October 7, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. - Romans 12:9-13 NKJV.
The NIV translates Romans 12:11 as “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16 NKJV.
There is an annual Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and every year the people attending the two-week festival lose some things many of which are turned into the lost property office. This year, the festival had a reported 6.9 million people that visited and this year the visitors lost a lot of stuff just like every other year. The lost property office reported that a live grasshopper had been turned in, wonder how they knew it was lost? Maybe it was in a little cage or a box? Then, there was the Viking helmet, an electric wheelchair, camping chairs, more than a thousand items of clothing, hundreds of wallets, mobile phones eyeglasses, a thousand identity cards, 90 cameras, jewelry, watches, hundreds of keys, a set of dentures, and a partridge and a pear tree. Just kidding about the partridge and pear tree…. Charles Reinbold, who has worked in the lost property office for almost 20 years said, “The year I started I remember we had five or six sets of false teeth in, and a pensioner walked in and tried them all on. Unfortunately, his weren't among them.” Reinbold credits improved adhesive for the reduction in the number of lost dentures. (Oktoberfest.de 2014)
Maybe you have lost something too? Have you lost your spiritual fervor, zeal, steadfastness? Have you let go of what is good? Has your shining light lost its shine? Many have. Bob Harrington, known as the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, lost his, but he came back and now says, “Let's make every minute count for Jesus by living our lives every day seeking that opportunity to share Him with a hurting and dying world that thinks there is no hope (the chaplain dot com).” Aaron and Samson in the Old Testament lost their way, but they both came back. Jonah ran from God, but he came back. The Prodigal Son came back.
If you have lost your way, or fervor, or zeal, or steadfastness, or shining light, how can you come back? The Message translation of Romans 12:11 says, “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” You can come back by fueling up on the resources of God: His Word (Matthew 4:4); Prayer (Luke 18:1); Assembling with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25); and Service (John 12:26). If you want to be on fire for the Lord, God has what you need to come back! “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day. For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off (Proverbs 23:17-18 NKJV).”