Summary: Rekindling the fire of God’s Zeal in our lives.
A Zeal For God
“As for you my son Solomon, Know the God of your father, and serve Him with loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands the intent of the thoughts. IF you seek Him He will be found by you. But, if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; Be strong and do it.”
(1 Chronicles 28.9-10)
Once again we have come to the Southeast’s favorite time of year - Football Season! Roll Tide!!! Already the sound of battle resonates from gridirons across the state. There is probably no state in this union that can boast of having fans who are more passionate about football than the great state of Alabama. The football fans of Alabama eat, breath, and sleep football 365 days a year. We are passionate about and committed to our team. We have a ZEAL fo the game of football. We will travel hundreds of miles to camp out in the parking lot of a football stadium just to do what we could have done from the comfort of our home – cook out and listen to the game via TV or the radio. We can not help ourselves. We just have to be there. We live for the experience.
During the season football will be the topic of conversation in every office and around every water cooler. We will critic last weeks game and develop strategies for this weeks game. We will buy banners, books, hats, and shirts to show our support for our team. We will spend years indoctrinating our children to root for the proper team. We will fully debate our friends over the great benefits of supporting our team over theirs. We will be Zealous for the game of football.
Oh, for that kind of zeal for the things of God. How it must break the heart of God when on Sunday He sees the cold hearts of Christians towards His call on there lives when just a few hours earlier those same cold hearts were burning with zeal about a stadium early on Friday or Saturday so they would be sure to get a good seat.
Oh, how it must grieve the heart of God when He hears his children so willing and able to spout of the latest football stats, yet so unwilling and so unable to share their faith. How He must long for a people who are more zealous for the things of God than they are for the things of the gridiron.
I ask you today what I must ask myself, “what is it going to take to get our hearts to burn with zeal for the gospel call of God like it does for the game of football?” One would think that as we watch God’s prophetic Word unfold before our eyes in the middle east, that we would sense the urgency of the day and we would be compelled to burn with the fire of God to win the world to Christ. Yet, the reality is that we are losing ground. Instead of more of us being on fire for the gospel call less of us are. What is it going to take to make us burn white hot with the zeal of the Lord?
God has given us help for this cause in our text today. Here we find King David instructing his son Solomon concerning the task to which he had been called by God. His calling was to build a dwelling for God – The Temple. In our text we find in these instructions from and aged father four principles which will help us develop and maintain a zeal for God and His call upon our lives.
First, if we want to burn with zeal for the Lord we must know Him. David told Solomon to “know the God of your father (verse 9b).” This knowledge is more that a mental accent to the fact that there is a God. It is more that and accumulation of information about that God. After all if that is the only way we know God then we are no better off than the demons, because, “even the demons believe – and tremble (James 2.19).”
This knowledge is to be a personal knowledge of God as Savior. We must “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10.9).” If we will know God in this personal kind of way the Bible says we will be saved. That is we will be saved from the power, penalty, and ultimately the presence of sin. We will be “born again (John 3.3).” That’s the kind of knowing God that has to happen in our lives in order for us to begin to have a zeal for the things of God.