RSS

Tag Archives: excitement

The Gospel – Face to Face with Jesus

cross 2I’ve been talking about how Philip brought Nathanael to Christ. Jesus called Philip and he immediately shared the good news with his friend. When he was told about Jesus, Nathanael had an interesting response.

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
John 1:46

Look at his answer; it’s dripping with attitude. Nathanael was a man who was skeptical and bored with life. That’s why we can’t look at people’s attitudes when we share the Gospel with them. We must always remember to look at them through the eyes of Christ.

We can see that Philip understood this by his response. The NIV translates it as “Come and see”. But that doesn’t give you the full impact of what Philip said.

He didn’t use the normal word for see. The word he used is an excited interjection.

“You gotta see this!!!”

The truth is that disciples of Christ are excited about Christ. When was the last time you were excited about the Lord or something He did for you? How do you regain that excitement day by day?

King David is a good example to us. One day David didn’t feel like saying anything.

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
Psalm 39:3

If you want to fan the flame of excitement, then you must meditate on the good things of God. Good things, noble things, praiseworthy things. Why would anyone one want to come to Jesus if He’s not exciting to us?

It’s not about debating with people or convincing them to trust the Lord. The key is that your excitement about Christ should lead them into wanting what you’ve found.

So Nathanael, this skeptical, bored person, went to Jesus.

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”
John 1:47

When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, He used the same excited interjection that Philip used.

“Look at this!!!”

The Lord totally turned the tables on him. By saying that Nathanael was an Israelite with no trickery or deceit, the Lord caught him completely off guard.

The Lord knows what we need to see and hear in order to trust Him. Nathaniel was a skeptic, probably ready for a debate. Maybe had some questions to test Jesus with. Now he’s on the defensive.

That should be the case when a non-Christian comes into a group of excited believers who are being led by the Holy Spirit.

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
1 Corinthians 14:24-25

It’s not about convincing arguments. It’s coming face to face with the power of God active in His people. I believe that this is the true nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: Do you know an example of an unbeliever coming face to face with the power of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 28, 2016 in Ministry, Power of God, The Church, The Gospel

 

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

Are You Addicted to the Ministry? 5 Symptoms

PillsI normally don’t use the KJV in my posts, but this verse gives me a lot to think about.

I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
1 Corinthians 16:15

What was it about Stephanas and his family that caused Paul to describe them as addicted?

I looked up some facts, not from Christian sources, but from the American medical community.  How do they describe addiction?  You may think you’re “all in” for the Lord.  How does what these doctors say stack up to your experience?

You need an increased level to maintain the feeling.  Are you feeling tired and burned out by what you do for God?  Or are you hungering to go deeper with Him?  Addiction means that the amount you’re doing now doesn’t satisfy you the way it used to.  You want more, greater, and higher dosages in order to stay fulfilled.  I believe that’s the excitement of the ministry.

You are obsessed with the ministry.  What’s your thought life like?  When you’re not actively involved in your calling, are you still thinking about it?  Addiction means that it’s constantly in the back of your mind.  You continually think about ways to improve and increase what you’re doing for the Lord.

Even in recreation times, a thought, word, or something you see will trigger an image of what you could be doing to further the Kingdom.  Thinking about it is uncontrollable.

You are continually sneaking “quickies” throughout the day.  Addiction to the ministry is a lifestyle.  Do you find yourself sharing about Jesus at the mall, school or workplace?  Are you prone to spontaneously be a blessing to people around you, simply for the enjoyment of it?  Maybe you find yourself praying for people as soon as you hear about their need.  This is a sign of an addiction to Christ and His ministry.

You undergo a change in your appearance.  Does the knowledge that you represent Christ change how you present yourself to others?  Does the fact that you’re God’s ambassador to the world make a difference in how you live?  The more we become addicted, the more radical the change.  How much has your ministry affected you?

You are in “denial” – you continue deeper even though others may argue against it.  Some people may say that you’re doing too much for God.  After all, look at the lifestyle of most believers.  “God will let you get away with a lot less commitment.”  Arguments like these don’t even faze you.  You want to touch as many people as you can for the Gospel.

You may like to think that you’re addicted – after all, it sounds good.  But the truth is, unless you’ve come to the place I’ve just described, it’s only wishful thinking.  Hey, don’t get mad at me – this is what the American medical community says about it.

If you find that you’re not addicted and you want to be – my next post will be about the 5 steps to becoming addicted!

Question: How has addiction to the ministry affected your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Encouragement, Ministry

 

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

The Nature of the Faith-Love Connection

SpeedIn the natural world, you must always have fuel to use power.   No matter if it’s electricity, cooking, heating, or driving.  Even something as simple as a candle requires wax as a fuel.  The same is true for power in the spiritual realm.

What we commonly mean when we use the term fuel is combustible matter.  But there’s also a general definition of fuel.  According to this definition, fuel is whatever feeds or sustains any expenditure, outlay, passion, or excitement.  What, then, is the fuel for our spiritual power?

It doesn’t take much study of the Bible to realize that faith is the fuel – that which feeds and sustains our spiritual passion – for the Christian life.  Without faith it’s impossible to please God.  Without faith we would have no access to the grace of God.  Faith is the requirement for God to do anything at all in our lives.

Having the fuel is important.  But we must also know how to utilize it.  Just holding a can of gasoline doesn’t automatically make me travel 60 mph.  I need to put it in the gas tank of a working automobile.

Unfortunately, there are many in the body of Christ who haven’t learned this simple concept.  We hold on to the fuel of faith and expect the light and heat of God to start working.  When nothing happens, we conclude that the Scripture is wrong, or that maybe God doesn’t do miracles anymore.  The Bible has the answer to this dilemma.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Galatians 5:6

In the above verse the word value literally means force in the Greek.  It’s not how you look on the outside that gives spiritual force, or power, to your walk.  It’s the fuel, faith, expressing itself through love.  What that verse says in the Greek is that faith must energize or activate itself through love.

If I put this in natural terms I could say that faith is the fuel and love is the generator producing the voltage needed to maintain the power of God in us.  The Bible clarifies this truth.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have all the faith-fuel in the world, but don’t have the love-generator to use it in, I am nothing.  This is where most of the church finds itself in this generation.  We seem to be so full of faith, yet accomplishing nothing for God.

According to this verse it sounds like a love problem to me.  If we are not using our faith correctly, then there will be no manifestation of power.  I must use my faith to power my love-walk.

Question: Have you ever experienced the failure of faith without love?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Faith, Power of God

 

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