Read Romans 12:9-13

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.—Romans 12:11 (NIV)

A young family walked to the chancel for an infant baptism as our congregation waited expectantly. Two parents, their infant son, and their four-year-old daughter, Sydney, gathered around the baptismal font. I asked the parents numerous questions of commitment during the baptismal vows. Each time they replied, “We do.” After every response, Sydney exclaimed, “Me too!”

The congregation was surprised and delighted by her eagerness. Sydney’s obvious enthusiasm and desire to be a part of this significant occasion caused me to reflect later: How do I demonstrate my zeal for following Christ? How do I convey the joy an excitement that a relationship with God brings me?

In today’s reading, Paul encourages the Romans to maintain their spiritual fervor and to serve the Lord. God invites us to experience the adventure of living for Christ every day. May we respond with gratitude, dedication, and zeal.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for those who enthusiastically show their devotion to you. We pray as Jesus taught us, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV). Amen.

Thought for the day: When my zeal is lacking, God can use others to encourage me.

—Jim Bell, North Carolina