For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Romans 10:2, ESV)
Before his conversion, Paul had great zeal. Only his zeal was for persecuting those who bore the name of and had faith in Jesus Christ. He was a zealot that could not be deterred or stopped, only by Jesus himself who overpowered him on the road to Damascus, as he made his way to persecute more Christians for their faith.
Paul knew the power of zeal. Even as he wrote to the Jews he cautioned them that their zeal should not be based upon knowledge and not upon their own works of righteousness—which is no true work at all—but that they would have a new kind of zeal defined through their belief in God and love of Jesus Christ.
What are the things you are zealous about? Your spouse? Your family? Your career? Your favorite things, interests, and activities? Your church? Your studies? When you have zeal, it means you bring great energy or enthusiasm as you pursue something. It could be a cause, an object of your affection, or a path you feel perfectly suited for. Having zeal is an indication of passion and dedication.
Zeal starts inwardly and can be part of our core values. Zeal creates its own motivation. We believe in something so strongly we become passionate about it, and nothing can stop or deter us as we pursue [it]. Paul wrote and the Bible instructs us that we are to possess that kind of zeal. Not about the things of this world, not about the things that undermine our faith in Jesus, not about the things that end up being self or other destructive, not about evil or wickedness, but about our faith, about growing up into our salvation, about love, about our relationship with God our Father, and pursuing intimacy with Jesus our loving, Savior, who, by the way, possess zeal for us! Let’s Pray
My Lord, grant that we will have great zeal, energy, and dedication in all the right things, especially our faith and relationship with you. Amen
Reflective Questions for Self and Soul-Tending:
What are you zealous about? Are you as zealous about the things of God and your spiritual walk as you are about other things?
How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?