The Renewed Year: The Passion of The Word :: By Denis Bowden

Passion does not always come at once. However, when it does, it can literally ‘floor’ us.

Most times, it develops over time and finally consumes our very being as we become totally committed to the object of our desiring. Normally, we apply the word ‘passion’ to our relationship with another. But, it can and does apply to being consumed by the desire to ‘feed’ on AND through our love.

Passion thus does not die, but, in human terms, more often transcends itself into the wonderful relationship of deep commitment; one to the other.

We love our wife or husband, and over time, we see how they return that affection in ‘spades,’ double/triple/quadruple what we have given them. Individually, we begin to realize and understand how much we are gaining out of the relationship. Our desire is then to want to please them more and more. Our devotion becomes passionate in its intensity.

Our relationship has thus deepened, and it now sustains (feeds) us. And without it (our daily replenishment), we feel lessened as if something is missing. The first coffee of the day is great, but a morning hug beats it, hands down.

Perhaps, that has a lot to do with the deep grief we experience when death parts us from our beloved.


When I, for some reason, have missed out on my daily intake of the Word of God, my day has become incomplete. I return to it a.s.a.p. Maybe over lunch, or even later, with dinner. And as I do, the things of this world (mostly now full of miseries) become passé and far less desirable.

I have reached a stage where I would rather be working on my relationship with my God (through Jesus) than doing most anything else. In essence, ‘the world’ has lost its flavor. And yes… I know, you could say, “Well, you silly old goat, you’re now too darned old to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of life, so naturally, it doesn’t hold much for you anymore!” Yet, to me, it’s just that the Word of God has replaced ‘the world.’ And guess what? I don’t miss it or its blandishments.

I read my Bible consistently, the same way as I pray at the start of the day.

I break bread, and I make my supplications to Jesus as I again thank Him for the wonderful (beyond comprehension) gift of life He has attained for me before God. And I glorify my God, sanctifying His holy name above all others.

Then, I take out my bookmark and continue where I left off the day before. No set number of passages or chapters or even verses. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But consistently, I move ever onward. Ultimately, reaching The Book of Revelation, I conclude, close the last page, then immediately open again to the first page of Genesis, replacing my bookmark to start over.

Doing this, I have read the Bible many times. From time to time, I will start on another translation. I have accumulated a number of Bibles over the years. At present, I am reading the Hebraic Cepher (The Book). This contains most of the earlier books that the ‘church fathers,’ for some reason or another, saw fit to remove. When I finish, I shall, more than likely, trot out the KJV or one of my study Bibles.

My point is that there is no hardship, no boredom, no feeling of ‘well, I’ve read it and that’s all I need to do.‘ I just want to continue on.

It’s rather like a guy with a wonderful old classic car that he has restored. Every day, he likes to get in and take it for a quick run, meandering down some quiet road or byway because of the sense of joy he experiences. It has become part of him (from restoration to completion and beyond).

Some say the Bible is food and drink. I agree with that, but it is also an old, totally reliable friend. It never lets me down. It is always there for me. And I ALWAYS gain from renewing the relationship.

No! I don’t always understand what I’m reading. However, from ‘Got Questions’ and many other wonderful websites, I can quickly gain from the splendid insights others more gifted than me have found. And thus, slowly (sometimes), I learn, and moreover, ‘I grow.’

I leave you with this little homily. Did you, for instance, ever stop to really dwell on The Lord’s Prayer? I would refer you to the lines that read:

Give us this day, our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses as we

forgive those that trespass against us!”

When man fell in the Garden because the woman (having been beguiled by Satan, appearing to her as a serpent, then entreated Adam to also partake of that which was forbidden), God was filled with wrath that they should so have committed this evil.

As Creator, He could have easily struck them both dead and either ceased His Creation or else recreated two new beings, returning Adam and Eve to dust.

Instead, they were permitted to live, but at a price.

Henceforth, they would be subject to the physical decline of their flesh and ultimately would suffer earthly death. In letting them live, they paid a terrible price. It was a price that would carry over to all their future progeny (us).

God had the two of them removed from their wonderful existence in the Garden, wherein every one of their wants and needs had been met by Him personally.

Their previous close, personal relationship with God was sundered. It had been a relationship so wonderfully loving and intense that God met with them, and they knew him on intimate terms.

Banished, they were separated from that prior relationship. The price of that separation soon became apparent to them. Fallen from His Grace, they experienced pain, suffering, illness, and had to work the land to eke out sufficient for their daily sustenance. Life became a trial of survival, and even delivery of their children was an experience of pain for the woman.

Directly descended from our forebears, we have remained in this ‘fallen’ state ever since.

We would have remained there: fallen forever. However, God did not forget what he had meant his human creation to be. Remembering, God finally gave of Himself (many earthly generations later), through Jesus, a holy pathway to reconciliation. A means through which man could return to the fullness of His Grace and full reconciliation would ultimately be re-established.

Moreover, God ordained that at the time of reconciliation, His Creation itself would be cleansed and restored to that which it once was.

However, a ‘key’ was provided through which to facilitate our reconciliation to God.

It would require each of us to seek God through His Son. It would require us to believe that this Jesus gave Himself as a perfect sacrifice, spilling his blood that we might be, figuratively speaking, washed clean as we willingly, in brokenness, confessed and repented our sin of denial.

We, therefore (willingly, by choice), confess Christ crucified, the Son of God, with our lips, believing that He rose from death and was finally transcended to sit with His Father in Heaven.

We believe, moreover, that Jesus is the Christ Redeemer of mankind – the only way back to God, to renew the relationship we once enjoyed through first man and woman.

