Rollin and I are taking a class this semester called "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement." It's every Monday evening from 7 to 10 at night. Each week they bring in different speakers, which is so awesome to be able to hear from such a variety of pastors and missionaries. This class has been so eye-opening and has changed the way I view God, the Bible, and my life.
There is a textbook that comes along with the course and each week we are assigned readings. I just finished reading one of the articles called "Apostolic Passion" by Floyd McClung and wanted to share some excerpts from it because I thought it was fantastic and convicting.
The first paragraph of the article:
'The term "passion" is used to describe everything from romance to hunger pangs. I don't know what it means to you, but for me passion means whatever a person is willing to suffer for. In fact, that's the root meaning of the word. It comes from the Latin paserre, to suffer. It is what you hunger for so intensely that you will sacrifice anything to have it. He word "apostle" means a sent one, a messenger. "Apostolic passion," therefore, is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. It has to do with being committed to the point of death to spreading His glory. It's the quality of those who are on fire for Jesus, who dream of the whole earth being covered with the glory of the Lord.'
'I know when apostolic passion has died in my heart. It happens when I don't spend my quiet time dreaming of the time when Jesus will be worshiped in languages that aren't yet heard in heaven. I know it's missing from my life when I sing about heaven, but live as if earth is my home. Apostolic passion is dead in my heart when I dream more about sports, toys, places to go and people to see, than I do about the nations worshiping Jesus.'
Um...wow...do I dream of the whole earth being covered with the glory of the Lord...to the point that I am willing to die for it?
Here's some more:
'We live in a world of competing passions. If we do not die to self and fill our lives with the consuming passion of the worship of God in the nations, we will end up with other passions.'
'If you have apostolic passion, you are one of the most dangerous people on the planet. The world no longer rules your hear. You are no longer seduced by getting and gaining but devoted to spreading and proclaiming the glory of God in the nations. You live as a pilgrim, unattached to the cares of this world. You are not afraid of loss. You even dare to believe you may be given the privilege of dying to spread His fame on the earth.'
Wow. I am afraid of loss. The thought of martyrdom scares me. But Jesus does give me hope because I know he can change me and change my heart. And that has been my prayer today.
If you want to read the full article you can read it on the author's blog here!