This is part 3 out of 4 from a sermon Justin recently gave. It’s his hope that through posting it to our blog you might be challenged and encouraged in your daily walk with the Lord to follow your God given passions!
Shaquel O’Niel is a basketball player I’m sure many of you are familiar with. He played ball for several different teams in the NBA for eighteen years. Having retired he got into the sports announcing game. I won’t debate whether or not he’s a great announcer or not, but he brings a lot of input to the table when talking about the game of basketball. Recently during a halftime analysis show, Shaq took out his foot for the world to see what eighteen years of playing professional basketball does to your feet. Needless to say it didn’t look great. But for Shaq, it was worth it. This was a small sacrifice that led him in his passion to be the best basketball player he could be.
I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone that has pursued their passion and desires and not made sacrifices. I wonder how many of the parents in this room made financial sacrifices for their children. How many students in this room have sacrificed their desires to socialize to study a little more for their test? Flip that around, how many students sacrificed their test scores to pursue their desires with their friends? When my family moved to Taiwan we knew we wanted to be able to have individuals live in our home with us. We wanted to create a safe place for people. Because of this desire to host others my wife and I made a sacrifice we weren’t particularly looking forward to.
Before moving, Brittany and I had gotten pretty good at putting my daughter, Kennedy, to bed in her own room at night. In fact, when she was two she was even putting herself to bed. It was amazing… but we knew that having extra people in our home meant we might not be able to give Kennedy her own room. So, for the last two and a half years Kennedy has slept in our bedroom. It’s not a huge inconvenience, and actually for Eastern cultures and high density cities it’s not that uncommon, but for us it represented a sacrifice we had to make in order to pursue God’s use of us in Taiwan.
Passion requires sacrifice. In fact, our English word for passion comes from the latin root word passio, which means to suffer.
We see this in God’s passion for his people. All the way back to the garden, in the beginning of the book of Genesis we see that God sacrificed an animal to clothe Adam and Eve so they would not be ashamed. This persisted until God made the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Christ was the ultimate sacrifice because of God’s deep desire to reunite us with himself.