10 Ways To Lose Your Passion
First check out Luke 15:25-32. The parable Jesus tells in Luke 15:11-32 is often referred to as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”. This parable is really about a compassionate Father who has 2 ungrateful sons. The younger son ran from the father. The older son lost his appreciation for his father. The son I want us to look at today is the older son. While we may not see ourselves in the older son as quickly we will find ourselves struggling with the same issues he struggled with quite often.
Here are 10 ways we lose our passion and appreciation for Jesus from the perspective of the older son:
1. We focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. (Luke 15: 28-30) When is the last time you stopped and simply thought about all the blessings God has placed in your life? Especially your relationship with God through Christ? Don’t let your eyes wander from all Jesus has done for you to what you think you don’t have.
2. We believe others have to lose if we are to win. (Luke 15:25-28) If we refuse to celebrate other people’s victories we will forever be envious and miserable. We should look for where God is working in the lives of others, help point it out, and then celebrate it with them.
3. We forget a relationship with Jesus is a celebration not a funeral. (Luke 15:29) We can’t lose sight of the fact that Jesus wants us to LIVE not just exist! Jesus is not some dull, boring and tyrannical dictator. He is full of life and wants to give us life! The reason our lives and our worship services often resemble funerals and not celebrations is because we lose sight of all that Jesus has done for us.
4. We operate from guilt ridden rules rather than a life giving relationship. (Luke 15:29) The quickest way to lose your passion and joy in Christ is to start pursuing rules rather than a relationship with Jesus. There is only ONE thing that is needed…JESUS! Everything else will take care of itself.
5. We forget what we’ve really earned. (Luke 15: 28-30) The Bible is clear that even the best things we’ve done are like filthy rags before our Holy God. What we’ve earned is death and judgment. What God offers is life and forgiveness through Christ. That should be enough to keep us passionate!
6. We compare ourselves to other people rather than to Jesus. (Luke 15:28-30) Comparing ourselves to others does one of two things. It either makes us prideful (because we feel superior to the other person) or it makes us insecure (because we feel they are superior to us). The one we should compare ourselves to is Jesus. On one hand it shows us how far short we ALL fall in comparison to God’s standard. But on the other hand, for those who have faith in Jesus, it shows us how much we have been forgiven and it leads us to worship!
7. We lose sight of the purpose of our existence. (Luke 15:32) The reason we exist is not so that we can elevate ourselves but so that we can exalt God. When we do this we help others see how amazing our God really is. Luke 15:32 literally says this young man was “dead and is alive again”. This is why we exist. To bring others from death to life through the power of Christ and for God to be glorified as people see the reality of who He is in us.
8. We quit taking advantage of our Heavenly Fathers invitation. (Luke 15:28) It seems undignified to think that God would “plead” with us to accept His invitation of relationship. It would have been extremely undignified for this father to “plead” with his son the way the parable states. But what do we think the cross that Jesus hung on and the tomb that He walked away from are? For one…they are God’s pleading invitation for us to come to a relationship with Him. That’s LOVE!
9. We underestimate our sin debt that has been paid. (Luke 15:30) Many people may not have the wild testimony of how Jesus changed your life because you have never really been a “bad” person. But don’t underestimate the fact that all of your “goodness” would bust the gates of Hell wide open if not for Jesus! That ought to keep you passionately pursuing Him!
10. We “clean up” rather than “grow up”. (Luke 15:31) The older brother conformed outwardly to the rules but he never lived out of a heart of gratitude for all His father had provided. Don’t waste the opportunity God has given you to be in a relationship with Him because of following rules that are hollow and empty. Spend your life pursuing the ONE who gave it ALL!
Heart and Soul!