what’s your single passion?

It is New Year’s Day afterall and I know for many American Football is their one single passion in life! And probably rightly so – though for me it has always been skiing – with either snowskiing or waterskiing.   For many years these two things were pretty much all I lived for (I mostly got away from them more due to lack of access or opportunity more than anything.  Besides, with lift tickets being in the $50 and up range snowskiing is fast becoming a sport for the wealthy only.   I remember the days back in highschool (late 80’s) when we could ski all day for $16!

The Apostle Paul was also a man of single passion.  There was one thing or one person who drove all that he did and how he lived his life – that passion was none other than the person of Jesus Christ.

Regarding Paul’s statements in Philippians 1:12-28 (a passage many struggle with) Gordon Fee writes:

It would be easy to dismiss this passage (vv.12-18a) either as anecdotal narrative or as Paul’s simply putting the best possible face on a bad situation.  But that would be to miss too much.  Paul can write things like this because, first, his theology is in good order.  He has learned by the grace of God to see everything from the divine perspective.  This was not wishfulness but deep conviction – that God had worked out his own divine intentions through the death and resurrection of Christ, and they by his Spirit he is carrying them out in the world through the church, and therefore through both himself and others.  It is not that Paul is too heavenly minded to be in touch with reality, or that he see things through rosy-tinted glasses.  Rather, he sees everything in light of the bigger picture; and in that bigger picture, fully emblazoned on our screen at Calvary, there is nothing that does not fit, even if it means suffering and death on the way to resurrection…. (125).

Here is the part I wanted to get to but felt the last part was equally important:

Second, and related to the first, Paul is a man of a single passion: Christ and the gospel. Everything is to be seen and done in the light of Christ.  For him both life and death mean Christ.  He is the passion of the single minded person who has been “apprehended by Christ,” as he will tell the Philippians in 3:12-14 (125).

Perhaps as we head into a New Year we can reassess our passions and what those are or what it is. For Paul, it was Jesus Christ and the gospel – nothing else.   He was one who had been apprehended by Christ and the gospel – it was all he lived for – it drove everything he did – how he lived, how he though, how he interacted with others.   This of course isn’t to downplay a passion for football or baseball or even hockey.    Aside from that, like the Apostle Paul, is Christ our single passion?  Have we been “apprehended” by him such that in spiritual terms, Christ is our only and single passion?

What is your passion as you head into this New Year?

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a joyous and festive New Years Year’s eve – mine was spent bowing before the porcelain altar.  I couldn’t stop (2-3 times and hour) so I eventually got medical help at the clinic here to help stop the vomiting and severe stomach pain.  Been sleeping since 5:30 or so last night but still not totally out of the clear – if you can, pray for us, we’re all getting some violent stomach virus – it has been no fun at all.  Blessings.

I know too lots of people talk about their times of sickness as some spiritual experience – lol – not me!  All I do is think about myself and how to get through or get over the pain/sickness, etc – sorry, most times of sickness for me aren’t  spiritual times – the are very selfish times.