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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Do You have Room for the Word? #discipleship

WeedsIn my last post I talked about what Jesus said that it means to be His disciple in John, chapter 8.  It requires us to remain in His Word.  Our response to this truth is an issue today.

Even though Jesus was speaking to those who believed in Him, their response was surprising.  They were offended that He said they needed to be set free.

“We’ve never been a slave to anything or anyone.”

“You’ve gone too far, Jesus.”

“I know you are Abraham’s descendants.  Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.”
John 8:37

Jesus knew that they were believers.  The problem was that they had no admittance, pass, designated space for His Word.  Because they wanted to justify themselves, their minds rejected what Christ was telling them.  Later in His teaching, Jesus explained why this happened.

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
John 8:43

He literally said that it was because they did not have the power to hear my logos.  In order to let the Word of God work its change in our lives, we need to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul even wrote about it.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14

It’s the Holy Spirit who helps us to hear God’s Word.  But don’t get the idea that it’s an easy thing.  The state of the modern church, pastors included – proves just the opposite.  Think about what Christ taught concerning the difficulties involved in discipleship.

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27

That doesn’t sound very convenient.  Picking up something that points to the death of my flesh.  Then, as if that’s not enough, I have to watch closely to where Christ is moving, and follow in His footsteps.

It’s no wonder that in the current version of Christianity, we use the word “disciple” to mean anyone who has received salvation.  We need to get back to the radical discipleship that Jesus taught.

In my next post I’ll talk about just how inconvenient this is.

Question: How far are you willing to be inconvenienced for Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Ministry, Revival, Word of God

 

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What does it take to be a Disciple? #discipleship

ClassGod wants us to walk in the full rights of sonship as His children.  This means that we’re walking in the authority and responsibility that comes with it.  To get to that point, we must undergo the process of discipleship.  What does that mean?

At one point in His ministry, Jesus was speaking to a crowd about why He came to the earth.

Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
John 8:30

This was a good response.  There were believers sprinkled through the crowd, listening to His every word.  They were the ones that the Lord was focusing on as He continued.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32

Talking specifically to those that believed, He explained that faith is not the goal.  It’s merely the beginning of the journey.

Here in America we’ve gone through the “Faith Movement”.  Regardless of how you feel about it, this movement changed the entire face of the church.  But there’s still more that God wants to do in us.

What comes next is that little word that changes everything. IF!  Its conditional – “If you live, remain, dwell in my Word…”

The next step after faith is to live in God’s Word.  Its living in the Word that makes you a disciple.  There’s a difference in Scripture between believers and disciples.

When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become a believer.  The Holy Spirit takes up residence in you and you’re on your way to heaven.  Becoming a disciple is a whole other choice.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”
John 15:1-3

This is the result of discipleship.  Once we know the truth – by remaining in His Word – we are set free from sin by that Word.

This is the foundation for all that we do in Christ.  It’s by the Word that the power of God is manifest in us.  What I’m talking about is the Word you hear as you’re intimate with Christ.

That’s how Jesus operated.  By remaining in the Father’s Word, He had 100% results.  The Lord could heal, walk on water, calm a storm, raise the dead, or feed five thousand.  All this because He remained in the Word He heard from the Father.

Question: What will it take for us to walk in this level of discipleship?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Faith, Revival, Word of God

 

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Shut the Door and Hear from God #prayer

DoorAs a pastor, I’ve been asked from time to time; how do you hear from God?  Is that a question in your life?  Is it something you’re struggling with?  This post may help you overcome in that area.

Cell phones have changed the way our society works.  We no longer have to wait until we’re home to place a call or check our messages.  In one way it makes things a little easier for people to connect.

But there are some downsides as well.  Have you ever gotten a call from someone who’s standing on a busy street corner?  They’re trying to have an intelligent conversation with you, but all you can hear are traffic, sirens, and the roar of people in the background.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to tell them, “Wait until you’re inside with the door shut, then try calling me back.”

