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Why Work for God?

WorkThere are many believers who never enter into their calling.  Are you one of them?  Don’t miss the point of why God wants us to work for Him and with Him.

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, commending them on their work for the Lord.  He mentions three aspects that speak volumes to us as God’s people.  We need to take these things to heart if we’re going to be productive in the Kingdom of God.

Our work is produced by faith.  The word for work means what we do for God.  It’s the task to which we’ve been assigned.

We’ve all been called to do something different in the Body of Christ.  Your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and skillsets all combine to bring about the plan God has for your life.

The key is that you must seek God to find out what you’re called to do.  That’s where faith comes into the picture.  How well do you trust God for your future?  Are you willing to give up your agenda for His?

Then, by faith, we must let the Holy Spirit train and prepare us for the work.  Too many believers want to rush ahead and get “on the job training.”  Usually they become tripped up when they run ahead of the Lord.  You need to trust God to bring about the plan He has for your life.

Our labor is prompted by love.  This word labor, in the Greek, literally means your toil that results in weariness.  It speaks of using your strength to accomplish something.

We’re willing to do this for our bosses, because they pay us cash for our strength.  The Kingdom of God has a different economy.  What we do for the Lord is based upon our love for Him, or at least it should be.

Your love for God is expressed in how much time, money and energy you’re willing to expend in His work.  There’s no way around it – there’s something that you need to do for the Lord.

Our trouble is that we want to reap without sowing.  We wait until we want to eat a salad, then go out and plant the garden.  At that point, we blame God that our “salad bowl” is empty.

If you cultivate a love for the Savior, your work for Him will be a lot easier.

Our endurance is inspired by hope.  The word endurance speaks of our ability to persevere through the completion of the work.

This is the hard part.  Once we’ve started the task, we need to keep going.  Hardships, opposition, and even the daily grind of repetition saps our will to continue.

Our attitudes often surprise me.  We’re willing to drag ourselves to our job, even though we’re sick – and our boss will pay us to stay home – just to impress our employers.  Why aren’t we so inspired to impress the King of kings?  This is the secret to walking in the abundant life.

As I focus on the hope, the expectation, held out in the Gospel, I’m able to endure through the hard times.  Then I can see the power of God released in my life.

Question: What do you find to be the hardest part of enduring in your work for God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Ministry

 

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How to Discover a New World

I have been posting about faith lately.  Our faith is seen in our choices.  As we learn new things about Christ, we then have a choice whether to believe it or not.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

We looked at this verse in my last post.  I said that being sure meant that our faith is a support to our expectations in Christ.  So each time I learn something new about Christ, and make the choice to believe it – I add a new support structure.  As long as this continues, my walk with the Lord grows.

The above verse also says that faith is being certain of what we do not see.  The word translated as certain means proof or discovery.

Faith, then, is the discovery of things not seen.  Notice that the writer of Hebrews did not say it was the discovery of things invisible.  Rather, faith is the discovery of things you haven’t seen.

We say that Columbus discovered America.  We understand that the New World was not invisible; it just couldn’t be seen from Europe.  Through a series of choices Columbus got to a place where he could see it.

In the same way, you can discover new worlds of faith in Christ.  You may not have known that the Lord paid the price for your healing.  Through a series of choices, you came to a healing service.  While there, you hear a message that touched your spirit proclaiming Christ as Healer.

As the Holy Spirit works in you, you choose to accept this truth by faith.  Now your faith is the proof, the discovery, of that which was not seen.

The things that God has prepared for me are not invisible; I’m just not in a place where I can see them.  Faith is the proof I need that they are there.

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…
1 Corinthians 14:24

When we let God speak through us, an amazing thing happens.  Someone may hear the message that has not yet accepted Christ.  He discovers that he’s a sinner.  If he embraces this new discovery, he can make the choice to cross over into the kingdom of God.

Faith is always discovery and response.  As I respond in faith to each new revelation, I lay hold of a new support.  Each positive response helps me to climb a little higher.  We must continue to live out this faith-walk and let God complete His work in us.

Question: What was the most recent discovery that added to your faith-walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Faith

 

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Give Your Life a Solid Foundation

In my last post, I talked about true Biblical faith.  We learned that you can’t just “set it and forget it”.  Instead, it’s a process that must be walked out on a daily basis.  Here is an illustration that Paul used to describe it.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

Think about faith like a huge wooden shield, big enough for you to hide behind in the raging battle.  What is it protecting you from?  Paul says that it’s the flaming arrows of the enemy.

What does flame do to wood?  We all know that wood is a fuel.  As the weapons of the enemy hit it, the shield begins to wear away.  If you just stand still in your Christian walk, you begin to lose ground.  What you believed last year, you may not believe this year.  Your faith begins to fade.

Scripture tells us that we must continually maintain our faith.  That’s why prayer, reading the word, and fellowship with other believers are so vital to our walk with the Lord.

