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Do You Really Understand the Word of God? #wordofGod

Dry1The Gospel message hinges upon the giving and receiving of the Word.  How this takes place is of great importance.  We must understand the mechanics involved in the use of the seed of the Word.  If you want to be a successful farmer, then you must study the most excellent techniques.

The Lord told a parable about four different soil types.  He was talking about the human heart.  We must examine our hearts to see if they are conducive to an abundant harvest of the Word.

The first type of ground that Jesus talks about is the soil right by the road.  It’s the worst place to try and grow anything, whether you’re talking about the spiritual or physical garden.

“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is the seed sown along the path.”
Matthew 13:19

You will notice that this ground is by the road.  This is the busiest place.  All of the dirt and debris from the road is blown onto this soil.  It’s hard and lifeless.  The way Jesus puts it in the original is that these people hear the Word of the kingdom and do not put it together.  It doesn’t mean to understand in the traditional sense.

These are not people who don’t know the meaning of what’s being said.  On the contrary, they understand what the Word is saying; they just don’t want to see how it applies to their lives.  They don’t want to put it all together.

Then, because there is no root of application, it’s very easy for the enemy to come and remove the Word permanently from the person’s life.  It’s as if they had never heard it.

This means that if I want an abundant harvest, I need to do just the opposite.  Whenever I hear a Word from God, I need to assume that it applies to me.  I need to guard the Word that’s placed within my heart.  It must be precious to me.

It also tells me that I can’t live too close to the road.  The more I look at the world, and how it operates, the more I disagree with how the Word functions in me.  I must let the Word work on me and change me as the Lord wills.

That’s why Jesus told us of the importance of knowing our audience.  We have to be careful where we’re planting.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
Matthew 7:6

There will always be those who have no regard for the Word of God.  They will hear, yet never apply it to their lives.  They allow the devil to steal it and it will never bear fruit in them.

Question: What is something that you have recently heard and applied from the Word of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Scripture Without the Word of God

Dry2In my last post I talked about those who minister without the Word of God.  We are experiencing an epidemic of this in our American Christian experience.  Jude wrote about this problem almost 2000 years ago.

These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm – shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted– twice dead.
Jude 1:12

This rebuke describes a growing segment of the church.  What an appropriate editorial on many of the “ministers” we see on Christian cable and radio.

Jude describes them as shepherds who feed only themselves.  They preach messages that excite people in order to keep their cash flow going strong.  They’re clouds and wind with no rain – autumn trees with no fruit.

If there’s no fruit, then there are no seed to plant.  But that doesn’t matter.  With no rain they couldn’t water them either.

It’s a sign of the times that we live in.  There’s an abundance of the Bible being preached in America these days.  How much of it is a Word from God?  How much of it speaks what God wants said to this generation for this time in history?  How much planting and watering is being accomplished?

For the amount of Scripture being sent through the airways and over the internet, there is very little fruit to harvest.

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.  Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.”
Amos 8:11-12

The prophet Amos predicted the days when there would be a famine of the Word of God.  What is a famine?  It’s usually a dry weather pattern.  As a result there’s no rain, no crops, and no new seed.  This must go on for years to qualify as a famine.

During the time of spiritual famine that Amos wrote about, Israel had many synagogues.  These were places where the Scripture was taught.  There were people teaching the Scripture all over Israel.  Scripture reading abounded – but not the Word of God.

It grieves me to look at the United States in light of this Scripture.  We are in that exact same place.  An abundance of the Bible is being preached and taught from every possible media outlet.  Yet for all of this, the church of Jesus Christ is, for the most part, marginalized.

We need to hunger and thirst for a revival of the Word of God in us.  Of course we need Scripture as our foundation – to keep us on track.  But we must seek God Himself so that we can receive the Living Word to burn within us.

Questions: What could America look like with an abundance of the Word of God going forth?  What could your life be like?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Revival, Word of God

 

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Living Saved – Past, Present & Future

GalaxyIn my last post I talked about how the work of salvation was started in your life.  But that’s not the end of it.  The Word has a greater job to do in you.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1:21

James is writing to the church in this passage of Scripture.  As I’ve stated before, I believe that the book of James was the first New Testament Scripture to be written.  If that’s true, then the Word he refers to could not be the Bible, since that was unknown at this point in church history.

What James is telling us is that the Word has been planted in us and is continuing to grow in us.  It’s there to change us.  Actually, what he says in the original Greek, is that this seed has the power (dunamis) to save your soul.  James is telling us to allow the seed of the Word to do its job, the saving of our souls.

Wait a minute!  I thought that if I accepted Christ, then I’m saved already.  The answer to that is an important one.  Yes, you were saved from sin and hell.  If you died right now you would go to heaven to be with the Lord.

However, in the broadest sense, salvation is not a one time thing.  It’s ongoing.  I’m saved (from sin and hell), I’m being saved (from the effects of sin in me), and I will be saved (from my flesh).  It’s this ongoing process of salvation that James is writing about.

Salvation itself is a package deal.  It includes everything that Christ paid for on the cross.  That same Word that brought me over from death to life also works God’s health and provision in me.  But for this to work, it has to start in my soul and work its way out.

