There is no greater joy than to see someone come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. It is a wonderful moment when people truly understand that God loves them enough to send his son to die in their place. Even more wonderful is when they choose to give their life to him.
However, it is the zeal of the new Christian that always strikes me. When someone grasps the Gospel for the first time they are like a piece of dry wood that has a spark put to them – they burn out of control (in a good way!). Everyone else needs to be told the news that they now know. All of their friends and family need to come to church and hear what they’ve heard.
Often the new Christian is not the clearest explainer of the Gospel message, but sheer enthusiasm covers over such issues.
That zeal is a wonderful encouragement, but at the same time I find it a gentle rebuke to me. How many of us, who have known Christ for a long time, show that sort of zeal? Do we burn with the same desire to see people know our Lord as we once did? Do you remember the first time you really grasped the good news? Do you remember those earlier days?
Maybe, like in Jesus’ parable, the weeds of this world have choked your enthusiasm. Often as we grow and mature as Christians we somehow manage to lose our zeal. We learn more of the Bible, we know exactly how to answer every question and explain the Gospel in a clear and succinct way (all wonderful things!) – but we never quite get around to telling anyone anymore!
The zeal of the new Christians in our church has challenged me to pray to God that he would help me to keep my zeal and never lose it. Why don’t you join me in that prayer for yourself?