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Memorial Day – For Those Who Protect Us

Since today is Memorial Day, I want to interrupt my blogging from Thessalonians to talk about the holiday. I believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

It was founded upon Christian principles. But are we truly a “Christian Nation” anymore? Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public? Does it warn you not to show Christian symbols in public?

The fact is that although many Christians live in this nation – the nation itself is no longer Christian. In the past, there were many blessings that we enjoyed because we followed the Lord’s principles.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

God will bless a nation that follows His ways. But there comes a time when the past no longer affects us.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 14:34

To the extent that America followed God’s ways – we were blessed and exalted. We saw the abundance of God, and then thanked Him for it. Our people had wisdom to create wealth, inventions, and new innovations that the world took notice of.

But there came a time when we started to leave God’s path. Because of this, we should heed the warning that God gave to Israel.

…for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Leviticus 18:27-28

Please understand what this verse means. When a people no longer choose to follow God’s plan for them, it’s not God cursing the nation. It’s the nation cursing itself. By going our own way, we’re inviting the enemies’ attack.

I believe that currently, America is a defiled land. Much of the trouble that we’re facing has been brought on by our own choices. God has not cursed us; but we have removed our nation from under His blessing.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

That’s why this verse has been so important in America since the sixties. Believers need to be interceding for our country.

That brings me back to Memorial Day. This is the day when we remember those who have given their lives to defend this nation. That should stir us up to action.

More than ever we need to be thankful for our military as well as all of our first responders. Because of the increase of violence, we need to be interceding for their safety, wisdom, and ability.

I believe that a move of God is imminent, but we must remain spiritually vigilant. We need to be on the front lines in the spiritual battle for the heart of America. In that way we will be truly honoring the sacrifices that were made by so many.

May God richly continue to bless you this Memorial Day.

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Election Thoughts

FlagcrossHere in the USA it’s getting close to Election Day, when we choose a new president. It has me thinking about where we are as a nation and as the church.

I’ve noticed that, more than ever before, people are asking me how they should vote. It’s as though they’re asking me to tell them who to vote for. Of course, that’s not my place, especially in this election.

The more I think and pray about it, the more I realize that we’ve come to a unique place in our history. Unfortunately, it seems that very few believers actually understand where we are.

Scripture talks about the men who came to support David and make him king of Israel. It lists the strengths that each group had to offer.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

Obviously, knowing the times that you live in and then applying that knowledge goes a long way. It’s what we need in the church right now. Contrast that to the leadership of Israel when Christ came on the scene.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Matthew 16:2-3

I’m worried that so many in the church are in this condition – not seeing the signs of the times. It will be a crucial strength if we’re to navigate the uncertain waters ahead.

This is because of what I see happening all around us. For the first time, a large percentage of people don’t particularly like any of the candidates we’ve been given. To go even further, no matter who’s elected, we will not have a leader with a strong Christian worldview.

I believe that we’re living in an age a lot like what Israel faced in their Babylonian captivity. They were removed from their land and placed in a totally new environment where those who ruled had no knowledge of Biblical truth.

“But we haven’t been taken into captivity,” you may say. Think about it. The nation we live in right now is not the same nation that our grandparents were born into. We may not have been taken to another country, but this is definitely not the same nation that was founded in 1776.

Please realize, I’m not talking about technology and education. I’m talking about attitudes toward Christ. What’s accepted as a devoted believer today is miles from where it had been.

I don’t say any of this to frighten anyone. That’s not the point. As a matter of fact, this could actually bring an increase in the manifestation of the power of God. It could even trigger a national revival. (Read the book of Daniel)

I want to take a few posts to talk about the times that we live in; and how we should act. You might not agree, but it may get you thinking about it.

Question: In your opinion, what is the spiritual condition of the USA right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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Revival’s Secret Assumption

FireI think we can all agree that America needs a spiritual revival. I’m not talking about simply a lot of people being saved – as wonderful as that would be. I’m speaking about a radical waking up of the church.

