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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

J.C. Ryle on Zeal - Part Two

Yesterday, I posted part one of J.C. Ryle on zeal, and this post serves as a follow-up to that post. While I could make a series of this, I will make this my last from Ryle. If you want more, be sure to pick up Practical Religion (Banner of Truth). If you are in Louisville (in particular Southern Seminary), I noticed yesterday that there was one copy in the Puritan section of Lifeway (for those interested). I beseech you to hold fast your zeal, and never let it go. I beseech you never to go back from your first works, never to leave your first love, never to let it be said of you that your first things were better than your last. Beware of cooling down. You have only to be lazy, and to sit still, and you will soon lose all your warmth. You sill soon become another man from what you are now. Oh, do not think this is a needless exhortation! It may be very true that wise young believers are very rare. But it is no less true that zealous old believers are very, very rare also. Never allow yourself to think that you can do too much, that you can spend and be spent too much for Christ’s cause. For one man that does too much I will show you a thousand who do not do enough. Rather think that “the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4), and give, collect, teach, visit, work, pray, as if you were doing it for the last time. Lay to heart the words of that noble-minded Jansenist, who said, when told that he ought to rest a little, “What should we rest for? Have we not all eternity to rest in?” Fear not the reproach of men. Faint not because you are sometimes abused. Heed it not if you are sometimes called bigot, enthusiast, fanatic, madman, and fool. There is nothing disgraceful in these titles. They have often been given to the best and wisest of men. If you are only to be zealous when you are praised for it, if the wheels of your zeal must be oiled by the world’s commendation, [then] your zeal will be but short-lived. Care not for the praise or frown of man. There is but one thing worth caring for, and that is the praise of God. There is but one question worth asking about our actions: “How will they look in the day of judgment?” - J.C. Ryle in Practical Religion, 208-09.
"I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls."
2 Corinthians 12:15
" . . . who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."
Titus 2:14


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