What are you passionate about? Now that’s a great question, but when I first heard it my freshman year of college, I thought it was kind of strange. What do you mean, what am I passionate about? I am here on campus in Baton Rouge and I want to experience campus life to the fullest! I suppose I am passionate about making new friends, going to LSU Football games, dating, playing intramural sports, and yea, going to class (not so much.) Little did I know that Johnny who asked me that question was praying about inviting me to be a part of his discipleship group. In fact, over the next couple of weeks we had several conversations about goals and life purpose. I know now that he was discerning whether I had the “right stuff” to be a part of his D-Group. Well, Johnny asked me to be in that d-group with some other guys on that dorm floor section, and it changed my life. I remember at the first meeting he told us, “Only three things are eternal; God, His Word, and the souls of men. This semester we will invest in these three things.” As I journeyed together with the group, I became more passionate about the things of God and my growing desire was to know Christ in a deeper, more intimate way and to make Him known.
Knowing ChristJesus said in John 17:3 (CSB) – 3 This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus Christ. Notice also what Jesus said in Matthew 11:27 (CSB) – 27 All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. When we come into a relationship with Jesus and “learn” of Him, we get to know the Father.
Paul’s Passionate PursuitIn Philippians 3, we get a glimpse of the Apostle Paul’s passion. If you were to ask him the question, “Paul, what are you passionate about?” His answer would be that he is passionate about knowing Christ! Notice what he says in this passage: 7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, (Philippians 3:7-10, CSB) Paul counted all of his religious accomplishments as “rubbish” compared to the “surpassing value” of knowing Christ. In fact, the amplified Bible begins verse 10 by saying, “For my determined purpose is to know Him (Christ).” Paul was not only passionate about pursuing Christ, he qualified what he meant in verse 10. 10 My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, (Philippians 3:10, CSB) For Paul, to know Christ was:
- Personal – “That I may know Him…”
- Powerful – “…and the power of His resurrection…”
- Painful – “…and may share in the fellowship of His sufferings…”
- Purposeful – “…being conformed to his death.”