Knowing the need is not enough. There are some deeper questions that need to be asked. Do we truly want a revival to sweep through our nation? More importantly, are we willing to do whatever it takes to lay hold of revival?

In talking to the crowd at the Temple in Jerusalem, the Apostle Peter made an interesting statement.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus.
Acts 3:19-20

He talked about times of refreshing that come from the Lord. This is what we need in our generation. The refreshing wind of revival needs to blow through our cities.

That’s not what we have an issue with. It’s what the Apostle began with that we stumble over. He used that nasty little word that nobody seems to like these days – REPENT. It’s this repentance that ushers in the Spirit of revival.

Revival doesn’t just show up at regular intervals for no reason. As a matter of fact, God doesn’t even send revival because He knows we need it. It’s actually a response to the church beginning to move in the right direction.

Repentance is not very popular in mainline Christianity anymore. We like to think that we’re doing okay and only need a little tweak now and then. Repent sounds too drastic.

To repent means to change your mind, to turn around 180 degrees and head in a new direction. This means that you have to turn away from something.

But more than that, he said that they needed to turn to God. That’s the assumption that keeps us from experiencing the move of God that we really need.

If I say that the church in the USA needs revival, then what I really mean is that we need to turn back to God. That sounds good until you realize that to turn back to God assumes that we’re looking in the wrong direction to begin with. That’s the last thing that many believers would want to admit.

I hate to say this, but a majority of Christians are looking to the world for their fulfillment in this generation. They’ll do their obligatory hour or two in church, Sunday morning. But the rest of their time is spent on their own pursuits and interests.

It’s time for us as God’s people to turn around – to repent of leaving God out of our everyday lives. It’s time to head back in the direction of a radical walk before the Lord. That’s what a desire for revival assumes. It’s what America needs. It’s what the Holy Spirit is longing for us to enter into.

Question: How far are you willing to go to see revival sweep our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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The Revival Forgiveness Connection

Heart CellAmerica needs a spiritual revival.  That’s beyond question.  I believe that it’s coming.  But we as God’s people need to prepare ourselves for it.  I want to take a few posts to deal with an issue that I think is important for us to understand in this generation.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

The outcome of this verse is to forgive their sin and heal their land.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that these two concepts are linked with each other.  If we want to be positioned for revival, then we must grasp how the forgiveness of God figures into it.  In this post I want to talk about some principles of forgiveness.

Forgiveness was God’s idea.  Human beings would have never come up with this concept.  It was God who first approached us and told us that forgiveness was possible.  Only after seeing His example, could we try and forgive others in the same way He forgave us.

True forgiveness is freedom.  When we sin against God or another person, we place ourselves under the curse of divine judgment.  My sin has a penalty that must be paid.

We have watered down the scope of forgiveness.  Forgiveness ends the demand for the penalty.  Then it goes even further and frees us from the payment of that penalty.  Then, because of what Christ did on the cross, that sin is totally and permanently removed from my record!  Now that’s freedom!

Forgiveness is a process.  There’s a definite flow of events in order for forgiveness to take place.  First there is the sin that brings the need for forgiveness.  Then, forgiveness itself must be purchased.  In our case God purchased it by the precious blood of Christ.

The next steps are on my part.  First, I have to humble myself, admit what I have done, and turn from my sin.  That’s what true repentance it.

Next, I have to receive the forgiveness that was purchased for me.  This is probably the most overlooked step of the whole process.  Only when all of these things are accomplished can I step into the freedom of forgiveness.

There’s a link between revival and forgiveness.  Sometimes we miss the blessing because we don’t see the big picture.  America is in need of a great change.  We need revival.

We think the problem is that when we tell others about Christ, they don’t want to listen.  We need to see the scope of revival.  In the verse above we’re told that it comes when God’s people pray.

Revival comes when the church humbles itself.  Literally this Scripture says we need to search out, seek, and strive after the presence of God.  Only then will forgiveness and revival break out.

