Friday, March 22, 2013

Vacation Read- Feel the Zeal.

My vacation read was Feel the Zeal by Dr. Ron Cline. It was recommended to me by my dad, and it was a fabulous read. I would recommend it. A convicting, challenging book that stirs up a lot of thought and desire to follow Jesus more whole heartedly and actively. He is involved with HCJB radio, lives in Ecuador (which is the head port for their radio stations, and so cool because I've been to Ecuador on a missions trip before), and helps get Christian radio programs broadcasted all over the world in as many languages as possible.

The whole premise was based off of the verse "...and the zeal of the Lord will accomplish this." (Isaiah 9:7)

It was so good. He included so many stories of God working throughout the world- stories that are so incredible, and only explained by God that they leave you with goosebumps. I love hearing stories, so I really loved this book!

In the second part of the book he talkes about Christian character traits, stories about those traits, and Biblical characters who displayed those qualities. It was such a cool way of writing, and connecting the zeal concept, in a way I wouldn't have thought of. I also learned a lot about people from the Bible that I didn't know before. He wrote about:

Philip finding zeal in Availability
Stephen finding zeal in Character
Elijah finding zeal in Consistency
Barnabas finding zeal in Compassion
Joseph finding zeal in Forgiveness
Peter finding zeal in Obedience
Elisha finding zeal in Confidence
Noah finding zeal in Righteousness
Paul finding zeal in Tough Times
Nehemiah finding zeal in Vision

Here are some thoughts I found really interesting:

1. Dark and Light- Jesus is so powerful because He is light, and light ALWAYS overcomes darkness. You simply cannot put out light with darkness, but you can always put out darkness with light. Think about turning on a flashlight in a pitch black room- one tiny light breaks through the darkness! Light always overcomes and is more powerful than darkness.

2. Listening to God's voice. So often people think about doing something without waiting for or even asking God's direction. We too often think that this is what God would want, or that it's a "good" thing, so we don't have to talk to Him about it, when we always should. Too often we ask God to bless us and our activities, when that might not necessarily be the path He wants for us, even if it's a good thing. We need to slow down and listen for God's voice. He will always lead us and has a great path set out for us. It's usually different than what we might want or expect, but always better! He also talked about how to decipher between God's voice and Satan's.

3. Taking action. Too often Christians are mediocre and don't look for opportunities to share their faith, or don't take the ones given to them. This is a really convicting point for me, and something I want to develop more boldness with.

4. Tough times- He talked about Paul's tough times, and he had a lot! Way too often, we think that we don't deserve troubles and think we are being treated unfairly, but God never promised an easy or trouble free life. We need to praise God even in the midst of trials, for in our trials we can learn to depend on Him more, and trials shape and grow us.

I could go on for awhile, so you should just read it!

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