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Tag Archives: commitment

Don’t Run Away

Different AnointingI want to deal with an issue that has severely stunted the growth of the body of Christ. If your goal is to stand firm in your calling, then you’ll find yourself in a leadership position in the church. This is important, because the excellence level of the church will only rise as high as the example of their leadership.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
II Corinthians 15:57-58

There is a dangerous trend in the body of Christ right now toward unfaithfulness in its ministers. The average pastorate is only about two and a half years. Unfortunately, this trickles down to the members.

It seems that church people don’t commit to the Lord’s work anymore. When something happens that they disagree with, they move on to another church. I believe that if someone is truly called, then there should not be this running from church to church.

We know that we have the victory in Christ. The above verse explains that because we have this knowledge we have the ability to stand firm (literally – sit firm). We are to be not moveable. We are to be always super-abounding in God’s effort.

How can we accomplish this? The verse is clear on that point – because we see that our toilthat which requires our strength – was not empty. If I’m going to pour my strength and life into something, then I need to see that it matters in eternity.

Too many leaders in the body of Christ give up because the work starts to get hard. They move on because the people “don’t share their vision.” Or maybe there’s a “personality conflict.” You’ll hear things like, “I have to find a place where God can fulfill His call upon me.”

We’ve bought into the lie that’s a part of corporate America today. Instead of loyalty, there’s trend toward self-promotion. If I can’t get a better pay or benefit package here, I’ll get it somewhere else.

That’s all foolishness. Those statements show a profound inability to grasp what the call of God is all about. That’s why it is of paramount importance that you find exactly where and to whom God is calling you.

A spirit of excellence will take nothing less than the fulfillment of the plan of God for His people. But I’ve found that even many ministers miss the point of their calling.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13

We’ve heard this Scripture a thousand times, but do we really understand its implications? This verse, in context, is talking about the gifts that God has given to men. Many ministers get the wrong impression. These are gifts to the church. The church people are not a gift to us.

The reason why many leaders miss it is because they have the wrong perspective. They think that God has called them to a work, and now they have to find people to help them fulfill it.

As church leaders, we need to realize that the work of the ministry is not about us. We are called to a people. We are then given a vision for the work that we’re to lead them into. A leader is to receive God’s vision for the body of believers, then work to bring them into it.

Question: What’s your vision for the work God has called you to do?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness

FlyingAs I was reading the Bible the other day, I came across a Scripture that caught my attention.  It was describing Christ and how He was revealed to the world.  It got me thinking about our relationship to God.

…and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:4

Jesus Christ was shown to be the Son of God.  Not just by someone’s testimony.  It was an act of power by God raising Him from the dead.

That in itself was not news to me.  The part that really spoke to my heart was who did the declaring.  The passage says that it was through the Spirit of holiness that He was shown to be the Son of God.

That’s what I found to be interesting – the Spirit of holiness.  Why did Paul not call Him the Holy Spirit?  Isn’t that the more common term?  Actually, this is the only place in Scripture where He’s called the Spirit of holiness.

Holiness is something that this generation of believers really needs to come to grips with.  It seems that we tend to back away from any mention of holiness.  We find it boring and old fashioned.

This is a subject of great importance in the Bible.  It’s found throughout the New Testament.  We are to be a holy people before God.

Holiness is related to separation.  It means to be set apart for God’s purpose.

It’s like this.  When Christ found us, we were like a dirty, cast off piece of pottery in the trash heap of the world.  When we turned to Him as our Lord and Savior, He rescued us from that place – that’s our salvation.

He then took us as His own and placed us on display in His household.  We are now to be exclusively used for the Lord’s purposes.  That’s holiness.

As we remain in His house, Christ continues to clean us up and restore us.  That’s our sanctification.

By using the term Holy Spirit, we mean the Spirit of God who is set apart from the world and the things of the world.  The phrase Spirit of holiness brings it to a whole other realm.

He’s not only the Spirit who is set apart – but the Spirit who sets us apart.  He is the Spirit of God who makes us holy.  That’s where we try to water down the truth.

We like to think of the Holy Spirit as the power source of the church.  Miracles, healings, signs, and wonders always draw a crowd.  But separation, on the other hand, sounds too much like commitment.

This generation seems to want the power without the holiness.  I believe that it’s time for us to seek the Spirit of holiness.  At the place where we are separated for God’s exclusive use, we will find all the power we need to live victoriously and win the lost.

Question: Have you seen examples of the Holy Spirit setting you apart for His use?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Encouragement, Power of God, Revival

 

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Let it Burn – By Guest Blogger Heath Midkiff

FireLast Thursday morning, I found myself sitting in a chapel at Word of Life Inn, Schroon Lake, NY.  I was at a regional student convention, helping as a judge for various student competitions going on.  We had a morning devotional and it was Pastor Dave Sangster speaking on the topic of “Let It Burn.”

Pastor Dave was phenomenal and the message was impactful.  It made me start to think.  I wanted to apply the changes to my life and I hope it has the same effect on you.  I will be paraphrasing his devotional and adding some of my own thoughts.  I hope you enjoy!

Reading in 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah being told by God to go and anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. Elisha was an ordinary man and Elijah found him out plowing his fields with oxen.

Understand, that before Elijah called Elisha to follow him and succeed him as prophet, these oxen and the lands he was plowing were all Elisha owned and how he supported himself.

Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,’ he said, ‘and then I will come with you.’… So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
1 Kings 19:19-21

In this passage we see what Elisha did that solidified his commitment to working in the ministry.  He took all he had, and all he had ever known – working his fields with his oxen and equipment – and destroyed it all. He killed his oxen, and burned his equipment to cook the meat on.

Some people might call this a bit extreme; Elisha couldn’t turn back now even if he wanted to.  This is the point I want to make and why this blog is titled “Let It Burn”.  God wants the same level of commitment that Elisha showed to be evident in us.

When we feel the call on our lives from God, and we find what our ministry is, he wants to burn up whatever our plan was for our life.  It doesn’t matter how far we have moved up or how much we have achieved.

Another godly example is the author of this blog, Pastor Nick Zaccardi. He was in a great position with a great company making a good amount of money.  However, when God called him out of it and placed him in a ministry in a different state, he left without hesitation and “let burn” the taste of success he already had achieved.

Be encouraged today to spend time with God, and find out what plans He has in store for you.  And when those plans are revealed, be prepared to give up everything you know now to walk in His perfect will.

Question: How much are you willing to “let burn” for God’s calling upon your life?

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Encouragement, Guest Bloggers

 

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Running with Horses

Jeremiah 12:5
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”

God calls us to do greater things with Him than we could have ever done without Him.  We can go above and beyond our abilities, because of His strength working in us.  In this section of Scripture, Jeremiah is complaining about why the wicked prosper.  It was upsetting him to the point that it was affecting his work for God.

Sometimes we get distracted by the lack of commitment that we see in others.  What God tells him applies to us as well.  God’s reply to Jeremiah is that if you are turned aside that easily – just by looking at what others are doing (or not doing) – then you will really be thrown off when you see how high I’ve actually called you to go.

It’s like the person who says that their dream is to walk the Appalachian Trail, yet all the while they complain about the number of stairs leading to their front door.  Take some time to refocus your sights on the high calling God has for you.  And remember, if you let the small stuff get you down, you will never move on to the great things.

Take the time to refocus your thoughts in the presence of the Lord.  Let His plan for you fill your vision.  In this way you will not be distracted from completing the assignment God has for you.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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