You Need To Be Passionately Loved
by Dr. Bill Gillham

What’s the first definition that comes to your mind when you consider the word passion? The dictionary says:

Strong sexual desire
Boundless enthusiasm
Emotional display, especially of anger
Powerful appetite
Sufferings of Jesus

What does our culture say? Of course, it’s strong sexual desire and this is not accidental. Satan trolls that lure before us to influence us. Why do you think the beer companies feature lurid sexual scenes of joyous, uninhibited partying in their ads? This Bud’s for you! Everyone’s happy, relaxed, included and uninhibited.
The greatest example of passionate love the world has ever seen is Jesus voluntarily dying for you before you would’ve given Him the time of day. Jesus passionately loves you! Insignificant, blundering, didn’t-make-the-cut, unpopular, inept, life-is-passing-you-by, has been, single again (or perennially), aging you. Calvary proves this!

The empty hole in your heart to be passionately loved can never, ever be filled by human love, even human sexual love, titillating as that may be, nor by self-respect through personal achievement. This is true for teens or seniors, with or without raging hormones. Ask Marilyn Monroe or Ernest Hemmingway, both of whom ostensibly lived life to the fullest. They blew it, bought the lie and tilted their ladders of success against the wrong wall. After decades of crawling to the top, only to come face to face with an empty horizon, they jumped off; they were failures, not heroes! The roar of the crowd in their ears changed to Satan’s raucous horselaugh.

Would you agree that passionate love might be called intense love or greater love? Well, “Greater love has no man than this, that one [die] for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). How about dying for His enemies (Matt. 5:44; Lk. 6:27, 35)! How about dying for those who stripped Him naked and tortured Him to death (Lk. 23:24)! How about if He is the One who created the folks who turned on Him and yet He forgives them! This is no gruesome Stephen King fantasy. It actually happened…for your benefit—God proved His passionate love for you. The magnitude of the Sacrifice reveals the intensity of His passion.

Salvation is not for your benefit alone, but for God’s as well, to satisfy His passionate love for you. “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Is. 43:25, my emphasis). Look at that! God loved you, but since He couldn’t tolerate you in His Holy Presence because of your sin HE SOLVED HIS PROBLEM by forgiving you of all sin, past, present and future, through faith in Jesus. In addition to such marvelous grace, He crucified you in Christ to eliminate your old sinful nature and rebirthed you as a spankin’ new saint (holy one) in Christ’s resurrection! Having done this, He now indwells you like He once indwelled the Holy of Holies. You are His new Holy of Holies “…for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are” (1 Cor. 3:17).

Let’s say you’ve embraced Jesus as your personal Savior. Great! But, is that hole in your heart filled, or are you still striving to fill it with human love? Glorious as it is, knowing that you’re en route to heaven won’t fill it. Church attendance won’t fill it, laudable as that is. Christian friends can’t, special as they are. Accountability groups can’t. A godly wife can’t, nor can the greatest husband on the block. The game is fixed! God gets to make the rules and He chooses to love unconditionally hearts that can only be satisfied by such love.

Unconditional love is not a phenomenon that may or may not happen, nor a vacillating feeling. Unconditional love is a Person—God Himself, who proved His unconditional love for you at Calvary. It’s all about Him, not you! You must focus on Jesus—the Proof—not on your circumstances or whether your prayers are answered as you wish. After all, the most passionate personal request of Jesus’ life “Let this cup pass from Me” was not answered according to His wish. He prayed it three times adding Your will be done, then He unclenched His teeth and rested in His Father’s love.

Neither must we understand the Bible. He exhorted us to not “lean on our own understanding,” i.e., don’t depend on your own ability to figure things out. We’re to believe what we do understand by grace and live like it’s true. For example, here’s something I don’t understand, but believe. Jesus is God (Jn. 14:9), yet God is Jesus’ Father, two People. Also, God’s Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are the same (See Rom. 8:9), so we have Father God, Son God and Spirit God, yet God is One (Deut. 6:4)! How do you figure this? You don’t! Quit striving to understand. Just shrug your shoulders, believe and move on. That’s neither naivety nor denial; it’s trust. I am a son, a husband and a father; three, yet one. God simply reveals Himself to us in three different venues. Thank Him for such grace and move forward in His love for you.

Jesus—God in an earthsuit—embodies (personifies) all of the highest attributes we admire most: Faithful Husband (Isa. 54:5; Hos. 2:16-20); Purveyor of zealous, unconditional love (1 Jn. 4:19); Lover (Song of Sol. 2-7); Loyal Older Brother (Prov. 17:17); Sacrificial Friend (Prov. 18:24); Fiancée (Rev. 19:7). God—Jesus—loves you passionately! Relax in that. Enjoy Him. Bask in His love for you. He is the only One who can and will fill that hole in your heart. Embracing Him this way will probably not yield an instant, sensorial realization, but a change in perspective. Just keep Him and His passionate love for you on the front burner of your mind. By doing so, the rest of the complexities that comprise “you” will become caught up in the truth, although this may not happen by Saturday night. Persevere. “Set your mind….”

Passionate love made the first move toward establishing an intimate, courtship (Rev. 19:7) with you. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). Why would He make the first move? Passion motivated Him. And once He has wooed you into His castle, He’s unlike some human kings who use a wife for a night, throw her away and conscript a new one. Jesus will never exploit or reject you. You are His special treasure from here through eternity (Psalm 33:12; Ephesians 1:18)!

Filling the hole in your heart is but a thought away. Set your mind. Jesus said of Himself, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (Jn. 4:10). “Drink” the LIVING Water. Replace all preconceived notions or expectations of what you think would satisfy you by simply focusing on Jesus—God in an earthsuit—and His passionate love for you. Make Him your personal Love Source and He will surprise you with an emerging joy, a sense of well being, a conviction of being loved—supernaturally and—unconditionally.

© Lifetime Guarantee Ministries [published: 2002-12-16]
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