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A Promise for the New Year

ReflectionThere’s a lot of unrest in the world today. Even in the United States there’s more apprehension over the new president than ever before. What should our attitude be, as believers?

Jesus made a statement to His disciples just before going to the cross. I believe that we need to take it to heart in these last days.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:1-3

There was a very good reason why the disciple’s hearts were troubled. If you read chapter 13 of the book of John, the chapter just before this passage, you’ll see Jesus warning them that He was going to be denied, betrayed, and killed.

At this point Jesus starts to sense their anxiety and tells them, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. You trust in God. Trust in Me.”

In verse two He tells them why they can be free from fear. The King James Version reads, in my Father’s house are many mansions. Well, is it a mansion or is it a room? That makes a big difference to me. I want to know whether I am getting a room or a mansion.

The Greek literally says, “In my Father’s house (or residence) are many places.” The word that Jesus uses is the Greek word for place.

Now, place could be a mansion. Place could be a room. Place could be a chair. There are many different kinds of places. But the one thing I’m sure about is that we’ll not be disappointed with the accommodations given us.

I’ve seen some good accommodations on earth, and I know God outdoes anything that we could have here. I don’t care what you call it. Whatever He gives me, I’m going to be thrilled with it. I am satisfied just knowing that He has a Place prepared for me.

He then tells the disciples in verse three that He’s going to get things ready. And if He goes through all the work needed to prepare a place, then they can rest assured that He will indeed return to take them to that place. That’s the promise that we can hold on to. He’s going to return. No matter what the world looks like. No matter how rotten things get.

We know the truth. The Church is going to come into fruition. But right along with that – as the wheat buds, the weeds are also going to come to fruition as well. The world is going to get worse and worse as it bears the fruit planted by the enemy.

But don’t worry, the Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world, and He’s going to come back at the right time, at the end of this present age, and receive us to Himself. With a promise like that to hold on to, there’s no need to worry.

What’s going to happen next week or next year? What will the economy do? What about the crime rate? These are all things we need to watch and be mindful of. But the bottom line is that because of Christ, these things shouldn’t trouble us.

We need to keep our eyes fixed upon Christ and His Word. That will take us victoriously through anything that comes our way in the future.

Question: How has God brought you through a big problem in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 

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Having Vision Means Change is Ahead

SpotlightI’m posting about entering this New Year with vision. It comes from spending time in the Lord’s presence. Then, having heard from the Holy Spirit, you begin to see what could be – what should be – what must be.

Vision is the destination. It’s where God is bringing you. But it comes with responsibility.

As soon as you see your destination, this vision requires movement and direction.

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
Habakkuk 2:2-3

We are probably all familiar with this verse of Scripture. Many times in the past I’ve posted about the need to write down what God speaks to you. This brings clarity of purpose.

When you have spiritual vision, you can move forward more quickly. Those two words I mentioned – movement and direction – speak of CHANGE. That’s what usually scares us.

In Ezekiel’s day there was a proverb among the people.

“Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’?
Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled.’”
Ezekiel 12:22-23

The problem is; if you don’t move forward with God’s plan, then nothing happens. God doesn’t do anything without a channel. By seeing where God wants to bring you, it should motivate you.

It should be our desire to move forward in the Lord’s grace. So we spend quality time hearing His voice to the church. Then, we set our course to accomplish what we’ve already seen. That’s how Jesus operated.

It should be our goal for 2016, to do whatever it takes to bring about God’s plan for our lives.

Question: What do you know that the Lord wants to do through you this year?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Entering the New Year with Vision

2016As we start this New Year of 2016, I wish God’s best for you. As the people of God, we know that we have His blessing and favor upon us. But we need to continue walking in His vision for our lives.

I want to take a few posts to talk about our spiritual vision. It’s important to spend quality time in the Lord’s presence to understand where He’s taking us and what He wants us to accomplish.

The Jewish leader, Nehemiah, knew some things about vision as he helped the children of Israel to return to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity.

Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah 1:2-4

Nehemiah saw what was presently happening in Jerusalem. He knew that what was happening was not God’s best. The broken down wall and burned out buildings needed to be restored.

What was his response to this news? He spent time with the Lord. That’s where vision is born.

It’s especially easy to receive God’s imparted vision when you’re dissatisfied with what is. That’s because vision is the burden that comes when you see what is in contrast to what could be.

Vision always demands change. So Nehemiah mourned, fasted, and prayed. He did this so that God could work the necessary changes in him first of all.

That’s why not everyone wants the Lord’s vision for their lives. Vision calls for change and that change must work on me first.

I cannot accept this work of the Holy Spirit until I want to see a change. If I’m content with my present circumstances, then I won’t seek God with fervency. That’s what it will take to be a child of God with vision.

Question: What do you see that needs to change in your life personally and in the church?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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A Prophecy for 2015

 

2015I’ve found that the Psalms have lined up with current affairs since the year 1901. Over the past 10 years or so I’ve preached from a Psalm each year and it’s been amazingly accurate. The Psalm for the New Year is Psalm 115.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1

We need to start 2015 on the right footing. It’s all about the Lord’s glory and not ours. Sometimes we miss that in the quest for bigger ministries. Yes, we want the move of God to attract people, but it’s the name of Jesus that should be the goal.