That’s why the Word is called a seed.  Much of its work is done in the unseen places, below the surface.  Then, as it continues its work, it bursts out into the sunlight to bring the work in my life to completion – the bearing of fruit.

The question may arise – where does the seed come from?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the processes of the Spirit.  The seed grows, produces the plant and then the fruit.  The fruit itself contains more seed.  That seed is then planted in new ground to produce even more – and the cycle continues.

So, in reality, the seed comes from those who at one time received the Word, allowed it to grow, and then brought forth fruit.  The seed comes from someone who accepted the Word.  According to the parables of Christ, there can be 30, 60, or even 100 times what was originally sown.  God wants an abundant harvest.  The greater the harvest, the greater the next planting will be.

Question: How much has your life changed since you first made Christ Lord of your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Word of God

 

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The Last Days – Two Kingdoms Side by Side

agricultureI believe that we’re in the Last Days before the return of Christ.  Did you know about the weeding that is going to take place in the Last Days?  Christ taught about it during His earthly ministry.  Very few people talk about it because it doesn’t fit into their view of the end times.

I want to take a few posts to examine this important concept.  I think that it’s important for every believer to know what to expect on the road ahead.

The following is based upon the events and teachings found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 13 and verses 24-41.  I encourage you to read that passage first, before continuing this post.  You will have a greater understanding of what I’m saying.

This is actually the second teaching given by Jesus concerning the last days.  He gave it to the disciples in parable form.

At this point the disciples already knew that there would be a day of resurrection sometime in the future.  They knew that on that day the graves would be opened.  Someday all believers will rise with a new resurrected body.  In this teaching, Jesus builds upon that knowledge.

In the parable, the Lord teaches about a farmer who sowed good seed in the ground.  Secretly, an enemy sowed bad seed during the night.  When asked what he would do about it, the farmer said that he would let both plants grow together until the harvest.  That way he could tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat.

The disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about.  Later on in the day, the disciples found themselves alone with the Lord.  They took that opportunity to ask Him about it.  It’s Jesus’ explanation that I want to talk about.

According to the Lord, sons of the kingdom (that’s us), were sown into the world.  But the devil also sowed his sons into the world.  According to the parable there are two kingdoms, on earth, growing side by side.  I believe that’s where all the spiritual tension comes from that we are presently experiencing.

The kingdom of God and the world are both headed in opposite directions.  They have two different kings and vastly different goals.  As we approach the end, both kingdoms are going to start developing to the point where they’re bearing fruit.  The closer we get to the return of the Lord, the clearer we will see both the church of Jesus Christ and the world for what they truly are.

It is the overlap of the world and the church that causes the problems.  This parable addresses what God intends to do about it in the Last Days.  This is a very important subject.  If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to this blog for email delivery, so you won’t miss any of the posts.

Question: How have you experienced the tension between the kingdom of God and the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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Mountains and Hills

Psalm 72:3
The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.

I have always thought this was an interesting verse.  It tells us that the mountains will bring God’s people prosperity, the fruit of righteousness.

How can a mountain “bring” anything?  It can’t unless we do something first.  If it is to be an abundant harvest of crops, then the mountainside or hillside must be cultivated, planted, and harvested.  If it is to be a spiritual harvest, then we must climb the mountain by prayer and intimacy with the Lord.  Either way it will require an effort on our part.

The mountain cannot do it alone.  We are expected to initiate the blessing.  People talk about “mountaintop experiences”, but I don’t think they fully understand them.  They think it’s just a happy time in their life.  That’s not quite it. A spiritual mountaintop is a place of clarity in your walk with God.  It is a time when you see that way ahead and have a renewed vision for your destiny.  This is the basis of true prosperity.

Seek out these mountaintop times with the Lord.  Find a quiet time and place to prepare your soul to hear from the Lord.  You can be changed in His life-giving presence.  You can receive a new abundance in your life that you have never known before.

Spend time with the Lord today.  Have a “mountaintop” experience.  Come down from that place refreshed and renewed in your inner man.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Farm

Hebrews 6:7
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

Your life is like a field, bearing crops for the Lord’s use.  We plant the seed of the Word of God.  Then our lives yield the Fruit of the Spirit.  This is what the Lord desires of us.

There are many factors that affect our fruitfulness.  Just like growing plants in the physical, our spiritual fruit require care.  There are a lot of things that can destroy the crop if left unchecked.

Prayerlessness is one of the things that can devastate a spiritual harvest.  However, spending time with the Lord in a wilderness setting – alone and undisturbed – will bring forth a bountiful harvest.

Spending time in the presence of God is like spring showers on dry, thirsty ground.  It will provide the nutrients needed to bear an abundant harvest of righteousness.  Always remember that the fruit cannot be forced, they must be grown.  It takes the daily presence of God to change our lives into what we should be.

Take the opportunity given to you this day to spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.  Let His grace permeate the good soil of your heart.  Let the seed of the Word germinate and take root in you.  Be the kind of farmland that produces a bumper crop for your King.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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