RSS

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Eternal Attitudes

Jet Plane to NowhereAttitudes play an important role in our walk with the Lord. It’s the determining factor in how well you receive from Him.

Abraham understood this fact. Especially as he looked at the promises of God in contrast to his circumstances.

And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Hebrews 11:12

That phrase; as good as dead, means to deaden. In the natural, Abraham saw himself as becoming deader and deader.

We all must acknowledge that the power of God will change us. Our walk, attitudes, habits, likes & dislikes, friends, etc. are all affected. This is all a part of the deadening process.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:5

When we read this verse, the key word is therefore. That word means that the reason we do what’s in this verse is because of what he just wrote. What was that?

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3

We desire to put to death the things of the flesh because we now have a higher calling. We kill off the desires of the world in order to seek the eternal.

This is a very important truth. We receive from God when we seek the eternal. The writer of the book of Hebrews understood this.

People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
Hebrews 11:14-15

Eternally minded people search for, crave, demand a home town. That’s why Jesus told us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. We’re not looking for the temporary high that the world offers us.

Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:16

The final result of this attitude is that God is not ashamed to be called their God. That’s interesting. Are there times when God is ashamed to be called someone’s God? I think this verse implies that He could be.

Before we pick up this eternally minded attitude, we’re only accomplishing what a man can do. Is God satisfied with what is merely possible – even without His help? Of course not. He expects us to do a God sized work.

When that happens; the world can see His glory. God’s people need to stop chasing the temporary pleasures of the world, and focus in on the eternal glory of God. Let Him accomplish what He desires in you.

Question: What is a way that the glory of God is seen in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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

The Journey of Faith

TrailThe word picture that’s used the most in the Bible to describe our Christian life is probably walking. We even call our life in Christ the walk of faith.

I personally love walking and hiking. It seems that the more I pursue this in the natural, the more I learn about the spiritual walk.

The Bible uses Abraham as an example of one who walked by faith in God.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:8-10

Abraham was a man of faith. He lived in tents and shelters. He didn’t know what lay on the trail ahead, nor did he know where it was leading. But because he trusted God, he kept moving forward, and entered the land of promise.

Every time I hike, I illustrate the walk of faith – the dependence that if I continue to follow the path, step by step, I’ll come out to the end promised by the map. In my case, I don’t actually know the person who wrote the guidebook. I don’t even know the person who marked out the trail.

Yet in spite of this, I’m willing to strap a pack on my back, and follow a trail through the woods for days at a time. I willingly trust those who have done it before me and those who “wrote the books and maps.” I have faith that the trail I’m on will come out where they say it will.

You may ask, “What does that have to do with our spiritual walk?” It turns out that there are definite parallels between the two.

The fact is, sometimes the trail I’m on doesn’t feel right. There are times I’m hiking a southbound trail that, because of the twists and turns, actually heads north for a time. I know that I’m supposed to come out south of where I started. But when I look at my compass, it seems that I’m headed in the wrong direction.

What do I do? To put it simply – I trust the book and keep going. Eventually the trail makes a turn and heads south again. Amazingly, it comes out exactly where the map said that it would.

When I think about Abraham’s walk of faith, I see the same things happening. The Lord gave him a path to walk. There were times he had to go in a direction that didn’t seem right to his natural mind. But in spite of his present circumstances, he looked forward to the distant end of his journey because he trusted the One who wrote the “guidebook.”

It takes trust and obedience toward God to reap the promises of His Word. We need to trust Him even when life doesn’t look like it will turn out the way He says it will.

God knows the end from the beginning. He sees all the twists and turns ahead of you. The Holy Spirit can guide you on the best possible course to navigate your way through the tough parts of this life.

Spend some time in the Lord’s presence. Recommit yourself to following his path for your life. Let Him know your desire to trust His Word as the only true guide for your steps. Then you can rest assured that you’ll see His destiny for your life come to pass.

Question: What is a time when you thought that God was taking you in a “wrong” direction?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Faith, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

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

Jesus – The Best Gift

PresentI want to wish everyone a blessed Christmas holiday as we celebrate the birth of our Lord. As I said in my last post, He went through the same things we experience. We looked at this verse in Hebrews…

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Hebrews 5:8-9

He had to experience everything we do; even the need to obey our authorities. It’s very hard to imagine what He went through. As a child, Jesus had to obey His parents, even when they were wrong, and He truly knew better.

