“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” — Colossians 3:20.

Enthusiasm. Vance Havner said, “Don’t ever come to church without coming as though it were the first time, as though it could be the best time, and as though it might be the last time.”

Think about someone that you know that exudes enthusiasm. They can turn a boring drive into an adventure, extra work into opportunities, and strangers into friends. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Watch how enthusiastic people get at sporting events. Have you ever walked into a car dealership and seen an unenthusiastic sales person? You may say, “But they are on commission!” True. And so are we as Christians.

Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” The New International Version says, “...have it to the fullest.” Jesus did not intend for our life to be just tolerable. He came that we would live life abundantly. Of Himself He said, “The zeal of My house has eaten Me up.” He lived His life with a passion for every moment.

So how do you obtain and sustain enthusiasm? Some people take pills, some read inspirational biographies while others attend positive thinking seminars. But before long the temporary high those bring is gone and they are back in the doldrums.

When asked about her greatest acting performance Helen Hayes said, “Strangely enough, it was not on a stage but on a train to Chicago.” She said that a stranger sat beside her, a sickly woman, who explained that she was going to Chicago to be with her daughter because she had inoperable cancer.

And then a look of excitement came over this woman’s face and she said, “Miss Hayes, may I show you something?” And she took out a box and opened it and there was an impressive collection of expensive jewelry; earrings, broaches, pins and bracelets. Hayes said the woman would take each piece out of the box and hold it up and examine her expression for her approval.

Hayes said, “It was so sad to see this woman so empty, who was going to die in a few months, and all that mattered to her was this box of stones. It may have been my greatest acting performance ever to appear to be impressed.”

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

The word enthusiasm is derived from two Greek words, “en” and “theos,” meaning “in God.” So the more the Spirit of God is in us, the more enthusiastic we should be.

There’s something about Jesus that keeps on satisfying. You can hear the same scripture, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” over and over again, and it brings comfort. You can sing the same song, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me,” and somehow it still satisfies. You can pray the same prayer, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name,” and somehow it still edifies.

And you can go to church every Sunday and go out, and if you are growing in the Lord, you know what you find yourself saying? “Boy, I really enjoyed being in church today!” Nothing new... just good to be there. He saves, He keeps, He satisfies.

Blaine Rosser was so excited about Christ when his friend Archie told him about Jesus that he invited me to his apartment to talk to him. When I arrived there was hardly any room left because every seat was taken and some were sitting on the floor. He had invited all of his Saturday night hangout friends to hear me and I was there until 1 a.m. in the morning answering questions. Can you imagine Blaine’s enthusiasm when many of his friends accepted Christ and were immersed?

The world offers you an occasional thrill and temporary pleasures, but Jesus offers permanent joy and daily enthusiasm.

Emmett Murphy is a retired Christian church pastor. He can be reached atbepreach@aol.com.