Energizing The Base

by Tim Hall
palinsmall.jpgGreat power is unleashed when zeal is tapped.
For those who follow American politics, this has been a whirlwind of a week. The Democratic National Convention closed on Thursday night, August 28 after nominating Barack Obama, the first African-American to run for a major political party for the office of President. Few expected anything of great significance from the Republican National Convention when it convened the following Monday.
Then the unexpected happened: John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. For the first time in history, the Republican Party would offer a woman as a candidate for one of the two highest offices in our land. And her values resonated with the core constituency of the party.
The reaction of the Republican Party could have been predicted. With a candidate who espoused conservative values, the base was energized and the zeal of the party was revived. Millions of dollars were donated for the campaign.
But an unexpected reaction took place in the hours following Palin’s keynote address at the convention: Democratic followers showed their zeal by contributing over $10 million within hours of Palin’s speech. Not even the Democratic Party officials expected that. Who knows how many more millions will be raised by both parties before this campaign is finished?
This article is not about politics. The above story, though true, is meant to illustrate a point. When zeal is tapped, enormous power is unleashed. Far greater things can be accomplished than would have otherwise been the case.
Long ago the apostle Paul wrote about the zeal of Christians in the city of Corinth. Their example was powerful: “… your zeal has stirred up the majority” (2 Corinthians 9:2, NKJV). In what way had their zeal been demonstrated? By an effort to send monetary relief to the people of Judea. Most in Corinth probably didn’t know anyone in Judea. All they knew was that a famine was raging in Judea and people needed help. In sending help, they could also glorify their Lord Jesus Christ.
That same zeal was first shown by the Macedonian Christians: “… in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing” (2 Corinthians 8:2,3).
Like a wildfire racing across a dry meadow, the example of the Macedonians’ zeal had inspired the Corinthians, and the Corinthians’ zeal had “stirred up the majority” (2 Corinthians 9:2). How many millions have been moved to give generously since Paul penned those words?
Christians, we serve a Prince more powerful than any man or woman. Our cause is far greater than any earthly cause. Where is our zeal? When we allow God to tap that, amazing things will be accomplished for all the world to see!

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