Pause

Identifying your passion is a matter of figuring out what drives you, what pulls you, what captures your imagination. It's almost as though you can't help but give it your attention.

God has a passion for the renewal of life and the reconciliation of all God has made. When a person gets close to the fire of that which drives God, it can set that person aflame.

Be careful now as you spend these next moments with God. It is altogether possible that you will feel a holy heat.

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Listen

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:1-3

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Think

My mom and dad gave me good gifts when I was young, among them some important words to live by. Some of these words were celebrative — like the blessing Aibileen whispers daily to little Mae Mobley in The Help: “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.”

Other words from my mother and father were more along the boundary-setting kind: “Eat just one cupcake.” “Don’t bite your brother.” “Home by nine on a school night.” As I grew up, I began to understand that both kinds of words came from love.

Life, like anything precious, is held inside some limits. You are as free to leap out of those limits as a fish is free to leap out of the sea and onto the beach. But does that really work out so well for the fish?

Julie Pennington-Russell

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Pray

God, thank you for loving me enough to hold me inside your life-giving boundaries. Amen.

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Go

Therefore,
Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
Let us give thanks,
By which we offer to God an acceptable worship
With reverence and awe;
For indeed our God is
A consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:28-29

Julie Pennington-Russell

Julie Pennington-Russell is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia. She lives with her family in Atlanta. If you’d like to connect with Julie you can find her on Facebook.

Here I Am to Worship

Ken Medema

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