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Faith – Past, Present, Future

Jet Plane to NowhereI’m posting about receiving God’s power through prayer in the Spirit. I’ve found that there’s always a problem created by accessing this power. Once the Lord begins to work in us, we find that the power of God changes EVERYTHING it touches.

The problem is that we know this and resist sometimes because we don’t want to change. It takes the power of God for us to do and become what God wants for us. How do we receive this power?

It has a lot to do with attitude. We started by looking in Hebrews chapter 11.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age – and Sarah herself was barren – was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Hebrews 11:11

That’s an interesting statement about Abraham. He considered Him faithful who made the promise. We receive when we consider God faithful.

The word consider is important for us to understand. This is a belief that does not rest upon feeling, sentiment, or emotion. Instead, it’s based upon careful and deliberate consideration of everything you’ve experienced so far. It involves weighing and comparing all of the facts.

Think about how God dealt with Abraham. He became 100 times richer during a time of famine. With only 300 men, he defeated a great army. The question was; can this God make good on His promise? The answer was a resounding YES!!!!

Remember what David said when he faced Goliath. God had helped him overcome a lion, then a bear, now this giant would be no different.

The disciples got a rebuke from Christ for not understanding this principle. At one point Jesus was upset as they got on a boat. The disciples discussed why the Lord might have had this attitude. They came to the conclusion that it was because they had forgotten to bring bread.

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Mark 8:17-21

We don’t want to be like them. We must look back at what God has already accomplished in us. Then, use that to bolster our faith for what lies ahead.

There may be a problem looming on the horizon. It might even be bigger than anything we’ve ever faced before. That’s not a problem for the God we serve.

The big issue is – will we remember. Remember how God saved you. Remember what He’s done for you in the past. Look at all the riches of His grace that have already been poured out upon you.

Then take that into consideration. Base your faith on the Word of the Lord who has never failed His people. Look to Christ with the knowledge that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.

That’s the attitude that prepares you to receive God’s power. Now you’ll see God’s intervention on your behalf. But you must also remember, once God’s power is active in your life – everything is subject to change. It’s based upon His destiny for your life. He’s working out all things for your good. The Lord wants to give you a hope and a future.

Question: How has God worked His power in your life in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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The Cross – Past, Present, Future

cross 2In my last post I talked about the work Christ did for us on the cross. Because of it, repentance and forgiveness of sin can be proclaimed throughout the world. We simply cry out to the Lord, “I want my life to change. Please, Lord, I’m asking you to take the trash out of my life.”

This is the result of Christ going to the cross. It’s the pattern for how we submit to the salvation process at work in us. We like to focus on the resurrection, but the fact is that there can be no resurrection without the cross.

That’s why Jesus tried to explain to His disciples over and over that He needed to go to the cross. It was imperative that He suffers, dies, and then three days later, rises up from the grave. He did this so that all of the unneeded baggage could be removed from our lives.

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…
Romans 6:6

This explains what exactly He removes. The Lord wants to get rid of your entire past. The “old you” is removed and nailed to the cross with Christ. It’s never to be heard from again. But it doesn’t end there.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Christ doesn’t only deal with our past. The work He did on the cross affects our present and future as well. This is because the cross means nothing without the resurrection. The two must go hand in hand.

It’s great that Jesus got rid of my past sins and the guilt and shame that came with it. But I’m living in the present. I’m concerned about the future. How does what He’s done speak to this?

The power that was released when Christ rose from the dead is available to me today. I now have the power of God present in me. I have a source of strength that will get me through today victoriously. It will carry me through until I reach my destiny in Christ Jesus. That’s the power of the resurrection.

It’s just like when we’re doing something on our computers. You can create a lot of great stuff. But until you click on the save button, everything can be lost. Christ did a powerful work on the cross. But it was when He rose up from the dead that He hit the save button.

The Lord’s death and resurrection opened up the saving work of God for all time and to all people. This is what the church should be proclaiming. Repentance and forgiveness is now available through Jesus Christ.

