Affective Passion

affected The word passion means "to be affected by" [Tweet That] Think of the things you are passionate about.

You are passionate about those things you are most affected by, and that may be just about anything. When I think of the picture of my life and its passions, I want to create a picture of how ridiculous it is to be more passionate about anything other than Jesus Christ and his presence, his love, his grace, and his Spirit.

Does prayer affect me? When I pray, do I come from a place where my heart is affected and affectionate, or are they words without thoughts?

Does my time in God's word affect me? Do I read the things I read wanting to allow myself to actually be affected by what I read, or am I just reading words without thoughts?

Is my life affected by the love of God today? Not effected, but affected. The former I do not control, the latter I do. Do I allow my heart and life to be affected by the gospel? Am I truly passionate about my life with Christ? Does it affect me today? Do I allow his grace to affect my emotion, my choices, and my thirst for MORE?

These are the true questions of passion.

The richest least of these

I found the least of these in our rich America.  Huh?  How could that be possible?  Where could you have possibly found the least of these here?

Jesus tells the Disciples, “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat.  I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, naked and you did not clothe me.”  Then they ask Him the same thing I could here at the university.  “God, when did I ever actually see you hungry, thirsty or naked here?”  There are no least of these here, God.  They pay good money to be here.  These people don’t ever go hungry or thirsty, and it is illegal to be naked in public should they even desire to do so.  Where are the least of these among me here?

God would answer me to tell me I am swimming in a sea of people who are hungry, thirsty and naked in their soul.  How am I meeting those needs?  What do the least of these look like in the culture around me?

Are we only hungry for food?  Do we only thirst for liquid?  Do we only need clothing to cover us?  I am sure our hearts would bleed with all sorts of answers to that question.  Of course we hunger and thirst for all sorts of things.  Many of us hunger for purpose.  We thirst for passion.  We are hungry for some sort of understanding.  We are thirsty for someone to recognize us; for someone to affirm us in our pursuits and existence.  We all want to be clothed in someone’s concern for us.  We desire to be covered by some sort of care from anyone.  We are all hungry, thirsty, and naked souls.

More importantly, the least of these surround me on all sides each day.  But Jesus’ question still lacerates my heart today.  “What have I done for the least of these among me?”  Not much!  This kills me not only because it’s a condition on my heart, but because is literally my JOB to do something for the least of these among me.

I fear that I refused to give to them what they needed.  I fear I did not clothe many if any friends in affirmation.  I fear I did not feed many if any friends’ hunger for understanding or purpose.  I fear I did not quench many if any person's thirst for passion or someone else’s active concern for them.

I fear there were too many hungry, thirsty, and naked souls I passed by for an entire year with miniscule interest.  I fear the least of these among me saw me too BUSY for their hopes, fears, concerns, aspirations, dreams, doubts, disappointments, and loneliness.  And its my job, not only as an pastor but as a Christian.  I must love more.