’s not because it makes me feel better about myself – which it does. I do feel better about myself.
But there’s a bigger passion that compels me to put on my shoes and step out the door.
Running makes me a better person.
It makes me a better husband
It makes me a better dad
It makes me a better leader
I have more energy to give,
More clarity of thought to give,
It helps adjust my sleep pattern so I’m more rested,
It helps me fit into my clothes better.
I like it when my wife thinks I look good.
I like it when I’m not falling asleep in church.
There’s a passion for a better life that compels me to push on.
In this DO SOMETHING series, we’re talking about the fact that God has called us to do something for His kingdom, do something that will advance His kingdom. Do something that will bring the hope, joy, forgiveness and freedom that Jesus offers to a hurting world that desperately need Him.
And when God calls you to do something, you will have opposition
It will be something you can’t do in your own strength
It will require sacrifice
It will require determination
It will require Passion
It’s not necessarily going to be easy,
But no matter what the devil throws at me, I will not give up.
John 19:30 – These are the last words Jesus spoke before dying on the cross.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus had a calling of God, an assignment to complete. He had to DO SOMETHINGHe came, He completed the task, and He did what He was sent to do.And He declared, “It is finished.”
Each one of us has an assignment from God.
What is it specifically? I have no idea.
But I can promise you that it involves you giving your life away for other people.
1 Pet. 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Having PASSION means being COMPELLED to do something.
Lets look at 5 points concerning Passion.
1. Living with passion means being fully committed to relying only on the preparations God has made for you.
If God has called you to do something, then He has already prepared the way for it to be accomplished. Your job is not to know all the plans or details before you move, your job is to step out in faith and just do the first thing.
When Kim and I adopted Lorree and Allan, we didn’t know how God was going to work it all out. We still don't know how He’s going to work it all out, but we did know what He was asking us to do. We knew the first step.
God is asking you to take the first step.
Some of you have visions and dreams to do something for God, and you stopped because you were afraid of how it was all going to work out.
Take the first step. God can’t steer a car that's not moving.
Along the trip, things will probably work out differently than you expected.
Think about Jesus towards the end.
His disciples left Him; one betrayed Him and another rejected Him.
But His trust wasn’t in his companions; it was in His heavenly father.
For our family, the adventure is still unfolding.
Today, we will be meeting an uncle and aunt we have never met before…
We obey God’s call to do something and we trust Him with the details.
2. Living with passion means fulfilling your purpose even if it means loving your enemies while they are in the act of attacking you.
Story: Kim’s forgiveness story
In the last church Kim and I ministered at, we were hired to be the youth pastors just like here. Shortly after we started working with the church, the music minister had a moral failure and left. Kim was asked to step in as interim music minister and eventually was hired for the job.
It was a difficult assignment for Kim because the last music minister was hired specifically for his R&B style, and Kim was asked to keep to that style. She was able to mix her style in over time, but she had a lot of pressure to make people happy.
Unfortunately, one of the people most difficult to keep happy was the pastors’ wife, and she had a track record of not being very tactful in expressing her thoughts.
One evening, in the middle of Kim’s choir rehearsal, the pastors’ wife came into the room interrupting the practice. For some reason she had a chip on her shoulder and needed to express to Kim all her negative feelings in front of everyone. She listed all the things she didn’t like… and then left the room.
Kim was deeply hurt and offended by the experience. For the next two weeks she struggled with God about forgiving her. Finally, on the third week, Kim found the strength to talk with our Pastors’ wife and ask for forgiveness. I’d like to say that the pastors’ wife humbled herself and all was forgiven and everything ended perfectly. It didn’t. But Kim won a great victory that day.
When you can walk with a pure heart before God and people, forgiving those that come against you, not holding on to any offense, then the enemy can’t use that to hinder your work for Gods’ kingdom. You become more powerful every time you forgive.
3. Living with passion means voluntarily walking into painful situations.
There are times when you know God has opened a door for you to walk through, but you don't like what’s on the other side.
Story: moving to Fremont from Waco.
10 years ago, Kim and I were hired to serve at Harbor Light. Prior to accepting this position, we had been seeking the Lord for direction for over a year and a half. That's a long time to wait!
During that time, there were several steps we were taking to hear God’s voice. For the first year, it was just a dialog between God, Kim and myself. After that, we were in communication with people we trusted, getting their advice. We were working with our senior pastor to interview and hire a new youth pastor by the end of the summer so they could start the new school year strong. This meant we had a deadline of the end of the summer to get a new job. During the last 5 months, Kim and I were interviewing with different churches all around northern California.
We had a list of personal things we were asking for:
Being close to family.
