Zeal

Fellow-blogger David Graham Gilmore had a great post this week titled, “Wanting More.” David starts, “I’ve been a christian for over forty-five years. I want more of Jesus. I long for His presence daily in my life. I hunger for His filling, His thirst quenching water of life. I wonder if anyone else is like me. I encounter lots of people who carry the label “christian” who don’t feel as I do. They seem satisfied, content with their state of faith. Maybe they are far ahead of me in their walk and just don’t need more, want more.”

David’s impassioned words describe me, too as one who will “not be satisfied with anything less than daily encounters with Him.”

 Bishop J.C. Ryle

Bishop J.C. Ryle

Later that evening in my reading, I stumbled into these words from Bishop J.C. Ryle on “Zeal”.

“Zeal is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies—whether he has health, or whether he has sickness—whether he is rich, or whether he is poor—whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence—whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish—whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise—whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame—for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory.”

“If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it—he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for zeal. If he cannot preach, work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray…If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua, he will do the work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill (Exodus 17:9-13). If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of ‘zeal’ in religion.” (Practical Religion, 1959 ed., p. 130)

I hope when people meet me that they can feel my contentment in being a lamp that is made to burn.

Blessings, my friend,

Agatha

July 2013

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