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Is Zeal Something You Still Have?

Is Zeal Something You Still Have?

   Upon reading Titus 2:14 one can see that the reasons Christ gave Himself for us are given, and included is zeal.   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  All seem to want the redemption and the promise of eternal life, but many seem to lose the zeal they had when they were first baptized into Christ.  

   If you are a child of God, think back to when you became a Christian. Do you remember the “fervor” you had – the fire that burned within you to speak with others about God’s Love for us and His plan for saving a soul?   Is that zeal still with you? Do you still have that same enthusiasm you once had? If not, what happened to it?   Where did it go?  

   Zeal defined: Eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something; Fervor.   Synonyms for Zeal are: Enthusiasm, Passion, Ardor, Eagerness or Vehemence.

     While it is important to have and maintain zeal, it is equally important to make sure that one’s zeal is properly directed. In Philippians 3:6 the Spirit directed the apostle Paul write concerning the zeal Paul had when he thought he was serving God under the Law of Moses.   Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  One can easily see that Saul’s zeal was misdirected at that point. However, when it was properly directed in service to God, his zeal served to guide numerous folks to Christ.   We know this as Acts 9:15 reveals what the Lord said to Ananias in regard to Saul. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 

   Proper zeal, or zeal that is properly directed must also be in accordance to knowledge.   In accordance to Romans 10:1 we are told that Paul’s desire for Israel was that “they might be saved”.   He also affirmed that they had zeal in verse two, but since it was “not according to knowledge” we are told what they failed to do in verse three.   For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 

   Now, since we have established from God’s Word that zeal is only effective if rightly directed and in accordance to teaching from God’s Word, could it be possible that if your zeal has waned that the absence of God’s Word in your life is the cause?   In James 4:7 we are reminded that we are to submit ourselves to God and what will result.   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   We then must determine what it takes to submit to God. How can that be done unless one does so in accordance to His Word?   2Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all scripture comes from God and why it was given to humanity.   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 

   Then as we read 2Timothy 2:15 we are told how that “Word of truth” will cause us to be “throughly furnished”.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  Even with all the problems the Corinthian church had, the Spirit had Paul commend them for their zeal.   From 2Corinthains 9:1-2 we are told of the love of the Corinthians for those of other congregations and that their zeal provoked many.   For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 

     Is this saying that zeal is contagious?   These verses certainly indicate that one’s zeal can be a source of encouragement for others.   But one thing I have noticed is that a lack of zeal does seem to contagious. It is like a virus that has afflicted the church of the Lord in many locations.   If the loss of zeal can affect an individual it can certainly affect congregations.   Need we be reminded of the affect a lack of zeal had on the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:15 and what the Lord would do to them as we read in verse 16?   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Could this be you?  

   If we have lost our zeal for God or if it has been diminished for any reason we need to rekindle it with knowledge of God’s Word. Your soul depends upon it

                           Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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