Chapter 58 - Sacrificial Zeal
"Many churches in America are looking less like armies engaged in war and more like La-Z-Boy chairs, from which drowsy Christians are saying, 'Don't wake me up!'" (947).
Everyone is zealous for and against things. Zeal is passion or desire for something. We may be zealous for the greatness of America or for the demise of ISIS, for example. Many Christians seem uninterested in cultivating zeal for the glory and holiness of God.
Zeal can be counterfeit (hypocritically seeking a selfish end while professing a good one), blind (passion without direction), or turbulent (passion tinged with hate, envy, etc.).
True zeal seeks God's honor, follows the Bible instead of factions, reforms self before others, constantly asks what it can do for God, is constant instead of flashing hot then going cold, is bold but sweet and loving instead of abrasive.
The way to get zeal is the means of grace:
Prayer - ask and you shall receive!
Word - reading and hearing it preached.
Worship - as coals gathered together stay hot...
Repentance - 2 Cor. 7:11 says repentance produces zeal.
These means seem weak, but God uses them mightily and we should trust Him and use them, as Naaman had to trust Elijah's means of washing in muddy Jordan.
The authors call ministers, laborers and parents to zeal in their callings.
Be fervent in spirit (Romans 12:11), run to get the prize (1 Cor. 9:24-25), take the kingdom forcefully (Matthew 11:12). Don't be lackadaisical or neutral in response to God's call to "be zealous" (Rev. 3:19).