What does this have to do with hearing from God?  Everything!!!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6

This was how Jesus operated.  On many occasions in the Gospels, we see Him going to a secluded location and spending time in prayer.  He’s our example.  There’s no question that the Lord heard and obeyed the voice of the Father.

That brings to mind an interesting question.  The Son of God had to close the door on distractions in order to hear from the Father.  What makes us think that the distractions all around us will have no effect on our prayer life?

Jesus had no cell phone, internet, TV, or IPad to distract Him.  With all these things, screaming for our attention, we have to find a quiet place.

You’re inability to hear from God might not be so much about spiritual deafness as much as it’s “listening overload.”  There might be so many things coming at you all the time that you can’t recognize which is the voice of God.

You need to close the door on distractions if you want your prayer time to be productive.  Learn to spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.  Then, just be quiet for a while and hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.

Questions: Where do you go to spend time with the Lord?  How do you close the door on distractions?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Prayer

 

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Healing 101 – Sickness and God’s Will

PillsThroughout both the Bible, God equates sickness with the sin nature.  His treatment of sickness is the same as His treatment of sin – total removal.  In my last post we saw that Jesus taught that sickness was a manifestation of sin.  During His ministry He went about removing sickness.

This proves that sickness is never God’s will for your life.  In the Gospels, there’s no evidence that Jesus refused to heal anybody for any reason.

To prove that God wants you to remain sick, all you have to do is find a verse where Jesus said, “I’m sorry.  I would really like to heal you, but it’s the Father’s will that you bring glory to Him by remaining sick.”

There’s nowhere in the Bible where Jesus ever touched someone and said, “Be blind.  I need to teach you something that you can’t learn any other way.”

You will not find it.  It’s not there.  Jesus healed everyone who came to Him.

What about the apostles?

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
Acts 5:15-16

When the apostles prayed – ALL WERE HEALED!  There are some who say that this was just the infancy of the church.  God wanted to start things off with a bang; a lot of healings right at the beginning to get people’s attention.

So really what these people are saying is that God thought, “I’ll get everybody healed now, to get them excited about the church.  Then, once they get going, I’ll show them what I’m really like.”

The God I serve does not change!  He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.  Look at the testimony from the end of the book of Acts when Paul was shipwrecked on the island of Malta.  During that time he met an official named Publius.

His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.
When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.
Acts 28:8-9

All were healed!  What about the next generation of believers?

Based upon my studies, I believe that the book of James was the first book of the New Testament to be written.  It’s our first glimpse into the teaching of the church.  What does Pastor James tell us about the ministry of healing that took place among his people?

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.  If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
James 5:14-15

According to James, all the sick, not just some, could go to the elders and expect to be healed.  Not maybe or most of the time.

We know that confessing sin brings forgiveness.  James only mentioned that once.  He declared the fact of healing twice.

Just because this isn’t our experience, doesn’t make it any less of God’s will.

We need to relearn our knowledge of God’s plan.  God is teaching this truth to the church right now.  We need to trust God for the total restoration of this gift to the church.

Question: Why is it easier to believe that God forgives sin than for Him to heal the sick?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Healing

 

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Healing 101 – The Sin – Sickness Connection Part 2

Bible1I’ve been posting about the Scriptures showing the link between sin and sickness.  We need to understand from the Word that sickness is a part of the package that we call the “sin nature.”

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

This verse tells us how Christ was going to pay for each specific form of sin that manifests itself in our lives.  Transgressions occur when I knowingly break God’s law.

Iniquities are sinful tendencies that are passed down parent to child through the generations.  Bringing peace speaks to the sins that we commit against one another.

This brings us to healing.  This verse shows that sickness is just one more manifestation of the sin nature that needs to be removed.  Christ suffered and died – then rose again – to totally break the effects of sin in all of its forms.

But I believe that the greatest testimony is from Jesus Christ Himself.

