Psalm of the Day: Psalm 119:105-112
Wisdom of the Day: Job 40:1-12
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:51-56
Let us notice the unusual conduct of two of the apostles, James and John. We are told that a certain Samaritan village refused to show hospitality to our Lord. "The people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem." And then we read of a strange proposal which James and John made. "They said: Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?"
Here was zeal indeed, and zeal of a most plausible kind — zeal for the honor of Christ! But it was not a zeal according to knowledge. The two disciples, in their anger, forgot that circumstances alter cases, and that the same action which may be right and justifiable at one time and may be wrong and unjustifiable at another. In short, the proposal of James and John was a wrong and rash one. They meant well, but they greatly erred.
Facts like this in the Gospels are carefully recorded for our learning. It is possible to have much zeal for Christ, and yet to exhibit it in most unholy and unchristian ways. It is possible to mean well and have good intentions, and yet to make most grievous mistakes in our actions. Very grave faults are frequently committed with good intentions.
We must seek to have knowledge as well as zeal. Zeal without knowledge is an army without a general, and a ship without a rudder. We must pray that we may understand how to make a right application of Scripture. The Word is no doubt "a light to our feet, and a lamp to our path." But it must be the Word rightly handled, and properly applied.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me to have zeal according to knowledge and not blind action.
Action Plan: Zeal, fervor, and charisma can be very good traits, but when misplaced they can be very dangerous. What makes you zealous to act? Is this based on godly prinicples of selfish desires?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.