Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Welcome to Day 352 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
John 2:17, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
John 3:14, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”
John 4:9, ““You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
39 “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Q. Am I “zealous” for God’s house?”
Not sure I consider myself “zealous” for God’s house… for the things of the Lord.
I think it’s the word “zealous” that I am tripping over…
I consider myself passionate, focused, determined and a strong believer. Perhaps the equation works out like this?
Passionate + Focused + Determined + Strong Believer = Zealous(?)
Zealous in our day has a negative connotation to it.
He’s a zealot = Not good reputation (overbearing + obnoxious)
According to dictionary.com, zeal is defined as “fervent or enthusiastic devotion, often extreme or fanatical in nature, as to a religious movement, political cause, ideal, or aspiration.”
Perhaps it’s the “often extreme” part of that definition that I don’t particularly like. I don’t want to be seen as “extreme” or “fanatical.” But that’s a matter of perspective, right? I’m sure to some I am “zealous.” To others, not so much.
To my non-Christian friends? I don’t want to come across as “extreme” in my beliefs. I prefer to be thought as “level-headed, thoughtful.”
But as I read through the definition of “zeal” some of it certainly applies… “fervent or enthusiastic devotion… I am not zealous about a “religious movement” though, as some may think. I am not “zealous” for the Vineyard as some may perceive. Only for the Lord… Yet, I do love the Vineyard movement of which I have been a part since the late 80’s.
Take the term “born again…” It’s right there in John 3 that we just read. “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are
But in today’s society, that term has a negative connotation. It carries an “extreme” feel to it. But all believers have been born again… Right?
Once I was walking through Times Square in New York, when a guy carrying a guitar case asked me, as we were crossing the street at a red light, if I was born again.
He didn’t ask if I was a Christian… Interesting.
(I answered, “Of course!”)
Catholics probably don’t use that term to define themselves. If you ask, “Are you a Christian?” They may answer, “I’m Catholic.” (Or “Roman” Catholic.) If you ask someone who is Baptist, they may answer, “I’m southern Baptist!”
But if you ask some Christians, they may answer, “I’m born again!”
(Roman) Catholics and (southern) Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals all can/could have been/may be born again. “Born again” is not limited to a denomination. It’s not a self-imposed badge of honor to set me apart from other believers who may not use that term, yet certainly could be born again.
Anyhoo, I digress?
But I think this is a pretty important discussion. It bothers me when people wield terms like “born again” to make a point or to set themselves above or apart from other believers.
Ok, so, yes, I’m born again…
Lord, I want to be “zealous” for your house… in a good way!