That’s something for us to think about, especially when we find ourselves having to submit to imperfect and ungodly leaders. The Lord learned obedience by submitting His very life to the Father. It was only along that path that He could become the source of our deliverance.

…He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:20b

He became our High Priest. The High Priest is the one who goes before God the Father on our behalf.

That’s what we truly need to understand. Even though we’re celebrating His birth, He’s not a baby anymore. That’s something we have to get a grip on this season.

The Lord Jesus Christ is a priest that’s beyond the priests of Israel. He entered the sanctuary of heaven with His own blood. He became the Author of our salvation.

Such a high priest meets our need– one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
Hebrews 7:26

Because of His submission, He was able to fully meet our needs. He is holy – set apart, like no other. The Lord is blameless – without fault of any kind, cannot be accused of anything. He’s pure – untainted by sin and perfectly walking the path of righteousness.

Jesus humbly took the lowest place, but is now exalted to the highest place. This is the God we serve.

Christmas is all about Christ. Remember the One that’s the focus of this holiday and celebrate it with His gift in mind.

Question: What do you do to keep the focus on Christ during Christmas?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Encouragement, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , ,

God Became Man

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis week especially, many people are thinking about the Christmas holiday. It’s funny to me how it stirs up so much controversy.

Here and there you see the scenes of the season. A humble stable with animals and a

manger. Why does it offend and anger a lot of people? After all, it’s only a father, a mother, and her child.

The problem is what it means to the human race. The writer of Hebrews gives us the truth behind this simple picture.

You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor.
Hebrews 2:7

God became man. He humbled Himself in ways we could never imagine. The Creator of the universe needed to have His diapers changed. He had to depend upon his parents to feed and clothe Him. That’s what He willingly chose in order to save us from our sin.

The all-powerful One clothed Himself in our weakness.

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17

For this reason, He became like us. In the summertime I see ants all over the place. Sometimes they’re just a nuisance. What God did for us would be like me becoming an ant in order to communicate to other ants. I would have to eat what they eat and live where they live. That’s not a very appealing thought to me.

Think about what it meant to Christ. He got tired, hungry, frustrated, and angry. He had to deal with the enemy as a man – as someone weaker in the flesh. That’s why He alone is worthy to be our advocate, and our judge.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Hebrews 5:8-9

This is one of the characteristics of the Lord that amazes me. The God of the universe – the highest authority there is – learned obedience through suffering.

Please understand what this means when it says He became perfect. That word means to become mature. He was always perfect in the sense of His sinlessness. What He had to learn was the maturing process that all humans must go through.

In my next post I’ll talk about this in a little more detail. My desire is that it will give us a little more insight into the holiday that we celebrate.

Question: What amazes you about the birth of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Encouragement, Sonship, Spiritual Walk

 

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

Are You Waiting for Something?

SurfIt’s been over 2000 years since the Lord walked the earth as a man. Isn’t it time for the church to walk in His footsteps? Paul and the other apostles understood what was needed.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4

Consider how powerful the early church was. They turned their world upside down. They went forward in the power of the Holy Spirit to do exploits for God.

Blind eyes were opened. The lame and diseased were healed. Those imprisoned by sin were set free. Nothing could stop God’s Word.

Then, the blazing light of the church became a mere flicker of a spark. History even refers to it as the Dark Ages. Spiritual blindness, slavery to sin and superstition were the controlling factors in a majority of the “church”.

But even as we were in that condition, God started to call His people.   Actually, for the last 500 years or so God has been restoring His church. Since then, there have been 4 major moves of God – each rebuilding a lost element of our spiritual life.

The last of these was the Faith Movement. Whatever you may think about that move, two things were true. First, it was started by an act of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it changed the face of the entire Christian church in America and around the world.

The way we pray, worship and the songs we sing are different because of the Faith Movement. Our very understanding of what it means to trust God has been taken to a higher level.

As I read Scripture, I can see that there’s still one more act of restoration on God’s agenda. We’re just now beginning to enter it. It’s a barely perceptible ripple on the horizon. But, for those with eyes to see, it’s right there. It’s time for us to get into position for this next move of God.

