A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus,
When I looked up the Oxford dictionary for the definition of the word zeal, it says: “great energy, or enthusiasm for a cause, or objective.”
In Acts 1:8 (NKJV) the Lord Jesus said to his disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The disciples needed the power of the Holy Spirit and zeal to proclaim the Gospel. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said: “Like a chariot without horses, like the sun without heat and a heaven without joy, is a man of God without zeal.”
If there is no fire there is no sacrifice. We can prepare our offering; we can place the stones in place, we can cut the firewood and place it correctly, we can kill the ox and put it on the altar, but without fire there can be no burnt offering. We cannot have zeal if we do not know him. He is the fire and the only way that we can receive the fire is by spending time with Jesus Christ.
I have heard many sermons preached that have obviously been prepared for weeks in advance where the speaker has got every single scripture matched up with every single illustration, but it is deadly boring, because there was no fire of the Holy Spirit present. On the other hand, I have heard messages preached by uneducated, brand-new Christians who have just fallen in love with Jesus of Nazareth and those messages have brought me to tears, because of the zeal and the fire of the Holy Spirit present in their life.
I remember a few years ago going to speak at a home for mentally and physically handicapped grown- ups. It was a Christmas service and they had a nativity play. One man stood up and sang a beautiful country-western karaoke song. He couldn’t walk too well, but what a voice he had and sang with such zeal and passion. The tears were running down my cheeks listening to him singing. I said to the man after the service:“You sang like I have never heard a person sing before.” I could hear that he was in no way a schooled singer. I often have the privilege of going to Nashville Tennessee, the home of country-western music and I have heard some of their most famous gospel singers singing at the old Oprey Hall, but not one of them has made me cry.
When we tell people about Jesus we need to speak from our heart. Charles Finney, one of the greatest evangelists of all time said: “Where there is no Mr Tears and there’s no Mr Amens, there is no revival.”