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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Do You Know the Two Anointings of Music?

Did you know that the Bible speaks about how we should aim our singing?  There are two goals we should direct our music toward.

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Psalms 96:1-2

The first should be pretty obvious.

Our music can be directed toward God in the praise of His glory.  This is an important part of our relationship with the Lord.  Singing His praises transports us into His presence.

I get so upset when believers view the praise and worship time as merely the “warm-up act” for the pastor’s preaching.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As we sing praise and thanksgiving to God, we are brought into a deeper spiritual place.  We become more open to the move of the Holy Spirit.

Praising God in song is an important part of a spiritual walk.

The second aim of music may surprise some of you.

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…
Ephesians 5:19

Our music can be directed toward each other.  There are many people (and I used to be one of them) that dislike the use of songs that are not directed toward God.  This verse clearly shows the necessity of both types of music.

There are times when we need to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another.  Why is that so important?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

It’s through music that the Word of Christ can live richly in you.  Singing music that’s directed at each other is a form of teaching and admonishing.  As we sing, we learn.

This is an incredible truth.  When my children were small, they learned all the states and their capitals because they were put to music. How much more important is it to get the Word into our hearts?

Through music, the Word of Christ can enter our lives and stay with us.  That’s why I’m so adamant about not singing songs that contain bad doctrine.  Too many Christians believe error because they learned it in their music.

We give praise to our God.  We teach and admonish each other.  Both of these can and should be done through the music of God’s people.

Question: Is there a song that opened up your eyes to a spiritual truth?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Encouragement, Music, The Church, Word of God

 

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The Transforming Power of Music

In my last post I started talking about music as a spiritual force.  Did you know that music has the power to transform your life?  It can lift you up, or bring you to your knees.

The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy was Moses’ last exhortation to Israel before he died.  In it he made some very interesting comments as he was led along by the Holy Spirit.

It also includes what happened in the last few days of his life.  As he was nearing the end, he had a very interesting encounter with God.

At that point, the Lord summoned Moses and Joshua (his second in command) to the tent of meeting.  They were to appear before the presence of God for some instructions.  Joshua was to be commissioned to lead Israel after Moses was gone.  This is all found in Deuteronomy, chapter 31.

When they came to the tent God spoke to them out of a pillar of cloud.  He told Moses of his soon departure.  Then the Lord spoke of the future of Israel.  He said that very soon after Moses was gone, the Israelites would begin to worship some of the gods of the peoples around them.

Because of their condition, they would lose the blessing of God upon their nation and face many devastating hardships.  This must have been frustrating news to Moses, knowing that he was about to leave and could do nothing about it – or could he?

God gave Moses a special instruction that would bring the people back to repentance.

“Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.”
Deuteronomy 31:19

What can a song do to help?

And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.
Deuteronomy 31:21a

The Hebrew phrase, testify against them, literally means to announce in their face.  God would use this song to bring conviction and repentance upon the nation of Israel.  God knew that the only way to turn a backslidden nation around was to transport them back to a time when they were under His blessing.

That’s what the force of music can accomplish.  There are times when I’m in the mall and suddenly I’m transformed into a teenager on summer vacation – because that’s when I first heard the song.  If that’s what a secular song can do, just think what godly music, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can do.

Spiritual songs have the power to hit the “reset button” in our lives.  That’s why we should surround ourselves with the music of worship and praise.

Question: Has God ever used a song to bring you to repentance?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Music, Power of God, The Church

 

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Do You Know the God of Music?

Did you realize that God was the author of music?  Do you know just how powerful music can be?  It’s either a force for good or evil.  For a few posts I want to deal with this subject.  We need to see how music fits into our worship of God.

Where did music come from?  When were melodies first heard?  Actually it was before man was created.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone —
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?”
Job 38:4-7

Music didn’t evolve.  It came from God.  It amazes me that God wanted to listen to music as He laid the foundation for the earth.

As much as we like to take credit for things, this was something that was around before we ever existed.  If we have music within us, it’s because God put it there.

Music is powerful.  It has the ability to grab your attention and hold on to you.  Think of what the world would be like without music.