It’s like a surfer waiting for just the right wave to propel him forward. He watches the surface of the ocean. Then he sees it. It’s barely even a swell on the top of the water. But to that champion surfer, it’s a signal to point his board toward shore and paddle like crazy in order to catch the wave at the right moment.

That’s where we are, right now, in the Body of Christ. The swell is approaching. You have to strain to see it. But if you want to be right on the edge of it, to ride it home, you need to start positioning yourself right now.

That’s my passion, and the overriding focus of my ministry. I want to prepare God’s people for the next wave. I want to see the church rise up to its true place and function in the Spirit.

My prayer is that you read these posts with an open heart and receive what the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Let it change you, no matter the cost.

Make it your goal to be in position to flow in the new move of God. Let nothing move you out of the way. Determine to be a part of everything God has for this generation.

Questions: Do you feel the wind of change moving through the Body of Christ? Do you long for our experience to parallel that of the early church?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Ministry, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Knowing Christ through the Spirit

SpotlightI’ve been posting about having an intimate knowledge of Christ. We must allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in us. That’s where the supernatural wisdom and revelation comes from.

The problem arises when we’d rather have the foolish thinking of the world. Sometimes we buy into the promises of happiness that bombard us from all sides.

The book of Hebrews contains a quote from the prophet Jeremiah. He was looking forward to the blessings of the New Covenant.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Hebrews 8:11

One of the greatest blessings that we’ve been given is the ability to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, can speak to you.

Even though it’s our foundation of faith, reading the Bible is not enough to give us this knowledge. Hearing my teaching or that of other godly men and women isn’t enough.

If we want to know Christ on a personal level, then we need to make ourselves available to the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Only then can I recognize who He truly is and what He wants to accomplish in and through me.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Philippians 3:7-9

This passage sums up everything that I’ve been saying. Paul talks about the wisdom of this world and the resulting desire for the things that our flesh thinks will make it happy. He says that they’re all rubbish compared to knowing Christ.

Why? Because knowing Him intimately will change me. It will revolutionize my life. I will never be the same.

How will it happen? Paul continues…

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

That’s where true change takes place. When you tap into the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you recognize Him as He is in you. This is where we receive the power for victory.

The question is; do we want to share in the fellowship of His sufferings? That means that we choose His wisdom, even when the flesh wants something else. It’s emotionally painful to choose the Spirit over the flesh, but that’s the path to power and victory.

Allow the Holy Spirit to work in you. Let Him change you by His wisdom and revelation. Then watch as He works His power in you.

Question: How does your flesh react to God’s wisdom?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Really Knowing Christ

JesusI’m posting about the importance of knowing Christ. I talked about not wanting to know Him in the worldly way – just for the blessings He could give you.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24

The knowledge of Christ that I’m talking about is that which is based in relationship. It’s the knowledge of Christ that changes your life. Nothing is off-limits to the Holy Spirit.

This was the basis of Paul’s prayer that we looked at in the last post.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17

What is this knowledge actually about? He uses the Greek word epignosis. There’s really no exact word in the English to translate it. It means to have full discernment or recognition.

It’s like this…I can tell you that I know Abraham Lincoln. But you would immediately realize that I was lying. That’s because you know that there’s no way I could have ever met him.

I may have studied about him in history. I might have watched documentaries about his life. I know about him – but I don’t know him.

That’s what Paul is trying to tell us in this verse. He didn’t pray that we would read the Bible more; or that we would attend church and listen to more sermons about Christ. Instead, he prayed that we would tap into the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. He wanted our knowledge of Christ to be more intimate than second-hand word of mouth.

In order to truly know the Lord, we need wisdom – the ability to interpret and apply the facts that we know. We also need revelation; the uncovering of things that we don’t know. That’s how we learn to know Christ in the way He wants to be known.

“Well, then it’s up to God to give me this knowledge.”

Actually, He already did. When we were saved, He placed the Holy Spirit on the inside of us.

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

This has already been accomplished in us. If we are in Christ, then we have the Holy Spirit. Now it’s up to us to receive the wisdom and revelation that He desires to give to us.

But that seems to be the hard part. Because receiving God’s wisdom means that I leave the foolish thinking of the world.

Question: How does worldly thinking have a negative effect on the life of a Christian?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , ,