What is the best example of zeal you have seen lately? Perhaps it was a political candidate giving an impassioned speech about how he or she intended to bring about major changes in our society. Maybe it was a salesman trying to convince viewers how much they needed his product and how it could make on healthy, wealthy and wise. It might have been some sports fans loudly cheering their home team. All of these people were probably filled with fervor and enthusiasm for their particular cause. This type of zeal is often contagious and can convince others to support the idea or offer they are presenting.
People who have zeal almost always have a goal with hopes of gain of some type. Some areas are: money, prestige, knowledge, success, rank or impressing friends or mates. We understand that zeal can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon the situation, but it is seldom neutral.
God himself said, “…and I will be zealous for my holy name.” (This He did by bringing the Israelites back from captivity) (Exe 39:25) When He saw that there was no justice among His people, He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak. (Isa 59:15-17) David said, “…the zeal for your house consumes me.” (Psa 69:7-9) “…always be zealous for the fear of the Lord,” is good advice from proverbs. (Pro 23:17) Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron was so zealous for the honor of his God that he killed an evil rebellious Israelite man and a Midianite woman with a spear and thus stopped the plague that had already claimed 24,000 of his countrymen. (Num 25:6-15)
New Testament Christians are also instructed to, “Never be lacing in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor…” (Rom 2:11) However, there is a warning in both Testaments, “It is no good to have zeal without knowledge…” (Pro 19:2) and, “It is fine to be zealous provided the purpose is good…” (Gal 4:18) Paul tells us that the Jewish leaders of his day were, “Zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” (Rom 10:2)
Many an eager investor has lost huge amounts of money because he was zealous but not knowledgeable. Many sincere seekers of Christ’s will have been misled by false teachers because they failed to, “Examine the Scriptures every day to see if what (Paul) said was true.” (Acts 17:11) These Bereans had noble character as well as great eagerness (zeal). The right kind of zeal will replace a lukewarm attitude which Jesus said he hated. (Rev 3L15-17)
Another new year has arrived, 2018. We live in a day and age where New Year’s Resolutions are spoken and then within a week or two they are forgotten and gone. Paul in Ephesians 1 had a great prayer for the Brothers and Sisters in Christ and so I would like to take this prayer and offer it to our Heavenly Father on your behalf. This is better than any resolution you can ever make!
Read on. The actual prayer starts in verse 17.
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking (Praying) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (NIV)
Mark this prayer in your Bible and then use it daily or even weekly. Pray this prayer for your family and personalize it for yourself. There are two things here. We need to “know Jesus better” and we must get to where we are a part of those “who believe”. The Holy Spirit who lives in us is the power and authority to make it work. 2018 is going to be a great year for those who believe!
Blessings to you all.
Here you will find Spiritual Nuggets from your eldership.