Saturday, March 29, 2008

Passion for God

Here is my latest small group curriculum which complements our new sermon series: Go Big or Go Home.

Big Idea:
Do you have a passion for God? Here’s another way to ask this question: “Is God your first love?” A “big” passion for God means that every fiber of our being is drawn to God and given to God.

Passion is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; a strong liking, desire for, or devotion; ardent affection; love. How does Jesus portray a passion for God? He said that the most important thing we can do is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” – Mark 12:30. What does Jesus really mean when he uses the word “all”? Why does he say all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Jesus is laying out what God really desires and requires of us - total devotion. He wants every part of our lives to be completely His. Not just our minds; not just our bodies; not just our hearts; but all of us. He expects to have our whole being. Does He have our whole mind when we are filling it with worthless knowledge, facts, or worldly filth? Does He have our whole heart when we still have concern for ourselves; when our own comfort, reputation, happiness, and pleasure are still of importance to us? Does He have our whole soul when we are filling it with lust, anger, and jealousy? The love of God and His passion for us demands our everything: our souls, our lives, and our all.

Where does this kind of passion for God come from? It comes from an understanding of who He is, what He has done for us, and the reality of His overwhelming passionate love for us. This kind of comprehension of the love of Christ will lead to an unwavering devotion to him. It will cause the pleasure offered by sin and this world to be shown in its true light – empty and vain promises compared to the eternal satisfaction offered by God. It will drive us to willingly surrender all to the One who gave us His all.

Discussion Questions: (read the Scripture & discuss)

Psalm 42:1, Psalm 63:1-3 & Psalm 73:25-26
Discuss the passion for God depicted by David in these passages. Are we living daily with this kind of passion? If not, why?

Mark 10:17-29
Why did he walk away sad? Are we like the Rich Young Ruler? What things are we holding onto that might be killing our passion and intimacy with God? What can be the result of never letting go and never loving God with our everything?

Philippians 3:7-14
Paul is showing some passion for God in this passage. What is Paul’s focus and what drives him? Paul’s passion is not passive, but active. How can we live out an active passion for God? Where do we get the ability to do this?

Taking Action: Go big with a passion for God. Examine your life and ask God to reveal anything that might be hindering your passion or intimacy with Him. Write down your findings and then daily submit them to God in prayer. Cooperate with God as His passion ignites your passion.

Ministry Time

Click here for PRINTER-FRIENDLY copy of the small group curriculum


Steve said...

This is an excellent little study. I am preparing a sermon on Reigniting Passion for God and this goes right along with my outline. The call to action section is especially inspirational. Keep up the good work. God Bless!
Pastor Steve Dunning

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!