My love for college basketball started when I was twelve years old. While all my friends were losing their heads and their hearts to the latest boy-band, (was it New Kids on the Block?), I lost my head and heart to the North Carolina Tarheels.
To prove my love for my team I wore a UNC t-shirt every day for an entire year. I sent homemade birthday cards to every player on the team. And I never, I mean NEVER, missed a game. Just to be safe I recorded most of them, and I saved every magazine or newspaper article I could find.
In time, I mellowed out (a little.) But it was this same crazed enthusiasm that sparked a thread of text messages between my dad and me.
Me: It seems like everything these days in college basketball is driven by networks, and programs, and money. It’s going to ruin everything good about the game…I should blog about this.
Dad: You should.
Me: It’s a little outside my realm but still full of passion!
Dad: Passion is your realm.
Passion is your realm. These words, coming from my dad, warmed my heart and got me thinking.
It seems to me that when it comes to things like college basketball, NFL football, and Sherlock Holmes (my personal TV obsession) we, as a culture, have no problem feeling and expressing our passion. We jump from our couches and cheer when our team scores the winning goal. We light up Facebook and Twitter when drama strikes the characters of our favorite TV shows, movies, or novels. Did you see what happened to ???
But when it comes to our faith or our walk with God, what of passion then?
Last summer I had the joy of hearing speaker and author, Cindy Bultema give a fascinating presentation on her latest Bible study series titled, Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Church. Based on God’s message to the church of Laodicea found in Revelation 3:14-22, Cindy’s teaching encourages readers and listeners to, “Be hot, be cold, be something!”
According to Cindy, and her studies of Revelation, the ancient city of Laodicea was surrounded by two other cities, Hierapolis and Colosse. Because of their unique water sources each of these cities had a different type of water supply.
While the city of Hierapolis was known for its warm, therapeutic waters, the city of Colosse was known for its refreshing, cold water. The city of Laodicea had no natural water source and was therefore dependent on the water flow of its neighboring cities. Unlike the waters of Hierapolis and Colosse, Laodicea’s water supply was lukewarm and virtually useless.
Think about it. Consider what it feels like to take a steaming hot shower when you’re sick or a drink of ice-cold water when you’re incredibly thirsty. Now consider how it would feel to do either of these things with tepid, lukewarm water…yuck! The level of usefulness and satisfaction is just not the same.
So it was with the church of Laodicea. When God looked at this church he found its people had become lukewarm in their faith. They had allowed themselves to be neither therapeutic nor refreshing. They were stale, tepid and good for nothing.
Yikes! I don’t know about you, but this is not what I want God to find when He looks at me. I want Him to find me useful for His kingdom. I want to be a therapeutic or refreshing glimpse of God and His love. I want to be passionate with my faith and the hope I have in Him.
When Cindy urges her readers and listeners to “be hot, be cold, be something,” this is exactly what she means. And this is exactly what God was saying to the church of Laodicea, “Be passionate! Be of use!”
Be like hot water. Be comforting, therapeutic and healing to hearts that are hurting and broken.
Be like cold water. Be refreshing, invigorating and thirst quenching to souls that are parched and dry.
But don’t be lukewarm. Don’t be tepid, stale or useless to a world that needs you.
Live in the realm of passion and let that passion be for your faith. Let that passion be for the hurting world around you and the glimpse of God only you can give.
Enjoy the thrill of your favorite sports team. Get lost in Sherlock Holmes. But don’t let your passion end there. Don’t be Red Hot for these things, yet lukewarm for the things of God.
Be hot! Be cold! Be something!
Be passionate for the One who went to the cross to express His passion for you.
The Red Hot excitement doesn’t end here! Cindy and her publishing team have graciously provided me with two copies of her Bible study, Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Luke Warm Church to GIVEAWAY to two lucky readers. Each Bible study includes an 8 Session DVD, Leader’s guide and Participant guide. To enter for your chance to win simply leave a comment below or post a comment to my Facebook link. Drawing will be held next Sunday and winners will be announced on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd.