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Choose Understanding

DimThe Bible talks a lot about understanding.  Unfortunately we live in a society that runs from it, because with understanding, comes responsibility.  Once I understand something, I’m responsible to walk in it.

The Jewish people were much the same as our world when it came to the ministry of Christ.  Because they rejected understanding, they lost out on a blessing.

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
Matthew 13:15

The fact is that understanding takes place in the heart.  The Greek word for understanding literally means to put together.  It’s in the heart that I begin to put together all the things that I’ve seen and experienced.

But that takes thought and meditation on your life.  Most people don’t want to do that.  They would rather just have a quick explanation about why things are the way they are.

“If I just had more money, I’d be happy.”

“If my parents had loved me more, my life would have turned out better.”

Understanding makes us responsible for our choices and responses.  That’s why it seems so hard to win the lost to Christ in our generation.

What happens if I try to plant the seed of the Gospel in a heart with no understanding?

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is the seed sown along the path.
Matthew 13:19

Without understanding, Satan can snatch the seed right out of your heart.  The one receiving the Gospel must put it together with their whole life experience without Christ.  That’s why in this society, with the Word of God everywhere, many are rejecting the Gospel.

Our generation is taught to not understand.

“If it feels good, do it.”

Understanding protects the Gospel seed.  This should help us to minister in this society.  For instance, if someone says they’re an atheist, don’t just tell them what the Bible says.  They don’t want to understand it, so it will have no effect.

Instead, tell them, “I’m going to pray that God will make Himself real to you.  When He does, I’ll be there to talk to you about it.”  Then as you go through your day, continue in prayer for them.  This gives the Holy Spirit a chance to work on them.

As the Spirit of God starts to bring light into their experience, they’ll come to a point of decision.  Then it’s up to them whether they want to walk in their new found understanding.  That’s always the first step to God – choosing understanding.

Of course it doesn’t stop when we accept Christ as our Lord.  We must continue in it our whole lives.  It’s the basis for all we do in the Lord.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:17

Question: How did understanding play a key role in your salvation experience?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Ministry, Prayer, Word of God

 

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Excellence and Rewards

CrownIn my last post I talked about how we are called to live a life of excellence.  Did you know that your eternal rewards are based upon how well you live up to this?

The Bible does speak over and over again about the different levels of rewards based upon the work we perform throughout our lives.

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.   From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:48

The fact is that we are responsible for what we’ve received.  A young Christian is not responsible for the truths that have not yet been made real to him.  Someone who’s been walking with the Lord for years, and ignoring His call, will receive less in the kingdom.

It’s clear from Scripture that we’re going to be responsible for the grace that we’ve been given.  With a greater anointing and calling comes greater responsibility.

I’ve found that many believers, ministers especially, want the miracles and the big churches without the character it takes to walk uprightly before God in that kind of work.  The Lord wants us to grow from the inside out.  An increase in power, without a corresponding increase in character, will destroy our spiritual walk.

As a matter of fact, it’s probably too late for you now.  You’ve read too much.  If you’ve been reading my blogs regularly, then God is going to require excellence from you and your ministry.  Now that you know He’s a God of excellence, and that He requires excellence in His followers, you must begin to walk in it.  Read on!

Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13-14

The Lord talked to His disciples about the narrow road.  We like to interpret this verse as if it’s merely talking about the road of salvation.  Salvation is indeed the first step toward excellence.  When we chose Christ, we chose a better path than that of the world.

I believe, however, that this Scripture has a broader meaning in application to the body of Christ.  Very few find the walk of excellence to which we have been called.  “The few;” that sounds like the definition of excellence to me – “that which goes beyond the expected or the normal.”

The Lord expects us to find the narrow gate of excellence.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Question: Have you made the decision to live a life of excellence before God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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