Why Wearing Black and Donning a Pin Will Accomplish Nothing (and a Side Note About Last Night’s Hypocrisy)

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Last night I tuned in to the Golden Globes.  In speech after speech, actors and singers  reiterated the mantra of this year’s theme:  “Time’s Up” on the sexual exploitation of women. They wore black. They wore pins. They declared war on depravity.

Oh,  how I wish it were so easy.

These celebrities are absolutely right to say that what has taken place, and — don’t be fooled — continues to take place involving the abuse of women must end. Surely we all agree on this. However, they are left scratching their heads as to how this monumental eradication of evil is to be achieved. So they do what we all tend to do, especially as a new year begins. They create external moralistic (and simplistic) acts they can do which they believe will change everything. In this case, they wear a certain color and a lapel pin. They pat themselves and one another on the back for being so very far above such wickedness, while shunning and shaming those who have been found to be in violation of their standard (Weinstein, Spacey, etc).  Easy.  Too easy.  Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Here’s what we know from Scripture. Like all sin, the atrocious treatment of women is the fruit of hearts which are far from God. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that everything we do flows from our hearts. That is very bad news in light of what the prophet Jeremiah reveals to us: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (17:9, ESV)

This is precisely why Hollywood celebrities are able to bestow praise and applause to a movie which features an adult man grooming and seducing a boy into having a physical relationship as they simultaneously shame Kevin Spacey for having, as an adult man, groomed and seduced boys into having physical relationships. The irony should not escape them, but it does, for their hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately sick….and so are all of ours. The Hollywood dilemma is not unique. It is simply more public.

Problem number one, celebrities, is that when addressing sin, we must start by admitting that it dwells inside of us, not outside of us. And there simply isn’t enough black fabric in the world with which to wrap ourselves to make it go away. We have but one solution, only One who can free us of our sin, and that is Jesus Christ, who came and bore our sins on the Cross in order to do so (John 3:16-17). He conquered sin and the grave, that through faith in Him, we would not have to be enslaved any longer to sin (Romans 6:6).

Problem number two, celebrities, is directly related to the first. As you establish your ever-changing moral code there in Hollywood and sit in retroactive, self-righteous judgment against those who have failed to live up to it, you must remember that your anger will have no effect. Zero. James 1:20 assures us that “man’s anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Only a heart transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ can turn away from sin. There is no other way. The change you desire does not happen in one fell swoop, but rather in one heart at a time, as people are introduced to Jesus and by faith receive the Gospel. At least for now. When Jesus returns to earth, we know that there will be a fell swoop. We see in 2 Thessalonians 1 that when Jesus comes to judge the earth, He will pour out His wrath upon the wicked, putting an end to sin. Unlike ourselves, He is qualified to do so. This is the moment of the global Time’s Up. And all of us, even Oprah herself, should tremble. We won’t be compared to Spacey or Weinstein. We will be compared to the holy and sinless Savior of the world. Only those who are in Him will be safe (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Finally, celebrities, who like me tend to overlook the hypocrisy that lives inside you, I would appeal to you to turn to Jesus. In Mark 1:2 Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” Time can be up for you this very day through this act alone. Repent and believe. This is the way of salvation.

 

 

 

 

Time’s Up, Pencils Down

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Every time another of my children launches, I get that same feeling you get on a standardized test when the clock runs out and the exam monitor calls out, “Time’s up, pencils down.” Each time it hits like a ton of bricks. Over? Already?

Sending the youngest child off to college is one of the most excruciating experiences I’ve had as a mother. I longed to sweep him back up in my arms and carry him home.  How did this come so soon?  I remember as clearly as I remember my name his first day of kindergarten when he ran out to catch the bus. The sun had not yet risen, and a small vertical embankment stood between our lawn and the road to the bus stop. He stopped at that point and exclaimed, “I must what I must!” before jumping off and running to join the other waiting children.

That was just yesterday. Now he’s in college over 4,000 miles away, and my season of influence has come, for the most part, to a sudden end.

