>> October 21, 2011
We often use the letter Z to represent sleep. Gonna catch some Z’z. Zzz….snore…zzz. The word I’m closing this series out with is anything but a sleepy zzz. You might even say the final word is a zinger.
If the apostle Paul were alive in this generation, I’m convinced he’d be a blogger. God stirred his heart to write letters to the churches to teach, train, and encourage them. Isn’t that what most Christian bloggers do? Paul may have used papyrus to spread the good news then, but I’m sure his zealous spirit would be thrilled to get his message out via the world wide web.
I imagine his blog design might consist of a map of the world (as he knew it), or perhaps a pair of worn out sandals would adorn his header. Maybe a wrecked ship or a snake in the fire lashing out at him would be a possible backdrop. Perhaps broken chains but most defiantly there would be the cross of Christ somewhere in his design.
Sometimes in his zeal, Paul could come off a bit pushy. A lot of people who are zealous about a cause appear that way, but when you’ve been zapped by the Holy Spirit, you simply don’t want to zig-zag around avoiding the call God has for you.
I remember when my husband was a brand new Christian, he was full of zeal. He devoured the Word and would stop in the street if he saw someone he knew from his past to tell them about his salvation experience. At first I found his zealot behavior embarrassing, but then I became ashamed at my lack of zest for Jesus because I had been conditioned to accept my faith as the norm. I zoned out in church and became a Christian zombie; saved but with zero enthusiasm.
When I read Paul’s “blog” in 2 Corinthians 7:11, it pretty much sums up my husband’s salvation experience:
“For observe this very thing that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves. What indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what indication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16b about sums up my enthusiasm at that time :-( "...and the dead in Christ will rise first."
Recently my husband’s sister and niece have come to know the saving grace of Jesus and have the same zeal he had over thirty years ago. Again, I find myself smiling and thinking…stir up the ambers, Girl…get it together!
In this most awesome Z scripture we see how God feels about us:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am zealous for Zion (His people/church/bride) with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.” Zechariah 8:2
Wouldn’t it seem that we should be equally zealous for Him as He is for us…with great fervor?
Let’s zip it up…
In one year, twenty-six words have been studied, researched, and processed to help us understand the Christian terms we often hear and say. I hope we all feel a new passionate fervor… dare I say…a fresh zeal for our Lord.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” ~Paul (Romans 12:11)