Posted by Johnny Richards

You probably know by now that I enjoy sports. These past couple weeks have had me tuned in to my television. Between the Braves in the World Series, the Carolina Hurricanes beginning the hockey season and the Wolfpack playing football and starting basketball, I have almost been overwhelmed with sports. One of my co-workers at hospice told me the other day, “You have a lot of passion for sports. I wonder if you could find another area to channel that energy?”

I know she is right about my passion for sports. It has been a part of me since I was a child in elementary school. Whether it was playing or watching, I have always had a passion for sports. She was also right that I might need to channel some of that energy into another direction so I do not take sports so seriously. But how do you take something you love and channel it into a new direction? Is it bad to allow something like sports to take over your day? Probably. There is something to be said for moderation. Whether it is watching sports, or eating a wonderful meal, or watching a good show on television, a lot of things are better if done in moderation. However, when it comes to serving God, the Bible teaches that we need to do it with a lot of energy.

Paul writes to the church at Rome, in Romans 12:11, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” That word “zeal” is a word that means “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a case or an objective.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) So if we look at what Paul is writing, he is encouraging the church to find something we feel is worth our effort and then do it with everything we have, zeal. If we look at verse 10, we will see that Paul says the church should be devoted to each other in love and they should honor one another. So, what should be our main objective as the church, according to verses 10 and 11? I believe Paul is saying we should see one another as our main objective and we should serve God, and care for each other, with everything we have. We should be zealous about caring for one another. It is in caring for, and loving one another, that we are serving the Lord.

What are you passionate about today? What allows you to have energy you did not think you could have? For me, other than sports, it is preaching. For others, it can be taking care of the children or grandchildren. For some, it may be working outdoors. There are a lot of things that give people energy and a sense of purpose in life. What if we took the energy those things give us, and move them towards serving God by loving and caring for one another? Is there a way to be zealous about honoring others? God says we should be. For it is in loving others, that we are serving God. Until next week…

Peace and Blessings…   Johnny