On the very same day I said goodbye to Calvin and his brother Colson in Alaska, my father’s time ran out as well, when he went to be with the Lord.  My dad’s death should have come as no surprise, as he had been ill for a very long time. Oddly, even though I’d known Calvin was going away to college and that my dad was going to die, both events stunned me. Some part of me had held onto the belief that things would remain just as they were.

I am not unique. We live in an age where people spend their lives in flat denial that all of our days are numbered–that the God of the universe will at some point say to each of us, “Time’s up.” Every person will at a time already appointed stand before the God who is judge. How often these days do we hear the phrase, “Only God can judge,” typically argued by persons who do not believe he actually will judge? Be not deceived. God is holy and He is judge.

We should shudder at this terrifying fact: Every wrong thought, every selfish deed, every angry word spoken, every lustful glance given, indeed every single sin we’ve ever committed in all time will be laid out before God and judged. Not one of us can stand before a holy God and be found even close to worthy of anything but hell.

Except…

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Isa. 53:4-6, ESV)

The good news is that for those of us who have put our trust and faith in Christ, the price for our sin has been paid. In the greatest but most inequitable exchange of all time, Jesus Christ has granted us pure and complete holiness in trade for our wretched sinful condition for which he died. He has paid our ransom, that we might receive eternal life, escaping judgment!

“But God proves his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, Berean Study Bible)

Here is the power and the good news of the Gospel. When we confess our sins and repent of them, calling upon the name of Jesus and putting our faith in Him, we no longer need to fear that “Time’s up” instant nor the eternal wages for our sin.  He delivers us from the curse of sin and death. We are free to live lives of obedience, now and forevermore.

My dad had done this. Albeit late in life, my dad turned from his sin and trusted Christ as his Savior. I will see my dad again on that day when my time is up.

If  you’re reading this and you haven’t given your life to Christ, your time is not yet up. It could be decades from now or this very night. Not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  Do you want to continue to live for  yourself and receive the penalty of your sin, or are you willing to lay it all down and follow Christ?  The choice is yours. Make it soon.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

 

 

 

I have some news…

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Lately I’ve been burdened by a message growing louder and louder within the Christian community, especially aimed toward women. “You are enough.” There are memes, blog posts, and articles trying to convince us that we can stop striving and rest in assurance that we, in and of ourselves, are beautiful and perfect and good. To be sure, it’s a sweet sounding message. The only problem is…it is a lie.  I’m sorry.  I know this is hard to hear.

Dear reader, it is not we who are enough. Yes, we can be beautiful or smart or athletic or rich, but the one thing we cannot be is enough. We strive hard to become more of all those things so that we can reach a magical point of arrival, but who have you known–who have you ever known who reached a day of believing he or she had reached destination enough? Who has stopped going to the gym because his or her body has hit that perfect point? Stopped going to the salon? Stopped working? Stopped dieting? Stopped attempting to be more, do more, earn more, achieve more? No, we keep striving, because in our hearts we know we are not enough.

We were never meant to be enough…Jesus came and died to become our “enough.” But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, ESV)  It is in Jesus that we can stop striving. It is in Jesus that we become enough, not because of who we are or what we’ve done, but because the Son of the living God has shed his blood to make us pure, holy, and perfect–a perfection not because of ourselves but but in spite of us. It is not our capability but our inability to be great that makes room for his greatness and glory to be displayed. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made great in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

Let us not for another minute puff ourselves and one another up with a lie we deep down don’t believe anyway. Rather, let us proclaim the amazing truth that Jesus is enough! In our weakness, he is strong. In our darkness, he is light. On our very worst days, we remain unblemished in the sight of God, because in Christ we have been made perfect! He is our enough! As John MacArthur put it, “To have Him is to have everything. Not to have Him is to have absolutely nothing at all. All joy, peace, meaning, value, purpose, hope, fulfillment in life now and forever is bound up in Christ. And when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they enter into an all-sufficient relationship with an all-sufficient Christ.”

