On a Sunday evening in April, the lead pastor of our network of churches came out to Cokato.
He (Per Nilsen) used a verse from Galatians as the basis of his message: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Pastor Per then spoke of the zealous love of Jesus, love that is directed “up,” “in,” and “out:”
• “Up” with His Father God.
• “In” through His commitment to His disciples.
• “Out” through passionate love toward others.
This leads to a question. If Christ is living in us, are we zealous, too?
Or are we passive?
“Up” toward our Father God? “In” our relationships with other believers? “Out” toward those who are not yet secure in the Lord?
Those questions are worth some consideration. If Jesus is living through us, then Jesus’ passion will be in us, too.
We are made for passionate, close, committed relationships in all three of these areas. It doesn’t begin with us, though. It begins as we experience the Father’s love for us, a love demonstrated and made secure in Jesus, a love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Without a beginning in the Lord, we will be cold.
It’s time to surrender. It’s time to just pray and ask God to come and fill you up, to surrender the “outward appearances” of religion, and receive the zealous love of Christ.
If you find that you are passive, just admit it. Be honest. And then ask someone to pray with you, and for you. You will be glad.