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One More Week

TimingI’ve been posting about the fact that the Holy Spirit in us is jealous over us. He’s passionate about His love for us. Ignoring or rejecting His attempts to work in us gives the Holy Spirit emotional pain.

We talk a lot about faith. Without it we can’t receive anything from God. If we truly trust God, then we’ll delight in His plan to renew our lives.

Rejecting the Lord’s instruction is the opposite of faith. We can see this in the example of Moses.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Hebrews 11:24-26

I’ve heard different people teach about this verse and I think we’ve missed the real point. The writer isn’t saying that sin only gives you pleasure for a short time. Actually, if you spend enough money, you can sustain the pleasure of a sinful lifestyle for quite a long time before it catches up with you.

This verse literally says that Moses chose not to enjoy the pleasures of sin for this little time only. In other words, he didn’t say to God, “Let me have one more month as a royal Egyptian before I follow your plan for my life.”

“Pharaoh’s birthday is in two months. That kind of celebration will never happen again. I’ll attend it, then after that I’ll identify with Israel.”

The trap is that it will never be the right time to live for God. It will never be the right time to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit in us.

Scripture says that Moses was looking ahead to the reward. Do I look ahead to the reward that the Holy Spirit is holding out to me? The choice is – do I want to go where the world is leading me to or where the Holy Spirit wants to take me?

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Galatians 5:16-18

That’s why we need the Holy Spirit’s leading. If we submit to His process then there’s no need for the law. It’s when our heart sides with the flesh that the conflict starts. My spirit wants to submit to Christ and my flesh wants to chase after the world.

I need make the choice to follow the Spirit’s leading. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today – while the Holy Spirit is seeking my attention. Don’t ignore His gentle voice calling for your fellowship.

Question: Is there something in your life that’s been hindering you from fully submitting to the Holy Spirit’s leadership?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Faith, Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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The Road to Advancement

ProfitI’ve been posting about Abraham as our example of the obedience that’s born in our faith. It’s not always pleasant, but God has a great destination prepared for us.

I said in my last post that God usually calls us to leave something before calling us into a new and better place. Unfortunately, laying hold of that better place is based upon our obedience. That’s why Jesus made the following statement.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14

There are many who don’t want to go out in order to go into a new place. We are sometimes so satisfied with the good – we don’t want the excellent.

If we want the inheritance that God has destined us for on earth, then there are two attitudes we need to learn. These are the attitudes that energize our obedience to Christ. In today’s post, I want to talk about the first of these.

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
Hebrews 11:9

The original Greek of this verse is very interesting. It says that by faith Abraham lived near the promised land as if it were another’s property. This is an important lesson to learn, especially those in leadership positions. We understand obedience from serving in another’s ministry.

At one point in my Christian walk I was under a great man of God named Pastor Anthony Spero. He’s the one who trained me in the ministry. There were things he asked me to do that I liked, and other things – not so much.

What I didn’t realize at that time, was that as I submitted under his ministry, God was doing a work in me. All that time I worked under him, not knowing that the place God was bringing me to was a pastorate of my own.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
Luke 16:10-12

You can’t advance in the Kingdom of God without obedience. We get the idea that because this isn’t mine, who cares if I do a good job or not. This is especially true at work or church. I didn’t know it, but when I was putting out the trash as a teenager, God was preparing me to be a husband and father.

We need to pick up the attitude of Abraham. The ability to see my submission to authority as preparation for the authority God wants to entrust me with. My future advancement is based on my present obedience.

Question: What are the areas of obedience that God is currently using in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Faith, Leadership, Ministry

 

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Understanding the Kingdom of God #kingdomofGod

CastleThere are some things about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that I think we’ve lost sight of.  I want to take a few posts to take a detailed look at the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17.  There are some very surprising things that Jesus said in that text.  But first, He had to correct the Pharisees’ view of the kingdom.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Luke 17:20-21

The Pharisees were always looking for an occasion to accuse Jesus.  They wanted to find something against Him.  So they came up with this question.  When is the kingdom coming?  They knew that the Messiah was supposed to establish the kingdom.  So they decided to see how smart He was.

Please understand what these men were doing.  They didn’t want to believe in Him.  They weren’t looking for the arrival of the kingdom of God.  They were just looking for a chance to test the Lord and to trick Him into saying something that would open Him up to some accusation.

How does Jesus respond to their question?  In dealing with these men, He turns the tables on them and gives them an answer that refers to the spiritual kingdom instead of the physical.  The Lord’s exhortation to them is that you will not find it by careful observation.

They first needed to understand what “kingdom” means.  A kingdom can be any place.  A king-dom is the domain, or place of dominion of a king.  It’s any place or person over which the King has authority.

So, if the King of kings has authority in your heart, that’s where the kingdom of God is.  Wherever the King has authority to rule is where the kingdom has been established.  The kingdom of God could be among you or in you.  It all depends upon whether or not you have received the King.

If you’re submitted to the King, you’re a part of the kingdom.  If you’re not submitted to the King, then you are not in the kingdom and the kingdom is not in you.  Instead, you will find that the kingdom of God is among you, just like in the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:36-43).

The wheat is a part of the kingdom, the weeds aren’t.  Jesus was explaining the same concept to these Pharisees.  He gives them the spiritual truth even though it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.  They were asking Him for the physical manifestation of the kingdom.

The same applies to us today.  Many believers want to receive the blessings of the kingdom without submitting to the King.  We need to learn that you can’t have one without the other.

Question: What does it mean to be submitted to Christ as King?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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