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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.

Monday, February 06, 2006

J.C. Ryle on Zeal

Here is but one reason why these books constitute my top 50 (or so) list. I read Practical Religion when I was a junior in college, and this book made a profound impact on my life. Below is just one excerpt from J.C. Ryle on his chapter on “zeal.” In the upcoming days, I will probably add an honorable mention list (the second fifty or so) of other notable works. In the meantime, may this excerpt stoke the embers in your heart to burn with white-hot zeal for the glory of God. 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 labour, to toil, to spend himself and be spent, and even to die, if only he can please God and honour 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, thorough-going, whole-hearted, 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 offence; whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish; whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise; whether he gets honour, 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. Such an one [sic] will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money, he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes: if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding for it. If he is cut off from working himself, he will give the Lord no rest till help is raised from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of “zeal” in religion.
>> Taken from Practical Religion, 184-85. "Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord."
Romans 12:11

2 Comments:

Anonymous Chris D. said...

I have a new “life” statement. Thank you for this contribution.

2/06/2006 07:52:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Christine,

I am glad that these words have resonated in your heart. And thank you for visiting P&P! I pray that our hearts will be envigorated to spend and be spent for our glorious Savior! More from Ryle coming . . .

2/07/2006 05:03:00 AM

 

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