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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Your Ministry of Excellence #excellenceinministry

TrophyIn my last post I talked about deciding to walk in excellence.  It’s never too late with God.

I looked at God’s promise of restoration to the nation of Israel.  But what about our ministry under the New Covenant?  Does God expect us to walk in a spirit of excellence?

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!  For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.  And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
II Corinthians 3:9-12

The two verses we looked at in the last post were from that former ministry that condemned men.  The glory that God exhibited back then was indeed glorious.  But Paul says in verse 10 that we are now living in the day when God wants to exhibit His excellent glory.

When I think about the glory He showed in the Old Testament, I wonder how it could be any better.  He ordained a place of worship that was lined in gold.  Even the utensils used in its service were mostly of gold and silver.  The priests themselves were lavishly dressed – the high priest having precious stones on his garment.

But wait a minute.  Remember, that excellence is not about things, but about spirit.  It’s based on who you are.  Do you excel beyond the normal and the expected?  This is different for everyone.

In some places it might mean a large building and the latest technology.  In other places around the world, however, excellence might mean a building with a roof that doesn’t leak.  I’ve found that in some cultures, just starting a meeting on time is a mark of the spirit of excellence.  Remember that it’s not the “what” of the ministry that makes it excellent, it is the “why.”

The preceding verse goes so far as to say that your boldness will be based on the excellence that your ministry exhibits.  If you’re content with an “I’ll just get by” spirit, then it will show in your lack of boldness.  But one who has learned to step out and believe God for that which is excellent, will be just as willing to believe Him in other areas of his life.

It’s only those who are bold for Christ who are willing to go beyond the normal church routine and enter the realm of the excellent.  There are many that desire to be average, simply because they don’t want to attract attention.  This is just the opposite of what God wants.

He’s looking for a people who will allow Him to shine through them.  That should be our desire as well.  Then the world will see and be attracted to the excellent glory of God revealed in us.  Oh, that the Church would rise up in excellence and boldness, that the world might once again be turned upside down for the glory of God!

Question: How does excellence and boldness play a role in your life and ministry?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Excellence Restored #restoration

GrapesThe LORD will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground – in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.
The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.  You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.  The LORD will make you the head, not the tail.  If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
Deuteronomy 28:11-13

Israel was called by God to walk in excellence.  To live at that level requires above average resources.  Scripture is clear that along with the calling we can expect the supernatural equipping of God.  He never calls you to a work and then leaves you to use your own strength and ability.

God wants you to have excellence in ministry.  He wants you to have all that you need to fulfill that ministry.  God has never been the God of “just enough.”

Some may say, “It’s too late for me.  I’ve wasted too many years in mediocrity to be able to walk in excellence now.”

To you I say, “Let God be God.”  You take care of your part, and He’ll take care of His.  The above verse was written to Israel so they would know God’s perfect will for their nation, which was that they might walk in excellence.

There was a problem, however.  In the next chapters, Moses went on to prophesy through the Spirit that they would fall away from their divine calling and lose the abundance of excellence.  He then goes further into the future showing them that eventually they would repent and return to the way God had chosen for them to walk.

The next verse explains what God said His reaction would be when they once again returned to a walk of excellence.

Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land.  The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers.
Deuteronomy 30:9

Praise God for the once again in the Lord.  All God is looking for is someone to humble themselves before Him. This will require the person to admit his or her mistakes, repent, and turn back to the right path.

He wants the fruit of your hands to flow with excellent prosperity.  You need to be listening for His voice and watching for His leading.  If you find that you’ve blown it, then be quick to admit it, repent, and move on.

Question: How has God equipped you for your calling?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
 

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How to Get Ready for the Lord’s Return #returnofchrist

Clouds ReturnIf you’re like me, then you can see by world events that the return of Christ is quickly approaching.  What does it take to be ready for that great day?  Some believers give the impression that it’s enough to simply sit back and wait for His coming.  It’s important to know what Jesus said about it.

At one point in His ministry, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s house for dinner.  He gave many important teachings there.  But for the purposes of this post I will only look at one of them.

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Luke 14:12-14

Sometime during this get together, the Lord turned to the Pharisee and talked about his motivation for throwing a party.  A party might be given to impress people and increase your standing in the community so that you’ll be invited to bigger and better parties later on.

According to Christ, if that’s your motivation, then you’ll have no future reward.  Jesus advises us to lay up treasure in Heaven.  We do so by showing kindness and inviting those who cannot repay us.

