Motivational one-liners have infused the weak with strength to succeed at all kinds of endeavours. Stories abound of underdogs becoming CEOs, of the oppressing becoming saviours, of the lazy becoming heroes.

The same is true for spiritual ministry. The little brother Joseph became slave and then executive ruler of Egypt. The shepherd boy became King David. A runaway slave become useful Onesimus. The persecutor Saul become the Apostle Paul.

In Romans 12:11 we find three one-liners that formed part of Paul’s ministry agenda

Do not be slothful in zeal.
Be fervent in spirit.
Serve the Lord.


There are many ways to bring into English the significance of the words chosen by Paul. Look at these translations, and grasp the application for your ministry in God’s Kingdom.

ESVdo not be slothful in zealbe fervent in spiritserve the Lord
NKJVnot lagging in diligencefervent in spiritserving the Lord
NIVnever be lacking in zealbut keep your spiritual fervourserving the Lord
CSBdo not lack diligence in zeal
be fervent in the Spiritserve the Lord
NASBnot lagging behind in diligencefervent in spiritserving the Lord
AZVnot holding back eagernessenthusiastic in spirit
slaving for the Lord