Every believer is instructed to be enthusiastic in the basic matters of Christian living. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:9-11).
Scripture identifies specific areas in which to be enthusiastic, and then adds the instruction: “But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you” (Galatians 4:18).
WHAT ARE WE TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT?
Be enthusiastic about God.
Paul was “zealous towards God” even before his conversion (See Acts 22:3). However, his was a “zeal without knowledge.” He was “zealous of the religious traditions of his forefathers” (Galatians 1:14), but when he became a believer, he transferred that same zeal to advancing the kingdom of God.
Be enthusiastic about loving others.
“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). The Corinthian believers exercised fervent love toward Paul. [Titus] “told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.” (II Corinthians 7:7).
Fervent love is only possible if we first purify our souls by obeying God’s truth. Otherwise our affection will be mixed with wrong motives and desires: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22).
Be enthusiastic about prayer.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16). One of Paul's co-laborers joined him in having this mind of prayer for other believers: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis” (Colossians 4:12-13).
Be enthusiastic about good works that glorify God.
All believers are to be enthusiastic about doing sacrificial work that benefits others. These works must be done without any motive of personal reward or glory in a way that enables others to get the credit and God to get the glory. Jesus Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). Based on this, we are able to “provoke... unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
HOW ENTHUSIASTIC ARE YOU?
Do you give a warm, cheerful smile to everyone or only to your close friends?
Do you get more excited about sports than about prayer and the things of God?
Are you more fervent in reading a novel than in studying the Scriptures?
When conversing, do you talk more about other people than about the Lord?
Do you delight in talking with your friends more than you do with the Lord?2