Jesus makes it clear that at the resurrection of the righteous there’s going to be rewards.  He’s just as clear that our rewards will be based upon our obedience.

Knowing this, we should be constantly aware of our calling.  Our desire should be to please the King and to be found faithful at His return.  Who are you trying to please?  Are you trying to impress the world with your greatness?  It’s time for us to wake up and become “God pleasers” instead of “man pleasers.”  This is how we prepare for the Lord’s return.

Being prepared doesn’t mean sitting around watching the sky and waiting.  It’s all about doing the Master’s business.  Is God’s call on our lives important enough for us to seek it out?  Once we do, are we faithful enough to complete our assignment?  These are the kinds of questions we must ask if we’re to be truly ready for the Lord’s return.

Be prepared.  Be faithful.  Be found working at your assignment when the Master arrives.  You’ll never regret it.

Question: How prepared for the Lord’s return is the church in general right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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Revival and the Anointing #anointing #revival

FireThis is the last post in a series I’m writing about the anointing.  It seems that the church is under the impression that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same anointing as Jesus.  Hopefully, based upon my last few posts, you understand why that’s not the case.  We need to seek God’s approval to walk in His power.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

We’re now in a position to understand what Paul was telling Timothy in this verse.  Do your best – be diligent – to present yourself to God as one anointed.  When you’re approved before God there’s no need to be ashamed.

This is a big problem among God’s people in our generation.  We’re full of boldness when we’re in praise and worship.  But on the job or at school it’s a different story.  We keep our faith inside, not wanting to “offend” anyone.  That’s foolishness, since every other group will openly declare what they believe to be true.

It all comes down to power.  I want to say to those I work with, “God loves you.  He will change your life.  He’ll heal you and bless you.”  But I worry that if they let me pray with them, nothing will happen.  Furthermore, I’m not healed and my life isn’t blessed.  What if they ask me about that?  I’d rather just keep quiet and avoid the embarrassment.

The church needs to be on its knees seeking the approval for ministry.  Then, when the anointing is upon us, we will not worry about what the world or our friends think.

I believe that the next great revival will involve the church coming to an understanding of this truth.  But we will have to attain to a certain level of intimacy before the Lord will manifest His anointing in us.  This is probably going to be the hardest move for the church to enter into.

I don’t think it will come as a wave, but as individuals begin paying the price for God’s approval.  Then, they must show up at the place and time of their anointing.  It could be a big or small meeting.  It will not matter as long as it’s God’s appointed place.

Do what it takes to secure your anointing.  Follow the example of Christ.  Seek intimacy with the Father.  Then, as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, walk in obedience to His voice.

Question: What could happen if the whole church walked in the anointing of the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Anointing, Revival, The Church

 

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Approved for the Anointing #anointing

ApproveI’ve been posting about David’s anointing as king and how it relates to us.  It’s surprisingly similar to what we go through in the church today.

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.
1 Samuel 16:13

It’s clear from this verse that the Holy Spirit and power follows the anointing.  That’s what Christ was referring to when He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE He has anointed me.” (Luke 4:18)

I believe that this is a special move of the Holy Spirit to work signs and miracles.  It’s not the same as the Holy Spirit simply being in us because of salvation.  It’s the power of God, present to confirm His word.

If you’ve been following these posts, you may remember I said how little the word “anointing” was used in the New Testament.  If you check it out, except once by Paul, all the usage was Jews writing to Jews.

Paul wrote most of the New Testament to Gentiles.  What would a Greek know about the Hebrew anointing?  Paul wrote to people who had no knowledge of it.  How did he describe it?

To understand it, let’s talk about the priesthood in Israel.  To become a priest, you didn’t just walk up to the temple and say, “I’m a Levite and I want to be a priest.”  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

To be anointed as priest, you had to attend and graduate a school of the law taught by a Rabbi.  Then you had to prove that you’ve memorized the Pentateuch (The first five books of the Bible).  You had to show your family records proving priestly lineage.  Then you would strip and every inch of your body would be inspected by a board of priests who were looking for any defect that would disqualify you.

Only when you had passed every test would you be robed in priestly clothes and the oil of the anointing was poured on your head.  Being in the right family was only the beginning.  It wasn’t until you were tested and approved to be a priest that you could be anointed.

