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Christmas Promise

Today is Christmas, so I decided to post some thoughts about the day.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18

The verse tells us that this is how, or literally, this is the manner in which it happened.  There’s a pattern that the Lord uses in bringing about His will.  It’s important that we see it.

First, there was an unexpected pregnancy.  This is interesting.  The pregnancy wasn’t expected.  Yet the Messiah was foretold hundreds of years before.

Just like today. God promises things, and then we forget it…or write it off.  Israel was captured and conquered many times.  Would the fulfillment ever take place?

And yet, in the fullness of time…Mary was found to be with child.

There is a supernatural announcement.  Angels appeared to both Mary and Joseph on separate occasions.

God usually doesn’t do things in the dark.  He always announces His plans.  That’s why we need to be a people who not only pray – but listen.

When the birth was imminent, it was announced to shepherds and wise men.

Then it came to pass.  What God promises, will happen.  Even though we don’t always know the how or why.

Finally, when Christ was born, there was a reception of joy.  “Joy to the world…”  He who is born must be received and with that receiving comes great joy.

God wants to do the same in us right now.

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…
Galatians 4:19

God’s work in us is a birthing process.  There’s a promise.  But then – an unexpected pregnancy.

I wonder sometimes; with all the prophecies about the Messiah in the Old Testament, did they think He would just appear out of thin air?

There are many great and precious promises God has for us.  We think the same thing sometimes…that they’ll just happen.  No, there’s a process.

It involves birth pangs.  There’s breathing, pushing, work, and sweat.  They come in waves, right up until the time they’re birthed in or through us.

When you think about Christ being born in a manger…think about the same process for His will being born in us.  Wait patiently for the fullness of time – then the rejoicing.

Have a very blessed Christmas as you celebrate what Christ has done!

© 2017 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on December 25, 2017 in Encouragement, The Gospel

 

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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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Jehovah Jireh is a Place

MountainThere are a lot of people who write about how you can have the blessing of God on your finances.  I’ve been feeling lately that the Lord wants me to write about this truth for a couple of weeks in my posts.  I’m hoping that it will be a benefit to you.

There’s a name of God that gets a lot of attention.  Jehovah Jireh – which is Hebrew for the God Who provides.  This is one of the names of God that has inspired so many songs and sermons.

It was on the mountain of sacrifice that Abraham used this term for God.  This was the first and only time it was used in Scripture.

It happened just after God stopped Abraham from offering Isaac as a sacrifice.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  [Jehovah Jireh]  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:13-14

There are many people who view this name as a promise of provision.  What they fail to see is that Jehovah Jireh is not a promise but a place.  It’s a spiritual mountain that must be climbed.  To get to that place in God, it will require the same thing from us that it did of Abraham.

Some time later God tested Abraham.  He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Genesis 22:1-2

Of all the things that come with the spiritual walk, testing has got to rank among my least favorites.  Yes, I understand from the Scripture that unless my faith is tried and tested it’s worthless.  But that still doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the process.

When we think about Abraham, we usually refer to him as the “father of those who walk by faith.”  A lot has been written about the faith of Abraham.  I’ve heard many people say that they aspire to have that same level of faith.

What’s sometimes forgotten, however, is that along with great faith comes great testing.  Abraham was no exception.  Because his faith in God had risen to such a high degree, he endured trials that I can’t even imagine going through.

Just as he is our example of faith, Abraham can give us insight into how to stay strong under testing.  For the next few posts we will take a close look at this aspect of his walk with God.

As we take this journey with Abraham, I hope that you’ll find that place of abundant provision in Christ.

Question: Have you noticed that with each new step of faith, you enter another phase of testing?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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Are You a Spiritual Explorer?

Grapes“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:9-10

This is a verse that we like to quote a lot.  But, I want to know if it’s real to us.  Do we understand the importance of seeking?  And in all of our seeking, are we searching for what’s truly important?

I’m reminded of the children of Israel as they waited on the doorstep of the Promised Land.  They selected 12 “spies” who were instructed to search out the land and come back with a report.

So they went up and explored the land…When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes.  Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.  That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there.  At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
Numbers 13:21-25

God had promised this land to Israel.  Now they were seeing it for the first time.  They roamed up and down the whole area.  Needless to say, they were very impressed with what they saw.  The fruit was unmatched anywhere else.  It was truly a blessed land that awaited them.

Their exploration of the land should be an example to us.  We need to search out both the Scripture and the Mind of God to know our inheritance in Christ.  It’s very important that we see what God has in store for us.  Without that knowledge, we can’t go before God in faith to believe for the things that we need.

It’s unfortunate that most Christians have no idea the magnitude of the blessings there are in serving the Lord.  They live their whole lives never knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for them.  I believe it’s time for the church to live the abundant life that we were called to.  This, more than anything else, will be an incredible witness to our generation.

That’s why the time you spend in the presence of the Lord is so important.  Take the time each day to read the Bible, pray, and pray in the Spirit.  That’s how you search out the things God has prepared for you.

As the Holy Spirit speaks to you, be quick to lay claim to the promise, blessing, grace, or strength that He offers.  Walk each day in the faith that only comes through a living relationship with the Life-Giver.

Question: How intensely do you explore your “promised land”?

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Faith, Prayer, Revival

 

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No Turning Back – Part 1

Genesis 12:1-3
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

I sometimes wonder what might have been running through Abram’s mind as he was listening to the Lord?  These are some incredible promises that he was given.  God says that He will make Abram’s family into a great nation.  He also promises to make Abram famous and to bestow a blessing upon whoever helps him.

But the toughest part, at least for me, would be to step out based on this simple statement.  Our first reaction today is: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

We need to be more like Abram.  We must stop assigning God the role of the Madison Avenue hustler, whose only goal is to get your money into his pocket by selling you something you don’t need.

God knows and wants only the best for our lives.  His Word contains everything we need for an abundant life.  All we need to do is to accept it as true.  If we embrace God’s Word as truth, then we will not be afraid to step out on it.

Spend some time today meditating upon the truth of God’s Word to you.  Maybe there are some things you have never obeyed because of fear.  Use this day to settle the matter before God.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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A View of the Promise

God has given you many precious promises.  Some are in the Scripture, while others are more personal – between God and you.  How real are they to you?

Deuteronomy 34:1-2
Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho.  There the LORD showed him the whole land – from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea.

Sometimes, when you’re alone with God, He will take you for a mountaintop view of the promise.  Maybe it will deal with your calling, career, family, relationships, or some other area of your life.  At that point you will see clearly what He has in store for you, even if He doesn’t always show the path by which He will take you there.

It is always God’s will to share His plans with His people, the problem is, we are not always listening.  The Lord waits until He has our undivided attention so that He can speak to us clearly and without distraction.

He wants to show you a glimpse of His plan for you.  It will encourage you and strengthen you for the road ahead.  Always be ready for these moments of clarity.  Unfortunately, these times are few and far between in our lives.  Missing the chance that the Lord offers will hurt your progress, but responding to His call will affect the rest of your life.

Use your time wisely.  Spend quality time in His presence, listening for His voice.  Seek to know His will for your life.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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