Bible Reading: Romans 12
I assume that like me when you read the scriptures, at particular times in life or particular periods of time in the year, words seem to jump out of the pages at you. Today was one of those days for me and given that we are fresh in the start of a new year, it was not just ‘A’ word but 2 verses.
‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.’ Romans 12:11-12
Yes, there is so much that could be reflected on in this very challenging and thought provoking chapter, and so much for conversation, but what a beautiful expression of our language the author uses to describe the way we are called to serve our Lord … with FERVOR!
Noun: fervor / intense and passionate feeling.
“he talked with all the fervour of a new convert”
|synonyms:||passion, ardour, intensity, zeal, vehemence, vehemency, emotion, warmth, sincerity, earnestness, avidness, avidity, eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm, excitement, animation, vigour, energy, fire, fieriness, heat, spirit, zest, appetite, hunger, urgency;|
An intense and passionate feeling …. an emotional reaction that irrespective of our personal ‘analytical decision making process’, requires a reaction or a decision!
So my own personal challenge and my personal challenge to you as we start another year is, are we prepared to accept the challenge to live with our eyes fixed firmly on the future – not the here and now … to live a life that is full of being BOTH emotionally and practically responsive, holding firm to the promises of God whatever life might hold?
The one thing I have learnt and continue to learn over the years is the importance of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to ‘stay the journey’.
As we begin yet another year, can I encourage you to continue to read and re-read, and again, re-read again and again the passages that bring you strength and encouragement to stay the journey … passages like Romans 12. Not only read them but MARK them in your bible (yes it’s OK … it’s also part of leaving a heritage so that the generations to come will understand your heart!!)
I also encourage you to make sure you invest in relationships that help you remain passionate, ardour, intense, zealous, emotional, sincere, eager, keen, excited, animated, excited, and above all else, FERVOR about the hope and secure future you have in life eternal with a gracious and loving God.
Oh and yes of course, so very, very undeserved!
New year blessing to you and your friends and family. May you remain faithful no matter what might unfold in the days and months to come … FERVOR!!!