Sunday, January 31, 2010

Burning with passion

O, God you have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare your wondrous works—Psalm 71:17

How long has it been since we were young, when our hearts were burning with warring passions, when we felt we could do anything? For some of us, it has been light years ago; for others, just years; and, as we survey the congregation today, we find that many—myself included—are still in that tumultuous, volatile, and exciting phase of life.

If there is one thing the youth can teach us, it is this: to live passionately. But misdirected passion is just as difficult—perhaps even harder—to correct than a lack of it. All of us, regardless of our age group, may be guilty of one or the other: a passion geared to the fulfillment of worldly desires or an indifference to the advancement of the glory of Jesus Christ.

It must then refresh us to read an old saint, which many scholars think is David, write in Psalm 71:17, “O God, you have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare your wondrous works.” Psalm 71 may be regarded, according to Spurgeon, as “an utterance of struggling, but unstaggering, faith.”

From the passage we note two things: first, that the saint was a believer since the days of his youth; and second, that he was a believer still, even in his old age. The imagery is inspiring: an old man, probably arthritic and osteoporotic, but still harboring such a passion for his God that led him to say in verse 18: “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” The Lord clearly has preserved him, allowing him to declare the praises of the Lord all his life.

While the picture is heartwarming, it is also rebuking. How many of us have become less passionate about God than when we had first known him, blaming all too often our increased workload or exams? How many of us have grown tired of serving in church because we've invested our passions for the pursuit of other, less important things? How many of us have, after all these years of coming to church, treated Sunday worship or cell times or the youth fellowship as routine tasks? And still how many of us sometimes find ourselves looking back and wondering, “Where has my zeal for the Lord gone? What has happened to me?”

Whether we are 15 or 50, the Bible calls us to live our lives for Him because our God deserves our all. The Psalmist in Psalm 71 reminds us that, by careful study and diligent application of God's word, it is possible to do so.

. . .

This is the transcript of my exhortation during Youth Sunday. We in the Torchbearers Youth Fellowship had a wonderful, blessed time ministering in church. All glory be to God.

2 comments:

  1. Some say God first above everything else. But there is no else. Everything is God, is about God, and for God.

    Thanks for the inspiring message Lance. God bless you, kung san ka man nilagay ni Lord. =)

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  2. "Everything is God, is about God, and for God." That is so true, Ate Myka. It reminds me of Colossians 1:17, "And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." God bless you!

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