“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord” (Romans 12: 11). There are two specifics in this verse. First, the word “zeal” is the translation of a Greek word meaning a combination of urgency and diligence. It is possible to be frenetic— to be urgent without focus and discipline. It is possible to be plodding, or diligent without a sense of urgency. But God’s charge means that you are to be both urgent and disciplined. Second, when the verse says, “keep your spiritual fervor,” the Greek literally says, “as to your spirit boiling.” So we are asked to bring emotion, discipline, and urgency to the task of being living sacrifices in the lives we lead and the work we do. We are asked to live with passion.
Now Jesus is our example! Where was His passion and sacrifice coming from? In John 17, Jesus Christ looks at His disciples and says to the Father, “For them I sanctify myself” (John 17: 19). The original word “sanctify” meant to set yourself apart like an Olympic runner. We know what it means to train for the Olympics.
It means that absolutely everything in life is subordinated to one goal. It means that every minute of the day, every activity is done in such a way as to contribute to that aim. There is a great deal of pain every day, but it is endured without complaint. Only that level of passion and commitment can earn the gold. And so it was with Jesus and his passion. He set Himself apart for the goal of our salvation. He lost everything, endured everything, to obtain it. Jesus Christ’s passion was for you and for His Father —not for Himself. There is our model.
Written By: Rudi Steyn