by Crystal Bowman
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14 NKJV
The word zealous can be found a few times in the Bible depending on which translation you read. It’s not a word we use much these days, especially in casual conversation. To be zealous means to be dedicated and committed to something with all your heart. It means you have a great desire or passion to be part of something you believe in.
Some people are zealous about sports and competition. Olympic hopefuls train 25 hours a week for 10-20 years before qualifying for an event. Others may be zealous about music and performing. Becoming a professional singer involves a long career path. It takes years to properly develop a voice and many begin taking voice lessons as children. Still others may devote their time and energy to an organization or worthy cause.
The Apostle Paul was an enemy of Jesus until Jesus spoke to him while he was traveling to Damascus. Paul soon became a Christian and spent the rest of his life telling people that Jesus was the Savior the Jewish people were looking for. Paul was zealous about sharing his faith in Jesus with everyone he met.
Titus was one of Paul’s followers and a leader in the church. The book of Titus in the Bible is a letter Paul wrote to Titus to help people understand more about Jesus and how he wants us to live. Paul tells Titus that as we wait for Jesus to return, we should be zealous about loving others and doing good deeds in the name of Jesus. That message is for us too, and as I reflect on my commitments, priorities, and activities, I try to identity what I am zealous about.
I’m zealous about spending time with my grandkids and making the most of every opportunity I have with them. My heart is filled with joy as I indulge in creative play, reading stories, or snuggling on the sofa. I’m also zealous about writing. I am usually well aware of what time it is, even without looking at a clock. But when my fingers are on the keyboard, I get so immersed in my writing that hours seem like minutes.
As I examine my life during this pandemic season, I pray that I can be zealous about sharing my faith and doing good deeds in the name of Jesus, even if it means doing things differently. I can read a Bible story or picture book to my grandsons in Texas over Facetime or Skype since I cannot visit them. I can leave a bag of kids’ books on my neighbor’s front porch so she can read them to her preschooler and new baby. I can send a card to my sister-in-law who was unable to have a funeral for her mother who passed away. And I can call my friend in Florida who is a recent widow to help fill a lonely Saturday evening with some long-distance conversation.
As we wait for this pandemic to pass, and as we wait for the return of Jesus, there are many ways we can share the love of Jesus with others. We can be zealous—even if it’s a word we don’t use anymore.
About the author: Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books including, Our Daily Bread for Kids.She and her husband have three married children and seven huggable grandchildren.
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Join the conversation: What are you zealous about in your life?