2913-10-25 - Passion
Originally Published 2011-09-09
Originally Preached to a Youth Group on 2008-01-09
What are you passionate about?
Other than the obvious God, family, and youth group stuff, there are two
things I get real excited about: food and music.
What kind of food do you like?
I love Italian, Mexican, American, Japanese, Chinese - there's not many styles
I've tried that I don't like.
What kind of music do you like?
I like a lot of different styles. Metal, Classic Rock, Hair band 80's rock,
some emo, pop, country; there's only a handful of types I don't like at all.
Music comes in a great variety. That's the way God created it. In a list
of things the Ephesian Christians should do, Paul includes
"speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord". (Ephesians
5:19) This to me is an all inclusive list of music types that we should
sing to one another and to the Lord. And I'm glad Paul says "in your heart"
rather than "with your voices," because my singing is bad, but it still honors
God when my heart is in the right place.
Keeping your heart in the right place is hard. Satan hates to hear Christians
praising God, so he comes alongside me as I'm singing and whispers, "Wow!
That's bad." And then "Whoa! Don't get too loud, or you'll embarrass yourself"
Then I remember the words to Undignified, a great song by David
"I will dance, I will sing, to be mad, for my King
Nothing Lord Is hindering this passion in my soul
And I'll become even more undignified than this
Some may say it's foolishness
But I'll become even more undignified than this
Leave my pride by my side"
That's what singing really has to be about letting your heart express itself.
That requires some vulnerability and openness, though. Some songs are for
those around you. Other songs are for God. For example, a song that tells
truths about God's love or mercy is for those around you, but would be to
him if it were praising him for his love and mercy.
Even though I don't agree with all he says about music, I do like one thing
an old preacher named Tolbert Moore has said about it.
"The church has never been able to do its work effectively without songs
of the faith. Great preachers have had great singing to complement their
messages. Great churches have had great singing and good music programs for
young and old. Music is a potent force and should only be used of God to
further His great cause."
Music stirs the heart. It can stir it for good or evil, but it definitely
stirs it. No wonder the Bible's largest book is a book of songs. Let's look
at one of those songs.
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous
things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness
He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the
house of Israel; All the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the Earth; break forth
in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to God. He has done. He has gained. He made known. He saves ... He,
he, he. Do you notice we're not really in this much, except in two places?
We're to sing to him and shout to him.
Most people, I think, understand the singing part, but do we get the shouting
part? Shouting takes us back to our passions, doesn't it? What do we shout
We shout at football games, when our team does something good.
We shout at a concert, when a band we like plays a good song.
I'm passionate about food and music. It would seem strange to shout at a
restaurant for getting a good plate of cannelloni, or a great burger, but
we ought to let the world around us see our excitement about God, if they
see our excitement about other things.
Wonder if your friends think, "Wow that God of his is no big deal. He gets
excited about basketball, but shows no emotion when he talks about worshipping
Let's get excited about it. Some of you looked forward to the bowl games
for weeks. Others looked forward to YEC or some other events, and told friends
about it. But we should be that excited about God.
I'm guilty, too. I'll stay up until almost midnight, to watch a movie I really
want to watch, or to see Monday Night Football, but I find it difficult to
get up early to spend quiet time with God. My passions get reversed. I have
to be deliberate about it
We shouldn't be able to get enough of it.
Jesus, in the Beatitudes, tells us
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6)
Hungry, thirsty people haven't had all they want of God. They want as much
as they can get. And they get excited about it. Have you ever seen a bunch
of hungry homeless people scrambling for food? They're shouting, waving arms
and excited about getting filled with earthly food. We should be at least
that excited about spiritual food.
This year. let's get excited about God and shout to him.
Now without further ado, here's our new praise band, "I Holler."Let's risk
being undignified, and help them sing and shout to the Lord.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted
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