That’s why I’ve bowed my knee to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. No other god has ever done this for his people. All the other religions tell their followers that if they want acceptance, enlightenment, or paradise, then they need to work harder. Sweat for it, bleed for it, suffer for it. Only when you’ve put enough effort into your seeking, will you attain the prize.

My God understood my problem. As a human being, I’m incapable of living the perfect life He requires. I had no ability to approach God on my own merit.

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Galatians 2:21

If there was a rule book or a set of laws that we could follow correctly, then we wouldn’t need Jesus. Because of the grace of God and the work of the cross it’s no longer about my ability. It’s now all about God’s work in me.

Question: How does Christ’s work continue to change your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, The Gospel

 

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Saved in our Past, Present, & Future

Cross SunsetI’m posting about the salvation we share in Christ. How Christ took us from where we were and made us new in Him. Our past had no bearing on His love for us.

…for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:13

This work that Christ has done in us is totally His doing. It didn’t matter how good I was. I’m just as guilty before God. It wouldn’t matter if I was a drug dealer, rapist, or terrorist. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all of my sins.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

The salvation of the Lord is all encompassing. But, as incredible as all this is, it’s not the end of it. Even though in one sense I have been saved, God’s work continues to have an effect upon my life. Salvation doesn’t end with the sinner’s prayer.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:2

It should be clear from the context of this verse that being saved is an ongoing process. The word for saved in this verse implies a continual work. That’s why there’s an “if” in this section. The process of salvation can only continue if you hold firmly to the Word.

I think that part of our problem in the modern church is our stubborn refusal to allow God to continue His work of change in our lives. We’re happy that our sins were forgiven. We look forward with joy to our home in Heaven. But right now there’s so many things that we want to do and experience in the world. The thought of God disrupting those plans for His purpose doesn’t sit well with us.

We need to see change as the natural outgrowth of our walk with God. His ongoing plan of salvation in us should never stagnate. There’s always something new to look forward to. That even applies to the return of Christ.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
Romans 5:9

Not only is the saving work of the Lord active in me today, it gives me a future hope. I know that on the Day of Judgment I have nothing to fear. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, I will be saved from the wrath of God. Death holds no fear for the Christian, only the promise of a new address in the presence of God.

Question: How is God’s ongoing work of salvation continuing to change your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Faith, The Gospel

 

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Will Your Gift to God be Returned? #greatestgift

PresentThe Christmas season is in full swing!  The stores are full of shoppers.  The TV is all about buying presents for people.  With all the hype going on around us; do we really understand giving?

I’m talking about what we give to God.  No, I’m not going to ask for an offering.  I’m thinking about how willing we are to give.

There are some things that we’re more willing to give than others.  Many are willing to give some time to the Lord on Sundays as well as a couple of hours during the week.  There are a lot of believers who give ten percent of their income to the work of God.

Here’s the problem.  Am I giving what God is asking for?  If not, then all my works count for nothing.

Is it any different than our Christmas experience?  We all get presents that we don’t want.  Check out the exchange lines the day after Christmas and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  No one wants to give a gift that gets returned.

How much more important is it to you, that God doesn’t return your gift?  We need to know what He’s looking for in a gift.

Actually, we can get some insight from the enemy.  Satan made an interesting statement while he was accusing Job before God.

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.”
Job 2:4

If anyone knows us well, it’s the devil.  After centuries of watching us, he came to this conclusion.

That’s how we know the value of the greatest gift God asks of us.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

Jesus taught the same thing.  A man will sell everything he has to save his life.  It’s the most precious possession we own.

That’s why it’s also the greatest gift we can give to God.  In reality, God doesn’t want your time or money if it’s just a replacement for you.  The Lord wants you.

This season, while we think about all the things we’re getting for others, don’t forget the highest name on the list.  Make it your first priority to give yourself fully to Christ.  Then, everything else will fall into place.

Question: How far are you willing to go for the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Encouragement, Worship

 

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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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