Being able to enjoy outdoor activity.
I also had a northern California map hung up in our closet with all the possible locations God could send us to. God had all the way up to Redding, the whole Sacramento area, down to Modesto, the Santa Rosa area, But the Bay area was crossed out.
I grew up in Vallejo, which I knew was bad. Across the bridge was Richmond, which is worse. And as you continue south, you run into Oakland. I thought the Bay Area got worse the further south you went. Then there’s the traffic and congestion.
I also had a list of things I was looking for in a new job. In Texas, we had raised up several interns that worked at the church full time. We developed them into pastors who began serving as youth pastors, a college pastor and a Master’s Commission director. We grew the youth ministry and separated Jr. High and High School services, we started College Ministry, we were on school campuses and traveling around with a team doing ministry in other towns and states. It was a fun season of ministry.
I share this to say, when we were looking at churches during the interview process, I wanted a church that already had some of those things in place. I didn’t want to start from scratch.
So, the end of the summer finally came, and Fremont was the door God swung wide open.
I knew that God was giving us His answer to our prayers.
I knew this was God’s plan.
I knew this was God’s open door.
But I didn’t like what was on the other side.
Fremont was not on my approved map,
And the youth department here was in a season of rebuilding. They didn’t have all the things that were on my wish list.
I moved here dragging my feet with the Lord.
(note** Kim didn't feel the same way I did at all)
This is how I felt… After being so faithful during the process, trusting on the Lord every step of the way.
After several years of leadership experience God had brought me through; the tremendous asset I had become to God’s kingdom.
how could He not give me everything I was hoping for?
Here’s the answer: Sit down and shut up – God knows what He’s doing.
My relationship with Jesus isn’t about getting what I want.
It’s about surrendering my life to God so he can use me to get what He wants.
And as long as I’m fighting for my rights, I will miss the joy of being used by Him.
Our perspective is so limited, and it’s blurred by selfish desires.
God’s perspective is perfect, and He see’s everything.
When we look at the life of Jesus, we can see him praying in a garden in the middle of the night, sweating drops of blood as he agonized over the cross that he had to bear.
Yet in Heb. 12 we see that He was compelled by a bigger passion to keep going.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Why would the author tell us to consider Jesus…so we will not grow weary or lose heart?
Because he knew we would face painful situations.
4. Passion is so committed to the purpose of God, that it will drive you to be subjected to it, before you are an instrument of His power.
Let me explain,
In John 18, we see Jesus being arrested.
Jesus asks the guards, “who are you looking for?’“Jesus of Nazareth” the answer.“I am He” Jesus declares, and all the guards fall to the ground… POWER
Myth Busters shock wave.
Then Peter cuts off one of the guys’ ear, and Jesus picks it up and heals him…POWER
How long would it take for a surgeon to do that?
And then it says the guards bound Him and took Him away.
Really, you think your ropes or handcuffs can hold Jesus!
He didn’t need to submit to this treatment and could have escaped at any time, but didn’t.
His Passion to do the will of His father…
His Passion to save us… Kept Him on track to fulfill His purpose.
Being subjected to God’s power may be
The power not to speak when your not supposed to speak.
The power to slow down.
The power to go and say “sorry” to that person you don’t like.
The power so submit to your boss, husband, wife, parents, teachers.
Did Jesus have the power to break free? Yes
But He also had the power to surrender.
5. Passion strives each day to hear the Father say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
I have a friend named Rick who pastors a church in Mission Texas, right on the border or Mexico. Before he became the Sr. Pastor, he served as an associate for several years. The Pastor before him was an incredible man of God and a strong mentor to Rick.
Rick shared with me a story that really impacted his life, and changed the way he prayed.
Each morning, the staff of the church gathered together in the sanctuary to pray. I’m sure they prayed in a variety of ways, sitting together or soaking with worship music. One of the ways was everyone just praying on their own. Some people might walk around the room, while others sat in a pew or maybe they knelt at the alter. Some people like to pray out loud while others are quiet.
During these times, Rick said he would overhear some of the prayers of his pastor. In the intimacy of prayer, his pastor would ask,
“What can I do for you today Lord?”
“Is there anyone you would like me to tell about you?”
“Is there a task someone else failed to do or is unwilling to do that I can do for you?”
There was a deep and intimate longing to fulfill an and every desire of His Heavenly Father.
Rick said that several times the Lord would answer that prayer, and his pastor would change his schedule and head out into the city to meet somebody, or encourage another pastor, or whatever God needed for that day.
At the end of our lives, all of us want to hear those words, “well done, good and faithful servant”, but maybe it would be more beneficial if we strived to hear it at the end of each day.