For fellow participants, what I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see is for people to share quotes from what they're reading. I'd love for you to share quotes occasionally with your readers and let me know about it. If you don't have a blog, you could always leave quotes in the comments here.
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" Christians.
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 labor, to toil — to spend himself and be spent, and even to die — if only he can please God and honor 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 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 honor, 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 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 a one 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 against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua — then he will do the prayer-work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13.) If he is cut off from working himself — he will give the Lord no rest until help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion. ~ J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion
Christians are truly humble when they genuinely feel their sin and recognize that they are worthy of the wrath and judgment of God and eternal death. So in this life, Christians will be humbled. At the same time, however, they possess a pure and holy pride, which makes them turn to Christ. By turning to Christ, they can pull themselves out from under this feeling of God’s wrath and judgment. Christians believe that any remaining sin is not counted against them. They also believe that they are loved by the Father. Christians are loved, not for their own sake, but for the sake of Christ—the one whom God loves. From this it becomes clear how faith justifies us without works. It becomes clear why we still need Christ’s righteousness credited to us. The sin, which God thoroughly hates, remains in us. Because this sin still remains in us, Christ’s righteousness must be credited to us. God gives us that righteousness for the sake of Christ—the one given to us, the one we grasp by faith. ~ Martin Luther, Faith Alone, July 22
We must devote ourselves to the Word of Christ and train ourselves to hold on to it so that we never lose sight of Jesus. ~ Martin Luther, Faith Alone, July 25
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible