A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “The Slain Lamb and Our Washed Robes”
Read: 1 Peter 4:7-11
The following statement will offend many readers of today’s devotion: I am a lifelong University of Tennessee football fan. My blood runs orange. The extreme passion of UT fans was put on full display when Lane Kiffin bolted for USC after only one season as head coach. Campus police were called in to prevent rioting, fans and students shouted obscenities at cars leaving the football office complex, and people were actually threatening Kiffin’s wife and children. Colin Cowherd, an ESPN personality, made the following statement about this behavior: “Passion is a great thing. Myopia is pathetic.”
Many believers should take this statement to heart. Myopia is nearsightedness, or “missing the forest for the trees.” We may have a great passion for Jesus in the short term, but we will be woefully unable to direct that passion if we do not live for the end to which God is leading history. Yesterday, we saw that we are indeed in the last days as we await Jesus’ return; therefore we must direct our passion for Jesus in a way that takes this truth into account.
Peter informed the church of several outcomes for people who properly direct their passions in light of the imminent return of Jesus. They will be self-controlled in their lives and more alert about what God is doing. This enables them to pray more effectively in spite of circumstances. It will also lead to a display of forgiving love toward fellow believers. This love is above all, and serves as the defining characteristic of Christian unity. This love doesn’t overlook sin, but it leads to forgiveness and eliminates any bitterness or resentment that may result from the sinful action of others. Lastly, it results in glorifying God and lifting up Jesus through the use of spiritual gifts. Let’s direct our passions appropriately because the end is near.
Pause and Reflect:
• Does your life reflect the reality that the end is near?
• Why does spiritual nearsightedness prevent you from properly directing your passion?
• How can you use your spiritual gifts for the glory of God?