Enthusiasm . . .

Vol. 3, No. 44

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. –Romans 12:11

Life without enthusiasm is like sending a squad of riot police to a cemetery at midnight to guard against a demonstration by the residents.

We have doctrines, theologies, traditions, programs, and ways of doing things; however, what is often missing is the fire. Of course, if the fire is missing, none of these things can spread.

Enthusiasm is one of the most fascinating and attractive qualities in our lives. Some people describe people who are enthusiastic as being fanatics. They often go beyond the point of their expectations – and the expectations of the observer. Observers most often think the fire is false.

The false fire of an overheated mind is always labeled on the reformer, the world leader, the religious enthusiast, and even many creative thinkers. Fall in love, but do not go head over heels. Rigid faith, sound doctrine, and as little expression as possible . . . this will save you from an intoxication by overindulgence.

In some of our Bible translations, our verse begins “not slothful in business.” That is restrictive to our daily occupation. However, Paul gives it an implied meaning: “In regard to your earnestness in ALL directions, see that you are not slothful.” Slothful here means “sluggish.”

  • Enthusiasm comes from two words, en (in) and theos (God); who we are is possessed by God.
  • Enthusiasm has the implication of being Spirit-filled.
  • Enthusiasm overflows with optimism; stirred to the boiling point.
  • Enthusiasm is far more than a feeling or emotion; it is a basic attitude on life.
  • Enthusiasm is tied in with our faith, in the eternal, and with the ultimate outcome of victory.
  • Enthusiasm says God is the absolute winner (and I am enthusiastic about that).
  • Enthusiasm is like a jet plane, riding above the bad weather of circumstances. (Unbelief sees God through circumstances; faith sees circumstances through God’s view.)
  • Enthusiasm is contagious. It is infectious; it breeds.
  • Enthusiasm is passionate persistence.

Donna and I were members of a church that has a mission statement that read:

Passionately pursuing Christ so that we may passionately pursue people

That reveals the enthusiasm of people that believe in Christ!

One preacher spoke: “No man will work long at a task that his heart is not in; or if he does, because he is obliged, the work will be slavery. In order, then, that diligence may neither languish, becoming slothfulness, nor be felt as a heavy weight or an unwelcome necessity; Paul here bids us see to it that our hearts are moved, because there is a fire below which makes the soul’s depths boil in earnest.”

God alone remains the steadfast Undaunted Enthusiast. His sovereign grace is determined to perfect that which concerns us . . . otherwise we are heat without light, energy without direction, and passion without constraining principle.

Look at one another this Sunday to catch a glimpse of what others’ enthusiasm looks like and sounds like – is it exciting – or is it just humdrum?

A thought from Paul Tripp. . . Come Let Us Adore Him

All the promises of the prophets were carried on the shoulders of the One born in Bethlehem, and He fulfilled them all.
Had an awkward moment when important visitors, friends . . . or distant relatives show up unannounced? You are glad they are there, but you are also kind of mad because they did not let you know they were coming. . . .most of us do not like being surprised this way.
It is good to know that Jesus did not show up on earth unannounced. A whole company of prophets spoke a myriad of prophecies that not only pointed to the surety of His coming, but also made specific promises about what His coming would produce.
The prophecies of the coming of Jesus is the result of the unstoppable zeal of God; His glorious redeeming grace.
God could not just leave our world in the same condition we placed it in –evil-scarred brokenness. Today, in our lifetime, God is still working His unstoppable plot, and He will not relent or rest until all that the prophets predicted is fully realized in the lives of every one of His children.

Are you a child of God?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

November 4, 2018

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