We need to continue in all of those things just to stand still.  If that’s the case, then I really need to build my faith for moving forward in God.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

The words being sure in this verse literally mean setting under.  The scriptural definition for hope is our expectation of what God is going to work out in our lives.  So, in actuality, what this verse says is that faith is our support or foundation.

Faith is a support for our expectations.  How can I continue to expect God’s best in the middle of the struggles of life?  My expectations must be supported.  It’s only through faith in what God has said that I can have this kind of foundation.

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
Hebrews 3:14

This is really what we want from God.  We want to share in what Christ has provided for us.  The only way this will take place is if we hold firmly to our support.  That’s why we need the shield.

If faith is not held firmly, it can be knocked out of our hands.  Make sure that you are maintaining your faith.  It’s what you need to support you through the rough times.

Question: How has your faith in God supported you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Mount Zion

Hebrews 12:22-25
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.  You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.  You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.  If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?

In the pages of Scripture, Mount Zion was called the Mountain of God.  It was a place where the presence of God was felt very powerfully.

I’m so glad that the presence of the Lord is no longer confined to a specific place.  That being said, there have been times in my life when I have encountered the Holy Spirit in a powerful way.  Other times He spoke with a “still, small voice.”  When we come to Him in an attitude of expectation, He will speak to our hearts.

There is one thing I have learned in these encounters.  When I hear His voice I must be quick to say, “Yes, Lord!”  Sometimes He speaks a hard word – a word that calls for change – as He did many times in Israel’s history.  Change is never easy, but when ordained by God, it’s for the best.

Seek to spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.  But more than that; when He speaks to you, be the one who is ready and willing to agree with His plan for your life.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Elim

Exodus 15:27
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Every so often I find it, when I’m hiking.  That place where the view, the temperature, the shade, the water, everything lines up for that “perfect spot.”  I know that one is coming, just ahead, maybe around the next corner.  It is the search for those spots that keeps me hiking.

It is because of this that I can take the cold, the rain, the bugs, and other trail problems.  Just knowing that once in a while I’ll find an Elim on the path gives me hope.

Our journey through life should be no different.  I’d like every day to be an Elim type day, but I know that won’t happen.  As a matter of fact, it would probably make for a very boring life.  We know that we’re going to encounter problems.  But just when we need it, up comes a day that makes all the others worthwhile.

We must live in hope, the expectation that there are good days ahead.  The only guarantee of an Elim, however, is if we follow the trail mapped out for us by the Master.  His Word, the Guide for your life, brings you out to the best spots on the trail of life.

Meditate on His Word to you today.  Allow it to sink deep into your heart.  Only then will it guide your steps and take you to those perfect spots in Christ.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Aches, Pains, & Stiffness

Romans 8:22-23
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Whenever we exert ourselves we are given signs of the mortality of our bodies.  Sometimes every muscle and ligament is crying out to be fixed.  The weight of a heavy box, playing sports, pushing a lawnmower, or the wrong turn of an ankle – it all causes us to experience pain and stiffness.

I have some good news for you.  The day is going to come when this is no longer true.  Jesus Christ is going to return soon for His people.  When He appears we will trade this body in for a new one – a perfect one.  We will have a body like Christ had after His resurrection.

As a part of creation we are all in a state of decay.  The best humanity can hope for is to hold off the inevitable as long as possible.  But the “Blessed Hope” of the church is that those of us in Christ will arise with a resurrected body just like Jesus had.  We will no longer be shackled with the pain of mortality.

Praise God today for the future expectation of glory that we have as believers.  Thank Him for the perfected body that is in store for you.  You can also meditate on this as you go through the day, especially if you’re feeling some aches in your body, knowing that it’s only a temporary condition.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Faith Hope Love

1Thessalonians 1:2-3
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith, hope, and love – they are the three things that the Bible says will be with us eternally.  Too often we think about them in spiritual terms.  We get the idea that these are just good feelings that Christians should enjoy.  Like they are wonderful gifts that should be tucked quietly away in our hearts.

NO WAY!!!  Faith, hope, and love are the sparks that ignite our ministry before God.  There are three different things that happen as a result of their influence on us.

First, faith produces our work.  That word literally means your assignment.  It is the task that God has given you.  As you go before God in faith, He gives you grace for the calling He has placed upon your life.  Faith causes you to stand in your assignment.

Then comes love – it prompts us to labor.  That word means to use up your strength in performing a task.  Without the love of God, we will never pour ourselves into the calling He has placed upon us.  We are called to work with all of our strength.  Without love, that will never happen.

Finally, hope inspires endurance.  It’s easy to start out strong, but it’s how we finish that matters the most.  Hope is the biblical word for expectation.  If I do my part, then I can expect God to show up and do His part.  That’s what keeps me going even when I don’t feel like it.  Hope gives you the endurance to persevere to the end.

Let faith, hope, and love give you more than just a warm feeling.  Let them spur you on to accomplishing your destiny in the Lord’s Kingdom.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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