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Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Time Economy

Time ChainI’ve been posting about our time as a commodity. How important is it that I give time to the Lord? It all comes down to God’s will.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Ephesians 1:9-10

This verse talks about the mystery of His will. It’s unfortunate that the working of God’s will is a mystery to most Christians.

“We may never understand the way God moves.”

Whatever you call it – God’s will, His good pleasure, or His purpose; He made this mystery known to us. We, of all people should understand the working of the Lord’s will.

According to this verse, God’s will is put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment. The literal Greek of this verse says that God’s will is brought about in the economy of filling the time.

Economy – here’s another financial term the Bible associates with time. Did you know that filling time is a part of God’s economy? In my last post I said that we spend time, run out of time, save time, and lose time – just like money. We have to understand that there’s an economy of time in the Kingdom of God.

Time is something tangible. It can be traded and exchanged for stuff. That’s basically what you’re doing on your job. In effect, you’re trading your time for your employer’s money. It’s a commodity exchange.

In God’s Kingdom time purchases the fulfillment of vision and prophecy.

So right now we have evil days coming at us one after another. What do we do to bring about God’s will for revival?

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
1 Timothy 4:4-5

Did God create time? Yes! But I believe we’ll understand this concept better if we talk about money first. I don’t care where the money’s been before I got it. It’s mine now, and a part of God’s kingdom.

It all starts with how I receive it. I must receive it with thanksgiving. God is the One who ultimately supplies my need. But it doesn’t stop there. There must be a consecration. It must turn from evil money to good.

Literally, the word consecrate means to be purified, made holy. This is done by two things – the Word of God and prayer. The Word of God talked about here is more than the Bible. It means that I pray, hear His word to me concerning my money, and I obey Him.

We need to apply this process to our time. We thank God for every day that He gives to us. Then we consecrate those days by turning them over to the Lord for His use. I seek His will for my daily schedule.

This is how God’s will is brought about on the earth. It’s as God’s people invest their time in Kingdom work. Time is the commodity that will purchase revival in our generation. Don’t withhold yours from the Lord. Let Christ be Lord over your schedule.

Question: How can I turn my time over to Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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Time is Money

 

Time MoneyIn my last post I showed how we’re now living in an evil age. What is it that makes something evil?

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matthew 12:35

The Bible is clear; what makes something good or evil isn’t the thing itself – usually. It’s all based upon who the owner is. Things are evil simply because they’re owned by an evil being.

Well if it’s all about the owner – what about the age we live in?

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4

The devil is called the god of this age. According to Scripture, this age will last until the return of Christ. This age is evil because the owner is evil.

The real question is; what can we do about it? Let’s get back to the verse I first looked at in the last post.

Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

We’re told that this age requires us to be careful. We must walk in wisdom. Paul goes on to explain what he means by this.

We should be making the most of every opportunity. That’s an interesting phrase that this English translation doesn’t do justice to. It literally means redeeming or buying back the time. As Christians, we should be purchasing the time.

Look at it this way. All of time was created by and for God. Because of Adam’s fall, Satan has taken over this age. It’s now up to us to redeem time.

This leads to some interesting conclusions. If something can be bought and sold, that makes it a commodity. Think about time; in both the Scripture and our language many financial terms are associated with time.

We spend time, run out of time, save time, and lose time. Some people are on borrowed time. Many have too much time on their hands, some don’t have enough.

Time is a commodity. We’re exhorted to purchase time, because the days are evil.

What does all this have to do with revival? The fact is that we have to open the space needed for revival. God wants to bring about His will on earth through His church. Unless we open up the time for Him, nothing will be done.

In my next post I’ll talk about this in greater detail.

Questions: Is it easier to give God your time or your money? Why?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Return of Christ, Revival, The Church

 

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Prepared in the Evil Day

 

ClockI want to see revival in the church. It’s obvious from what’s happening around us that we need it. The real question is; do we want it? And more than that, are we willing to do what it takes to lay hold of it?

Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

I used to teach that inanimate things couldn’t be evil or good. After spending some time studying this verse, I realized that I was wrong. Things like days and money can be evil. It’s actually talked about throughout the New Testament.

