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Seeds of the Kingdom

Three Challenging Words

by Malcolm Wood

17 October 2018

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So let`s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us … Now that we`re on the right track, let`s stay on it.
Philippians 3:15-16, The Message

The other day, I noticed three words written on the side of a van which caught my attention and caused me to think. I found that, if we apply each of these words to our walk and relationship with Jesus, they present us with quite a challenge.

The first word was ‘passionate’. One definition of passionate is ‘to express or display strong emotion or enthusiasm’. This describes how we feel about someone or something special to us. It could be someone close to us, our favourite football team, hobby, political ideology, music or holiday destination. The possibilities of that which stirs us passionately are endless.

When we feel passionately about someone or something, we tend to direct a great amount of time, effort, attention, and often finance, towards them or it. This brings us to the second word, I saw, a definition of which can be ‘to concentrate the mind on a single subject’. The word is ‘focussed’ and when we remain focussed on a particular person or pursuit, all else tends to fade into insignificance by comparison, and the object of our focus can become all consuming.

When we’re truly passionate and focussed on someone or something, then a practical outworking soon takes place. If it’s a person, then we try to spend more time with them and do more for them. If it’s something else, we go to the matches, join the club, play the music, go to the concerts, attend the meetings or whatever is required. In other words, our passion brings about a response. ‘Responsive’ was the third word of the three on the van which were intended to convey the attitude and character of the company.

The analogy and challenge to our Christian walk is quite clear. How passionate are we in our walk and relationship with Jesus? The enthusiasm with which some pursue their particular ‘passion’ is very obvious in such things as sporting events or pop music concerts.

How really focussed are we on Jesus, on His word and His Kingdom purposes? Are we easily distracted, or do we remain focussed on Him and able to be responsive to Him as He directs us by His Spirit?

The Apostle Paul could say ‘I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focussing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven’ (Philippians 3:12-14).

Let’s all try to emulate Paul, who was undeniably passionate about serving his Lord and Saviour.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for not always responding to Your love for me as passionately as I should. Please help me to remain focussed on You and to be more responsive to Your Spirit. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.


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