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)

Jesus is enough!

 

 

 

 

The Profound Sound of Silence

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Our culture is so very noisy, isn’t it? When I was young, life seemed to be so much quieter. Television stations actually turned off by midnight and didn’t begin broadcasting again until 6 or 7 in the morning. We didn’t have the internet or cell phones or ipods to keep us constantly engaged. Within this age of information and digital connection, it’s so very easy to go days or even weeks without enjoying the gift of silence.

Several months ago, I felt impressed upon by the Lord to be quiet. I didn’t know why…I just felt he was telling me to be silent. Initially, I responded by withdrawing from Facebook, Twitter, and this very blog. This led to a precious time of beginning to hear his voice guiding me and preparing me for things I had no idea were about to happen. My life was about to change in a dramatic and wonderful way, but to get through those changes, I truly needed my heart to be fixed upon God and his faithfulness.

I won’t even pretend to understand everything that God is doing, but oh, the excitement of living in what I know to be his incredible, gracious plan! He has picked us up (rather suddenly!) from our home in Texas and transplanted us in Virginia, where we are getting precious time with all six of our children and our little honeybee. He has placed us with a sweet new church that just began in May. He has given me a new job, which I have to tell you, would never have entered my mind as worth considering had I not taken time to be quiet and listen. He has connected us with new friends in our neighborhood, who have brought us into their Bible study group. He has also joined us to the local Emmaus community in an exciting way. Through it all, he is teaching us to listen, trust, and follow.

During this same quiet period, though, some scary changes have taken place around us. ISIS now shares daily headlines with ebola. War is being waged in Ukraine (so very dear to our hearts) by Russia. Every day seems to bring troubles unimagined the day before. It would be so easy to tremble in the face of it all, had the Lord not drawn me into a time of quietness before him. This morning I was reading in Psalm 46…”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (v. 1-3) In my quietness before God, I have sensed that we are about to walk through difficult times. Many believers seem to have this impression. But I love how that same chapter ends: “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts (armies!) is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (v. 10-11)

In my entire life, I’ve never experienced such a true sense of utter dependence upon God. Oh, the hope that is found in total surrender! How grateful I am that he called me to be still and listen.

Consequential Mercies

It was shortly after 7 a.m. this past Sunday when RJ’s phone woke us from sound sleep. On the line was a security guard from the local mall where we own several stores. “Mr. Dittmeier, we need you to come down here.” We’d been robbed, but luckily (this time), the perpetrator was caught in the act. San Antonio Police had been called in, and my husband needed to go in and press charges.

When RJ entered the room where the man was being held, he took photos to share with other mall merchants, causing the thief to become enraged. This young adult began shouting threats that as soon as he called his dad, my husband would be dealt with very harshly….maybe even sued.

I don’t doubt it.

We live in a culture that has decided that children and consequences do not belong together. Online groups praise parents who allow children to be defiant, self-willed beings, lacking respect for authority of any type, including their parents and, by logical extension, God himself. This is, as Dr. Phil says, child abuse.

A memory forever etched in my mind from my years working for MADD is a pitiful one. A local attorney of extreme wealth crumpled to the floor of the courthouse in a heap, bawling his eyes out. His money and legal resources had failed to keep his son from facing consequences. Having sent a teenage girl to a wheelchair for life, a young man with seemingly every advantage in life was sentenced to prison. Every time he had crashed a car, his dad had bought him a new one. Even after he’d paralyzed this girl, Dad bought him a new BMW. The world now came at this young man full force, bearing consequences which may have been avoided had he ever learned consequences earlier in life.

Another memory from MADD is when a father called to ask me to attend his son’s court hearing and implore them to not consider probation. “This is his third arrest, and I’m afraid he’s going to kill someone,” he pleaded with me.

“Who bails him out of jail when he’s arrested?” I asked.

“I do,” he sheepishly replied.

