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True Biblical Faith

Icy RoadThis is the last of six reposts of my most read articles. It was originally posted in 2012. It was the start of a series on faith.

To view the original series click here.

Many people talk about faith. Few live it out to its full potential. It all comes down to how you perceive it. Is faith a single response to Scriptural teaching, or is it more than that?

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Hebrews 10:39

Whether we want to admit it or not, faith is an on-going process. In our society we like to “set it and forget it.” That’s not the case with Biblical faith.

Faith is a walk. It’s the path God leads us on from godlessness to perfection. We start out our lives with no knowledge of Christ or His Word. God takes us from where we are to as far as we’re willing to travel with Him.

What we find in this walk is that along the way there are always choices. These choices come at regular intervals – usually when we least expect them. These points are like forks in the road ahead.

It’s then up to us whether we accept or reject truth when we see it. Each new piece of knowledge comes with a choice. Do I trust God and His Word, or do I continue in the old direction I was headed?

It may sound like a “no-brainer” as to which path we take, but based upon my experience, it’s a little more complicated than that. We sometimes tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with, even though it’s wrong.

Choosing to trust God in a new way is a big step. There are those who come to a hard decision and simply stall out. There are others who start out trusting the Lord, but then when the going gets rough, they “shrink back.” Why do we find it so hard to totally surrender to God’s will?

This is the problem – faith is an uphill climb on an icy slope. When we come to a new choice and decide to stop, we begin to slide backwards, whether we intended to or not. In the above verse, the word destroyed means ruin or loss. Just standing still causes us to lose the ground we’ve already gained.

In our Christian walk, you have to put effort into it just to stand still. If you want the power of God’s salvation working in you, then you have to keep moving forward.

Where are you in your walk with Christ? What choices are you wrestling with? If you find yourself at a standstill – where did you stop, and why? Most Christians don’t deal with these questions because think that faith is a one-time event.

Make it your goal to make the tough choices and then keep moving forward in Christ Jesus.

Question: What’s the hardest decision that you’ve ever had to trust God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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Respond to the Call

 

PowerlessThis is my last post in the series about your callings in Christ. We need to be faithful to the whole calling that God has placed upon us.

It all comes down to a question of motivation. Are you out to please God and to fulfill His plan? If so, then you must seek the Lord as to where His agenda is to be fulfilled in your life.

I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.
Isaiah 42:6

What we need to see is that responding to our personal call is not optional. It’s a part of God’s righteousness for our lives. Salvation is a package deal and calling is a large part of it. How can we ever expect to live satisfying and fulfilled lives if we never bother to find out the purpose for which we were created? If you want to walk in righteousness, then you must find and walk in your calling.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:28-32

What a precious promise! God can and will use all things for our good, but there’s a condition. You must be called according to His purpose. Just knowing a piece and doing your own thing to fill in the gaps is not enough. The reason is clear – you’re not really called unless you’ve heard the call.

God has a calling for everyone, but unless His call reaches your spiritual ears, there’s no clear call upon your life. Without that clear call, you’re like a ship out on the raging ocean with no rudder. You’ll find yourself at the mercy of the wind and waves, instead of the supernatural guidance of the Lord.

The Apostle Peter wrote an excellent statement that should be our attitude concerning the call God has for each of us.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:10-11

Finding our calling in the Lord should never just be an exercise in obedience, only done because God says that we should. On the contrary, there should be an eagerness and expectancy that comes from the knowledge that finding your calling is what you were born for. Every blessing that God has for you is wrapped up in your call. Every provision and resource Heaven offers is at your disposal in order to complete that which God has assigned you to do.

Make sure you also seek God for the method and the location where He wants you to fulfill your call. Only then will you have your election, your qualification for service, made sure. Spend the time in God’s presence that it requires, moving you forward into your destiny in Christ.

Question: How well do you understand what you’re called to do by the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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The Upward Call to Worship

ClimberWorship is one of those words that we use a lot in the body of Christ. It means so many different things to different people. But what is it really? Is it just going to church, or is it something more? I want to look at the scene around the throne of Heaven to help answer this question.

