Devotional Thought for Today – 09/06/21

JC Ryle Quote - Zeal Never Lose Your First Love For Christ

Romans 12

CONTEXT: The book of Romans can be broken down into five (5) S’s; Man’s Sin c.1-2, Offer of Salvation c.3-5, Sanctification through Christ c.6-8, God’s Sovereignty c.9-11, and Man’s Christian Service c.12-16. Matthew Henry breaks down Chapter 12 as follows: Believers are to dedicate themselves to God. (1,2) To be humble, and faithfully to use their spiritual gifts, in their respective stations. (3-8) Exhortations to various duties. (9-16) And to peaceable conduct towards all men, with forbearance and benevolence. (17-21)

In the quote above, it would appear Ryle is using v.11 as the basis for his statement: Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord(KJV) Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord (ESV) Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. (CSB)

Maybe you are different but I have occasions when I am not on the mountain top when my zeal (enthusiasm) is not at its peak. Yet that is exactly what the Apostle Paul is encouraging and urging the readers to do, be all in fully emersed as it were (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) in serving the Lord.

How can we do this? Paul gives us the answers in the remaining verses:

  • Rejoice in the hope (of eternal Salvation)
  • Be patient in trials
  • Be constantly in prayer
  • Be hospitable to fellow believers
  • Bless those that would harm you
  • Rejoice and weep with those doing the same
  • Fellowship with liked minded folks and saty away from worldly things
  • Don’t payback evil with evil
  • Always strive to live peacably
  • Leave vengance to the Lord
  • Feed thy enemies
  • Repay evil with good

Staying on the zeal train in serving the Lord may not always be easy, but by following Paul’s list we can avoid the deepest valleys. Paul says the answer is to set ourselves apart from the world, to love each other, the Lord, and even our enemies.

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