RESILIENCE OF PASSION
Passion is an innate, powerful desire to pursue something. Passion is what drives our emotions and fuels our longings for the thing we seek. This is one of our assemblies that is driven by passion. It is one congregation that has passion in worship, ministry and pursuit for the word of God. Sitting under this new sanctuary, is testament of your resilience as an assembly to passionately wait for the lord.
In the bible, we are reminded of one person in Luke 2:25-;
At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the messiah to come and rescue Israel. The holy spirit was upon and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s messiah. That day the spirit of the lord led him the temple. So, when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God saying,
“Sovereign lord, let your servant die in peace as you have promised. I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel” (NLT)
The story in this excerpt, is synonymous this assembly. It is identical in three ways,
- Passion is steadfast
Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. During this period, Israel was under the roman rule and were waiting for a savior to come and rescue them from the oppression of the Roman rule. For Simeon, whom the spirit of the lord was upon, he was unwavering in his waiting for the coming of the messiah even when there was no indication that it would happen.
Nothing could change his mind even when the reality was obvious. Simeon was only interested only in seeing the messiah. From the passage, we read that he was ‘devout’- meaning he only prayed and waited for the promised messiah.
He was steadfast!
Steadfastness keeps one focused on one thing passionately. Men and women who are saved and are distracted by something else the next day are not passionate. Passion is like fire in our engines that keeps us praying and waiting on the lord for something even when all indications are on the contrary.
This is a message for the founder members of Ngong assembly. You prayed and waited on God. Hoping beyond all hope that you will have a permanent sanctuary one day. Today, you sit under this wonderful building. In your own personal lives, let this be a memorial. When you pursue something do it with all that you have. Love the lord with all your heart and soul and like he has done here, he will never disappoint.
Continue being passionate about your service to God even when all indications are that you give up because just as Simeon waited, God’s word will come to pass. Salvation will come.
- Passion is sensitive
We should be sensitive to the move of God just as Simeon was. He was open and alert to the goings on of what was around him. You might want to consider how he came to know that this was the baby-the messiah. That would only be possible if he was alert to the spirit of God.
A certain preacher spoke about a store in heaven full of return to sender packages. Packages of prayers that never made it to the owners because they gave up. They were not passionate enough to be sensitive to the move of God in their lives. So, they gave up just almost when the package was supposed to arrive.
In Luke 18:2-8; there was a judge in a certain city” he said.” who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying ‘give me justice with my enemy’. The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she’s wearing me out. With her constant requests!”
Then the lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So, don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you he will grant justice quickly! But when the son of man returns on earth how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
If we are going to be a people who will anything from the lord, we must be passionate. For in his own time he makes everything beautiful. Simeon was discerning of the Holy spirit, that is why he knew the baby in the temple was Jesus the messiah.
You waited, even so through turbulent times, but because you trusted the guidance of the holy spirit you as an assembly continued earnestly in prayer and finally, the sanctuary was completed.
- Passion brings satisfaction
When Simeon held Jesus in his hands, he was satisfied. He was totally fulfilled in seeing the waited messiah. That is why he worshiped and said, “let your servant die in peace, I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people….”
It was good and marvelous in his sight. So, he had like this assembly fought the good fight and kept the faith. It must be remembered that though we have the sanctuary, the salvation of the lord is not in the building. The salvation of the lord is in the person behind the building. We must know that we come not to see the building but Jesus.
Our satisfaction should not culminate in the completion of this sanctuary, it should not be because we have received the car we asked for or the Job we prayed for, the wife or husband we prayed for and so on, it should be about the giver of all these things- Jesus Christ!
Buildings will age, and new pristine ones will be built by other assemblies, cars will age, husbands and wives will disappoint, jobs will end but only Jesus will satisfy us
In this world, there’s nothing that can transform the heart of man except the magnificence of God. If you and I came here only to see the sanctuary, then we will miss Jesus. He’s the only one who can bring total happiness in our lives and all other things are vain.
As you and I seat under this sanctuary, we can only be grateful to God for how faithful he is, if we are chasers of God’s magnificence and not buildings. Let this sanctuary only be a solemn reminder of what resilient passion can do even in our walk with God.
The glory of this latter house…
Let the magnificence of God’s glory be the focal point now that we have a permanent sanctuary. For we as the congregation of CITAM NGONG, embrace the theme of this sanctuary dedication ‘the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former’. It should not be forgotten to us that his glory is what we seek and nothing else.
We should not let the negligence that is synonymous with God’s blessing be part of us now that he has blessed us. We should not forget where he has brought us from, for most often than not, when God blesses us with the things we seek, our yearning for him dissipates. We become comfortable; We stop chasing after him, we squabble over his blessings and soon we worship the gift instead of the ‘gifter’.
Material possessions have a way of pulling us from God if we are not careful. We must remember that it’s not time to relax because there are other assemblies still under tents. We shouldn’t be slack seeking his face the more so that his purposes be fulfilled in our lives.
Yes, the sanctuary is beautiful but it should yield beautiful results in order for the purposes intended for it by God to be accomplished. The passion you as an assembly had before the new sanctuary should be re-awakened for his glory to be even greater. For he desires our hunger and yearning for him more than anything else.
If we pursue him resolutely, we are bound to see greater magnificence and splendor of our God which will shake what we think we know about him-and that, will bring us more nigh to him than before.
-BISHOP DAVID OGINDE