Moving on from here, there’s a bigger issue at stake. I believe that 2015 is the year of the big question. It’s what we should have been asking long before now.

Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Psalm 115:2

Wow! Could there be any other question more appropriate for our present generation of believers? Notice that the question isn’t, “Where is their God?” It’s more a question to us, asking what are we doing that blinds the world to who our God is.

Why is the nation unaware of our God? Why do they believe that God is irrelevant to our lives? That’s the question of the hour.

The next part of the Psalm gives the answer to it all.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:3-8

We’ve forgotten the simple truth that our God is Lord over all. The things that the world runs after can never give life. These things can never help us in our time of need.

Money, entertainment, social media sites, and all the rest are merely distractions keeping us from experiencing the best God has for us. In their right place – under the authority of Christ – they can be beneficial. But when they take time away from our walk with the Holy Spirit, we’re headed for ruin.

We can’t afford to fill our lives with the world’s distractions. It’s time for God’s people to press into the place of intimacy with Him. That’s where the true source of power is found.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord — he is their help and shield.
Psalm 115:5

This year we need to remember where our allegiance should be. The rest of the Psalm is a blessing upon those who are willing to take the time to seek the Lord’s presence. Let 2015 be the year we turn things around. Make it the year that the world sees that truly there is a God who works in and through His church.

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year in Christ!

Question: What are you trust God for in this coming year?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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Give Me My Mountain #happynewyear

2014Welcome to 2014!!  There’s no going back – no do-overs.

As we look forward to what’s in store for us, we must keep our minds fixed on the road ahead.  We have a great destiny in the Lord.  Here’s a wonderful quote from an Old Testament saint.

“Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert.  So here I am today, eighty-five years old!  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.  Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day.  You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
Joshua 14:10-12

You would think some young soldier spoke these words.  Maybe someone fresh out of boot camp and ready for a battle.  The hill country of Israel is rough terrain, especially when in a war for the possession of it.

But Caleb, the man who spoke up, was 85 years old.  His attitude is remarkable.  He wasn’t content to let someone younger do the work.  He wasn’t one to say, “It’s time for me to sit back and relax.”

On the contrary, Caleb was ready to fight for what was promised to him.

I’m glad that there’s no age limit in the Kingdom of God.  We need to see that we will not be put out to pasture when we reach a certain age.  I want to serve God faithfully with every breath I have.

As someone in their 50’s, I see each new year as a blessing that must not be squandered.  That being said, if you’re younger, then time should be even more precious to you.

Caleb didn’t sit on the couch for 70 years then finally get up ready for a fight.  He was actively walking in the plan of God his whole life.  We need to cultivate the same attitude.

Obtaining the blessings and promises of God require faith, patience and consistency.  Knowing this, we must harden our faith now – so that when we reach our elder years, we’ll continue on spiritually stronger than when we started.

Take the time at the beginning of this new year, to establish the path of your life in the direction God has for you.  Commit your future to the Lord and purpose in your heart to finish the race strong.

We may not know what’s ahead of us in the coming year.  But we do know the God that we serve, and the exciting path He is sure to lead us on.

Have a blessed New Year!!!

Question: What are you trusting God for in this new year?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Encouragement, Faith

 

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Guidance for the New Year

20132012 is over.  We’re now in new territory!  What does this new year hold for us?  There is a way to safely navigate the unknown that lies before us.

Society is taking a dim view of the future.  With talk of fiscal cliffs and higher taxes, many are worried.  There are those who fear an increase in violence and unpredictable weather patterns.  Where can we turn to for answers?  The same place the truth has always been…

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Our God didn’t get stuck in 2012!  He is with us today.  He knows all about the latest technology – before it’s even invented.  He is well able to bring though to a victorious new year.

It’s a blessing to know that God will never leave us nor forsake us. According to this verse,  He’s the Guide that never fails.  He can find water in the driest desert.  He gives strength in the time of trouble.  If we rely on Him, we will be just like a spring whose source never fails.

Many times people look at us and wonder what’s the secret of our strength.  There seems to be nothing special about us.  On the outside we’re as weak and mortal as everyone else.

What they don’t know is that our strength comes from far below the surface – deep within – where we have tapped into the presence of an Almighty God.  This is the secret to the abundant life.  We must learn to remain in the presence of the Lord.

Because of the hand of God upon our lives, we seem to have an ability to move forward in ways that others cannot comprehend.  This only happens when we take a spiritual drink from the springs of living water that come directly from the Lord.  This is the road to victorious living.

Spend time with your Guide today.  Let Him empower you for the year ahead.  Become that “well-watered garden” in His presence.  That is the only way to assure an outcome of fulfillment and joy throughout 2013.

I pray God’s richest blessing upon you in the coming year!

© Nicolas Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Encouragement, Faith

 

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