Living with Enthusiasm

Curtis Jones relates the legend of  a wealthy merchant traveling through the Mediterranean world looking for the distinguished Pharisee, Paul.  In time he encountered Timothy, who arranged for a visit. Paul was, at the time, a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally the merchant left with Paul’s blessing. Outside the prison, the concerned man inquired, “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.”
Did you not guess?” replied Timothy. “Paul is in love.”
The merchant looked bewildered. “In Love?”
“Yes,” the missionary answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”
The merchant looked even more bewildered. “Is that all?”
Smiling, Timothy replied, “Sir, that is everything.”

While this story is undoubtedly a myth, it certainly fits the persona and personality of Paul as presented in Scripture. He was a man of zeal.  Passion. Enthusiasm.  Even prior to becoming a Christian he was zealous for the traditions of Judaism (Gal.1:14)  passionate about persecuting Christians (Phil. 3:6).  Following his conversion he channeled that zeal into preaching Christ.  Yes, Paul was in love with Christ!

I wonder with so many distractions in our world today, with so many things that clamor for our time and attention, and with so many secular interests, if we have the kind of fervor that Christianity requires?  Are we zealous?  Passionate?  Dare I say, in love with Jesus?

This year’s NFL season will be remembered as much for the controversy and conversation about Tim Tebow as it will the eventual Super Bowl champion.  Whether one thinks Tebow will ever be a great NFL quarterback, or even agrees with the statements regarding his religious belief in Jesus, one thing is for sure, he is passionate about his faith, and unashamed to enthusiastically let others know where he stands. Christians in the stands cheering might do well to take a page from his book.

“Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world, wrote Emerson, “is the triumph of enthusiasm.  Nothing great was ever achieved without it.” That’s why Paul would admonish us, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col.3:23-24).  This was actually spoken to slaves in regard to their work for their masters.  Yes, you can be enthusiastic for the Lord, and glorify him in your job!

In fact, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek “en theos” which means “God in us.” All human beings are created in the image of God.  But as Christians we have a spark of the divine nature.  If there is any group of people in the world that ought to be positive, progressive and enthusiastic, it should be Christians!

And so today, this week, let us resolve to serve the Lord with passion. Zeal. Enthusiasm.  And to do so wherever we are and whatever we are doing.  At work. At school.  In our home lives. In our community efforts. And certainly in our worship and in our church family.

In the final analysis enthusiasm, as Henry Chester expressed it, “ is nothing more or less than faith in action.”  And it is that passionate faith that leads to achievement in this life. And in the life to come.


Filed under Enthusiasm, Zeal

8 responses to “Living with Enthusiasm

  1. Mike

    Wow, Great thoughts! That should help my day…and my life. Thanks.


  2. Ken, thanks for the enthusiastic article on enthusiasm. Great job!


  3. Pingback: Enthusiasm in the New Year | Blog. Blog like the wind.

  4. Deborah Need

    Preach it, Brother! And can I get an “Amen?”


  5. Kaukab

    It is really a very good feelings to fall in Love specially with God who is a very powerful, perfect, having so many qualities, creator of all things we see in this world and the world after death. If we act according to God s laws and regulation to please God and to become prizes at the end like heaven where all wishes will be fulfilled. These feelings perish all the fears, doubts, grieves and all bad things from our lives and the heart is filled with wonderful joy.


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