Zeal: Pure Passion
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I. Purity must precede Passion, or we will desire the wrong things
Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself [His] own special people, zealous for good works.
John Wesley: But is it not possible to distinguish right zeal from wrong? Undoubtedly it is possible. But it is difficult; such is the deceitfulness of the human heart; so skillfully do the passions justify themselves.
II. Passion must be guided by Truth, or we will do the wrong things
Gal 4:18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.
Ro 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Pr 19:2 Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet.
Mt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
III. Purified Passion results in Comfort for the Afflicted, Affliction for the Comfortable, and Glory for God (& us)
Joh 2:17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up."
Numbers 25:11 "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 "Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 ‘and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’"
Heb 1:7 And of the angels He says: Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.
"God makes his ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God, light these idle sticks of my life and let me burn out for thee. God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of "other things." Saturate me with the oil of thy Spirit that I may flame. Make me thy fuel, Flame of God.” -- Jim Elliot. Leadership, Vol. 11, no. 2.
From: Toward Jerusalem by Amy Carmichael:
From prayer that asks that I may be
From subtle love of softening things,
Give me the love that leads the way,
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How do we sanctify rather than canonize our desires and passions so we are consumed by the right things? Rom 12:1-2
2. Why are we hesitant to be viewed as a “fanatic” or “peculiar person”? Does God use “fanatics”? Is He using you?
3. Which sentiments of Amy Carmichael’s poem describe your aspirations? Which don’t? Will that ever change? How?
4. What fans the flame of your devotion to God? What can we do as a Body to help each other burn brightly for Our Lord?