RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Last Days – Weeding the Kingdom

WeedingI have been posting about Jesus’ parable found in Matthew 13:24-41.  Did you know that very soon a weeding is going to take place in the body of Christ?  Actually, I believe that it may already have begun.

In the parable, Jesus said that there were going to be elements of the enemy’s kingdom mixed in with His sons and daughters.  In the parable the angels inquire, “Sir, didn’t You sow good seed into Your field?  Where did all these evil ones come from?”

Jesus explains that it was the work of the Devil.

The angels then ask Him, “Do you want us to go pull them up?”

“No”, He answers, “because while you’re pulling up the evil ones you may root up, hurt, or destroy My sons and daughters.  Let both groups grow together until the end of the age.  At that time I’ll tell the angels, first collect the sons of the evil one, tie them up and burn them.  Then, gather My people and bring them into My dwelling place.”

Here you can see that Christ is not so much concerned with the weeds that are way out on the fringes.  It’s the weeds that are mixed up with His kingdom that He wants to do something about.  As we approach the end of the age, there’s going to be a time when God starts weeding.

I’ve seen some things happen in my lifetime that were unheard of in the past.  Ministries that we thought were incredible seem to have gotten plucked up because there were some things that were wrong going on below the surface.  God is exposing sin and saying, “I want that out of My kingdom.”

I believe that as we get closer to the end of the age, we’re going to see more and more of God’s weeding going on.  That’s what Jesus wanted to communicate to His disciples.  Don’t expect to have a kingdom that’s perfect right from the start.

Instead, He warned them that on earth there was going to be people with impure motives in His kingdom.  There are going to be people among us that are not really living for Christ.  They may claim to be Christians, but they’re poisonous.  In my last post I talked about the specifics of that poison.

As we approach the end of the age, we’re going to see a new move of the Spirit of God as He weeds His kingdom.  I believe that very soon, a separation is going to take place.  Just as Jesus said, the Son of Man is going to send out His angels to expose, uproot, and remove those things that are not a part of His plan for the church.  We, as believers, must be prepared for this to occur by realizing that the hand of God is in it.

Question: Do you see this weeding process as already starting?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Last Days – Are You a Weed?

WeedIn my last post I started talking about a parable found in Matthew 13:24-41.  I believe it’s talking about the times we live in right now.

In it, Jesus explains that through the centuries, the kingdom of God and the world will mature alongside of one another until the end approaches.  Then, as we get close to the return of the Lord, a weeding will take place.  What is the nature of these weeds?  That’s what I want to talk about in today’s post.

According to the parable, both kingdoms begin to sprout.  You could also say they begin coming into fruition.  The church is starting to become what God wants it to become.  The closer we get to the ministry of Christ, the closer we are to harvest time.

The parable also tells us that the weeds are the enemy’s kingdom sown right alongside of us.  The word Jesus uses for weed is a plant called darnel.  It’s a special plant that looks exactly like wheat.

The downside of having it in your field is the fact that it contains a deadly poison.  Not only that, but if it’s planted next to wheat you can’t tell them apart.  As a matter of fact, everything about them looks the same until the harvest.  At harvest time wheat starts turning that beautiful, golden color.  Darnel, however, turns black.

If you were to eat darnel, it would cause sleep, convulsions, nausea, and even death.  It’s a poison.  It’s not good for human consumption.

So what Jesus is saying is that there’s going to be a battle going on until the end of the age.  This is because two different families are going to be on the earth at the same time with two vastly different agendas.  There will be two groups of people that are becoming two different kingdoms.  One of those kingdoms is poison and one is life giving.

“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.”
Matthew 13:41

First, He says that the angels will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin or literally, causes offense and stumbling.  Wow!  That’s probably half the battle right there.  If we can get rid of the things that cause stumbling and that cause offense, living for Christ would get a whole lot easier.