When we pray, Give us this day our daily bread,” we are asking that God’s Holy Spirit grant sustenance to our body AND our soul.

Our soul, in a spiritual sense (contained within the fabric of our body, its very DNA being created by the Father Himself), needs/requires the same ‘feeding’ necessary to sustain our body.

Healthy food and clean water sustains the body and helps keep it healthy.

How then is the soul sustained?

The soul is sustained by feeding it with the thanksgiving of prayer and ‘The Word of God.’

The Word of God, therefore, is as essential to our complete ‘wellness’ as is the physicality of food and drink to your physiology. One complements the other. If we were to see God as the base of the triangle, each side is representative: body one side, soul the other.

BOTH must be fed, moreover, with the correct food.

You can feed the body, and eventually, without a relationship with God through Jesus (as refreshed each day by the Word), each person will die. This is the experience of the First Death. And when death comes, it will be a death personified by denial: our failure to develop and nurture the relationship with our Creator God.

Unfortunately, this state of denial in which we experienced our earthly death commences our journey post-judgment before God, ending in the sentence to suffer unto the Second Death. This earthly death of flesh in the First Death is but a precursor to the Second Death.

Between the two comes judgment before the throne of God.

The soul that (unto death) denied Him denied their sins, and worse (as many now do), derided the thought that reconciliation was possible to re-establish a filial relationship with a God they believed did not, in fact, exist, and seals its fate and predetermines its ultimate destination: Hell.

The judgment arising from denial is eternal. It is forever. It is perpetual separation from God with no hope of reconciliation or restoration. There is no forgiveness offered. We retain that chance only whilst life runs its course within our flesh, and we had the choice to accept or reject Jesus as our Redeemer God.

However, when, through Jesus (broken and repentant), you attain the Grace purchased by His own blood spilled on your behalf, your soul is instantly alive and begins to be nurtured. I believe also that it begins to ‘grow’ as does a germinating seed. This ‘seed’ (in a metaphoric sense) is blessed by God through Jesus.

Having made our confession of faith and brokenness, we are forgiven. And the mark of Jesus now lies upon us. Claimed, we belong to God through Jesus. We are excused the ‘Second Death’ of eternal separation (Hell).

Do we have to answer for anything?

Of course.

God will examine what we did with our lives after coming to Him through Jesus. Did we ‘value add’ to His initial, wonderful gift of Salvation of our previously lost souls?


like the fickle servant, bury it deeply in the earth and simply offer it with nothing added when we appear before Him. This we know as the Bema Judgment, and we are rewarded with much or less, accordingly.

Good deeds do NOT get us into Heaven, but they are the ‘naturally grown’ valued fruits that should be harvested as we, ourselves, grow in Christ Jesus.

We are granted a lifetime journey (of whatever span has been allotted us) to build, to strengthen, to offer thanks and glorify God for what He has done for us personally. ‘Good deeds’ towards our brothers and sisters constitute the fruit that our love for Jesus produces.

Our lifespan, then, is solely (ONLY GIVEN) to provide us with the time to find Jesus as the essential precursor to begin your reconciliation with God and, thus, the start of your journey home. We should pave this pathway with the blessings of loving deeds we bestow, with thanksgiving, on others. We should make it our ‘Yellow-Brick Road.’

This is the true gift offered us in our flesh. This is WHY we are given our lifespan.

It can be likened to the manna delivered to the Hebrews as they cried for sustenance in the Arabian desert. They beseeched Moses to beg God to feed them.

God heard the plea of Moses as He saw the plight of the people, and He did.

Each night, this strange and highly edible substance would fall from the sky to be gathered as it lay like dew each morning. It was sweet, nourishing, and sustained them.

It was gathered and was to be immediately consumed. It could not be stored overnight and eaten the next day, for it would foul and rot with maggot infestation. But… each night, it would again be freshly provided to feed them as it lay fresh upon the ground.

They ate it, along with quail that God also provided. For six days they ate the manna, but they were permitted to save the manna on the sixth day for consumption on the seventh, which was the Sabbath and thus a day reserved and holy to the LORD.

The Word of God is our ‘daily’ manna. We should always consume it utterly.

We need it every day.

We are here; living, breathing, working, loving, breeding, and for one reason only. To take advantage of this ONCE ONLY chance (life itself) to re-consummate a human relationship with God: reconciliation of our soul which will see our body ultimately transcended to perfection, as was the body and soul of Jesus Himself.

There’s an old English drinking song which contains the lines:

Here’s a health to the King and a lasting peace,

to ‘faction’ an end and may wealth increase.

Come, let’s drink it whilst we have breath,

for there’s no drinking after death!’

How poignantly eloquent and true are those heathenish words.

We must drink the cup of true life whilst we have breath. For, when death comes upon each of us, the last remaining chance we have to establish and confirm our relationship with our God (through Jesus) is finished.

As said Omar Khayyam in his famous Rubaiyat:

At quatrain 51

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all they Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

The ‘Moving Finger’ is the sum of our life as it runs its course each day towards its inevitable end.

Will ‘the end’ be eternal death and separation occasioned because of a lifetime of denial of God?


will it be the beginning of a new life with God wherein all tears and suffering are gone forever?

Mark well. God has promised us, through Jesus, the joy of restoration and reconciliation as that which was clay (our bodies of flesh) are refined in the purifying fire of His Saving Grace and then glazed with the imperishable coat of perfection.

Oh… what a God, that we have been given this ‘second’ chance to become as was intended!

Oh… what a God, that He has loved us (in spite of who and what we are or were in this state) to the extent and depth that He does!

Maranatha (Come, Lord, come).

Denis Bowden