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Asking, Seeking, and Knocking…For Others

DoorI’ve been posting about how we go to God for the needs of others.  Let’s continue looking at the parable in Luke, chapter 11.

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“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 11:8-10

Listen carefully to the reasoning as to why the man was given bread.  It was NOT because of friendship or need.  It was because of boldness.  It was because the friend was willing to go to the neighbor’s house in the dead of night and pound on his door.

Other people who lived around started to wake up when they heard the commotion.  They looked out their windows to see how this man would respond.  It was only when it became a matter of his reputation in the community, that this man responded by supplying bread.

Our God is not going to be pressured because you’re begging Him for provision.  You can’t gain His sympathy by magnifying the need.  These things don’t affect God.

What He’s looking for is someone who’s willing to publicly declare the Word of God before men.  He’s looking for boldness.

The important part is found in verses 9 and 10.  This is the section that tells us that if we ask, it will be given, if we seek, we will find, and if we knock, the door will be opened.  Our normal thoughts are that this is all about me getting what I want from God.

In this context, Christ is speaking about going before God on behalf of the needs of others.  It’s about meeting the needs of those around us.  People we meet everyday – at our jobs, in our schools, and in the stores.

They all have problems they’re facing each day.  Most of them have no access to God except through us.  We must throw out this idea that the blessings of God are only for me and a chosen few.  It’s God’s desire to bless the world through His people.

You don’t have to convince me that God wants to bless believers; that’s beyond question.  What I want to open our eyes to is the world around us that’s in need.  They need a Savior, a Healer and a Provider.  All of these things are found in Christ.

It’s up to us to take this message to the world.  Not just by saying, “God loves you.”  But by actually bringing the power of Christ into the lives of the hurting people around us.

Take the time to go before the throne room of God with the needs of others.  Trust God to perform miracles in those you pray for.  If you hear a Word from God for them, then act on it.

We must be God’s hands extended to the world.

Question: What are the specific needs you know about the people around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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God is Our Supply

Our Supply in GodIn my last post I started talking about a parable of Jesus found in Luke, chapter 11.  In the Lord’s teaching, a man is looking for bread from his neighbor at midnight.

This parable is about going to God on behalf of the needs of others.  Let’s compare this neighbor to what we know about God.

“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’”
Luke 11:7

The first thing this neighbor says is, “Don’t bother me.”  The word bother comes from a root word that means to cut.  We know from the Scripture, that Jesus Christ was cut and bruised for me.

He bore my sicknesses and diseases.  He took upon Himself everything that would hurt or harm me.  This neighbor may not want to help, but the God I serve is ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of those I’m praying for.

The next thing he said was, “The door is shut and locked.”  How does this compare to what Christ has done for us?

I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Revelation 3:8

The Lord is the One who opens the door before us.  I know that I can go forward boldly because of His work in my life.  If I seek God’s path, then I’m assured that the door stands open before me.

No matter what the circumstances look like in the natural, my advancement does not rely upon the hand of man, but on the power of God.

The neighbor also declared, “My children are with me in bed.”  Of course, this is how many Christians would like to picture their relationship with God.  We want to be cozy in our room – “us four and no more.”

This is not a picture of the God we serve.  Christ has clearly commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone who would listen.  God wants us to be a blessing to those around us.  We are to be salt and light in this dark generation.

The neighbor’s last statement was probably the most important of all, when looking at the comparison with Christ.  The man said, “I have no power to rise and give you anything.”

Jesus Christ proved that He was the One with power enough to do all of God’s will.

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life– only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:17-18

All power in Heaven and earth was committed to Christ.  He had the power, not only to lay down His life, but to then rise from the dead three days later.  He has proven Himself victorious over sin and the grave.
Unlike this neighbor, Christ has everything I need to be an abundant blessing to those around me if I will go to Him for supply.

Question: What are the needs of others that you are currently seeking God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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Don’t Be Selfish with the Bread of Life

SharingIn my last post I talked about the Word of God as bread.  I want to continue that discussion by looking at a parable that few ever teach about.  We need to see how the bread of the Word applies to our daily lives.

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me.  The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”
Luke 11:5-8

This parable brings to light an incredible truth.  Listen carefully to what the man is asking for.  He’s seeking bread.  But the important fact is the reason he wants it.

Is he hungry?  Does he have no money to buy bread?  Absolutely not!  These are not the reason he needs bread so desperately.

According to the man, a friend of his was on a journey and has come near to him.  He opened his home to the friend but has no bread to place before the friend.

According to Scripture, every human is on a journey.  We are all traveling from total spiritual darkness to maturity in Christ.  We are all at different places along this path.

What this man was saying is, “My friend’s path brought him into my sphere of influence.  I need to help him become what God wants him to be.”

The man was not seeking the bread of the Word for himself.  He was seeking a Word that would meet the need of someone else.  This is something the church needs to hear.  It seems that much of the time we are self-absorbed.

We are always seeking things for ourselves.  We seem to think it’s all about my healing, my prosperity, and my blessing.  We need to follow the example of Christ.  Most of what He sought the Father for was bread that He could give to others.

Notice the humility.  My friend has come to me and I have nothing of my own that could meet his need.  This is an admittance of our total dependency on God.

I’m trusting God to meet someone else’s need.  But I want Him to send the supply through me.  This requires us to admit our inability apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

When you spend time in the presence of the Lord, remember to think of others.  Listen for a Word that could be a help to them as well as yourself.

Question: How have you helped others along their road to maturity in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Word of God

 

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Going the Distance

JogI have been posting about Abraham and his experience on the mount of sacrifice.  He is an example to us of how to position ourselves to receive God’s provision in our lives.

In my last post I talked about how he was quick to obey the voice of God.  But sometimes, even when we respond right away, things don’t happen when we think they should.

On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
Genesis 22:4

We saw that God had told Abraham to leave home with his son.  He also told Abraham that He would show him the place where he was to sacrifice Isaac.  Abraham obeyed immediately, but that was not the end of it.

It’s now three days later and they’re still traveling through the wilderness.  This had to be the hardest walk Abraham ever took.  Yet he continued on, even knowing that he would lose his son in the end.

I’m sure he kept telling himself to just turn around and go home.

“You must have heard wrong.”

In spite of this constant internal pressure he continued to move forward.  He did this not even knowing where his final destination would be.

This is the second key to being victorious in the face of trials and unlocking the blessing of God.  We must cultivate perseverance.  Sometimes it all comes down to the choice to put one foot in front of the other no matter how hard that is.  We must continue to serve God day after day, even when everything around us looks just the opposite of what we think it should be.

It’s in times like this that we must place our confidence in the Lord.  Drawing strength from Him is the only way to move forward when the going gets tough.  Christ has promised us that He would never abandon us.

The good news is that situations can change.  Just because things don’t look good now doesn’t mean that God is not in control.  He is still on the throne.

The truth is that it’s not always easy to follow God’s leading.  But the end result is always worth the effort.  Don’t let the temporary problems rob you of the blessings that the Lord has for you.

Maybe you’re going through something right now that you don’t understand.  You might not know how the Lord could possibly get you through it.

Take the time to draw upon the Lord’s power for you.  Spend time before Him in humility, acknowledging that without Him you can do nothing.  Place your future in His hands and commit yourself to seeing His plan fulfilled in your life.

Question: How has God proven Himself faithful to you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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