“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” – Romans 12:11
For the past several days, we’ve been examining the topic of personal change by exploring what the Bible has to say about it. Today we look at the principle of motivation: nurturing our enthusiasm. Make no mistake about it; enthusiasm energizes everyone. Enthusiasm doesn’t come from without, it comes from within and it can be a dramatic change agent. The concept of enthusiasm is clearly taught under such words as “zeal,” “spiritual fervor,” “wholeheartedness,” “joy,” and even “love.” So what is enthusiasm, why is it important and how can it change us for the better?
Jesus was asked, “which command in God’s Law is the most important?” His answer is well known and life changing. He said: “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list.” (Matthew 22:36-37 MSG) That is a powerful statement.
God created human beings to live in close relationship with Him, and our lives were meant to be shaped by a passion and enthusiasm for who God is. He is meant to be the One that occupies our minds and fills our hearts. He is meant to be what excites us and brings us joy. Today, Christians can be defined by any number of things. What should define a Christian is their personal and enthusiastic pursuit of and passion for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Enthusiasm or passion isn’t passive. Being passionate about something means you’re going to do something about it. Passion results in action. Passion and enthusiasm enables us to make choices that strengthen our close friendship with our heavenly Father. As you develop a closer relationship with God, your passion will grow, and as it does, making changes in your life will naturally follow.
Proverbs 8:30 says, “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence.” When we love Jesus Christ with passion and enthusiasm, our hearts change, we change—we can then love others as Jesus commanded. God will do His part to increase your passion, but He also expects you to do your part. When you have a quiet time set aside to pray and to study God’s word, you are taking the first step toward seeing your passion and enthusiasm increase.
So, how is your enthusiasm and passion? Are you filled with excitement and purpose? If not, today’s the day to begin pursuing an increase in passion. God is filled with so much passion for us that He deserves nothing less than whole-hearted passion from us.
- When and why did you first fall in love with Jesus? In what ways has your original love for Christ faded? How can you rekindle that flame?
- What activity or idea may be replacing your enthusiasm for the Lord?
- What can you do to deepen your enthusiasm for Christ this week?