Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Third O: Passio Dei

The apostle Paul was passionate and soulful in his faith. He emphasized the heights and the depths of knowing Christ. He described faith as "of" this, "through" that, "in" this, "by" that, "for" this, "beyond that" and on and on.

The teachings of Jesus and of Paul and the nature of Christianity itself is all about fullness. Christian tradition and theology tend to underscore orthodoxy and orthopraxy much more than they do orthopathy.

The first "O" - orthodoxy - is often tied by theologians to the nature of God and His image. Thus, orhodoxy is connected to the emphasis on the Imago Dei - the image of God, a human description of God's character and nature.

Additionally, the Mission Dei - mission of God - is more indicative of the second "O" - orthopraxy. It is focused more on the great work and purpose os God shown in the gospels and in the blessing of Abraham - to become a blessing to the nations of the earth.

This, however, leaves another key component and the third "O" - orthopathy. Perhaps embracing the term Passion Dei - the passion of God - would be a good complementary term to adopt and use more often as soulful Christians.

We are being conformed to the Imago Dei (the image of God) shown by our engagements in the Missio Dei (the mission of God) and energized by the Passio Dei (the passion of God).

How do we celebrate and live out all three in our daily lives? Sometimes in order to find out more of what we need to be doing right we need to consider the things we are doing wrong. Here are seven ways to snuff the passion of your faith.

  1. Neglecting the person of God and the practices of faith - God, prayer, and worship. Overlooking the simples aspects of faith develops a shallow soul.
  2. Centering your life on yourself. this forms a shrinking soul.
  3. Dependence on natural talents and abilities alone. This leads to a self-sufficient soul.
  4. Ethnic exclusivity. This creates an isolated soul.
  5. Overlooking and dishonoring the generations. This yields an unsupported soul.
  6. Disconnecting from community and relationships. This produces a selfish soul.
  7. Conforming to the world, one compromise at a time. This leads to a conflicted soul.
However, when our faith catches fire...
  • our beliefs turn into boldness.
  • our desires turn to desperation.
  • out prayers turn into soul cries and intercessions.
  • the written Word of God in our minds becomes the spoken Word of God to our hearts.
  • we move from knowing about God to becoming intimate with God.
Feed The Fire: How are you living out the image, mission ,and passion of God?

Romans 11:33

       Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

Ephesians 3:8

       Though I am the least deserving of all God's people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.

Ephesians 3:16-20

       I pray the from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Colossians 3:18-19

       Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

Romans 11:33

       Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

Embracing a More Passionate Faith

God loves a heart on fire. There is something about fire, something that catches our attention and make us want to stop whatever we are doing and draw closer.
Whether blazing logs under a living room mantle or encircled by stones at a campsites, a fire quickly becomes the hearth, and heart, of a family or a community. It keeps people warm, illuminates their interactions, and becomes a focal point that brings people together.

And a fire is an ideal metaphor for passion , a burning and consuming force that is unquenchable. It is also a fitting image for faith. When  belief moves from the mere mental assets to a deep, convectional belief, it does something powerful. Faith catches fire.

The face of American and global Christianity is changing. And Latino Christianity are leading the way, not just by sheer demographics but also through their purpose, passion, and promise.

And there is much to learn about this fresh approach to a more soulful (soul full) Christianity.

Their passionate approach is both vertical and horizontal. In contrast, non- soulful (soul less) is either predominantly vertical or horizontal.

Soul-full faith is vertical, which means we look up to God, and it's about God and His kingdom. Soul-full faith is all also horizontal, which means it's about out families and communities.

We can learn a few key lessons from how Latinos embrace a more passionate faith. These include:
  • a deep conviction, almost simple assumption, that the only way to experience power in your life and ministry is by engaging deeply in practices of prayer
  • joy-infused singing and worship
  • a passion in preaching the gospel that is underscored by a sense of a prophetic immediacy and urgency
  • a powerful but natural merging of evangelism and compassion, of help and compassion, of  help and of hope, of giving people the gospel, and the kind assistance of a good neighbor
Feed The Fire: What parts of your faith are naturally passionate-and in which areas to you struggle to feel emotionally engaged? Do you want to embrace a more passionate faith?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for a revival that is sweeping the entire globe. I want to embrace a more passionate faith-a vertical and horizontal faith. Fill me afresh with the power of your Holy Spirit so that I can look up to you and advance you Kingdom as well as impact my family, friends, neighbors, classmates and colleagues with you hope and your peace. Amen.

2 Timothy 1:6

¨This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift of God gave you when I laid my hands on you.¨