We care about so many people after they die, but have passion for so few while living. Sometimes it's too late to say what you should - things you don't have to say but that you want to. We all lack compassion at times, which affects those who love us most.
Peter was passionate about Jesus, so much that he cut off a servant's ear in the garden before the soldiers took his Lord captive. In the book of John, Jesus is talking to His father in heaven, praying for His disciples, knowing death is just hours away. He asked, "Keep them from the evil one. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth." Passionate prayer from Jesus to His father in heaven.
It doesn't end there. In John 17:19, Jesus Christ goes on to pray for you and me. Verse 20 states, "for those who will believe in me." Jesus is passionate about you, we know that - but I had a problem with that.
For many years I just couldn't wrap my head around being so loved by God that I receive favor in this life. Often I was mad at God because things didn't turn out my way, my questions weren't answered - it was all a lie and He didn't care at all. I studied psychology, read every book on every religion, tried to achieve innocuous intellectualism like many scholars of today. Deep inside I knew, but I was running hard away, afraid of being broken. The pain was too great. It confused me until the day I broke down in the middle of a cornfield. It flowed from my head and saturated my heart. Perfect passion - straight from the heart of God to mine. Personal, pure, eternal. God spoke love to me.
If you're a believer, you may never have entered into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. You listen to Christian music without the Holy Spirit moving your heart. You're lukewarm or hard. You could be religiously pragmatic, just doing your job for God.
A relative of mine has on her Instagram account, "Praising the lord and living like hell." So many people don't care if God loves. He is a trump card when you are about to die. People make up their own way, their own morals, choose the path they want, design their own principles and don't need church or fellowship. Really?
If you haven't given your heart, life, soul - all of you - to Jesus Christ, now is the time.
No one cares for you like God does and to believe any different is a lie from the enemy who comes as an angel of light.
Who hears your cry and listens to you? People you work with are backstabbing you. Hypocrites are everywhere you look, maintaining an outward form of godliness but there is no power in their lives.
You know what? HE IS REAL. He is working today and coming back in power!
It's not too late to run into His arms, open your heart and receive the perfect love God has for you. Dump what has bound you and empty yourself. Ask Jesus into your heart. Pour out your heart today so God can fill you up with fresh living water from His Word. Wait for His spirit to move you in a brand new way with your hands lifted high in His presence, passionate for Him. Enjoy your life walking in His presence, with compassion for those you rub shoulders with just as our Lord did. Share your faith and pray. Read a Bible.
It's that simple.
God is long-suffering, tender, merciful, great in compassion and full of grace. That is not weakness, that's great strength.
The Rev. David Bennett, of Reedsville, pastored a church near Pittsburgh for nearly 10 years after he was ordained by Calvary Chapel from southern California, home of Maranatha Music. He is currently the guest speaker at Windyhill Bible Church in Burnham. Bennett has been married for 37 years and has four grown sons and six grandchildren.