I first heard the song “One Pure and Holy Passion” in 2001. ¹ The words to the song are moving and inspiring; and they have been hidden in my heart for many years. I often recall the words as a reminder of the Person I want to follow, the Person I want to be the focus of my thoughts, and the Person who is the recipient of my heart’s affection.
Take a minute and listen to the song. Pay close attention to the words.
Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You
I’ve been a Christian since childhood, but, in the early 2000s, Jesus truly became my magnificent obsession. I acquired a hunger for the Word that led to a book-by-book study through the Bible. When I picked up the Bible to begin my journey from Genesis to Revelation, it was rather daunting. So I prayed, “Lord if you want me to read and study this book from beginning to end, please help me. Open my understanding and reveal what you would have me learn.”
God answered my prayer in a mighty way. As we all know, the early 2000s brought greater access to biblical teachings. In addition to print format, there was a rapidly increasing number of audio and video resources available. Sermons were recorded on cassettes and messages were being posted online. Within a few short years, many churches were distributing videos of message onDVDs. And then, with the advent of high-speed internet and YouTube, access to video teachings increased exponentially. Today, we are so fortunate to have access to God’s Word in so many formats. It has never been easier to read, study, and better understand God’s Word.
A Glorious Ambition
As I began reading and studying the Bible, it became a glorious ambition. I became obsessed. The more I read, the more, the more I wanted to read. It became a magnificent obsession.
As I continued my journey from Genesis to Revelation, it became very clear that the Bible is a Book without end. The wealth of the knowledge found in God’s Word can never be exhausted or fully apprehended. The depths of the Waters of the Word are deeper than we can fathom. The riches of its blessings are greater than we can perceive. And the power of God’s Word is beyond our comprehension. As the song says, knowing Jesus and following hard after Him is a “glorious ambition.”.
The Magnificent Obsession
I encourage everyone to diligently read and study the Bible, The magnificent obsession of knowing and following Jesus begins with a glorious ambition, a pure and holy passion to seek Him and surrender to His will. This comes from renewing the mind (Ro 12:2). The Bible tells us that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16, Phil 2:5), which speaks of the unity that we have in Christ, and that we can truly know the mind, heart, and will of God by looking to Jesus.
We are one with Jesus, in a precious union that is mysterious, unfathomable and yet guaranteed and understandable. Through the words of the Bible, we uncover the mysteries of our relationship with Jesus and God’s purpose and plan for our lives. His revealed will is found on every page of the Bible. Through the words of Scripture that we are assured of His love, mercy, grace, and faithfulness toward us. Reading about all that God has done in the past for His people Israel, all that Jesus did and taught in His earthly ministry, Jesus’ sacrificial atonement that paid for the sins of the world, he apostle Paul’s letters, and the words of other disciple’s writings, we come to understand the mysteries of God and the riches of Christ.
Read the Bible
In the Bible, we are provided with all we need for direction and hope in daily life. Our direction is on a path home, to a destination in Heaven with our Saviour. We are to live with our eyes set on eternity, our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). We are to make Him our “magnificent obsession, ” our one and only magnificent obsession. With our eyes fixed on Jesus, and our hearts devoted to Him, He is our “one pure and holy passion.” With a devoted heart, God will give us the glorious ambition that fuels our magnificent obsession. The song says…
To know and follow hard after You
To grow as your disciple in your truth
Following hard after Jesus starts with knowing Him, and growing as a His disciple comes from knowing His Truth. Paul reminds us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Ro 10:17). Reading the Bible is important because His words will transform our lives and direct our thoughts, words, and actions.. Jesus also desires that we respond to His words, in prayer. When we read the Bible, God speaks to us, and when we pray, we speak to God. It becomes a two-way relationship. Reading the Bible and praying will unleash the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and enable us to glorify the One we love.
How We Live is a Choice
That’s what this magnificent obsession song is all about…how we live our lives. We make a choice, daily, to follow after Jesus and be led by Him or to let the world lead and direct our lives. The song reminds us of the futility of following worldly ways.
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you, my Lord
The world, and all that it has to offer, will never satisfy an eternal soul that hungers to know it’s Creator. God is certainly revealed in creation, and it testifies to the magnificence of Him as Creator, but it’s only through His Word that God fully reveals His love , mercy, grace, and salvation that is found in Jesus.
Knowing Jesus should be the desire in our magnificence obsession, the purity and holiness in our passion, and the glory in our ambition. Read the Bible and draw closer to Jesus and then your plea will echo the closing words of “One Pure and Holy Passion” . . .
Lead me on and I will run after you.
¹One Pure and Holy Passion. Written by Mark Allotrope; recorded by Candi Pearson on “Passion: One Day Live,” 2000
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In this time of confusion and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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