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Summary: A sermon on Zeal from Romans 12:11-12.

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Introduction

1. Well, we have finally come to the end of our Alphabet!!

Tonight, we will study the word “Zeal”..

Zeal in the dictionary...

great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause...

eagerness...

excitement...

passion...

In the Bible...

Zeal is found in the Bible almost 40 times...

in both the Old and New Testament...

2. But more importantly that how many times zeal is found in Scripture...

is if zeal is found in our hearts!!

Do we have zeal?

Do we have passion for the Lord?...

Illustration:

When he was pastor for the Methodist church in Scarborough,...

William Sangster had an eccentric member who tried to be a zealous Christian.

Unfortunately, the man was a little bit off-center...

He usually did the wrong thing.

He was a barber...

And one time he had lathered up a customer for a shave,...

(this was in the old days when you would get a shave with a strait razor)...

Well, the barber came at him with the poised razor, and asked,

"Are you prepared to meet your God?"...

The man was so scared...

he ran out of the barbershop with the lather on his face!1

3. I want us to be zealous...

But, witnessing like that might not be the most effective way to go about it!!

I would like for us to look at zeal as it appears in Paul’s letter to the Romans...

and Paul will give us some instruction about how to get and keep the zeal for the Lord

Read Text: Romans 12:11-12

1. What:

A. First of all, Paul said, “Never be lacking in Zeal”...

Obviously zeal can ebb and flow...

Sometimes we can be more zealous than others...

Some of you have noticed that I’ve been on a diet...

controlling my weight has been a battle since I was in college...

and it hasn’t always been easy...

When I start out on a diet...

I usually start out being passionate...

zealously keeping to the structure of my diet...

but as time goes on...

I find that my zeal begins to ebb and flow...

The key for me isn’t just being zealous for the first few days of the diet...

the key for me is to KEEP the zeal for the long haul...

when I get discouraged and struggle...

am I just going to throw up my arms and give up...

or am I going to stick with it?...

That’s where I’m at right now...

16 weeks into my diet I am down 46 pounds...

but the last several weeks have been a real struggle...

and there is the temptation to just quit...

But I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained...

B. Well, it’s one thing to lose passion for a diet...

but its another thing altogether to lose passion for the Lord!!...

We don’t want our zeal for the LORD to ebb and flow...

we don’t want to be lacking in our zeal for the Lord...

Illustration

Halford Lucock says, "I was impressed several years ago when I read that Eugene Ormandy dislocated a shoulder while directing the Philadelphia Orchestra. I do not know what they were playing, but he was giving all of himself to it! And I have asked myself sadly, ’Did I ever dislocate anything, even a necktie?’"2

B. Paul says to “Keep your spiritual fervor”...

In Galatians 4:18, Paul also says...

It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good,

and to be so always and not just when I am with you.


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