In reality, our spiritual anointing involves being approved by God.  That’s the word Paul used throughout his writings to the Gentiles.  They wouldn’t understand anoint, but approve they could grasp.

The Greek word that Paul used is translated as approve, commend, chosen, or election depending upon the context.  But these words were used by Paul the same way anointing is used in the Old Testament.

What we miss sometimes, is that we can be saved, but not approved to walk in the power of God.  We think that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same authority as Christ.  We have to be approved to walk in God’s authority.

That’s the true anointing of power.

Question: What does it take to be approved to walk in the authority of the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Anointing, The Church

 

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The Anointing Dilemma – Position versus Manifestation #anointing #theanointing

Different AnointingIn talking about the anointing that we have in Christ, there’s a subject that needs to be addressed.  I’m getting to the point where I cringe when I hear another sermon or teaching about our position in Christ.

It’s not that I think they’re unscriptural.  Far from it.  I believe that I am “the righteousness of God” in Christ Jesus.  I believe that I am holy, healed, prosperous, and anointed in Christ.

The problem I see is that if all we concentrate on is our position in Christ, we miss out on seeing the manifestation.  I want to live out all the things that Christ paid for me to possess.

One of these is our anointing.  We are all called to an anointing in Christ.  I want to see it manifest in us.  That takes more than just sitting back and confessing it by faith.

For a few posts we have been looking at David’s anointing as king.

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
1 Samuel 16:10

Here we can see the problem in some of our teaching on the anointing.  We are all called to an anointing.  The problem is that all of us are called, but few are chosen.  When you talk about walking in the anointing, it involves being chosen by God.

The anointing is not just about calling.  The progression is called, chosen, and anointed.  The simple truth is that you can be called from now until Jesus returns and never see the anointing manifest.

That is, if you never do what it takes to be chosen.

Look at what had to happen in David’s case.

So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”  “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
So he sent and had him brought in.  He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.  Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
1 Samuel 16:11-12

“I told you, that your whole family needed to be here.”

These words strike anger and resistance into the hearts of God’s people.

“Who are you to tell me that I need to be at these special meetings?”

When your church has a guest speaker and you see that as an opportunity to take the day off – do you know what you’re missing?

“I have something important that needs to be done.”

There are times and places that God may want to meet with you.  Your prayer time, Bible study, a church meeting, or some other “holy appointment” could be a potential encounter with the anointing of the Lord.

God may have a pinpoint anointing for you.  But you have to be at the right place, at the right time, where God has expected to meet with you.  Don’t miss that appointment.

Question: How could this be a source of the lack of power and effect of the church in America?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Anointing, The Church

 

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Don’t Miss the Anointing #anointing #theanointing

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIn my last post I started talking about the Old Testament custom of anointing with oil.  Specifically, I was looking at David’s anointing as the King of Israel in I Samuel, chapter 16.  When Samuel approached David’s family, they thought they were merely being called to a public sacrifice.

In reality, they were called to an anointing of power for kingship.  At some point Jesse must have said to David, “It’s not important that you be there.”

That was probably fine with David.  As a teenager, he didn’t want to attend a boring church service anyway.  He’d rather watch the sheep.

Please understand this point.  The whole reason for the meeting was so David could receive the anointing as king.  Yet, both he and his father thought it wasn’t important for David to attend.

This should be a sobering thought.  Your invitation to the anointing of power will come wrapped in an envelope that looks like junk mail.  You didn’t know that God had planned to give you an anointing to heal the sick this Sunday at church.

All you knew was that an invitation somewhere else was more important to you.  After all, “I’ve attended faithfully for a while.  I deserve to miss a week.”

The calling to the anointing will seem very unimportant in comparison to what we want to do.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:6-7

As a pastor, I want to find the ones in my church who are called to lead ministries.  But I have to be careful.  The first to arrive is not always the one God wants.  Maybe God’s choice is still in bed.

Don’t miss receiving the manifestation of God’s anointing upon your life.  Be faithful to show up where you’re supposed to be.  Don’t let the excuses and distractions of the world disqualify you for service in the Kingdom of God.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not condemning you for missing church.  There are many legitimate reasons we can’t make it.  God is big enough to work in us during those times.

I’m talking about not meeting with God’s people in order to please the desires of our flesh.  That’s where you run the risk of missing God’s anointing in your life.  Don’t miss out on the good things that God has prepared for you.

Question: What’s the difference between missing public worship for the right and wrong reasons?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Anointing, The Church

 

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