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Tag Archives: seeing

How to Miss God’s Best

As we continue through the Gospel of Mark, we now come to one of the more popular sections.  It’s when Jesus teaches the parable of the sower and the seed.  The parable itself is contained in Mark 4:1-9.  You may want to look it up and read it before going on with this post.

There are a lot of important truths in this section.  So I’m going to spend a number of posts on it.  Apparently, the disciples didn’t understand the meaning of the parable.  Later, when they were alone with Jesus, they asked Him about it.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'”
Mark 4:10-12

To understand what Jesus is saying here, we need to know His role in the lives of the disciples.  Christ was to the disciples, who the Holy Spirit is to the church.  He was the One leading, training, guiding and teaching them.  So how the Lord worked with the disciples is how the Holy Spirit works with us now.

The goal of Jesus with His disciples was to bring them into an understanding of the kingdom of God.  His words are spirit and life.  Jesus tells us that by not accepting His Word, there are three consequences.  Unfortunately, I see these very things at work in much of the church today.

Ever seeing but never perceiving.  The word used for seeing is the generic word, to look at.  The word, perceiving, means to know by seeing or to experience.  This is talking about those who see what God has done for them but never experience it.

There are many Christians who spend lots of time confessing their position in Christ.  But they never do what it takes to cross over into the manifestation of it.  It only comes about by hearing and obeying the Lord’s voice.

Ever hearing but never understanding.  Hearing simply means to listen with your ears.  That’s the easy part.  Plenty of people do that every week in church services.

Understanding is on a higher level.  The word literally means to put together.  That’s where we usually miss out.  I need to know how to apply what I’ve heard to the area of my life that needs it.

Again, that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.  If I’m not listening to His instruction, then I’ll never see the changes take place that will move me forward in my Christian walk.

Otherwise, they might turn and be forgiven.  This is obviously the most important part.  But it’s totally dependent upon perceiving and understanding.  What exactly does this mean?

The word, turn, means to turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.  That’s good, but it’s the forgiven part that most of us miss the depth of.  Our understanding of forgiveness is very shallow compared to the Scriptural concept.

When we think of being forgiven, it means that we did something wrong and now it’s okay.  This is not what the Greek word indicates.

The word, forgive, in the Greek, means to pick up, remove, and throw away.  This brings a whole new view of what’s happening in this verse.

When we perceive, understand, and obey a word from God, it causes us to turn around.  Then, at that point, things start dropping off and being removed from our lives.  Things like habitual sins, sicknesses, lack, and depression.

Hopefully, as we continue looking at this parable, we’ll learn to walk in this truth and experience God’s best for us.  If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, take the opportunity now so that you won’t miss an installment.

Question: What is your current level of experiencing God’s best in your life?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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Seeing Like a Disciple

GlassesAs I post about what it means to be a disciple of Christ, there’s one more thing I want to mention. It just may be the hardest to accomplish.

We were looking at Andrew as he brought his brother, Simon, to Jesus.

And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
John 1:42

One of the biggest misunderstandings in the Bible is when we refer to Simon as Peter. Let’s look at the whole picture.

Andrew comes to his brother and says, “You’ve got to meet the Messiah.” Simon then agrees and goes to see Jesus.

The first thing that happens, according to Scripture, is that Jesus looks into him. This phrase is used only a few times in Scripture. Like with the rich young man who asked Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. The Bible literally says that Jesus looked into him and loved him.

This is a look of discernment that sees beyond the external. The Lord saw who Simon could become. That should be how we view people.

“But that’s Jesus; I can’t see into people’s lives.”

Remember the definition – a disciple wants to become what their teacher is. Disciples of Christ should look beyond the outward appearance of those around them.

Let’s talk about Simon. Jesus looked into him and said, “You are Simon (which means obedient listener) the son of John (which means God’s grace).” He then went on to say, “You will be called Cephas.”

The only Greek word to translate Cephas was Petros – which is Peter to us. I believe that’s why the Holy Spirit recorded it here for us. So that we would know what Jesus was really saying about him. Cephas is a very specific Aramaic word. It’s only used two times in the Old Testament.

It literally means a hollow rock. In both places in the Old Testament it was used for a place people ran to for hiding. It was a place of refuge.

It turned out that Peter was a rock that the disciples could hide in. When he was around, no one else needed to talk. He answered all the questions, right or wrong.

When he came to the Lord, Jesus looked and saw beyond the rough exterior of a fisherman. He looked into the plan of God for his life.

“You are a place of refuge – a hollow rock.”

This is the greatest anointing you can use to win the lost. We need to look at people through the eyes of Christ. To see them as what they can become in Christ. Sometimes that means that we see what could be called a flaw now; but how Christ could use it for His glory in the future.

God is great at turning defects into His glory. He can turn a big mouth into evangelist. He can change a worrier to prayer warrior. In my experience, the easiest person to befriend was the one no one else liked in the group or the office.

Be open to the Spirit. Be courageous. Tell what you found in Christ. Lead people to Jesus. And look beyond the outward.

Be an Andrew for the glory of the Lord.

Question: What was a flaw in your life that God turned around and used for His glory?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Faith, Ministry, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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