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Summary: A challenging lesson on getting excited about serving God.

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Title: Zeal for God

Text: Multi-texted-Topical

Introduction: Have you ever gotten tired of a concept or idea or maybe even a word.

‒ T.V. commercials remind me of this.

‒ How many of us really like the 3 minute long Sports Illustrated commercials any more?

‒ How many of us are sick of the little pink bunny?

‒ How many times in your life have your heard, "For your free information call 1-800...?

‒ I think concepts in the Lord’s church can do the same thing.

‒ We hear so much about certain subjects that we tire of listening to them.

‒ When they come up in Bible class we tune them out.

‒ I’ve even seen people roll their eyes.

‒ How do we deal with that?

‒ Is it right for us to lose our interest in God’s concepts.

‒ We are human.

‒ We need to renew ourselves often so that we do not become lazy.

READ Romans 12:11 NCV) “Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart.

(The word for “serving the Lord with all your heart” is the same Greek word for "zeal.")

**Giving up and becoming lazy is easy, but it takes enthusiasm and fervor and zeal to remain interested and faithful.

1. We need zeal again in the Lord’s church.

A. What is zeal?

‒ Webster says it is "eagerness in the pursuit of something."

‒ That indicates action in the word "pursuit."

‒ The Greek word means, "to have strong feelings for."

‒ he word carries the idea of even being jealous for something.

‒ Having strong feelings motivates us toward good for Jesus.

‒ Being zealous for God is more than being enthusiastic for him.

Revelation 2:10 says, "Be faithful even if it gets you killed and I will give you a crown of righteousness."

‒ Being zealous is being willing to die for the cause of Jesus Christ.

‒ It is being willing to live for the cause of Jesus Christ.

**There are some areas we need to work. Where do we need zeal in our lives?

2. We need more zeal for Christ in the pursuit of our own spiritual growth.

A. The Hebrew people we read about in Hebrew 5:12-6:1 where not growing up spiritually. They had lost that zealous fervor.

‒ (Hebrews 5:12-14 NCV) By now you should be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food. {13} Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby and knows nothing about right teaching. {14} But solid food is for those who are grown up. They have practiced in order to know the difference between good and evil. (6:1) So let us go on to grown-up teaching. Let us not go back over the beginning lessons we learned about Christ. We should not again start teaching about faith in God and about turning away from those acts that lead to death.

‒ "...By now you should be teachers,...." 5:12

‒ "...those who are grown up. They have practiced in order to know the difference between good and evil....." 5:14

‒ "...let us go on to grown-up teaching....." 6:1

‒ Growing takes work.

‒ It takes a conscious effort.

‒ Growing pains hurt because it gets us out of our comfort zones.

‒ Growing spiritually causes us to change and change hurts us so bad.

B. In pursuing that spiritual growth, we need to be jealous of our time we spend on our relationship with God.

‒ The marriage relationship is one of the most sacred and intimate relationships in our lives. Yet, it does not take priority over God.

1 Corinthians 7:5 says of sexuality in marriage, "Do not deprive one another, except by consent for a time of prayer...."

‒ Though marriage is an intimate relationship it is still not as important as our spiritual relationship with God.

‒ Though family is so important, Jesus said, "If you love father, mother, son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of me."

‒ Those are strong words, but they tell how important Jesus wants to be in our lives.

**In short, nothing is as important in our lives as growing spiritually.

**NOT ONLY DO WE NEED MORE ZEAL FOR OUR OWN SPIRITUAL GROWTH....

3. We need more zeal for Christ and the church in the Home. How much time do we spend teaching our children about the Way of Jesus? What about the Bible? Moral values?

A. Dads need more zeal, When are we going to wake up to the fact the we are more responsible for our kids spiritual well-being than for their physical well-being.

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