Zeal for God

Colossians 3:23

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Webster defines the word 'Zeal' as 1. Eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something. 2. Two synonyms are Fervor or Passion. In our text this evening the apostle Paul uses the word 'heartily'. The word "heartily" literally means "from the soul."

People are passionate or zealous about many things. We are passionate about work, striving to succeed. We are passionate about possessions, striving to have more. We are passionate about hobbies and interests. We are passionate about our sports teams. Think of this… We always have enough time, energy and money for those things about which we are passionate.

The real question is: are we passionate about that which is most important? Are we passionate about God? The Bible has much to say about our 'zeal' for God.

In Num.25:11, God speaks of "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy."

God describes Himself as passionate and zealous. Several times in the OT we read, "The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this."

Jesus is described as zealous. Is.59:17 prophesied of Him, "For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke."

The disciples understood Ps.69:9 spoke of Him, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."

Jesus' passion was His Father's will. He said in John 4:34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."

The Bible also encourages believers to pursue a passionate or zealous relationship with God.

Paul speaks of his own passion in Col.1:29, "Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."

Titus 2:14 speaks of Jesus "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim.1:6, "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands."

Our spiritual passion or zeal is like a fire. As long as we pile on the wood, the wind of the Spirit will fan the flames and the fire will be so hot even a rainstorm of adversity won't douse it. However, when we don't feed the fire it will smolder.

John Wesley was once asked why so many people came to hear him preach. He said, "I just set myself on fire and the people come to watch me burn!"

Are we 'on fire' for God? If not, why not? Get on fire for God and men will come to see you burn. If there is something missing in our relationship and our service to God, chances are it is our passion...our zeal!

I. Why We Lack Zeal for God.

II. Why Zeal for God should be Our Priority.

III. How to Regain Our Zeal for God.