Maybe you might think that not all days are evil. After all, there was intense persecution of the church back then. That was Paul’s day he was talking about.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…
Galatians 1:3-4

One of the reasons that Christ went to the cross was to rescue us from this present evil age. That’s the time we live in.   The age he’s talking about stretched from Paul’s day to the time when Christ returns to establish His Kingdom. If the age is evil, then all the days of that age are evil.

We live in evil days. Paul also talked about this in regard to the armor of God.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

We need to be constantly walking in the spiritual armor. This is our protection from the evil age. This is not an option, or something that only needs to be done once in a while.

Jesus went to the cross to provide us with more than just a one-time salvation. His work is ongoing in our lives. He provided us with the armor we need to rescue us from this present evil age. We don’t need to be affected by it.

When will the evil day come? Every time you wake up in the morning. That’s why God’s armor is so important. The evil day is not on its way, it’s here.

As God’s people we should be prepared for what’s ahead. We are the ones who should be walking in victory over the challenges that face the world around us.

We need to spend time in the presence of the Lord. That’s where our strength is. In Him and in the power of the Holy Spirit, I have everything I need to face the evil days ahead of me.

How else could I walk in victory? If every day is evil, then in Christ every day is a victory through Him who gives me strength.

Question: How does this evil age manifest itself in our generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Warfare

 

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It’s Not Magic

PowerlessThis is the final post in a series about spiritual warfare. Specifically talking about the helmet and the sword of the spirit. They correspond to the power and authority of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

We need to understand that in God’s kingdom power flows through authority.

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Matthew 8:8-9

The centurion understood the principles of power and authority. Just say the WORD. He knew what it meant to be under authority. Notice that he didn’t say that he was a man in authority. It was because of the authority he was under that he could say, “Do this,” and see it happen.

So if we say, “Be healed,” and nothing happens; what’s the problem? I think it’s an issue of authority and power.

To use power we must line up with authority. We sometimes think that the subject of authority and submission is not a big deal. Things like…

Where I go to church. How I respond to leadership. Where do I fit in ministry? Or even submission within the family.

And I agree. These aren’t a big deal. They don’t cause us to lose our salvation. Unless you want to walk in the power of God.

One of the hallmarks of this generation of Christianity is a lot of talk and no power. We even have a lot of faith and no power.

We sometimes think that if we can say the right words, we’ll receive our miracle. The truth is that the reason the words work is because you’re correctly lined up under authority.

I’ve heard people say, “The Word doesn’t work.” Please understand, the Word of God is not a magic spell like in the movies. That may be what we want the Word to work like.

There’s no magic in the words. The authority and power rests in God. Unless we correctly align with Him, we have no power and authority that activates the Word.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:20-21

We have to realize this truth. Talk is not enough. If you want power – you must be in position. You need to get yourself rightly aligned under the authority of God.

God’s church needs to walk in this right now. There’s no time to waste. We need the power of God. That’s what will change lives and usher in a harvest of souls in our generation.

Question: How do I align myself under God’s authority?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Is Faith Enough?

Different AnointingIn my last post I began talking about the spiritual helmet and sword. I said that they correspond to our power and authority in the Holy Spirit.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

The truth is that power and authority must be used together. I believe that’s why this verse says to take them at the same time. All the other pieces of armor are taken and described separately.

It was true in the life of Christ as well as now, through Him, in the church.

…to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 25

It’s interesting that we’re told to take them. The responsibility is on us. Of course, this is after the shield of faith is lifted up before us.

Sometimes we seem to think it’s all about faith. In reality, faith is just the start. It’s only when we decide to trust God that the battle starts to become fierce.

It’s as we walk in faith that the enemy takes notice of us. Look at the life of Jesus.

All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”
Luke 4:36

What does it take to drive out a demon? Obviously Jesus had faith – was that enough? Is faith and authority enough? No! It took faith, authority and power to cast out a demon.

It’s no different for us. Authority and power are what’s needed for miracles to be manifest in the church. Faith goes without saying.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:1-2

They were given detailed orders. Drive out demons. Heal the sick. Preach the good news. Later in this chapter of Luke they were told not to take money with them – they were to trust God’s provision.

All of these things are wrapped up in power and authority.

