“Never be lacking in zeal (i.e. spiritual passion), but keep your spiritual fervor (enthusiasm/commitment/loyalty), serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) Our culture is spiritually hungry today - morally famished in fact - yet many are not even considering Christianity as a compelling choice amongst competing religions today as the answer to their soul’s hunger...Why? There may be several answers to this question, but I think it primarily boils down to the fact that for much of the Church today (His people / Christians), there is a critical lack of authenticity! The world sees under the “banner of Christianity” many folks who “profess to be Christians,” yet are unethical at work, are unfaithful to their spouses, cheat on their taxes and are inconsistent in their relationships and are selective in their obedience to God’s Word. Simply put, they are sadly seeing an explosion of “hypocrites” in today’s church! People who say they have been changed by the Lord and yet live as if they don’t know Him greatly damaging the witness of Christ and hinder the redemptive work of God in reaching a lost, dying world with the love of His Son, Jesus Christ! Dr. Henry Blackaby says, “The problem of America is not unbelievers; the problem of America (today) is the people of God...comparing the lost world to the churches...there’s virtually no difference between the two. Our gospel is (being) canceled by the way we (are) living.” Our culture longs to see real Christians, not perfect Christians, but genuine Christians who daily traverse through this journey called life with perseverance, integrity, compassion and Christ-led action…all of which are anchored to a true, vibrant relationship with Christ! 1 John 3:18 declares, “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (NLT) In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What we treasure reflects where our passion & our priorities truly lie! The problem with many Christians today is that we don’t honestly treasure (i.e. cherish/ adore/ worship) God as we really should. We seek to fit Him into our busy schedule when it’s most convenient for us. I’ll read my Bible later...I’ll pray in a little while...I will attend church when I feel like it … and the list goes on. Yet God reminds us that if we really want to know Him as Lord over all of our lives, then we must place Him as first priority—“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all (100%) your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) When He is placed as first priority—when He is truly allowed to become your first love (Matthew 22:36-40, Revelation 2:4)—then you will find time to spend with Him. And spending time in His presence (in His Word/in prayer/in worship) is the true hallmark of an authentic Christian because it is in that intimate time with the Savior that fuels the divine fire of Christ within our hearts - “Stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flames of, and keep burning) …the inner fire that is in you!” (2 Timothy 1:6) When we allow Christ to stir / fan into flames the fires of faith in our lives, then a true zeal/passion for loving Christ and serving Him will become the foundation of our life witness before a world that longs for authenticity! So ask God to throw a couple logs on the spiritual fire of your heart – others need to feel the warmth of His love through your life! …Selah!
Today's CCM video is a "1987 Classic" and can be viewed upon clicking the title of the song, "After God's Own Heart - A Zeal for God" by Steve Camp.