In A Chinese convert once said: "We
want men with red-hot hearts to tell us of the love of Christ."
This man was talking about enthusiasm. If anything separates
the active Christian from the indifferent Christian, it
must be enthusiasm. Charles Schwab has said: "A man
can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited
enthusiasm." What is true of business in this regard
is also true of the church? Enthusiasm for Christ is the
great need of the hour!
Webster says that "enthusiasm" is an "eager
and intense interest; an ardent zeal or fervor." By
definition one can obviously see the great value of enthusiasm
in the service of Christ. In Isaiah 2:3, we see that enthusiasm
was prophesied to be one of the characteristics of those
in the church: "And many people shall go and say: Come
ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk in his paths..." The prophet said
the day was coming when God's kingdom would be established.
He said that people all over the world would be filled with
enthusiasm to learn about the Lord and to walk in his ways.
Today, that glorious kingdom has been established. But what
about the enthusiasm? Can it be said that we are enthusiastic
In order for enthusiasm to be of value it must have the
proper motivation and guidance. Motivation is important.
Something has to stir us to have the eager and intense interest
in serving Christ. Once upon a time, there was a frog who
fell into a very deep pothole on a very busy street. His
friends tried to pull him out, but each time they tried
they failed. Finally, the situation was hopeless. His friends
gave up and left him to his fate. But the next day they
saw the frog jumping around just fine. His friends begged
him to tell them how he managed to escape the pothole. The
frog responded, "Well, there I was. I couldn't jump
out; but then a truck came along and I had to." Now
that is what you call motivation. In much the same way,
Jesus demands great things of his people. He does not want
us to be motivated out of a sense of fear or duty, but out
of love and gratitude directed toward him. What motivates
you to serve Christ?
And then, enthusiasm needs proper guidance. It is possible
for our enthusiasm to be excessive and unreasonable. Paul,
in speaking of the Jews, said: "I bear them record
that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge"
(Rom. 10: 2). The zeal of some Jews was actually working
against the Lord. They had enthusiasm, but it was not properly
guided. Someone has well said that "religious zeal
without knowledge is like speed to a man in the dark."
Enthusiasm without proper guidance can be a very dangerous
Faith provides the motivation and the guidance for the right
kind of enthusiasm. Our enthusiasm for Christ must be grounded
and settled in the knowledge of God's Word. Saul of Tarsus
is an excellent example of the wrong kind of enthusiasm
turning into the right kind of enthusiasm through faith
in Christ (Gal. 1:13,14).
We need this wonderful spirit of enthusiasm in the church.
Not a bubbling, showy, emotional enthusiasm. That kind cannot
last. But there is such a thing as a sustained and rational
enthusiasm. This kind lives in truth. We need this enthusiasm
in all areas: in our worship, in our family situations,
in our daily relationships, in our evangelistic work, and
in our benevolence!
Realize that enthusiasm is a choice! Isn't Christ worthy
of your zeal and interest? He is indeed! MAKE THAT CHOICE!
DECIDE TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC IN THE SERVICE OF CHRIST!
by Brian K. Giselbach
Not Growing Old
They say that I am growing
Ive heard them say it times untold
In language plain and bold
But Im not growing old
This frail old shell in which
Is growing old I know full well
But Im not growing old.
What if my hair has turned
Gray hair is honorable, they say
What if my eye sights growing dim
I can still see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me
There on the cross of Calvary
Why should I care if times
Has dug some furrows in my brow.
Another house not made with hand
Awaits me in the glory land.
My hearing may not be as
As in the past, it may have been
Still I can hear my Savior say
Come faltering child, this is the way.
The outward man, do what
To lengthen out this lifes short span
Shall perish and return to dust
As everything in nature must.
But the inward man the Scriptures
Ah, the inward man
Is growing stronger every day.
Then how can I be growing old?
Im safe within the Saviours fold
Er long my soul shall fly away
And leave this tenement of clay
This robe of flesh Ill
drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize
Ill meet you on the streets of gold
And prove that Im not growing old.
- John E. Roberts -