Productivity Without Passion


NIV Devotions for Men

Productivity Without Passion
============================
Revelation 2:1–7

Recommended
Reading: Deuteronomy 6:4–9; Matthew 7:21–23; Luke 10:38–42; 1
Corinthians
13:1–13

Imagine a marriage in which the husband dutifully earns a living
to pay his
family’s bills, takes care of the house and cars and sees that his
family has
the clothing and other things they need. Yet he has lost all
tenderness and
passion for his wife. Is this a healthy marital
relationship?

Productivity without passion. Just as the partners in a
marriage can lose
their passion for one another and yet carry on, a similar
situation can occur
in relationships between believers and God. In fact, the church of Ephesus had
fallen into this very trap. Jesus noted that this
church had “persevered and …
endured hardships for my name” (Revelation 2:3).
But, he pointedly added, “you
have forsaken the love you had at first”
(Revelation 2:4).

What about you? When you compare your current
relationship with Christ to what
it was like when you first began following
him, are you just as passionate
about knowing him, being with him and
worshiping him as you were then? Or do
you find yourself busy serving him
without bothering to further cultivate your
relationship with
him?

Sadly, like a marriage without passion, our relationship with God
can go
through a period during which spiritual passion wanes. We serve the
Lord more
out of habit or duty than out of a desire to know God more
deeply.

Consider this possibility: God might occasionally want us to stop
doing for
him so that we can concentrate on being with him and recovering the
love we
had at first. Many dry marriages have been renewed. Dry relationships
with the
Lord can experience renewed passion and vigor as well. Put your
relationship
with Christ first, then let your service for him follow as a
natural response.

To Take Away
============
What feelings did you
have when you first followed Christ? What words
expressed your passion about
knowing him then?

How does that compare with your current feelings for
Christ?

How can you rediscover your “first love” for your Lord and
Savior—renew the
passion and vigor of your relationship with him?  

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