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Life Patterns

ScrewsHave you ever bought furniture that you’ve had to assemble by yourself? I have and I even enjoy it a little.

But I know people who hate putting things together. They say that they can never understand the directions.

The fact is that all of these things come with detailed instructions. If you can understand them AND if you follow them – step by step – you’ll end up with a beautiful piece of furniture.

I’ve also known people who ignore the instructions. They go right to work assembling things based upon the picture on the box. More often than not they end up in trouble.

So why am I talking about furniture? Because it actually has a lot to do with our Christian walk.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Paul tells his readers in this letter not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world. In many instances life is all about conforming to a pattern. The world has a pattern of living.

There are socially accepted ways of putting your life together. As we grow and mature, we learn and incorporate these patterns into our lives. At some point we’re seen as an accepted member of the culture we’re a part of.

The challenge arises when we come to Christ. When Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior, we enter a new Kingdom. We are now part of a new culture; a new society. There must, therefore, be a new pattern to shape our lives around.

The unfortunate thing is that many believers try to serve Christ while living according to this world’s pattern. When that happens, we have a life where we see the promises God holds out to us. Yet we never seem to lay hold of the realities. It’s a very frustrating way to live.

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13

It all has to do with our teaching. In the modern church we tend to do more teaching on doctrines than on patterns of living. What we end up with are believers who know the teachings of Christ and the apostles, yet never experience the true culture of Christ.

I want to take a few posts to talk about the pattern of living that Christ gave us. I think that it will help us to attain a higher walk with the Lord.

Question: What do you think are the differences between the pattern of the world and the pattern of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Self-Watering Word of God

rainIn my last post I made a statement about the Word of God planted in us.  I first made the point that we’re powerless to make the seed grow. I then said that the only help we can give it, is in the watering process.

How do we water the seed of the Word of God?  That’s what this post is about.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11

Now that’s an interesting concept.  Not only is the Word seed, it’s also the water.  The first time you receive God’s Word concerning a certain matter, be it salvation or healing, it’s the seed being planted in your life.

After that, you can still hear the Word of God in those areas.  However, it’s now the water to bring the plant to maturity.  That is why it’s so important for me to receive God’s Word in all of its forms.  I need both the initial seed and the water for growth.

As a pastor, I’m accountable to God to bring His Word to those under my care.  I must regularly plant seed and water what’s been planted.  Both are done by a Word from God.

The Word is both the seed and the water.  But that’s not a reason for you to feel comfortable if you’re not a pastor.  You’re under the same marching orders.

You’re accountable to God for the Word God has sent you to plant in the lives of others around you.  It’s this truth that sheds light on a problem that we’re currently experiencing in the body of Christ.

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.
Proverbs 25:14

It’s very easy to claim gifts that you don’t possess.

“I am a teacher to the body of Christ.”

“I’m a prophet of God.”

It’s easy to lay claim to titles and positions.  The true test is whether or not people are being planted with the Word of God.  Is there fruit to the ministry?

What the world desperately needs right now is a Word from God.  The church promises so much, yet a lot of it is “clouds and wind without rain.”

It’s time for God’s people to press in to receive His Word.  When our society sees someone truly transformed by the Spirit of God, then they’ll hunger to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question: Why are so many believers content to merely talk about the good things of God, yet not experience them?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Word of God

 

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The Transforming Power of Music

In my last post I started talking about music as a spiritual force.  Did you know that music has the power to transform your life?  It can lift you up, or bring you to your knees.

The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy was Moses’ last exhortation to Israel before he died.  In it he made some very interesting comments as he was led along by the Holy Spirit.

It also includes what happened in the last few days of his life.  As he was nearing the end, he had a very interesting encounter with God.

At that point, the Lord summoned Moses and Joshua (his second in command) to the tent of meeting.  They were to appear before the presence of God for some instructions.  Joshua was to be commissioned to lead Israel after Moses was gone.  This is all found in Deuteronomy, chapter 31.

When they came to the tent God spoke to them out of a pillar of cloud.  He told Moses of his soon departure.  Then the Lord spoke of the future of Israel.  He said that very soon after Moses was gone, the Israelites would begin to worship some of the gods of the peoples around them.

Because of their condition, they would lose the blessing of God upon their nation and face many devastating hardships.  This must have been frustrating news to Moses, knowing that he was about to leave and could do nothing about it – or could he?

God gave Moses a special instruction that would bring the people back to repentance.

“Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.”
Deuteronomy 31:19

What can a song do to help?

And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.
Deuteronomy 31:21a

The Hebrew phrase, testify against them, literally means to announce in their face.  God would use this song to bring conviction and repentance upon the nation of Israel.  God knew that the only way to turn a backslidden nation around was to transport them back to a time when they were under His blessing.

That’s what the force of music can accomplish.  There are times when I’m in the mall and suddenly I’m transformed into a teenager on summer vacation – because that’s when I first heard the song.  If that’s what a secular song can do, just think what godly music, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can do.

Spiritual songs have the power to hit the “reset button” in our lives.  That’s why we should surround ourselves with the music of worship and praise.

Question: Has God ever used a song to bring you to repentance?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Music, Power of God, The Church

 

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Be Holy

1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

To be “holy” means to be “set apart.”  It means that we see ourselves as reserved exclusively for God’s use.  I am no longer a part of a crowd, headed for destruction.  Through Christ, I have been singled out to serve the Lord.

Having a special time and place to meet with the Lord each day, helps to reinforce that mindset.  As I make a break with the general population and come away to His presence, a change starts taking place.  I am transformed from just a tiny drop in a huge bucket to a unique servant of the Most High God.

It is God’s desire to work in me through my own particular personality, strengths, and weaknesses.  He has a calling for my life that no one else can accomplish quite the way I could.  There is a destiny and a purpose set-aside just for me.  I am special in the eyes of God.

Make that break from the pack today.  See yourself as set apart, holy to the Lord.  Don’t settle on just being a number or a statistic on somebody’s role somewhere.  Start today seeing yourself as God sees you, as a chosen and unique vessel exclusively for the Master’s use.  Armed with that knowledge, you can come boldly into the awesome presence of his holiness.  Receive from the Lord today all that you need for fulfilling your destiny in Him.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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