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You’ve Been Hand-Picked

MixFor the last couple of posts I’ve been talking about Peter’s opening remarks in his first epistle.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1-2

I’ve talked about the fact that we are aliens, scattered throughout the world. Today I want to emphasize that we are chosen. That word chosen means selected, hand-picked, or favorite.

Why has God chosen us? The answer is simply because we responded to His call.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14

We are all invitedcalled – but chosen means that you responded and put yourself in the position of being selected.

The Apostle, Peter described this truth in the verse we looked at above. He said that we were chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father. Then we were sanctified by the working of the Holy Spirit in us.

That, in and of itself, is great news. But he didn’t stop there. He had to put in that tough little word – “for”. That changes everything. That means that there was a reason for all that He did. It can be summed up in one word – purpose.

It turns out that we are strangers, scattered and chosen for a purpose. What is that purpose? According the Peter, the purpose is obedience to Christ.

That word obedience literally means to hear under. You could also call it attentive listening. If I’m an alien, then I must listen to MY King. Being scattered in the world I have to listen for the Lord’s special instructions for me.

If I’m chosen, then I need to listen to the one who chose me. We must listen carefully and follow His instructions. If we don’t, then things will start to go wrong.

The problem is that listening requires time in the Lord’s presence. We live in a fast paced world. We look for the quick fixes. How can I get it done immediately?

The truth is that there’s no technology that can speed up the development of relationship. The only way is by spending time. Whether it’s with another human, or the Holy Spirit, I have to take the time necessary to get to know them. This fact will never change.

I am a stranger, an alien, to this world. I am scattered to be salt. I am chosen by God to obey Him. Therefore, I must listen attentively.

We need these attitudes if we’re going to be effective for Christ. Only then will we see a difference in the world around us. The world is desperately waiting for a church that knows who they are in Christ.

Question: How have you made a difference for Christ in the lives of those around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2015 in Ministry, Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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Continuing in Power #powerofGod

PowerI have been posting about how Christ was tempted in the wilderness.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, He overcame all the assaults of the enemy.  But there’s more to the story than just the devil’s defeat.

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.  Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
Luke 4:13-14

The story goes on.  After the devil had done everything he knew to do, he was finished.  The enemy had totally drained his battery.  He had to leave for a while to recharge.

Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t miss a beat.  He’d been fasting in the wilderness for 40 days.  Then the Lord experienced a spiritual battle the likes of which we’ve never seen in our lives.

Was He drained?  Did he have to recuperate?  Absolutely not!  Jesus Christ came out of the wilderness experience just as powerful as when He entered 40 days before.

We need to walk in this kind of power.  But in order to do this we must let go of our reliance upon the promises and start acting like spiritual adults.  We need to truly tap into the full potential of the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work within us.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
Ephesians 3:16

Without a doubt, this is the key – the Holy Spirit living within us.  Being led by the Spirit is the earmark of a son.  We must remain in Christ if we are to access this potential.  Christ is our example.

I don’t know why we’ve turned it around and made it all about us.  As if we have the power to change anything.  We think that if we find the right promise or confess the right Scripture verse, then a miracle will happen.  Maybe if we put together the correct formula of words in a prayer the power will manifest.

What’s the secret of how Christ consistently walked in the power of the Spirit?  It wasn’t confessions or formulas.  It was the time He spend remaining in the Father’s presence.  He prayed, He listened, and He obeyed.

It’s time for us to learn this lesson.  We need to stop looking for an easy way to tap into the Spirit while continuing to live for ourselves.  I need to submit to the Lord’s agenda for my life.  Time in the presence of God is the only thing that will bring about this transformation.

Question: What would have to change in order for you to spend more time in the Lord’s presence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Power of God, Prayer

 

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