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The World is Killing Our Zeal

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Compelled by Christ

The grace of Christ creates in us a desire to live for Him. The life-giving of Christ compels our life-giving for Him. Jesus will have a people purchased, and a people for “his own possession” (Titus 2:14, ESV).

Christians are bought by Christ to live the rest of their lives for Christ. Because you are not your own, you also no longer live for your own desires, goals, and works (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You live now for the sake of another.

And not just that we would stop sinning, but that we would do good works. The Puritans spoke of an oak tree that kept dead leaves during the winter, but eventually they fell off. But not because of wind, but because of the new life that forced them off!

Our new life in Christ replaces old life in Adam. As Christians we are under new management.

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Slothful in Christ

To be zealous is more than a feeling, but a command. Revelation 3:19, “be zealous and repent,” or Romans 12:11, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord,” (ESV). The reason why God commands our affections, feelings, and our wills is because He bought and owns them.

Zeal is purchased and propelled by the gospel. Jesus bought it and He compels us to zeal.

Perhaps, however, you feel slothful in zeal; many (if not most) Christians know this common experience all too-well: freshly converted Christians have a large intensity to live on mission, like newlyweds. And then as mature Christians, this wears off. But it mustn’t be so. If Christ is infinitely glorious, our zeal must be continually grown.

Has the world killed your zeal for Christ?

The reason why Christians lack zeal is because zeal is not primarily a feeling we have, but an obedience we cultivate.

Phillip Brooks said this, “We will never become truly spiritual by sitting down and wishing to become so.”

Zeal for Christ: Quote from Phillip Brooks, "We will never become truly spiritual by sitting down and wishing to become so."

Zealous for Christ

As John Piper once said, stuff is killing us. A world of Distractions, games, toys, and money are killing our zeal.

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2 Peter 1:3-8 commands us to make “every effort” to grow in Christ in zeal and obedience. Jesus said we must strive to enter the narrow gate. Paul charges us to fight the good fight, and the author of Hebrews commands us to run the race. If new believers and old believers notice a lack in zeal but the same gospel, who is at fault?…

Brothers, may we fight with zeal together! Is Christ worthy of your affections? Zeal for prayer demands you pray, zeal for reading/memorizing/evangelism, etc. = same!

What would we rather have Christ find us doing? Shall we really end our lives in comfort, fear, regret, and slothfulness with no growth or kingdom work to show for it?

Charles Spurgeon compares us to candles: some taller, shorter, brighter, lighter. And yet, we must all burn with holy zeal until every last drop of wax is extinguished.

Lack of zeal flows from a lack of love and obedience. May God create in our hearts fresh zeal for the infinite worth of Jesus Christ.

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.




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