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
Revelation 4:1-2

So often we pray The Lord’s Prayer from Scripture. We ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. How can God’s will be done on earth? It’s only as believers carry out His will, that we will see it take place in our generation.

So when talking about how to truly understand worship, Heaven should show us our calling. I want to do a series of posts about what the worship in Heaven teaches us.

In the above verse, John is called into God’s presence. The first thing I notice about the call to worship is that it’s the response to an upward call.

Here we are on the earth – running around in the dirt. There above us is a door standing open in Heaven. Worship is a call to the throne room of God. It’s a holy, set apart place.

The call to worship is God calling to us, “Come up here where I am.”

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…
Ephesians 2:6

This is an incredible truth. Christ did the work, and now we have complete access to the presence of God. The problem comes when we think that just because I’m in Christ, this position is always manifested in my life.

Know this; Heaven is a place of worship 24/7. Therefore this heavenly place in Christ is the place of worship. We’re not there by default. It takes faith and agreement with what Christ has done for us.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

Being seated in Christ is a calling – “Come up here.” The place of worship is that heavenly place. If we’re truly going to be called worshippers of the Lord, then we need to respond to this upward call.

Questions: How would you describe worship? Why is it such a common word in our Christian vocabulary?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Prayer, Worship

 

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How to be a Good Witness

I am hoping to wrap up my talk about faith with this post.  I hope that by now it’s obvious that faith is an on-going process of discovery and response.  It’s how we continue to grow in our walk with Christ.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11:1-2

Actually, even though I usually like the NIV, it’s not really a good translation of verse 2.  The KJV is a little closer in saying that the ancients “obtained a good report.”  Literally, the verse says that in faith, the elders witnessed.

We must go from being a discoverer to a witness.  Let’s talk about our good friend Christopher Columbus again.  In my last post I talked about him coming to the New World and discovering America.  At some point he returned home.

At that point he has become a witness of what no one else in Europe has ever seen.  He tells anyone who would listen, “I’ve seen a New World.  I’ve discovered a land that no European has ever been to before.”

In the same way, faith is your witness.  Every time you see something new about Christ, you choose to respond to it.  You believe this new truth and embrace it.  As you begin to put your confidence in it, you become a witness to this truth.

In the last post I used the example of hearing for the first time that Christ is the Healer.  The Holy Spirit makes it real to you through the discovery of faith.  You then go out and begin to share with others that Christ is the healer, even if you’ve never been healed.

It’s not a matter of, “Well, the pastor preached about it so I guess it’s true.”  On the contrary – it’s on the inside of you.  Then, when you need it, it’s there to heal you.

If you lay hold of each new truth, you will continue to trust Christ even if the enemy tries to knock your faith out of your hand.  That’s why it’s so important that we see faith as a walk and not just an event.

The fact is, “we walk by faith and not by sight.”  It’s time for believers to pick up their shields and move forward.  Then, we must never back down, but respond in faith to each new discovery of the Word of God.

Question: How has your faith in Christ brought you through in your hard times?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Faith

 

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How to Discover a New World

I have been posting about faith lately.  Our faith is seen in our choices.  As we learn new things about Christ, we then have a choice whether to believe it or not.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

We looked at this verse in my last post.  I said that being sure meant that our faith is a support to our expectations in Christ.  So each time I learn something new about Christ, and make the choice to believe it – I add a new support structure.  As long as this continues, my walk with the Lord grows.

The above verse also says that faith is being certain of what we do not see.  The word translated as certain means proof or discovery.

Faith, then, is the discovery of things not seen.  Notice that the writer of Hebrews did not say it was the discovery of things invisible.  Rather, faith is the discovery of things you haven’t seen.

We say that Columbus discovered America.  We understand that the New World was not invisible; it just couldn’t be seen from Europe.  Through a series of choices Columbus got to a place where he could see it.

