We are so passionate when we need to be, right? While passion is great, if it isn’t directed in light of the Word of God then we are living a dangerous life. Sometimes our passion get’s the better of us when we end up biting more than we can chew. Limited beings as we are, it’s necessary that our zeal is according to knowledge.
Israel has a zeal for God, but without knowledge (Romans 10:2). Paul himself, had a zeal for God without knowledge. What happened? A personal encounter with Jesus transformed him completely.
How was his zeal prior to Christ? He persecuted Christians. Organising murders and attacks against the children of God.
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:6)
And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (Galatians 1:14)
How was his zeal after knowing Jesus?
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
How was the zeal of the Thessalonian church?
We’ve always studied the zeal of the more popular heroes of faith. While reading Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians, I was amazed by his commendation about the believers in Thessalonica.
You became imitators of us and [through us] of the Lord, after you welcomed our message in [a time of] great trouble with the joy supplied by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has resounded from you and has echoed [like thunder], not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place [the news of] your [great] faith in God has spread, so that we never need to say anything about it. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)
The believers in Thessalonica were zealous believers. They accepted the word of God in a time of extreme persecution (1 Thessalonians 2:14). Being idol worshippers (1 Thessalonians 1:9) themselves before coming to Christ, their conversion stirred the world around them. Macedonia, Achaia and places further got to hear about the faith of the Thessalonian church.
How is your faith today, dear believer? Turn to Jesus. He still loves you; and only needs you to begin walking in His Word. The Heavenly Father is the only ONE we can trust in Jesus. Let your zeal in Christ stir those around you to know Jesus more. Put aside all anger, hatred and bitterness from your heart. That’s what’s primarily causing all the mental anguish and emotional suffering. Look ahead, look to Jesus, be ignited in the Lord for His glory.