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Never Enough

Where do we get our fulfillment from? Many in our generation would like to tell us that we’re fulfilled by our accomplishments. If that’s the case, then why are so many accomplished people miserable, depressed, and even suicidal?

I’ve been posting about Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. In it, he gives us some insight into this question.

But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you — certainly I, Paul, did, again and again — but Satan stopped us. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20

But first, before I talk about our fulfillment, I want to deal with the translation problem in this verse. Satan can’t stop us. The word Paul used in that verse literally means to cut in front of. It means to hinder or detain. So Satan didn’t stop Paul, and he can’t stop us, either!

Now, back to my main topic. In this small passage, Paul used four different words to describe what he received from the church at Thessalonica.

He says that he has hope – the expectation of great things – because of their faith. He was also filled with joy at the thought of what they were doing for Christ.

Paul then used the word glory, which means weight or importance. By looking at this church, Paul knew that what he was doing was important – it really mattered. He wasn’t just filling time.

These are all wonderful things, but what I really want to focus on is the crown Paul talks about. In the literal Greek, Paul calls it the crown of boasting. What makes this strange is that he is going to have this boasting in the presence of the Lord. Actually, there is a good kind of boasting.

But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Here Paul tells us that our boasting should not be about what we’ve accomplished. Instead, it should be about what God has accomplished through us. Understanding the difference will determine whether you’re fulfilled or not.

The principle that we need to learn is that we were not created to accomplish anything on our own. We’re made as vessels for God to work through. My purpose is only fulfilled by what the Lord does in and through me.

That’s why when I look at what I’ve done; it never seems to be enough. There’s always something missing. No matter how great the accomplishment, I look at it and say, “Is that it?”

I am made to do the works of God by His Spirit. Anything less will never satisfy the inner longing. That’s why there are so many unsatisfied Christians. Even our salvation, all by itself, doesn’t quench that thirst. We must allow the Lord to accomplish His plan through us. Anything less will never bring us fulfillment.

Question: What has God done through you that you can boast about in Him?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Unseen Food

BreadThere are a lot of believers who don’t fully give themselves to the ministry. Many times it’s because they want their fulfillment from the world – immediate gratification. They feel that God’s rewards are too far off in the future.

But if you read the testimony of Scripture, you’ll find that this just isn’t true. God’s Word promises great rewards – here and now – for those who are faithful to their calling. I want to take a couple of posts to talk about this.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, we’re told about an incident in the life of Jesus when He met with a woman at the well. They have a long talk and she realizes who He is. Immediately she goes back to her village and returns with a crowd.

Jesus begins to minister to these people. The Disciples, who had gone off in search of lunch, come back with the food. Upon seeing the crowd around Jesus, they had no idea what had just happened.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
John 4:31-32

Jesus makes a statement that totally confuses the disciples. He wants them to see that life is more than food. There are things unseen that are much more important.

What does this tell us about Jesus?

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2

The word translated as solid food in this verse is the same word that Jesus used when He said he had food the Disciples didn’t know about. That tells me that Jesus operated in a mature walk. He’s our example for how to minister to the fullest extent.

The Lord then tries to explain what’s going on.

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:33-34

There are two distinct things that Christ is talking about here. The first is to do the will of the Lord. That implies that you know the Father’s will. It involves spending time in His presence hearing what He wants you to accomplish.

The second part is just as important. That’s to complete the work that you’ve been assigned. It’s not enough just to hear from God. There must be a desire to do all that He speaks to you. That’s the spiritual food that Jesus is talking about.

This is important for us to understand. I’ll talk about it in more detail in my next post.

Question: What is the work God is calling you to accomplish?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in God's Provision, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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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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The Cycle of Life

Job 39:1-4
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?  Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?  Do you count the months till they bear?  Do you know the time they give birth?  They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended.  Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.”

It is amazing to think about it.  When we are in the woods or at a zoo we may see a deer, a moose, or a bear.  But how often do we think about how they live in the wild?  They grow up, they find mates, and then bear their young – repeating the cycle again and again.

With no help from man, they understand instinctively what they were born to do.  They know how and where to forage for food.  They build their dens and protect themselves and their families from the elements.  God has placed in the very core of their being the ability to live and thrive in a wilderness setting.

We could learn a great lesson from them if we would only listen.  They teach us to find our place in God’s kingdom, then live out our lives in devotion to that call, whatever it may be.  We need to find and accomplish the Lord’s will for us as individuals – this is where our fulfillment is found.  We need to be who we were created to be.

Take the time today to praise God for such a diverse and wonderful animal kingdom.  It is truly a precious gift that God has made mankind the caretakers over.  Give God glory for His awesome kindness towards us.  Seek to hear from God concerning your purpose.  Strive to know and accomplish God’s plan for your life.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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