In the same way, you can discover new worlds of faith in Christ.  You may not have known that the Lord paid the price for your healing.  Through a series of choices, you came to a healing service.  While there, you hear a message that touched your spirit proclaiming Christ as Healer.

As the Holy Spirit works in you, you choose to accept this truth by faith.  Now your faith is the proof, the discovery, of that which was not seen.

The things that God has prepared for me are not invisible; I’m just not in a place where I can see them.  Faith is the proof I need that they are there.

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all…
1 Corinthians 14:24

When we let God speak through us, an amazing thing happens.  Someone may hear the message that has not yet accepted Christ.  He discovers that he’s a sinner.  If he embraces this new discovery, he can make the choice to cross over into the kingdom of God.

Faith is always discovery and response.  As I respond in faith to each new revelation, I lay hold of a new support.  Each positive response helps me to climb a little higher.  We must continue to live out this faith-walk and let God complete His work in us.

Question: What was the most recent discovery that added to your faith-walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Faith

 

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What is True Biblical Faith?

Many people talk about faith.  Few live it out to its full potential.  It all comes down to how you perceive it.

Is faith a single response to Scriptural teaching, or is it more than that?  The next four posts will deal with this important concept.  If you haven’t yet done so, take the time to subscribe to this blog via e-mail so that you won’t miss any of these life-changing installments.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Hebrews 10:39

Whether we want to admit it or not, faith is an on-going process.  In our society we like to “set it and forget it.”  That’s not the case with Biblical faith.

Faith is a walk.  It’s the path God leads us on from godlessness to perfection.  We start out our lives with no knowledge of Christ or His Word.  God takes us from where we are to as far as we’re willing to travel with Him.

What we find in this walk is that along the way there are always choices. These choices come at regular intervals – usually when we least expect them.  These points are like forks in the road ahead.

It’s then up to us whether we accept or reject truth when we see it.  Each new piece of knowledge comes with a choice.  Do I trust God and His Word, or do I continue in the old direction I was headed?

It may sound like a “no-brainer” as to which path we take, but based upon my experience, it’s a little more complicated than that.  We sometimes tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with, even though it’s wrong.

Choosing to trust God in a new way is a big step.  There are those who come to a hard decision and simply stall out.  There are others who start out trusting the Lord, but then when the going gets rough, they “shrink back.”  Why do we find it so hard to totally surrender to God’s will?

This is the problem – faith is an uphill climb on an icy slope.  When we come to a new choice and decide to stop, we begin to slide backwards, whether we intended to or not.  In the above verse, the word destroyed means ruin or loss.  Just standing still causes us to lose the ground we’ve already gained.

In our Christian walk, you have to put effort into it just to stand still.  If you want the power of God’s salvation working in you, then you have to keep moving forward.

Where are you in your walk with Christ?  What choices are you wrestling with?  If you find yourself at standstill – where did you stop, and why?  Most Christians don’t deal with these questions because think that faith is a one-time event.

Make it your goal to make the tough choices and then keep moving forward in Christ Jesus.

Question: What’s the hardest decision that you’ve ever had to trust God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Faith

 

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God’s Wisdom

Proverbs 8:25-26
Before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.

This verse comes from a very beautiful section in the book of Proverbs.  Here Solomon uses the writing style of personification to speak for wisdom.

We are told that before creation was begun God had already mapped out His wisdom.  That is a comforting thought.  God’s wisdom is not a response to any event.  There is nothing that ever takes God by surprise.  On the contrary, all of creation is an outgrowth of God’s wisdom.

I remember the day that I committed my life to the Lord, Jesus Christ.  When that happened, the Lord didn’t sit down with the Holy Spirit and say, “Now we have to figure out how to fit Nick into the kingdom.”  Before I was born, my life was designed exclusively with His plan in mind.  My life was made to function best in His wisdom.

This is why seeking His wisdom should be your number one priority.  God wants the very best for your life.  He has a plan for you that was established before the mountains and rivers were created.  Seek out the wisdom of God for your life.  Only then can you know the complete joy of personal fulfillment.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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