60 Seconds – Fervent in SpiritAuthor: Dave Arnold
Alan Redpath stated, “Augustine once said, as a principle of his life, ‘To myself I will show a heart of steel, to my fellowman a heart of love, to my God a heart of flame.’ This is the quality of service and life for which God is calling from each of us.”
In Romans 13:11, we are admonished, “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The word fervent is the present (continuous action or state) participle of the verb zeo, which means “boil.” In the New Testament, the word is found only here and in Acts 18:25, describing Apollos as “being fervent in spirit.” Goodspeed emphasized the original force of the word in his translation, “on fire with the Spirit.”
G. Campbell Morgan said, “Lukewarmness is the worst form of blasphemy.”
We are taught to be zealous or enthusiastic in doing good. Paul wrote in Galatians 4:18, “Be zealous in a good thing always.”
William Lloyd Garrison, in the middle of the 19th century, goaded America’s drowsy, sluggish conscience against the crime of human slavery, declaring, “I will not be silent. I will not excuse. I will not equivocate. I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.”
We are to be fervent concerning eternal life. Christ said in John 6:27, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.” The “labor” is very expressive. It signifies that we are to be deadly earnest over spiritual things, sparing no pains to obtain that which our souls so imperatively need. It is used figuratively, and signifies making salvation the object of intense desire.
A Christian said to a friend who was interested in missions, “The subject of missions is getting on my nerves.” Replied the friend, “I am told that there are two sets of nerves – sensory (that convey feeling) and motor (that impart movement). On which set of nerves does this subject bear the harder?”
Anyone who has burned wood in a fireplace knows that periodically it is necessary to add fresh fuel, and sometimes to fan the embers into a flame. We need to keep alive the inner flame by adding the fuel of the Word of God, fanning it with prayer.
General Booth of the Salvation Army once made this pertinent observation: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.”