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June 10, 2024

Ep.1337: Is My Life on Fire for Christ?

Learning the true and transformational meaning of Christian zeal

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How does Jesus' focus on zeal during his ministry help us?

How do we cultivate zeal that builds us up instead of zeal that breaks us down?

What are the differences between emotions and zeal?

Theme Scripture: Psalm 69:9

As human beings, we all know what it's like to get fired up about something. We see a circumstance unfold or read about something controversial, or our team wins the game no one thought they could. And we react! We become passionate or energized and feel that adrenaline rush. Suddenly there is no mountain too high or ocean too broad. We’re up for the challenge! Yeah, we all know what that’s like. The question is, is that what "having our lives on fire for Christ" looks like? Before we get too excited, let’s consider a simple question. What was David referring to when he wrote, “For zeal for Your house has consumed me” in Psalm 69:9? Was he talking about being consumed by a moment and reacting, or was he writing about having his very being consumed by a lifelong desire to honor God?

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Compare today

The 21st century version of getting fired up is a far cry from what was known as “zeal” in the Old and New Testaments. For us here and now, it really ends up being all about emotion. Being fired up can be either a good thing or a bad thing. The dramatics of such a surge of feelings can easily push the borders of personal control. Interestingly, this is the greatest similarity between modern-day fire and scriptural zeal. In the Bible, the word is often used to describe things like jealousy and even hatred. However, on the positive side, it is frequently used to depict a powerful, disciplined and long-lasting burning desire - just the kind of Christian zeal we want.

David, Paul, Jesus

When we look at biblical individuals like King David, the Apostle Paul and Jesus himself, we can begin to understand what this burning desire looks like. When Jesus cleared the moneychangers out of the Temple in John 2, he was described as having the same kind of zeal King David had relating to that very Temple. What was that zeal? David spent many years of his adult life dedicated to getting the Temple built. Even though God told him that because he was a warrior it had to be built by someone else, David was unphased. He planned, he gathered materials, and he taught his son Solomon what needed to be done. THAT is zeal. That is what a burning desire looks like according to the Bible.

How can we even relate to that kind of zeal? Check out our June 10, 2024 podcast, Is My Life on Fire for Christ? for more. We uncover some startling realizations about how Jesus learned zeal, and how he himself expressed it in different parts of his life. We break down several other biblical examples of zeal and then use them as a basis to formulate what our Christian zeal should look like. Finally, we compare the burning desire of zeal in the Bible with our emotional versions of it today. What we find is revealing! Join us and see how true zeal for Christ can change your life!



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