Thursday, October 2, 2008

Heart--Body---Crema--Good Espresso

Enthusiasm is the expression of a passionate relationship with Christ. Without it our Christian witness is like decaffeinated and bitter espresso. In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul gives us a java jolt about the power of enthusiasm to move the heart of God and impact the lives of others.

Paul wrote this piece of inspired mail to the church at Philippi while he was chained to a Roman guard. Paul could have been worried, stressed out, or riddled with fear. His disposition could have been that of criticism, rudeness, or ingratitude; but it wasn’t. Instead, the theme of the book of Philippians is outrageous, contagious enthusiasm and joy.

Philippians is a shot of real espresso for every Christ-follower because joy is mentioned 14 times in 104 verses. How did Paul remain so enthusiastic in the midst of such hardship? He was enthusiastic simply because he chose to be. He was intentional about enthusiasm because of his relationship with Christ and because of the important work Christ had called him to do.

In Philippians 1:12, Paul says, “What has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” The word “advanced” means to progress the Gospel. This is a picture of a group of men who clear the path for an advancing army.

Once the path is cleared, the advancing army is able to proceed with the battle. Paul said that what happened to him occurred so that the Gospel could be preached and more people could come into the family of God. Despite his circumstances, Paul chose to be enthusiastic about his role in furthering the life-changing message of Christ.

Enthusiasm is the caffeine behind our expression. It’s the love of God that we share with a lost and dying world. God does not communicate to us in an arms folded way. He communicates his love enthusiastically to us with his arms wide open. And that supernatural enthusiasm in our lives gives us the power to mark the lives of others.

Enthusiasm also gives us an opportunity, like appreciation does, to move the heart of God. As you give your enthusiasm back to God, as you worship him with enthusiasm, it can change the course of your day and the course of your life. Choose enthusiasm this week, because as Christ-followers we have the ultimate reason to display contagious, outrageous joy and enthusiasm.

This Sunday will be our last in this series. Find out how to know if you're getting the perfect espresso shot and at the same time, if you are giving perfectly "espressoing" yourself.

Love you

Brett
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