Dear Family of God, greetings in the most wonderful name, Jesus The Christ.
I pray this epistle of love and encouragement finds you well, full of the Spirit of God and hungry for more of His presence in your life.
If not, just call on Him for refreshing.
One of my favorite prayers as of late is simply: "More Lord, more!"
While I fully understand, when I received Him as Lord and Savior, I was filled with the Holy Spirit, I obtained all of Him. My passionate cry for more is to live in the realm of a greater reality of Jesus my King and His Glorious Kingdom, not only in my heart, but manifested upon my life.
It is my prayer as you are reading this, a fresh stirring, hunger and passion for Him comes upon you as a mighty gale-force wind and a consuming fire from The Holy Ghost.
Here are five principles to keep your passion burning for God:
1. Personal worship and prayer -- Remember intimacy with God always ignites passion.
2. Read the Word -- After intimate communion with Jesus the "Living Word," learn about Him and how He feels about you through the "Written Word."
Here is a wonderful passage of scripture I have been meditating on recently that does just that: "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" -- Colossians 1:12-14
3. Corporate Worship -- When my daughter was 2 years old, my wife, Trish, would put out a special dress for her to wear each Sunday. One Sunday morning when she saw it laid out, she began to jump up and down and loudly exclaimed: "It's church day! It's church day!"
I believe the spirit of King David was reflected that morning as his words from Psalm 22: "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord," echoed through Gina's childlike enthusiasm.
There is a magnificent shift in the atmosphere as God is well pleased when His children come together to celebrate Him, resulting in a rekindled fervor for everyone.
4. Give thanks -- If you are feeling spiritually dry, begin to give thanks for the things The Lord has done in your life. Giving thanks will propel you into praise, praise will plunge you into the deep waters of worship and worship will cause the realm of Heaven to overrun. Remember, "A lifestyle of Hallowed be Thy Name, effortlessly releases The Kingdom in your life"
5. Forgive -- Forgive yourself. Remember God loves you completely, there is nothing you can do to make Him love you anymore and there is nothing you have done that will make Him love you any less. The fire of His love for you is unquenchable because God is love and for Him to stop loving you would mean for Him, to cease to exist.
Both are impossible!
Forgive others, unforgiveness is poison to your mind, emotions, soul, spirit and even your health. The fire for God on the altar of your life cannot burn brightly when it is smothered with the ashes of offense. I learned to pray a prayer many years ago from an aging Bishop now in Heaven, which has forever changed my life: "Father cause me to love people unconditionally."
So whether for yourself or for others, learn to remember what God remembers and to forget what He forgets.
Keep the fire burning.
Pastor Don Sturiano, Kingdom Life Christian Church, which meets at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at 825 Ninth St. W., just across from Turner Donuts in Bradenton. Information: 941-776-0026. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday's Herald, written by local clergy members