ZEAL FOR GOD!
Numbers 25:10-11 NLT
The Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazer and the grandson of Arron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by displaying passionate zeal among them on my behalf.
1 Kings 19:10 NIV
He (Elijah) replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty!”
John 2:17 NASB
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Psalm 119:139 NIV
My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your word!
Prov. 23:17 NIV
Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord!
Psalm 69:9 LB
My zeal for God and his work burns hot within me.
For many, many years this phrase “zeal4god” was my email address! Why? Because it was and is my great desire and aspiration, to be a man with a burning, passionate, zeal for God! I believe it to be one of the defining characteristics of a man of God! I believe it is this essential characteristic that is sorely lacking in Christianity today, especially among Christian men. I am convinced it is the major reason so few children take their dad’s faith seriously! Where are the burning hearts of men for God today? Where are the Elijahs, the Phinehases of our day? Where are those like our Savior? Where are the Davids, and Pauls of our day?
Did you know that this one quality, zeal, is only used in the Bible to refer to a man? Seriously, look it up yourself. This quality of burning, passionate zeal for God, and decisive bold action in the Bible is always associated with a man! Why? Because zeal is befitting a devout, godly man, as a gentle and quiet spirit is befitting a devout, godly woman. Zeal is what makes us warlike!
When I look back on my life, the men who truly impacted my soul, who moved me and inspired me in my Christian faith, were zealous, passionate men of God. Men of a zealous, passionate spirit and bold faith and actions. Men who were zealous for the honor of God. Men whose spirit and words were shared with passion, zeal, and strong conviction. Men who lived their very lives with a passionate zeal for God, for His honor, and glory. Men who burn with a hatred for evil and wickedness. Men who are zealous for truth and righteousness. The zealous man will always expend much energy in his service and devotion to God!
Men, our children must see our zealous, burning heart for God. They need to hear it in our voice, in our inflections when we talk about God or share His word. They must see it in our devotion to God, our devotion to his Word, and witness it in our boldness of faith and actions in our service to the Lord God Almighty. They must hear our passion when we pray! They must hear it in our voices when we read the Bible passages to them!
Where is our expressiveness when we read the Bible out loud? Just the other day my wife asked me to read a Bible passage to her. I asked her why she wanted me to read it? Her response surprised me. She replied, “Mark, I’ve always loved hearing you read Bible passages out loud because you read them with real passion and conviction. I’ve never heard others read it like that.”
There is a reason that I read that way: My burning zeal for God! His word burns in my soul and my tongue! God’s word means everything to me! It is the most powerful book, the most meaningful book in the world! It is filled with life, righteousness, truth, wisdom, warnings, the knowledge of God, salvation, blessing, insight, encouragement, hope, and it has been my way of life now for almost half a century. I burn, I long, with a great desire, for others to know it, love it, believe it, use it, live it, and burn it in their heart, mind, and soul.
Picture Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart right now in your mind’s eye, riding his horse, giving his fiery, passionate speech to his men, just before they go to battle!
I believe deeply in my heart of hearts that one of the primary reasons so many children growing up in Christian homes turned their backs on God and did not consider following Him, was never seeing a father whose passion and zeal for Christ burned so strong, so brightly that the children could not resist such passion, zeal, and conviction.
Men, we are living in very, very dark times. If ever there was a need for a Phinehas to help stop the plague of ignoring and forgetting God, it is today! Your family needs you to be that man! Today more than ever, we need to be men who are filled with a passion and zeal for God.
My prayer for each of you men is that you would ignite your spirit, and do all that is required to fan your spirit into a zealous, burning heart for God! That the great passion of your life would be for the Lord God Almighty!
It is my sincere desire to help each of you men reading this grow and become a more passionate, zealous man. For this reason, I ask you to listen to this 4 part message entitled The Passionate Life! This is a look at one of the Bible people who profoundly impacted my life, the Apostle Paul. To help you understand the source and reasons for his passion and zeal. I believe you will be greatly impacted by this message series as I have been by Paul’s life. Few men have ever possessed the passion and zeal of the Apostle Paul. If you listen to this series, I promise you, you will discover why, where exactly it came from, and how you can also be that kind of man. I believe what you find will surprise you! Most never discover it.