When we know the stakes are high

After the disciples saw Jesus cleanse the temple, they remembered that it was written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17).

What words do we associate with Jesus? Loving, truthful, holy, powerful, or forgiving? What about zeal? If we want to be “like Jesus,” shouldn’t then zeal be a part of our lives as well?

Zeal isn’t emotionalism or extremism. It’s a deep and abiding passion and concern for the things of God. 

But it’s not something you can force or fake. Just how you can’t force someone to dance joyfully at a wedding if they don’t want to (we’ve all witnessed this to be the case, haven’t we?), you also can’t force zeal.

Zeal happens when we know the stakes are high. When we think that faith doesn’t really matter, then we won’t have zeal; we’ll have apathy.

An Olympic athlete who knows that the stakes are high is passionate about what they do. They shoot for podium glory, personal achievement and legacy, inspiration for future generations, and pride for the nation! 

When it comes to discipleship and life, the stakes couldn’t be higher: Heaven or hell, good or evil, love or apathy, trust or fear, life or death. 

Today I simply invite you to remember that the stakes are high.

Yes, we definitely make mistakes… and have bad days… and need more help than we are prone to admit. But zeal is what happens when God cuts through the fog and illuminates our minds about what is really going on and about what matters most.

Zeal happens when we know the stakes are high.


–COLDEST NIGHT. My family and I are a part of the team for Westminster church raising funds and awareness about youth homelessness. Click here if you are able to give to our cause!

–Sermon: “Ritual or relationship?” (February 13, 2022). Click here.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV. 

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