Monday, December 19, 2011

An Answer to the Zeal Problem

A friend of mine questioned how to deal with the problem of not being as zealous for God as once before. May you take heed to what I told her, and may it minister to you in someway.
“I went through that as well, but right about the time I started going to college (2009), I saw the same eagerness to learn and live what I was learning about God. The answer is......the Gospel. The Gospel is our power, our sufficiency, our freedom, our joy, our security, and soooo much more. The Gospel is as much for believers as it is for the lost. The Gospel is what first brought us our zeal, thus the Gospel is what will continue to bring and help us keep our zeal.

If a believer literally goes through the Gospel in their mind each day, in their prayer each day, and verbally talk it out loud to God or other believers each day, they will be compelled to Christ because of His amazing grace, relentless love, awesome power (etc, etc) displayed in the Gospel (2Cor. 5:14-15). If we are constantly resting in the origin of our zeal--the Gospel--then that zeal will be ever present--as we are ever present before the Gospel.

Just take a moment to think about what I'm saying in regards to the Gospel. And then notice how joy and gratitude rise within you from thinking on what all that God freely did. The Gospel is our answer.

The problem comes in when believers either don’t cognitively know the fullness of the Gospel or become content with only knowing the clich├ęs of the Gospel. To think being able to recite Ephesians 2:8-9 or Romans 10:9-10 or "Jesus died for my sins & rose from the dead" is all the Gospel is, is a major reason people lose their zeal. (Sin--unconfessed sin, unrepented sin, practicing sin, and so on--is another major reason people lose their zeal).

I challenge you, just from the top of your head, to make a list of all you know Jesus did for you within the Gospel. Then make another list, just from the top of your head, of all the benefits you know you receive within the Gospel. Then make another list, just from the top of your head, of the actions and attitudes that are produced and displayed in your life from knowing these things about the Gospel. Now after you have these three lists, imagine how much more you can add over days and months and years of continuingly learning from and about Jesus. Tell me how can a genuine born-again believer not be zealous from daily reminding themselves of these things of the Gospel?

Personally, the more I learn about the Gospel, I cannot help being zealous for Jesus and following His desires!”

Here is a brief recap of the points of the Gospel:
  • The Beginning [perfect Creation, perfect relationships, perfect fulfillment]
  • The Fall [sin, death, separation, pain, issues, incompleteness]
  • The Law [God's standard, our inability and our need for a Savior]
  • The First Coming [God's gift for our dilemma]
  • The Cross [God's grace & love & imputation, our adoption & justification & redemption--freedom from slavery]
  • The Resurrection [enemy (sin & Satan) defeated, our victory, the power of the Holy Spirit--regeneration & sanctification];
  • The Ascension [our hope in His eternal security];
  • The Return/Second Coming [His ultimate justice (on sin and Satan) and our ultimate comfort]
  • The Eternal Abode [our perfect fulfillment in His personal presence for all of eternity--glorification]
For every issue we face, our understanding, our comfort, our encouragement, our hope, and our motivation to change and be more transformed into Christ's image will fit somewhere in these points of the Gospel. Therefore I challenge every reader of this blog to sincerely meditate daily on these points of the Gospel through God’s Word, prayer, and journaling, and then observe an inner desire (zeal) for Christ begin to awaken again, or observe your already present inner desire (zeal) for Christ be reinvigorated, continue to grow, be strengthened, and move you to deliberately wanting and deliberately bearing more of Jesus’ character and desires in your life.

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*"A Gospel Primer for Christians" (Milton Vincent, 2008) is a powerful short and inexpensive book on the Gospel that every Christian must have in their personal library.

12/19/11