It’s funny how many in the body of Christ are running after things. We seek healing, miracles, and financial blessing. What we should be pressing into is the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. If I can come into correct relationship with Him, then the rest will naturally be there.

Question: How can I enter the flow of the Holy Spirit’s power and authority?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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The Helmet and the Sword

HelmetI believe that it’s time for the church to take its stand against the unseen forces of evil in our land. For too long we’ve sat back and allowed the enemy to take more and more ground. I’m not talking about arguing or protesting in the physical realm, but a return to spiritual warfare.

Unfortunately, very few in the body of Christ understand the true meaning of this phrase. Many only think about the weird excesses that bring ridicule to the church and produce no lasting effect.

I want to take a few posts to talk about one aspect of this issue.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:17-18

This is an incredible passage. But we miss out on the truth sometimes because we don’t realize that this is all one sentence. The following is how the sentence is laid out in the original language.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the rhema of God, through the channel of all prayer and petition, praying in all times in the spirit and attending to this with all persistency and petition around all the saints.”

In this series I want to focus on taking the helmet and the sword. In our preaching and teaching we usually separate them. The more I read and meditate upon this verse, the more I understand that they’re linked together.

I think one of the problems in our teaching these days is compartmentalizing. What I mean by that is because of the length of most sermons, we can’t show the relationship between spiritual concepts. Each one – the sword, helmet, etc. – is given its own little “bubble” of teaching. What we need to see is how they all work together.

Take the helmet, for example. It was not only used for protection. It’s the most prominent piece of armor. In the Roman army the top of the helmet was decorated with many materials and colors. In this way the helmet displayed not only the rank of the wearer, but what division he was in.

You could see it above the battle. Because of this, the general, usually watching from a hilltop, could see where all his men were. The helmet was a sign of whose authority they were under.

According to the above verse, the helmet and sword go together. All of the other pieces of armor are picked up separately, but not the sword and helmet.

This is because the helmet and sword are the believer’s authority and power. It’s just like the badge and the gun for police. They both go together. The badge shows his or her authority to act and the gun gives them the power to act.

Authority and power go together. One without the other is useless. The modern church needs to learn this. Authority, by itself only produces frustration. Power, alone, causes big problems. You must operate in both together in order to fulfill God’s plan for your life.

Question: How do power and authority complement each other in the life of a believer?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Warfare, The Church

 

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Transformed by the Spirit

GalaxyI’m posting about Christ as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. In my last article I showed how Christ walked in the power of this baptism as our example.

“For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”
John 3:34

This is what the Lord said about Himself. Jesus had unlimited access to the Spirit.

I’ve heard people use this verse as if it only applies to Christ. Think about what it means to have the Spirit without measure.

Maybe you’ve seen the example of the glass that’s full of water. That’s like us being filled with the Spirit. Then if you take that same glass and immerse it in a fish tank; that shows what the baptism in the Spirit is like. I’ve used this example many times.

How much water does the glass have in the fish tank? There’s no way to measure it. That’s what Christ is talking about. He was the first one to experience a life that was baptized in the Spirit.

In talking about this to the disciples, the Lord said…

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John 7:38

This can happen because I live in two realms. In the spiritual world I live immersed in the Spirit – the living water Christ talked about. In the physical, this water gushes out and is evident to those around me.

It doesn’t matter how much power I have to put out in ministry, in the spiritual it’s without limit. The truth is that we have that same unlimited access – if we live an immersed life.

But that’s not the best part, in my opinion! At one point Jesus took the three closest disciples up on a mountain to pray.

As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Luke 9:29

This verse literally says that He was changed as He prayed and His face became different. Jesus was transformed by the Spirit. He had no sinful flesh as we do. But as He prayed His flesh, His physical appearance, was changed. He was transformed to a higher, more glorious appearance.

We’re told in Scripture that God desires to take us from glory to glory. How will this happen? I believe it’s through prayer in the Spirit. It will be accomplished through living an immersed life.

That’s why an understanding of the gift of the Spirit is so vitally important to this generation. We need it. In order to transform the church we need a manifestation of the power of God. We need the Holy Spirit’s life changing work.

It will only come as God’s people press in and do what Jesus did. Live a lifestyle of prayer in the spirit – a life of immersion.

Question: What will it take for you to live a life of immersion in the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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