The second type of weed mentioned by the Lord is all who do evil.   Literally it says all without law.  He is speaking here of those who are not submitted to Christ – they are without law.  These people don’t care what the Lord wants them to do – they have their own agenda.  Too many people in this generation are “serving” God on their own terms.  That is unacceptable to Him.

If you find yourself in one of these two categories, take the time right now to repent and become a life-giving member of the body of Christ.

Question: Have you ever experienced the poison of these “weeds” in a church setting?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Last Days – Two Kingdoms Side by Side

agricultureI believe that we’re in the Last Days before the return of Christ.  Did you know about the weeding that is going to take place in the Last Days?  Christ taught about it during His earthly ministry.  Very few people talk about it because it doesn’t fit into their view of the end times.

I want to take a few posts to examine this important concept.  I think that it’s important for every believer to know what to expect on the road ahead.

The following is based upon the events and teachings found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 13 and verses 24-41.  I encourage you to read that passage first, before continuing this post.  You will have a greater understanding of what I’m saying.

This is actually the second teaching given by Jesus concerning the last days.  He gave it to the disciples in parable form.

At this point the disciples already knew that there would be a day of resurrection sometime in the future.  They knew that on that day the graves would be opened.  Someday all believers will rise with a new resurrected body.  In this teaching, Jesus builds upon that knowledge.

In the parable, the Lord teaches about a farmer who sowed good seed in the ground.  Secretly, an enemy sowed bad seed during the night.  When asked what he would do about it, the farmer said that he would let both plants grow together until the harvest.  That way he could tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat.

The disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about.  Later on in the day, the disciples found themselves alone with the Lord.  They took that opportunity to ask Him about it.  It’s Jesus’ explanation that I want to talk about.

According to the Lord, sons of the kingdom (that’s us), were sown into the world.  But the devil also sowed his sons into the world.  According to the parable there are two kingdoms, on earth, growing side by side.  I believe that’s where all the spiritual tension comes from that we are presently experiencing.

The kingdom of God and the world are both headed in opposite directions.  They have two different kings and vastly different goals.  As we approach the end, both kingdoms are going to start developing to the point where they’re bearing fruit.  The closer we get to the return of the Lord, the clearer we will see both the church of Jesus Christ and the world for what they truly are.

It is the overlap of the world and the church that causes the problems.  This parable addresses what God intends to do about it in the Last Days.  This is a very important subject.  If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to this blog for email delivery, so you won’t miss any of the posts.

Question: How have you experienced the tension between the kingdom of God and the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lacking Love – A Sign of the Times

Gas TankIn my last post I talked about the work it took to love others.  Faith is the fuel, so as we love, our faith is used up.

That’s the hindrance that we face.  We’ve noticed, the more we try to love others, the more of our spiritual reserves are used up.  Anyone in ministry can tell you about this phenomenon.  The more we minister to the needs of others, the more we need to be built up ourselves.

But, instead of more time in the Word to refuel, since faith comes by hearing the Word of God, we decide to love less.  We spend less time truly fellowshipping with other believers.  Less time going to church, prayer meetings, and other events that could possible tap into our faith-fuel reserves.  That’s the condition of many Christians these days.

There is a fallacy with this kind of thinking.  You can’t just decide not to use the car because the gas gauge goes down when you drive it.  That’s simply foolish.

We wouldn’t do that in the natural.  We’d never think of telling our boss, “I’m only coming to work one day a week because my car would use too much gas if I came to work more often.”  Yet, many believers treat God this way all the time.

Jesus warned us that this would be a sign of the last days.

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:8b

Jesus was asking if anyone would fuel up in the last days.  That’s a valid question based upon what we see taking place in the church today.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Matthew 24:12-13

Jesus warns us that in the last days the love-generators will start shutting down for lack of fuel.  Engines begin to grow cold once they’re turned off.  In the same way, love begins to grow cold without the addition of faith.

Heed the warning of the Lord.  Don’t become a victim of this age.  Keep your spiritual engine running.  Keep your tank filled with the fuel of faith.  Use it to energize your love walk so that your spiritual voltage is always high.

