One of my professors at Dallas Theological Seminary use to say, "It's a sin to bore people with the Word of God!" and he would say it often. Howard Hendricks was always accurate in his exegesis, creative in his communication, and passionate in his delivery. I can't help but think Romans 12:11 was one of the verses that helped shape this value.
The Apostle Paul implored, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11, NIV). While the NIV does a good job in translation, allow me to make just a couple of brief observations. To be "lacking" is to be lazy or idle (the ESV appropriately uses "slothful"). To have "zeal" is to be diligent, willing, and eager, or to act with speed. To be "fervent" is to be emotionally enflamed. The application of this passage is clear: Keep fanning the flames of spiritual passion; serve the Lord with energy.
As students arrive on campus this week lets welcome them with joy, introduce them to others with warmth, orientate them with enthusiasm, engage them during their time here at Briercrest with fervor, and pour God's Word into them with spiritual passion.
Now, I know that we all demonstrate passion in various ways, consistent with our personality. But allow me to remind us all of the infectious nature of relational warmth and energy. Many of our students are away from home for the first time. Some are coming from a difficult family situation. Some have been bumped around this summer. Some are carrying burdens, doubts, disappointments, and anxiety. Please allow your love for Christ to be transparent and evident. Ultimately, this is one of the ways we fulfill the law of love.
Partnering together in spiritual fervor,