(Thinking about zeal, passion, lukewarm and comfortable, living a life poured out, and an exhortation from Bob Dale several years ago:)
We were exhorted yesterday, reminded of things we ought not forget, and yet somehow always do. I was listening, really listening, and I want to rise to the challenge to love Jesus according to His great example and not according to the world’s sensibility.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. —rom 12.11 (ESV)
Zeal has nothing to do with physical age, spiritual age, season or calling. God doesn’t expect us to outgrow zeal along with mountain dew and hilary duff. He doesn’t think it’s another name for the bubble of bliss in which the newly saved walk. There’s no renouncement of it written into wedding vows, because it’s supposed to carry over from single to already-taken. And it’s not in the job description for youth pastors only, along with the ability to look way-cool.
It’s for all of us, all the time, until Jesus takes us home. It’s not a matter of style; it’s a matter of whether or not we’re spewn with great disgust from the mouth of God. The young can be filled with zeal, because it doesn’t require great wisdom and experience, but simply a revelation of God’s love. The old and arthritic can be consumed by it, because it’s not about dancing to the fast songs, but about a life that is poured out selflessly.
It’s about priorities, about fire in the bones, about being so wrapped up in the Second Coming that we sort of forget about prestigious college degrees, Pottery Barn couches, and making sure our kids don’t miss a season of soccer.
It’s about letting the embers of love be stirred so that we start to live like strangers and aliens, more like ambassadors; not so much for Now, more for Already and Not Yet.
It’s about knowing that
…it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach– if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard… —col 1
(a repost from the archives.)