This is the generation when the church needs to shine the brightest.  The world is getting darker and darker.  This makes the light of the Lord that much more powerful.

Remember, it’s the power of God that draws men to Himself.  But that power is only energized in us by our faith working through love.  It’s not faith all by itself.  Stay fueled up, and keep your love flowing.

Question: How do you keep your “faith tank” filled?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Faith, Power of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why is the Love-Walk so Tough?

Snow HeartBefore the New Year, I was talking about the faith-love connection in my posts.  I want to continue along those lines.  Do you know why it’s so hard to walk in love sometimes?  The answer will become clear as we move forward.

If you remember, I was using the illustration of faith as the fuel and love as the generator for the power of God.  These are the two things that must be in place for us to see the blessing of God in our lives.  I want to go a little further with this concept.

One of the ways we run into problems is using the right fuel in the right device.  For instance, a candle produces light and heat.  But, I wouldn’t try to cook a steak with a candle.

Love is the key to using the power of God.  So we need to understand how it works.  This kind of love (Agape in Greek) that the Bible speaks about is not an emotion.  You have probably already heard many teachings on the subject.  It is taught that love is a decision.

That’s good as far as it goes, but love is much more than that.  To truly use the power of God, love must be a decision TO ACT.  Remember, love is the spiritual pressure, but what is also needed is a saved mind that acts in faith.  Without action there is no love and there is no power.  If I have truly decided to love you, then I will pray for you, encourage you, and bless you.

This is probably the biggest hindrance to power production in our lives.  We like holding on to the fuel to show everyone, “Look how much I have.”  We don’t want to actually use the generator.  We only want to impress people by our abundance of fuel.  What we really need is to learn the truth that faith by itself is not power.

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Thessalonians 1:3

This verse gets right to the heart of the matter.  Work in this verse is the power that produces change.  This work is produced by faith operating through love.

But this verse also says that there is a labor associated with love.  This word labor in Greek means that which reduces strength.  To put it simply, the lamp burns oil to produce light.  The engine burns gasoline to move the car.  In the same way, love burns faith to produce spiritual power.

Why is it so hard to love others?  The reason is that love requires a constant supply of faith to fuel it.  Unless we’re willing to work at it, it’s easier to just ignore it.

Question: Do you notice the labor involved in loving someone?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Faith, Power of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guidance for the New Year

20132012 is over.  We’re now in new territory!  What does this new year hold for us?  There is a way to safely navigate the unknown that lies before us.

Society is taking a dim view of the future.  With talk of fiscal cliffs and higher taxes, many are worried.  There are those who fear an increase in violence and unpredictable weather patterns.  Where can we turn to for answers?  The same place the truth has always been…

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Our God didn’t get stuck in 2012!  He is with us today.  He knows all about the latest technology – before it’s even invented.  He is well able to bring though to a victorious new year.

It’s a blessing to know that God will never leave us nor forsake us. According to this verse,  He’s the Guide that never fails.  He can find water in the driest desert.  He gives strength in the time of trouble.  If we rely on Him, we will be just like a spring whose source never fails.

Many times people look at us and wonder what’s the secret of our strength.  There seems to be nothing special about us.  On the outside we’re as weak and mortal as everyone else.

What they don’t know is that our strength comes from far below the surface – deep within – where we have tapped into the presence of an Almighty God.  This is the secret to the abundant life.  We must learn to remain in the presence of the Lord.

Because of the hand of God upon our lives, we seem to have an ability to move forward in ways that others cannot comprehend.  This only happens when we take a spiritual drink from the springs of living water that come directly from the Lord.  This is the road to victorious living.

Spend time with your Guide today.  Let Him empower you for the year ahead.  Become that “well-watered garden” in His presence.  That is the only way to assure an outcome of fulfillment and joy throughout 2013.

I pray God’s richest blessing upon you in the coming year!

© Nicolas Zaccardi 2013

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Encouragement, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,