I admire that this dad wanted his son to finally face the consequences for his behavior (mainly to protect others, which is admirable), but where was the courage to say, “Son, I love you…and because I love you, I am not going to let you get out of jail and endanger others and yourself. You’re going to have to face the consequences of continuing this behavior.”

I get it. We want our kids to love us. We want them to like us. However, our higher goal has to be that our children will love, honor, and obey God. This starts in the home with the parents.

In Scripture we meet a priest named Eli who failed to use consequences to teach his sons. They filled their days with debauchery of every kind, blaspheming God himself. Eli pleaded with his sons to behave better and attempted to reason with them (1 Sam. 3:24-25), but they, having no respect for either God or their father, refused to listen. God eventually put them to death, “because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.” (3:13)

Throughout Scripture, we see God use discipline repeatedly to bring his people to and back to repentance. Hebrews 12:6 tells us that the Lord disciplines those he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. (ESV) At times, the punishments are very harsh, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, whom God struck dead in the book of Acts. We do not serve a God who winks at sin.

Consequences serve us. They interrupt our lives with the reality of the seriousness of our rebellion. They point us toward our need for our Savior, Jesus. They remind us that our sin is unacceptable in the Kingdom of God. They direct us toward repentance. Pity the man who faces no consequences for his actions. He will face them eventually. If he’s fortunate, he will face them in this world. If not, he will face them before our God in heaven.

The good news is this: Jesus died that we could be set free from the eternal consequences of our sin. While undoubtedly we may suffer consequences for our poor choices on this earth for the rest of our lives, we do not have to dread our appointment with our Heavenly Father. At the Cross, my sins were dealt with forever. Let this not lead me to a cheap view of my sin or my salvation, but to unspeakable gratitude. Let me direct my children toward a Holy God, an accurate attitude toward sin, and the risen Savior who alone can deliver them.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11, NIV)

I Believe, BUT….

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I have to say it….there are some real downfalls to working as a bereavement counselor.  My work as such began in late 2009, when I accepted a position in victim services with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Besides conducting individual counseling, I ran a support group comprised of moms who’d lost their children to drunk drivers.  This was an incredibly difficult task as a mom of six children.  The cases I encountered were converted into fear.  Every time my cell phone rings, my mind goes straight to those scenarios.  This is true in spite of God’s incredible sustaining mercy which has been manifested over the past 25 years of motherhood.

After leaving MADD, I spent a year at the local Children’s Bereavement Center serving children who’d suffered sibling loss.  There I encountered cases where children had been lost due to illness or accident.  I also acquired an entirely new database of scenarios involving painful, traumatic loss.  It is in light of such knowledge that I feel utterly helpless as a mother and grandmother. ” I must prevent these things from happening, but how?”

I’ll be honest…these past three weeks I’ve spent helping with my granddaughter, I’ve been very busy childproofing.  Every piece of furniture over two feet tall is bolted to the walls (yes, in the studs).  The cupboards are locked with the latest, greatest equipment.  Chemicals are out of reach.  Outlets are properly covered.  These are the things I can do, and they are good things.  I must, however, come to terms with this difficult and profound truth:  I am not and can never be God.  My children and my grandchild are in better, more capable, even more loving hands than my own.  The tragedies with which I’ve worked should not compel me into fear, but rather a deeper trust in the One who loves them more than I. 

I’d love for this paragraph to be the one in which I share with you how I have overcome my fear of tragic loss.  To the contrary, this is where I shall convey my need.  In Mark 9, Jesus is approached by a man whose begs for his son’s deliverance from an evil spirit.  When Jesus responds to him that “all things are possible to him who believes,” the father desperately cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (ESV).  When it comes to my trusting God with my offspring, I must confess that I have everything in common with this man.

How I love to end posts with insight–an example of victory or proclamation of faith.  But this very day I experienced panic when a child didn’t respond to a text for several hours and didn’t answer the phone.  (Sent another child to check on her!)   I have every reason to think that tomorrow will bring fear and anxiety of its own.  So consider this more of a prayer request, my way of crying out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  May I not trust in myself, but in the One who has accompanied me through every dark time in my life and theirs. 

