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The Power of Christ #powerofChrist

LightningIn my last post I talked about my struggle with legalism that I didn’t even know I had.  I was like so many others who “stand on the promises.”  They are trusting in the power of the law instead of the power of God working in them.

Then again, there are other Christians who have thrown out the whole idea altogether.  They’ve tried to live up to the requirements of the promises and failed.  They’ve come to the conclusion that they’ll never gain the blessings of the promises.  So what they’ve done is to start living for themselves and chase after the things of the world.  Unfortunately, if you throw out the promises altogether, and don’t remain in Christ, you’ll find yourself unplugged from the source of our power.

If my attitude is that I don’t want to read the Bible or go to church, then in essence I don’t love God.  This is because love is an action, and I’m not showing it toward the Lord.  You can say, “I love God” all you want, but that only means that you have good feelings toward Him.

That’s usually how the world defines the word “love.”  In that sense you can love God without any of those things.  However, I’m talking about true love – an action where all your heart, soul, mind, and strength are involved.

It’s clear from Scripture that there are two forms of power – the Spirit and the law.  Both of them are strong forces for change, but the power of the Spirit is the greatest.  We also know that trying to fulfill the requirements of the promises is a form of legalism.

Under the New Covenant, the promises serve two purposes, of which both are important.  The blessings of the promises show us what God enjoys doing for us.  The requirement side of the promise shows us what we can do to please God.

The real question we need to deal with is how did Jesus operate in the power?  We will start by seeing how Jesus taught about the power.

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
1 John 3:8

This is a simple yet profound truth.  One of the main purposes of Christ coming to the earth was to destroy the devil’s work.  The Lord wanted to end Satan’s reign of terror on this planet.  To do that Christ would have to wield a power much greater than that of the devil.

It’s this power that I want to talk about in these posts.  Christ is our example.  If I can grasp how He walked in the power of God, then I can get the same results by following His principles.

Question: What works of the devil need to be dealt with in our generation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Legalism, Power of God

 

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Promises Fulfilled – The Rest of the Story

GrapesI’ve been posting about how Christ has fulfilled the requirements of the promises for us.  Now, by faith, we’re free to walk in the blessings as adopted sons of God.

But there’s more that we need to grasp about this truth.  Unfortunately, the response of most Christians in the USA to this teaching is, “Great!  I don’t need to do anything to receive God’s blessing.  I don’t need to tithe or go to church or anything.”

Please understand that I didn’t say that.  What I said was that Christ fulfilled the requirements of the promises.  The blessing side of the promise shows what God wants to do for us as sons.

However, there’s also a reason for studying the requirement side of the promise.  The question at this point is, as a Christian, why do I need to know the requirements?

It’s the requirements of the promises that show us what pleases God.  Remember:

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:7-8

We fulfill the requirements of the promises simply because we love God.  I know the truth about Christ fulfilling the promise, but I continue to tithe because I love God and He deserves ALL my money.  I read the Word of God because I want to know Him better.  I go to church because He meets with me and the body of believers there.

If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:6

If you’re not remaining in Christ in this love relationship, then you have no access to the power of Christ.  You may not like this, but it’s the truth.  Christians ask dumb questions that show their lack of maturity all the time.

“Do I really have to pray every day?”

“Do believers have to tithe?”

Let me explain to you the nature of these questions.  Most believers have no idea about the implications of what they’re saying.

What kind of person would ask the question, “If I get married, do I really have to kiss my wife?”  It’s simple – a five-year-old would ask that question.  Only someone who is not mature enough to understand the beauty and intimacy of the marriage relationship would think that kissing a wife would be “yucky.”

The very fact that you’re asking those questions show that you’re an immature Christian who doesn’t yet understand the intimacy of our love relationship with the Lord.  A mature believer wants to serve and please God no matter if there is a blessing promised or not.

Question: Are there ways that you’re serving God regardless of any promise?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Power of God, The Church

 

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God’s Abundant Love

Nehemiah 9:17
They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.

In this passage, Nehemiah is praying, and remembering why Israel is presently in captivity in a foreign land.  Time and time again they refused to listen to the Lord’s leading.  They took no time to think and meditate on the many miracles that God performed on their behalf.  Instead they had a history of outright rebellion against God’s leadership.

But here is the amazing part – in all that time God remained forgiving, gracious, and compassionate.  I’m so glad that our God is not bound to emotional outbursts the way we humans are.  Instead of writing them off and giving up on them, God worked with Israel.  He tried to draw them in by His love for them.

This is truly a God who is abounding in love.  This verse literally says that God has an over abundance of love.  That only stands to reason.  God is love.  God is infinite.  Therefore, His love is infinite.

What a comforting thought – God has more than enough love for us.  You can personalize that and say that God has more than enough love for you.  He will never run out.  No one can ever say that they have done so many things wrong that God doesn’t love them any more.

Bask in the warmth of that love today.  Let God’s overabundance minister to your soul.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak words of encouragement to your inner man.  Be refreshed by this love that passes all understanding.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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God = Love

This is my second post on what true love is all about.  Yesterday’s post showed that the only way to know love is to know God.  That is the basis for our understanding.

God is love.

Psalm 59:17
O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

The world talks about love, but it’s not the real thing that they refer to.  If you look at the statistics on marriage and divorce it becomes very clear.  Couples go into marriage saying that they are deeply and truly in love.  It is a love that will last forever.  Then, years later, when times of trouble come they are suddenly incompatible.

The fact is that we throw the word love around very loosely in our society.  We say that we love so many people and things, from boyfriends to French fries.  Yet our love is as changeable as the wind.  Some people or things that we loved last week have now been replaced with “better or newer” versions.

Love is actually a very serious matter.  Before we say that we love God…we better know what love is.  The Lord is our supreme example.

People talk about the various names given to God in the Bible.  Names like Jehovah-Jireh, God my Provider.  I have heard many sermons on the names of God.  But somewhere down the road we missed one.  I have never heard a sermon on the verse above.

The phrase translated “my loving God” is actually the name Elohiym-Checed, God who loves me.  God and His love cannot be separated.  Love is who He is.  He doesn’t have to think about whether He will love me or not.  God simply loves me because that is who He is and what He does.

Let God minister His love to you today.  Maybe you have doubted His love for you.  Let the knowledge of His character change your perception.  You are loved.  Let that thought override all others.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Loving God – Where it all Starts

Do you love God?  Here’s a loaded question – do you really know what it means to love God?

I John 4:8-10
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

I am convinced that we, as believers, need to understand what it truly means to love God.  I have decided to spend a few posts exploring this topic.

The big question is where do we even start to understand what it means to love God?  He is so vast, so infinite.  His ways are so far above our comprehension.  How could we ever grasp love for a God so great and powerful?

In order to really love God, we have to start with the correct attitude.  Scripture is clear that it’s not about our love for Him, but His love for us.  Before I can ever love God, I must have an understanding of what love is and just how much He loves me.

The path is clear and simple.  To understand love, I have to understand Him.  That is the basis, the starting point, the foundation stone.

God is love.

If I want to know love, I must know God.  That is the bottom line.  I need to know God and the fullness of His love for me.  It is because of His love that my sins have been atoned for.  Spend some time in the presence of true love today.  Go before God and let His love flow through you and work in you.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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