What do we know about zeal: Looking on the internet we’ll find: “zeal optics” sunglasses or goggles, and “zeal, an offline documentation browser”, “zeal kitchenware” etc. But this is not what we want to talk about here.
What is this zeal? Zeal is dedication or enthusiasm for something. If you have zeal, you’re willing, energised and motivated. Zeal is often used in a religious sense, meaning devotion to God or another religious cause, like being a missionary, or a jihadist. Zeal doesn’t have to be religious, though: a feeling of gusto and enthusiasm for anything can be called zeal. People have zeal for sports teams, bands, causes (such as Erin Brockovich), and (often though not always) their job. If you have passion for something, you have zeal, which is kind of a mix of eagerness and energy and devotion.
Over the centuries we have seen people with zeal do great things, or perform big atrocities. From helping and feeding multitudes (example: Mother Teresa) to killing millions of people (example: WW 2). An example in the Bible – Paul persecuted the Christians. He had zeal thinking he was doing the right thing for………God? In Acts 9 we read that while Paul was rounding up Christians bringing them as prisoners to Jerusalem; he was arrested by the Lord himself and was never to be the same again. His zeal changed from one of the flesh doing it his way, towards a zeal fuelled by God’s zeal (love) for His people. Philippians 3:5-6 From Paul’s pedigree in the flesh – Circumcised on the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless. 8) To be the one who regards it all loss because of the Christ, the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Zeal of God: “The zeal of God has consumed (taken over) me, it burns within my soul a mighty force which cannot be stopped, a fire that cannot be quenched” as the song goes.
The zeal of God is that Love which He pours out on all humanity. Dedicated to the cause of humanity, spontaneous, enthusiastic, all giving love, unconditionally and free. The zeal against injustice. What does this have to do with us? We are the recipients of His love and therefore a relationship was/is formed with the Father and the Son. A good example is that of the shepherd and his sheep from John 10. Being known by God, in union and communion with Him, apart from the law.
Zeal without knowledge is no good, according to Proverbs 19:2 and Romans 10:2, can be classified as futility; a ‘running after the wind’, blown around by every wind of teaching or doctrine. (The Message Bible) Romans 10:2,3, “I readily admit that the Jews are impressively energetic regarding God-but they are doing everything exactly backward. They don’t seem to realise that this comprehensive setting- things- right that is salvation is God’s business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily peddle their knockoffs. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for ”.
But when we come to unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God we are maturing into the full measure of the stature of Christ (Eph. 4:14) and the zeal of God which is in us will be manifest in our lives, bubbling over, rivers of living water will flow out of us. Love for others, overflowing with good deeds (Titus 2:14), with an enthusiasm and dedication to see all humanity experience the same blessings.
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