I’m sure you remember Luke’s account of the sick man who was lowered down to Jesus through a hole in the roof.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?  Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Luke 5:20-26

In looking at this event in the life of Jesus, it’s important to note that the Greek word that we translate as forgive literally means to remove.  Therefore, according to Jesus’ own testimony, in order to prove that He could remove sin – He removed sickness.

Jesus would not have made such an amazing statement unless it were true.

This is one of the most important concepts we need to hear.  When a person is healed, a manifestation of the sin nature is removed from their life.

What is God’s view of sickness?

In God’s mind sickness is a blight on His perfect creation.  It’s like the first scratch on a brand new car.  It’s utterly offensive to Him.  He hates sickness and disease more than we do.

Remember – it’s not the sick person that God hates, but rather the sickness that has taken hold of him or her.

I need to pick up the same attitude as the Lord.  If He hates it, then I must hate it, too.  If He views it as a form of the sin nature, then I can’t get friendly and comfortable with it.

This is the first step to your healing – DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE WITH SICKNESS!

In my next post, we’ll look at God’s will concerning healing.  Is it God’s will that all be healed?

Questions: Are you in need of healing?  Do you trust God to do this work in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Healing

 

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Healing 101 – The Sin – Sickness Connection Part 1

BibleIn my last post we saw that all sickness and disease is a part of the package we know as sin.  It was the sin nature that Adam embraced that brought sickness into the world.

In this post, and the next, I want to show scripturally that this is the case.  To do that, we will be looking at this link throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Think about God’s treatment of sin.  His goal is to remove it in all of its manifestations – including sickness.

Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.  I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
Exodus 23:25-26

The words translated among you in the above verse literally mean the source or center.  That’s how God removes our sin – right from the source.  He treats our sicknesses the very same way.  He never does a “halfway” job, but goes right to the root of the problem.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
Exodus 15:26

The Lord even calls Himself Jehovah Rapha in this verse, this is a title which means the God who heals.  Why would He call Himself that if it were not true?

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases…
Psalm 103:1-3

This psalm is a standard piece of Hebrew poetry.  Rather than rhyming, this kind of poetry uses equivalent statements to make a point.

For instance praising the Lord with my soul and praising His holy name with my inmost being are equivalent statements because my soul is my inmost being.  Again, in the second line, my soul is the part of me that remembers.  So for me not to forget His benefits is how my soul praises the Lord.

It’s the third statement, however, that I want you to pay close attention to.  According to Hebrew poetry, forgiving my sin and healing my diseases are equivalent actions to God.

In my next post, we will continue looking at this connection between sin and sickness in the Old and New Covenants.

Question: Why is it so hard for some people to believe that God wants to heal us?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Healing

 

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Quartermaster Ministries – January Newsletter

Dedicated to walking in revival!

Stepping Out in a New Phase of Ministry

Many of you know that I’m a Senior Pastor in Watertown, MA.  Because of a series of events, our church has now become a home Bible study on Wednesday nights.  For a few years now, God has been preparing me to step out in a traveling ministry.  I believe that this is the push that I needed to get me started in that direction.

Very soon I will be adding a speaking page to my blog.  This will describe the unique message of revival that the Lord has given me, as well as my availability and itinerary.  If you want more information about having me speak at your church or group, you can e-mail me at Revzacc@comcast.net .

New Book Now Available on Amazon

Jesus Speaks ThumbnailI am pleased to announce that my new book, Jesus Speaks to Pastors – Finding the “Lost” Letters of Christ is now for sale on Amazon.  This book is written for pastors and church leaders, to encourage them in the ministry.  It’s taken from the book of Revelation, chapters 2-3.

In that section of Scripture, Jesus dictates seven letters to specific pastors.  Because we have misinterpreted them as being written to churches, we have lost a great deal of valuable truth concerning our ministries.

The Kindle version should be released soon.

Prayer Cover

With all of these new things happening in my life, I ask you to add this ministry to your prayer times.  I want the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit to be evident in all that I do.  Please join with me in trusting God for a revival to sweep through His church in our nation.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links”.  This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will help my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Newsletters

 

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