Jesus, surround my children and grandchild with your angels.  Guide them with your hand in the way that they should go.  And while you’re doing that, help me to trust in you.  Amen.

Sinatra, Peter, and Me

The other day my husband and I parked by an expensive convertible sports car.  On it was a sticker that stated, “My Life My Way.”  Of course, it brought to mind Frank Sinatra and how he proclaimed about his life, “I did it my way.”  You may be surprised to know that I envy Frank.  No, I don’t want to live my life my way, because I know that would lead to disaster.  I want to live God’s way.  Sinatra, however, goes on to say something that I envy….”Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few too mention.”  

I am unable to truthfully share such sentiments as Frank expressed.  There are many choices I wish I had made differently–words I should or shouldn’t have used, actions I should or shouldn’t have taken, in each case doing the exact opposite of what God would have had me to do.  They lie in the past unchangeable, indelible.  

Recently I posted about how Peter’s faith in the midst of fear allowed him to walk on water.  Tonight, though, I want to bring up something very different about him.  Peter made regretful choices.  Having sworn his undying allegiance to Jesus, Peter nonetheless, driven by fear, denied knowing Jesus three times following Christ’s arrest.  Jesus had foretold he would do this, but Peter couldn’t fathom choosing so poorly in light of his devotion and love for the Messiah.  Matthew 26 tells us that just as he realized he had done exactly as Jesus had prophesied, he went out and wept bitterly.

Have you ever wept bitterly over your own actions?  Have you done so as a believer who, in spite of knowing Christ and his mercy, defied his will for your life?  I have.  I can relate to Peter.  But here’s the question?  What do we do with our regrets?

If we are like Sinatra, we can minimize them.  We can push them aside and focus on better things.  As Christians, however, we don’t have that liberty.  Rebellion against God brings anguish and consequences into our lives.  We feel the distance it creates between us and God.  We REGRET our regrets.  But what do we do with them?

As it turns out, Peter’s denial of Christ came in the days after the Passover and prior to Christ’s crucifixion.  We are in those very days right now.  On Friday of this Holy Week, we recognize the Christ who bore our sins on the Cross.  Every wrong choice, every word spoken in anger, every act of mercy withheld, he bore.  Every lie, immoral act, murder, or hateful deed we would someday carry out, were inflicted upon him in the form of torture unto death.  Jesus gave himself up for us on a cross precisely because we are unable to live regret-free lives.  He who had committed no sin died for those who could not keep from it.  This, Christian, is where we place our regrets.  We ask forgiveness, yes, and then we lay them down at the Cross where Jesus died that we might be free of them.

Jesus is for Real

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I was checking out at CVS today when the cover of the current issue of Time Magazine caught my eye–“Rethinking Heaven.” I’d love to tell you I purchased the magazine, but seriously, I don’t have money to waste on finding out what the modern world thinks about Heaven. I trust the mainstream media’s ideas about Heaven about as much as I trust Hollywood’s ideas about Noah. Zero.

I am, however, refreshed by the idea that we are talking about Heaven. The popular movie Heaven is for Real has generated a lot of enthusiasm, as has God’s not Dead…and hold on, Christians, more films are coming! I’ve read For Real, and I’ve seen Not Dead. The former neither offended me nor added to my faith, and the latter inspired me. Neither, however, are foundations upon which I base my understanding of Heaven or Christ.

Also generating talk of Heaven and Jesus are global current events taking place in Israel, in culture, and in astronomy. I’m fascinated by the unfolding of prophecies foretold centuries ago, yet these do not make or break my faith. They serve to remind me that everything Christ promised would happen will actually come to pass exactly as he promised, including his return to us.

