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Zealously Affected (Galatians 4:17-18)

Introductory Thoughts

A zealous person is contagious, both positively and negatively. The apostle Paul cautioned that the early believers had been zealously affected, but not in a good way. Those who opposed the gospel were adamant, yet they unwisely waged war against the truth. Night and day, they zealously fought in order to hinder the ministry of the believers. Ultimately, their zeal affected the people of God. These believers who started strong were hindered by the enemies' efforts to the point that it affected their race for the Lord (Galatians 5:7). Modern day enemies of the gospel are aware of this potential pitfall for the believers. They often display more zeal than those who knowingly possess the truth. Yet, today's passage also teaches that “it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing.” Zeal breeds zeal. Zeal in righteousness will yield righteous results.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): When the woman at the well met Jesus, she excitedly told others about him (John 4:28-29). These people gathered to hear Jesus and many gloriously believed on Him (John 4:30, 39). We too should have the same excitement in telling others about Jesus.
  • (For everyone):  Your zeal affects others so how is your zeal affecting them? Are you affecting others with a righteous zeal or in some ungodly and worldly fashion?
  • Have you ever been excited about something you purchased? Did your excitement persuade you to tell others about this particular product? Did those whom you told also become excited about the product? How does this relate to how zealous you should be concerning the Lord and what He has done for you?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to give you zeal to tell others about Him.
  • Ask the Lord to help you affect others positively.


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