In the next posts I’ll deal with how and why forgiveness and revival work together.

Question: How often do you specifically pray for revival in our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Prayer, Revival

 

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God Bless the USA #Prayforrevival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow is the Fourth of July.  Today I’m thinking about cookouts, flags, and fireworks.  Is that what being American is all about?

I’m grateful for having been born in the United States.  There’s been so much going on lately in this country, much of it is negative.  However, I continue to believe that the USA is still the best nation on earth.

We were founded upon Christian principles.  The question is; are we a “Christian Nation” anymore?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to pray in public?  Does a Christian nation tell you not to display Christian symbols where everyone can see them?

While it’s true that many Christians live in this country, we have to come to grips with the obvious.   The United States, as an entity, is no longer Christian.  As believers, we need to live understanding that fact.

When David became king of Israel, it was recorded that many groups came from all over that nation to join the ranks of his army.  It describes the weapons they used and their strengths.  There’s one group in particular that stands out to me.

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do – 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
1 Chronicles 12:32

The only weaponry it tells about these men was their ability to understand the times and live their lives accordingly.  This should be a lesson to us in the United States.  The Apostle Paul echoes the same sentiment.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

We are called to be just as Issachar was.  We need to be people of understanding.  We live in a nation where the attitudes are very quickly turning against any kind of Christian influences.

I don’t say that to scare us or sour our mood.  I’m trying to get us, as the people of God, to wake up to the fact that coasting along with the crowd is no longer an option.  We don’t live in a place where godliness is applauded and sought after.

We now live on an active mission field.  That means that our lifestyles should look more like missionaries than consumers.  God didn’t place us here at this time in history to merely bask in the pleasures of this society.  Church is not just a place where we celebrate our salvation.

We’re more than that.  The church in America should be a counterculture that is actively seeking to change people’s lives for Christ.

So, this Fourth of July, celebrate and enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But also, pray for the spiritual understanding that it takes to live for Christ in this generation.

Pray for, and actively seek, a revival in our land.

Question: How are you living counter to the culture around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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America, Terrorists, and the Lord

FlagcrossThe past week has been very challenging to us as a community and a nation.  I live and minister in Watertown, Massachusetts.  It’s a tiny area where not much seems to happen – until now.

I have a friend who was at the Boston Marathon.  Upon looking at the pictures they took, they saw the terrorists standing right next to them in the crowd.

My daughter works in the Watertown Mall.  She arrived at 10 pm for an overnight inventory shift.  At 2 am they were informed by FBI agents that the store (and the town) was in lockdown – no one in or out.

I have a member of our church who lived in the area of town where she witnessed explosions and gunfire that evening.  She spent the rest of the night comforting her children and grandchildren as she saw Swat Teams sweeping her neighborhood.

What’s happening in our nation?  Where are the days when this only happened in other parts of the world and we only watched the events on TV?

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalms 33:12

I believe that the protections we enjoyed in the past were due to the heritage of faith laid down by our godly forefathers.  That was then, this is now.  We have become a nation where any public reference to Jesus Christ is considered an abuse against society.

We have effectively told God that we don’t want Him interfering in our schools, courts, or politics.  Then, in times of crisis, we ask where He went to.  We have become so enamored by our own prowess that we think we have the answer to all our problems.

I do not believe this is the judgment of God on America.  He is a God of grace.  Instead, the Lord is respecting our wishes for Him to keep His hands out of our business.

No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
Psalms 33:16-17

America needs a change of heart and not a change of politics.  We desperately hunger for revival.  God’s people must awaken from slumber and turn the tide upon their knees.  That is where true restoration will come from.

I believe that the recent events will be a part of the call to us.  The pressure is on.  Are we willing to pray the price required to save our nation?  It is time for us to rise to our feet and be true men and women of God.

Question: How have these events affected your faith?  How will you respond?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Revival

 

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