Is it important to remember that Christ is coming back? The answer to that lies in Exodus 32:1, when the Israelites decided Moses wasn’t really coming down from Mount Sinai: “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” (ESV)

I propose to you that this passage serves as a foreshadowing of what the world would do after Christ’s ascension into Heaven. Even though he has come down to us as God incarnate, performed miracles, raised the dead, delivered us from the bondage of sin, and was crucified and raised that we may live eternally, he hasn’t returned quickly enough for us to keep these things in our hearts. In essence we have declared, “Let us make our own gods. As for this fellow Jesus who delivered us from sin, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

But Moses came back. The Israelites had turned to every god they could fashion out of material items they owned and had turned to every form of pleasure. They had pushed Moses and his God far from their minds and their choices. Because they turned away to other gods, they suffered severe consequences, just as we will if in growing weary in waiting for Christ, we turn away from him to other gods (materialism, false religion, self-worship, or other forms of idolatry).

I have to tell you, I am excited about Jesus’s return. Jesus, you see, is for real. History backs him up. The stars and the sun and the moon and all of creation reveal his glory. Most importantly, his Word, the Bible, tells me everything I need to know about him–that he is the Way and the Truth and the Life and no man can come unto the Father except through Him. (John 14:6), and that if I put my faith in him I will live eternally (Acts 16:31). I know that he is coming back to the earth (John 14:3), and I know that he calls me to live a life worthy of his calling (Eph. 4:1).

Hebrews 10 sums it all up for me: 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

And so it is that I base my faith upon what Scripture tells me, not what a little boy or some journalist or a nun or Oprah might say, but on Scripture. On their points, I may agree or disagree, but Scripture will determine that.

Passions and the Pursuit of Them

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Over the past few days I’ve become acutely aware of the battle that is being waged for my passion.  Because I am a single soul in a grandiose universe, I am seriously dumbfounded.  Why does my passion matter?  The other day, I talked about the importance of one. I’d like to bring it up in a different context again today–the importance of the passions of one.  To talk about that, I have to start with one profoundly simple statement.  Jesus Christ died that I might be saved.  That’s it.

Merriam-Webster defines the word passion in several ways:

1) a strong feeling or excitement for something or about doing something

2) a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way

3) a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone.

Most of us have felt one or more of these, have we not?

Given those definitions, I can tell you that many things stir “passion” within me…my family, my baby granddaughter, cycling, fitness classes, yummy healthy foods, travel…..there’s an endless list.  Ironically or not, the definition for “Passion,” when capitalized, happens to be “the suffering and death of Jesus Christ between the Last Supper and the Cross.”  Countless millions of people have suffered and died,  yet the true definition of Passion singles out Jesus alone.  This matters to me, and it serves as a reminder to me.  Christ alone suffered and died for me!  Many, many entities will compete for my passions, but Jesus….he DIED for them.

Here’s the truth.  There is ONE throne that inhabits the ruler our hearts…..just one.  Sure, we can love many, many people and things. Jesus gave room for these, in their proper position, when he taught us this in Matthew 6:33:  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (KJV)  In other words, if we put Jesus on the throne of our hearts–the very object of our passion, he will provide for us all else we need.  There isn’t a single other competitor for my heart that can promise me that.

Let me give you a phrase that can serve as a warning bell when someone or something seeks to captivate your passion….”_______” will change your life!  Or in another way….”_______” has changed my life!”  Put any word in that blank, good or bad, it is counterfeit!  If Jesus isn’t in that blank, no life has been or will be changed.  It is idolatry, plain and simple.  I don’t care if it makes you gorgeous, rich, healthy, skinny, well-educated, virile, happy, or pain-free.  If Jesus is not in that blank, your life has yet to be changed.

Getting back to the matter of the importance of the passions of one, I offer this:  That which drives you controls your life.  Why are your specific passions important?  It is because they will determine the choices you make and the very effect you will have in the lives of others.  He or that which inhabits the throne of your heart will determine the impact you make in this world.  Will it be temporary or eternal?  Will it lead to temporary satisfaction or eternal satisfaction?  If it ain’t Jesus, it’s temporary.  No exceptions.

 

(above image hijacked from livewithpassionnow.com)