Quotes about Zeal
A believing man will be a zealous man. Faith makes a man zealous. Faith shows itself by zeal. Not by zeal for a party or a system or an opinion; but by zeal for Christ – zeal for His church – zeal for the carrying on of His work on earth.
Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants; but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters.
Let us take heed we do not sometimes call that “zeal for God and His gospel” which is nothing else but our own tempestuous and stormy passion. True zeal is a sweet, heavenly, and gentle flame, which makes us active for God – but always within the sphere of love. It never calls for fire from heaven to consume those who differ a little from us. It strives to save the soul – but hurts not the body. True zeal is a loving thing, and makes us always active to edification, and not to destruction.
Lukewarmness in the Christian faith is vile, and zeal an excellent grace; yet above all other Christian virtues, this needs to be strictly watched and searched. For it is zeal with which corruption and pride and human passion is very apt to mix unobserved.
There is nothing that belongs to Christian experience more liable to a corrupt mixture than zeal.
Zeal is desire on steroids… Zeal is deep desire that defines how we live and reveals what we love.
Zeal is a combination of two equally strong emotions: love and hate. It produces a strong love that hates anything that would harm its object. The Lord Jesus Christ expressed both aspects of zeal when He cleansed the temple; it was His passionate love for His Father’s house that caused Him to hate the terrible iniquity that desecrated it (Jn. 2:13-17; cf. Psm. 69:9).
Sometimes zeal is less than righteous. Zeal apart from knowledge can be damning (cf. Romans 10:2). Zeal without wisdom is dangerous. Zeal mixed with insensitivity is often cruel. Whenever zeal disintegrates into uncontrolled passion, it can be deadly.
It is wonderful to have a high regard for the truth, but zeal for the truth must be balanced by a love for people, or it can give way to judgmentalism, harshness, and a lack of compassion.
How does the zeal of the flesh reveal itself? Because it’s driven by law, it treats people with law. It does not rejoice over them but finds fault, jumps to conclusions, accuses, is argumentative, doesn’t listen, gloats when a brother is down, and loves to come out on top. This zeal isn’t for God. It’s for Self. And it’s powerful. It diminishes the future of the church by robbing everyone of beautiful things that might have been.
True zeal is kind. It melts in your mouth. It goes down easy. Yes, it may have to drive moneychangers from the temple now and then. But the zeal of Jesus always asks, “In kindness, how can I make this as easy on everyone as possible, even at cost to myself?”
For any sinner, moral fervor is a dangerous emotion.
I want to strike a blow at the lazy, easy, sleepy Christianity of these latter days, which can see no beauty in zeal, and only uses the word “zealot” as a word of reproach… Zeal in religion is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire which no man feels by nature – which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when he is converted, but which some believers feel so much more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called “zealous” men. This desire is so strong, when it really reigns in a man, that it impels him to make any sacrifice, to go through any trouble, to deny himself to any amount, to suffer, to work, to labor, to toil, to spend himself and be spent, and even to die, if only he can please God and honor Christ.
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, wholehearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies, whether he has health, or whether he has sickness, whether he is rich, or whether he is poor, whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offense, whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish, whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise, whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame, for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it; he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for which God appointed him.
So strong was Jesus’ zeal that His friends thought He had abandoned common sense (Mark 3:21) and His enemies charged Him with having a demon (John 7:20).
Christians should be the most diligent people on the planet. Sadly this is often not the case as we are outspent, outthought and outperformed oftentimes by the very opponents of the Gospel. Is there any cause greater than fighting for the eternal salvation of souls? Is there any book more accurate and relevant and thrilling than the inspired Word of God? Is there any power greater than the Holy Spirit? Is there any god who can compare with our God? Then where is the diligence, the dedication, the determination of His people?
While the rest of the evangelical world seems bound and determined to pursue zeal without knowledge, I fear we have learned to be skeptical about zeal instead of ignorance. The answer to zeal without knowledge is never knowledge without zeal, but a zeal inspired by, driven by, informed by knowledge.
Take care of giving up your first zeal; beware of cooling in the least degree. Ye were hot and earnest once; be hot and earnest still, and let the fire which once burnt within you still animate you. Be ye still men of might and vigour, men who serve their God with diligence and zeal.
Christians must realize that just as a fire cannot blaze without fuel, so burning hearts are not kindled by brainless heads. We must not be content to have zeal without knowledge… To follow Christ and become more like Him, we must engage in the Spiritual Discipline of learning.