The truth is that God loves music.  In fact, He surrounds Himself with music.  I don’t know if there can be praise without music.  I believe that Heaven is full of harmony.

On the other hand, the enemy knows just how powerful this medium can be.  He has ensnared whole generations through music.  My generation (the baby boomers) was caught up in the music of rebellion.  The next phase was the music of violence.

Now I notice something happening in music that’s startling.  The enemy’s kingdom has refocused it back to worship again – worship of self.  Music is now the road to power.  Just think about the draw of shows like American Idol, The Voice, and the X-Factor.

There’s something about the sung word that goes deep into your soul.  It draws things out of us that we never knew were there.  It can lay hold of our emotions and lead us wherever it’s heading.

Music is a spiritual force.  It’s a tool that can totally change our lives.  That’s why the music we listen to is so important.  It’s not just about whether it makes us happy or not.  What is it planting in my inner man?  That’s the big question behind the music.

Music was given to us by God for a purpose.  As believers we need to understand how it works.  Then we will see the fruit of it in our daily lives.

Question: Do you view music as a gift from God?  Do you treat it with respect as a spiritual force?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Music, The Church, Worship

 

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Are You Truly Thankful?

These thoughts on Thanksgiving come from reading Luke 17:11-19.  In this section of Scripture we see an interesting event in the life of Christ.  It caused me to ask myself if I am truly thankful for all God has done for me.

This story from the life of Christ surrounds ten lepers.  These were men who had an incurable skin disease.  They came to Jesus for a miracle and were not disappointed.

In these verses, we see everything needed for obtaining the blessing of God.  There’s faith, obedience, and expectancy.  Jesus’ response to them is simple.

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
Luke 17:14

There was no special religious display.  The Lord didn’t touch them or even pray over them.  He simply gave them a task to complete.

Then, something unexpected happened.  As they were on their way to the priests, their healing was completed.  By the time they got there, the leprosy was totally gone.

But that wasn’t the only unexpected occurrence that day.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
Luke 17:15

On the way to the priests, one of the men sees what’s happening to him.  As he experiences his healing, he turns around.   He begins to make his way back to Jesus.

As he does so, he starts yelling.  The literal Greek uses the words mega-phone.  This was not a quiet thankfulness of the heart.  His actions must have attracted attention.  And what’s more, he didn’t even care who heard him.  He wanted to praise God because of His blessing.

What this passage taught me is that thankful people live out loud for the Lord.  This is not just a church thing, but a lifestyle of praise to God.

That’s why I believe Thanksgiving is more than just “Turkey Day” or “Football Day.”  It’s about what God has done for us.  Even the disciples of Christ caught hold of this.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen…
Luke 19:37

This is a normal response to the hand of God at work.  It doesn’t mean you have to yell all the time.  What it does mean, is that God’s work should be abundantly evident in your life.

Question: What are you thankful to God for? Are you willing to let people know about it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Encouragement

 

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Get Rid of Powerlessness Once and for All

For a few posts I’ve been talking about the nature of spiritual power.  I’ve been using the example of electrical power to explain these truths.  We have seen that love is our spiritual “voltage”, while a saved mind is spiritual “current”.  In this final post of the series, I’ll talk about the importance of a saved mind.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.  “Never, Lord!” he said.  “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 16:21-23

Peter was acting on the principles of an unsaved mind.  This actually caused Peter to rebuke and contradict Jesus.

We can end up in that same state if we don’t allow our minds to be saved and renewed by the Word.  We must always check to see what principles we’re acting on.  Are they the truth of God’s Word, or the principles of the world system?

Don’t get into the position where you contradict the Word of God, because you’re acting out your own human wisdom.

“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
Matthew 13:22

This verse shows the result of an unsaved mind.  Your actions will be based upon worries, the desire for riches and pleasures, rather than the will of God.  A mind choked by the cares of this world is unfruitful, even if we’re hearing the Word of God.

Unfruitful means that the Word does not produce any change in our lives.  If change is not being produced, then that, by definition, is powerlessness.

