READ: Proverbs 23, Luke 11, Revelation 3

ZEAL

My zeal has consumed me, because your enemies have forgotten your words.”

 Psalm 119:139

Zeal is one of those qualities we regard with a little bit of scorn. It is the fanatic who is zealous, not the wise man, or so goes the conventional wisdom. Jesus’ life proved otherwise; His zeal consumed Him (John 2:17). Our lives are intended to be lived passionately, energetically, zealously. The Psalmist applies zeal to the words of God remembered by His enemies. It provoked the Psalmist that the enemies of God did not remember His words. In an age where we are increasingly prone to shame over the direct truths of God as presented in His Word, we would do well to remember that God’s Word is sharper and wiser than ours. We don’t naturally think that what the enemies of God need to hear is His Word, but that sharp sword is exactly what they need to be reminded of. It is not folly or wasted breath to remind the ungodly what God thinks. We must expose rebellious man to the words of God. Man does not need more of man–man needs more of God.

The problem with humanity is that the light that is in it is susceptible to darkness (Luke 11:35). This is true for the unconverted as much as it is the wicked. Christians are not immune to having a little bit of the truth in them twisted and turned into harmful lies. After all, the best lies are based on truth. Twisted truth (dark light) is even more evil than outright lies. We don’t realize that we are in fact “miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). In order for the wicked to be reminded of the words of God, His messengers must have “no part dark” in them (Luke 11:36). God intends to “write on us His name” (v. 12). In effect we become God’s epistles, His letters, His mini-words. We are not the Christ; we are not even mini Christs. We are not the Word of God. We are the stationery on which God writes, and as such we need to be clean, pure, holy, and true, that nothing detract from the handwriting of God.

Not only should we be zealous to remind God’s enemies about His words, we should also be zealous to remind ourselves, zealous to repent (Rev. 3:19), zealous to be the clean stationery of God. Jesus knows that our works are not perfect (v. 2), and neither are our words. When we repent (v. 3), we position ourselves to be that clean page that Jesus can write on to remind His enemies about Himself. The “open door” (v. 8) is inseparable from the clean page, the instrument of light, the life of truth in the inward parts. God’s enemies best remember His words when they both hear them from His announcers and read them on His announcements.

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