“not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” – Romans 12:11
King David, with all his shortcomings, is popularly regarded as a man after God’s heart. He was also a man with great zeal for the things of God so much that he attempted to build Him a house.
He would have done so if God hadn’t told him to pump his brakes! (2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17).
He is also the same man who was so excited at the bringing of the ark of God that he stripped himself of his royal robe in praise (2 Samuel 6:14, 20-22). Hence the popular song “I’ll dance like David danced.”
He also wrote Psalms 69, a psalm for an urgent plea for help in time of trouble. In Psalms 69:8-9 he says, “I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children; BECAUSE ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE HAS EATEN ME UP, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
If one is to take a lesson about zeal for the things of God, King David is a worthy candidate of study.
Another person worthy of study is Apostle Paul who persecuted the church with great zeal, albeit wrongfully (Philippians 3:6). And when he came to the knowledge of Christ, that same zeal was applied to the preaching of the gospel in the midst of various trials.
There is also Epaphras, a companion of Paul whose zeal is discernible from how he prayed for the church in Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:12-14). Paul reported how this man laboured for them fervently in prayers with great zeal.
We also have the Macedonian church who showed their zeal for the things of God with generous giving despite their poverty. (2 Corinthians 8)
There are other examples of zealous men of which our Lord Jesus is one. There was an occasion He sent out with immediate alacrity certain merchants out of the temple.
The fervour of His action made the disciples remember that it was written of Him thus: “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up. -John 2:17. His zeal culminated in His dying on the cross for our sins. (Mathew 26:42)
All these examples is to ask us a question this morning – “How can your zeal for the things of God be discerned?”
It is not a question of condemnation but one intended to stir us up unto good works. Be zealous for the things of God!