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ZEAL:

I’ll never forget the story told by Pastor Garland Rogers. It was a civil war story. I don’t remember the name of the state, or the names of the men. I just remember there was one guy, who was a southern soldier. He joined the confederate army, but he refused to wear the gray uniform. He refused to carry the army issue rifle. He refused to walk in formation. They were short of men, so they let him join the confederacy anyway. Not long after getting started, one day he disappeared. After a day or two they all figured he had either gone home, or had been shot or captured by some union soldiers. But a couple of days later, off in the distance they could see six union soldiers coming with their hands in the air. Directly behind them walked this odd-ball, un-uniformed, missing guy. He had his non-issue musket pointed at them. He had captured them. The confederate soldiers stared in disbelief, until the guy said, “What’s the matter with you guys. I thought we were supposed to go get these guys. You guys ought to go get some too … the woods are full of them.” Jesus is all about bridging the gap. Not only dies there need to be a place for all amongst us, but we need to really dedicate ourselves to the real task that God has called us to. Remember, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes on Him would inherit eternal life. (John 3:16)

I like the story I read about Bob & Bill. Bill stopped by his friend Bob’s little country store. He needed a jar of mustard. Bill noticed shelves were loaded with bags of salt. Bob told Bill, I have mustard but I must go to the back to get it. Bill went with him and to his amazement everywhere in the back room were more bags of salt. Bill said, “Say Bob you must sell an awful lot of salt.” Bob looked down at the ground and said, “No … I can’t sell much salt, but the fellow that sells me salt, boy can he sell salt!” You and I need that kind of enthusiasm in our spiritual lives

The story is told of a new Christian who was in New York on business. His first Sunday in town he decided he really should go to church. As the preacher began preaching, the man got caught up in the sermon. He said, “Amen” a few times. Now, this church was not accustomed to hearing any “Amen’s.” So after what apparently was one too many Amen’s, a deacon walked over to the stranger and said, ‘You’re upsetting the service. You’ll have to be quiet.” The man nodded his consent. A few minutes later, however, the man was again caught up In the sermon and said, “Amen.” The deacon came back to him and said, “I told you to be quiet.” The man said, “I can’t help it, I got religion.” The deacon replied, “Well, be quiet anyway, you didn’t get it here.”

Dr. Bob Moorehead wrote these words: I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, I won’t let up, I won’t slow down, I won’t back away, I won’t be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. From this moment on I live by presence, I lean by faith, I love by patience, I lift by prayer, and I labor by power. My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my God reliable, and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until heaven returns, I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear.

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