By Samuel O. Doku
When the apostle of God, Senior Pastor Georges Ntemi stood on the podium behind the lectern to preach on Sunday, his visage was that of a pastor fully concentrated on the sermon he was about to deliver. In the end, his sermon proved to be an epitome of the profound desire with which he preaches on Sundays: passion.
A few Sundays ago, the apostle of God provided five key points that if Christians could live up to rigorously, could change their lives. He gave the five points the acronym START where “S” stands for “stop giving excuses for missed opportunities.” “T” stands for “taking stock of your past experiences.” “A” stands for “acting with faith in every undertaking.” “R” represents “refocusing your life for fresh experiences,” and “T” symbolizes “trusting in the Lord that with him everything and anything can be accomplished.”
When START works in unison, it leads to an impassioned zeal in every human, even spiritual endeavor. It was no wonder, therefore, that the theme for Pastor Ntemi’s sermon was Passion. “A life without passion is dead,” said the apostle of God. “Put passion in your love for God. Passionate love is most important. A life full of passion brings about success and super-stardom; a life without passion leads to laziness and boredom.”
He then read Mark 12: 30-31. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these,” said Jesus Christ.
The apostle of God noted that “the creative force behind every great accomplishment is passion. How is this year going to be like for you? If you don’t have passion, you would miss out on everything, including your blessings. Passion drives everything in life. It is passion that motivates a good athlete to become a great athlete. Usain Bolt broke his own world records three times because of his passion,” said Pastor Ntemi.
He briefly stated that as a young boy, a quintessential advice his father gave him was not to tackle anything in life, if he didn’t feel passionate about it. As a result, it was with an impassioned zeal that he graduated top of his class during his University days.
“It is passion that drives scientists to discover cures for diseases; it is passion that drives families to go to work every day and put food on the table for their children; it is passion that drives Christians to go to church every Sunday; It is passion that led to the establishing of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l in 2015. If you don’t have passion, you have nothing. With passion, you can move from one degree of glory to another,” said the apostle of God.
Within the realm of spiritual framework, Pastor Ntemi surmised that it was passion that led God to form man in his own image, breathed life into him, and gave him dominion over both living and non-living things on earth. “With passion, you can change your destiny this year,” and citing Romans 12:11, He said, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor in serving the Lord.”
Still, he noted that every human creation has been endowed with a specific talent, but if one does not have the passion, one would lose the ability to realize that potential. For, in the words of Albert Einstein, “genius is 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.” In other words, with passion, one keeps persevering, searching, exploring until one reaches the limits of one’s potential.
After inspiring the congregation to keep their passion burning and aglow for great things to happen in their lives spiritually and physically, Pastor Ntemi unleashed four provisions that must be avoided to prevent the killing of the passion.
The first principle that must be adhered to in order to avoid killing the passion is to desist from an unbalanced schedule in one’s life. “Don’t overwork yourself to such an extent that you don’t have time to do other things because you are always tired. Too much work kills passion. Have a balance in everything you do so that you can have time to spend with God. Have a balance in your life so that you can spend some time with your brothers and sisters in Christ at Church by praying and worshipping together,” said the apostle of God.
He observed that in America, the most spoken word is “busy.” Many people are always so busy working that they destroy their family lives. Too much work kills the passion; too much work kills dreams, and too much work prevents you from realizing your talent. Too much work makes you talk about everything except the essence of God,” admonished the consul of God.
The second principle one must avoid is under-working or laziness. “When you under-work, you destroy your life. Instead of working to create a balance in your life, you under-work. When it’s time for church, you would rather prefer to watch football. If you are such a person, like King Solomon said, ‘Wake up from your slumber; otherwise, poverty will be your portion.’ Lazy people find good reasons to do everything but work. Avoid laziness to realize your talent and potential.”
Passion and talent are like twins; realizing one triggers the other into action, so the apostle of God warns against unused talent. “If you don’t take your time to find out what it is that you love doing, and it is appropriate for you, you will kill your talent and passion.
Many people, especially Africans kill their talents and passion when they come to America because 90 percent of the time, they are compelled to change their professions to meet the demands of a vibrant economy. For example, you have people who were accountants and teachers in Africa, but they are nurses, licensed professional nurses, and certified nursing assistants here,” said the apostle of God.
Pastor Ntemi added that if deep down in your heart, what you are doing now is not what you really want to do, seek the face of God to help you change your destiny. “If your passion is to preach, pray for it; if your talent is to sing, pray for it; in all things, serve the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. When you give, give with a heart full of humility and the Lord will bless you abundantly.”
The third principle is refusal to allow any unresolved conflicts to persist in your heart. Here, the apostle of God cited Jesus Christ in Matthew where he said a Christian who is on his or her way to church but has a conflict with the brother or sister must return and have a peaceful resolution to the conflict before going to church.
“If we have passion in us but we have an unresolved problem with our neighbor, it could kill our passion. Our hearts should be pure and not bear any grudge against anybody; otherwise, it would tear us apart. As the writer says in Job 5: 2, ‘Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.’ If you have rage in you, you are killing yourself. Forgiveness solves any problem you have with your brother. Job 18: 4 asks, ‘You who tear yourself to pieces in anger, must the earth be abandoned for your sake or must the rocks be moved for you?’”
He warned that an unforgiving heart could to cancer and gangrene that no medication or prayer can cure or heal. If you have such a heart, no prayer can heal you because anger has killed your passion, so you can’t pray effectively and you can’t worship with all your heart. Forgive and move on with your life.”
The last principle is that of having a clear purpose in life. “Do you know why you were created? Don’t live your life without a clear purpose. Sometimes, we destroy our lives because we don’t know our purpose. At Gethsemane, Christ was betrayed, suffered, and crucified for our sake. Before he died, he said ‘it is finished.’ He took away your sin, your guilt, away so don’t worry. Be intimate with God, and he will reveal your purpose to you, if it is still unclear,” concluded the consul of God.