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else…
Galatians 6:3-4a

If you find yourself in this state of powerlessness, don’t add the condition of self-deception to it.  Take stock of your life.  Do you see the marks of the power of God or not?  Is there room for improvement?  If so, then allow the working of the Holy Spirit to move you into a closer walk with the Lord.

Don’t be satisfied with the same old mediocre walk that most of Christianity calls normal in this generation.  Break free from that mold and seek the power of God to flow freely through your life.  It all depends upon your attitude and your willingness to humble yourself before a holy God who already knows your condition.

Question: Do you desire the power of God in your life?  What’s your next step to walking in it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Power of God

 

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The Secret of Knowing God’s Will

I’ve been posting about the power of God at work in us.  This is the power that changes us and others.  We saw that the first component of the Holy Spirit’s power in us is love.  It’s this love of Christ that provides the spiritual pressure that propels us forward.

We started by looking at Paul’s view of this power.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

The second component of power is described here as self-discipline.  Actually the word translated self-discipline is literally a saved mind in the Greek.  I believe that the two components of power in the Word of God are love and a saved mind.  If we follow this through we find that the rest of Scripture confirms this.

Remember what I said about electrical power.  The two parts were voltage and current.  How does electrical current relate to the truth of a saved mind?  Physically speaking, current is electrical movement.  Current is how fast the electrons are moving through the wires.  In the verse we read from Second Timothy, Paul said that the components of spiritual power were love and a saved mind.  Just how important is it to possess a “saved mind?”

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Without a saved mind, a mind that has been washed and renewed by the Word of God, we will never grasp what God’s will is for our lives.  The problem is that most modern Christians don’t place a priority upon renewing their minds.  We want to think and act the way the world does.

This makes for a very interesting dilemma.  Most Christians seem to want to know God’s will for their lives.  Yet, we don’t prepare our minds to receive it.  According to this verse the only way to know God’s will, is to renew your mind.

This was evident in the ministry of Christ.

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
John 6:38

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 4:34

In natural terms, electrical current is the movement of electricity in the lines.  Power requires movement or action.  Jesus was able to move and act because His mind was attuned to God’s will.  It’s clear from Scripture and the life of Christ that a saved mind is spiritual current because it produces action.  We know from the Word of God that “faith without works [action] is dead.” (James 2:17)  A saved mind is a mind that is full of faith THAT ACTS upon that faith.

Question: Is renewing your mind a priority in your walk with Christ?  What do you do to accomplish this?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Power of God

 

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Are You a “High-Voltage” Christian?

In my last two posts I’ve been talking about the power of God at work in us.  We have seen that spiritual power relates very closely to natural power.  Just as power in the physical universe produces change, God expects His power to change us and those around us.

We also saw that the first component of this power is love.  This relates to voltage in the realm of science.  Love is the spiritual pressure placed upon us to produce change.  It was what compelled Christ to minister the way He did.

Actually, I can’t think of any more powerful force in all of life other than love.  For the love of God, or another person, we will do things that we might never have done under ordinary circumstances.  Love is a driving force in many of the things we do.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:5-6

Here is the source of our spiritual power.  The same love that drove Christ forward is now placed within us.  When we had no power, God saved us by the death and resurrection of Christ.  He has plugged us into His power source.  The very love that pressures Him can now drive us forward to bless others.

As I said before, our power can be measured. Let’s use our spiritual volt-meter.  Do you feel a pressure that drives you to reach out to the lost?  Does love compel you to be a blessing to those around you even when you don’t feel like it?  Do you have a compassion for those who are in need?  If not, then you haven’t tapped into the love of Christ.

It’s so easy to say, “I love the lost and I want to see them saved.”  But if there is little or no pressure to do something about it, then that’s a sign that there’s little or no love voltage.  The verdict is simple, no love, no power.

If you want to see this principle in action, just look to the early church in the book of Acts.  Spiritually speaking, they should’ve had a sign over their door which read “Danger High Voltage”!  They felt the pressure of God’s love to the point where they were willing to die, if necessary, to bring salvation to those around them.  We must do what it takes to live in intimacy with the Lord.  Only in this way will His love increase in our hearts.

Question: Do you ever feel the pressure of Christ’s love within you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Power of God

 

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