Give Me Zeal

It was Saturday morning, January 11. The temperature outside was absolutely frigid. The Weather Channel had just announced that it was eleven degrees in our part of southwest Indiana, not including the wind chill. The bright sunshine filtering through the windows of my house gave a false impression of what it was actually like to be “in the elements.”
My children and I were inside enjoying the warmth and peace of a quiet weekend. Then there was a knock at the door. I thought to myself, “Who in the world would be out in this kind of weather?!” As I opened the door, I noticed two elderly women standing at the front steps. Both were shivering from the piercing cold; both were carrying small satchels at their side. I quickly spied one of the satchels. I could make out the letters on the front cover of a small publication —- “Awake!” The lady nearest to the door pulled the scarf away from her mouth, then spoke in cheerful tones, “Hello! We’re with …” Without thinking, I finished her sentence. “You’re with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.” She smiled and said, “Yes.” I tried to let her know kindly that I was not interested in her offer. They both then turned and headed for my neighbor’s house.
The more I pondered that brief encounter, the more it struck me. “How many children of God would be willing to sacrifice their Saturday to go door-knocking? How many Christians would brave sub-zero temperatures to tell others about their faith in the risen Savior?” Those questions haunted me. They still do.
Brethren, I certainly don’t endorse the error that members of the Watchtower Society espouse (2 John 9-11), but I can’t help but admire their zeal (Romans 10:2). Their faith is not merely a cognitive thing, it is heartfelt and active. Folks don’t give up their weekend and trudge around town in below-freezing weather trying to introduce their neighbors to their religious ideology unless they have some abiding conviction. The sad irony is that we have the good news (2 Kings 7:9), but often lack the passion which the Witnesses exhibit.
Someone once said, “If a man has a soul, and he has, and if that soul can be won or lost for eternity, and it can, then the most important thing in the world is to bring a man to Jesus Christ.” Amen! Saving souls ought to be our FIRST priority (Luke 19:10)! Period!
In his book, Hearts on Fire, Don Humphrey exposes our spiritual passivity. He notes:
“The average member of the church of Christ has heard 4,000 sermons, sung 20,000 songs, participated in 8,000 public prayers … and converted zero sinners” [p. 3]. … God never intended for Christianity to be church-building centered. The message from God in the New Testament is that He intends for us to go to the lost (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 26:16-18; Romans 1:14,15; 2 Timothy 2:2). Instead, our usual evangelistic program involves having a nice building and nice services to which the lost can come. And if they don’t come, they are not reached. If our church-building evangelism method could win America, it would already have done so” [p. 7]. … Our problem is that we have become spiritually lethargic. We are like a car stuck in a snow-drift —- the wheels are spinning and the motor is racing, but there is no forward motion. Congregations have full calendars with lots of programs and activities but no forward direction that will keep the main thing the main thing —- growth. We have become indifferent. It doesn’t really matter to us that we are not growing. People are lost, and we are evangelistically inactive. … Perhaps the Devil learned a lesson [from first-century Christianity] … Today he is not persecuting us; he is lulling us to sleep…” [pp. 12-13.]
Beloved, when was the last time you tried to teach someone? When was the last time you fervently prayed for the Lord to lead you to some lost soul that you could help teach? When was the last time you demonstrated the depth of your faith and told another about Jesus Christ (Philemon 6)?
Consider your priorities.
Examine your heart.
Repent of your apathy and start knocking on the doors of someone’s heart today.
Jesus said healthy branches produce much fruit, while barren limbs will be cut off and burned in the fire (John 15:2,6.) Think about it.

5 Replies to “Give Me Zeal”

  1. 1) Would the love of Christ be seen in a cup of hot cocoa?
    2) I do not know if it has does any good, but every place we move I ask them in and engage them in a Bible study. Their flaws are so many that they cannot have an open and honest discussion. I get blacklisted, and they no longer come to my door; I pray that some of those seeds of doubt may later sprout.

  2. This is a ‘rude’ awakening for us as Christians. It applies to us as well. Thank you for the lesson, and I pray that we put our faith into “action” more! Thanks for your edification and encouragement to do what we KNOW we should do!

  3. Yes, Christians should be 1000% more pro-active, but “admiring” the JWs’ zeal is akin to admiring Satan’s zeal given his relentance blah, blah, blah….

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