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Listen to God’s Warning

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI’m posting a series about Noah’s faith as recorded in Hebrews 11. In my last post I talked about how faith causes you to build upon the foundation of Christ.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Hebrews 11:7

The verse says that Noah was warned. But here’s the challenge. The things that God warned him about had not yet been seen.

It’s easy to prepare for the things that we see coming. A snow storm, a tax bill, or a new car purchase. The problem is that there are things we have yet to experience that the Lord warns us about.

In those times we build simply because of God’s warning. God’s Word warns us of many things. Some of them are good, and some are bad. Many of them are things we have not seen yet.

We don’t know God’s whole plan for us. On the other side, the effects of sin, living for self or chasing after the world aren’t always seen immediately. The problems start only after we’ve been off track for a while.

There are also other issues. Many times we start building on God’s Word, and then we go back to our old ways. We get impatient looking for the return on our spiritual investment.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’”
Luke 14:28-30

Many believers are in this condition – unfinished, yet the project is abandoned. The work has stopped. They seem to be comfortable where they are and don’t want any more growth.

That’s a sad position to be in. I want to see growth in my life. I want to change and become more like Christ. That’s the only way that the world will be drawn to the Spirit of Christ in me.

How do you persevere? How do you keep allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life even when there’s not a lot of obvious evidence of anything going on?

We need to go back to the example of Noah in the above verse. It says that he moved in holy fear because of the warning he received. Because he believed God’s warning, it instilled a fear of the Lord in him.

It’s this fear of the Lord gives us perseverance. That’s where the ability to keep going in the hard times – or even the daily grind – comes from.

One of the problems is that so many people don’t have a correct understanding of the fear of the Lord. We must have this understanding if we’re going to continue the building process in our lives.

For now, I’ll simply say that fearing God has nothing to do with being afraid of Him. That’s not a holy fear. In my next post I’ll deal with what the fear of the Lord actually means.

Question: In what ways does your life show the fear of the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Faith, Word of God

 

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The Abundant Life #abundantlife #wordofGod

ThanksgivingOver the past few posts we’ve looked at the parable of the seed planted in different soils.  The message Christ was focusing on should be clear.  In order to prepare my heart for a great harvest, I must come to the realization that the Word of God must be the single crop in my heart.

This is what Scripture means by being single-hearted.  When you have a single crop of the Word planted in your life, you’ve set yourself up for a plentiful harvest.

We have a spiritual epidemic across our nation.  There’s an abundance of the Word of God, with very little fruit being produced.  It’s time to weed out these distractions from the good, rich soil of our hearts.  What we need is the mindset of a farmer when it comes to the Word of God.

“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Matthew 13:23

It’s clear from this verse that in order to see the harvest, I must understand the Word – see that it applies to my life.  I have to go beyond the person who lives too close to the road.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
Luke 8:15

This literally says that I must hold it down fast; keep it secure in my heart.  It has to take root deeply in my life.  I must go beyond those who have rocky soil.

Mark’s Gospel adds that we have to accept the Word. (Mark 4:20)  This means to associate with, delight in.  If you delight in a crop, you’re going to keep it free of weeds.  You don’t want anything choking it out.

The bottom line is that you must persevere.  In actuality it’s never easy to keep a farm or a garden.  It always requires tending.

I must come to the point where I acknowledge that the Word of God is everything to me.  It’s the same principle as in the physical world.

In the past I’ve had a garden.  The fresh tomatoes, peppers, and squash were a welcome sight throughout the summer and fall.  I could proudly say, “This eggplant came from my garden.”  Here’s the difference – I wasn’t a farmer.  I enjoyed the fresh vegetables grown in my garden, but I didn’t need them to survive.

A true farmer, on the other hand, lives by what he grows.  His livelihood is tied to the crops that he produces.  His new car is a result of the crops he harvested.  The renovations to his home are a result of the harvest.  Everything he has is tied up in his ability to produce a bountiful crop.

We must pick up this same mindset in regards to the Word of God.  We live by the Word.  Everything we need for life and godliness is all tied up in the Word. How I relate to the Word determines my destiny.

Hopefully, you can see by Christ’s teaching that it’s not just a matter of getting the seed into the ground.  You can be planting huge amounts of seed and never see a single piece of fruit if you’re not following the basic principles of spiritual farming.

It’s all about getting the right seed into the right ground, then persevering to make sure that the seed can grow and produce fruit unhindered.

Question: How do you cultivate a “farmer’s mindset”?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Word of God

 

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