The adjective “fervent” simply means hot, glowing. There is a great need for spiritual fervour. This is seen in all sorts of activities in this world in which we live, but where is it in the work of the Lord? We are not only to be stedfast and unmoveable, but “always abounding in the work of the Lord”, 1 Cor. 15. 58.
This meaning of “fervent” given above leads to the question, “Are we glowing?”. Our Lord could speak of John the Baptist as “a burning and a shining light”, John 5. 35.
We should be fervent in spirit. What a marvellous Christian was Apollos! We read of him in Acts 18. 24-25 as “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures … This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John”. God is not looking for eloquence as such, but He is certainly looking for the spiritual qualities possessed by this man. Thus Romans 12. 11 tells us that we should be “fervent in spirit”; our minds should be fervent, 2 Cor. 7. 7. Let us not be unmindful of the fact that God would have us, not only with spiritual fervour, but also with a love for the local assembly and Paul’s teaching in respect of it.
Colossians 4. 12 reads, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”. Am I, are we, “always labouring fervently … in prayers”? The will of God for us is not only to pray, but to pray fervently. Let us remember, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”, James 5. 16; see verses 17-18.
Are we characterized by loving fervently as well as by praying fervently? “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”, 1 Pet 1. 22. Note: “with a pure heart”; do I love with a pure heart?; is my love real?, 1 Tim 1. 5. This fervency in love in 1 Peter 1. 22 links up with 4. 8 where Peter writes, “above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves; for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins”.
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