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Holiness – The Pull of Worship

EmeraldI’m currently posting about the atmosphere surrounding the true worship of God. I’m using the gems mentioned in Revelation, chapter 4, as a starting point. I’ve already talked about praise and the principle of ownership.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
Revelation 4:3

The next gemstone that I want to talk about is the emerald. Emeralds are in the beryl family. Because chromium is in their composition, they have a green color.

Many nations have used this gem for their crown jewels. It’s considered by many cultures a “Holy Gem.” The emperor Nero had glasses made of it to watch the gladiator games. Aristotle said that owning an emerald made you important simply because you possessed it.

When I think about all of these aspects, I can understand this emerald glow around the throne of God. When I come into the Lord’s presence I can see things as they truly are.

I came to God as a worthless nobody in my sight, now because of His grace, I’m important to Him. He wants me in His kingdom. The Lord looks the same way at you. We are all precious to Him.

True worship springs from this attitude of holiness. When I understand that I’m set apart for God, for His good pleasure, it’s easier to worship.

You need to understand that in Christ you’re not like everyone else in the world. You’ve been born again into the family of God. You’re a joint-heir with Christ Jesus. You have a calling and a destiny that’s greater than you can imagine.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalms 96:9

Throughout the Bible worship and holiness are linked together. One flows from the other. It’s even found in the New Testament.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
Romans 12:1

This is true worship. It’s birthed in the atmosphere where you see your whole being as set apart for His purposes. When you’re in that place, worship can flow freely. That’s because you realize just how much you mean to the Lord. You’re free to be intimate in His presence.

As God’s people we need to cultivate this attitude of holiness. It will truly usher us into the matchless presence of our loving Father.

Question: How do our attitudes about holiness affect our worship of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Revival, Worship

 

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How Careful is your Faith?

DiamondI’ve been posting about the faith of Noah as recorded in Hebrews, chapter 11. In my last entry I talked about the fear of the Lord. I said that it didn’t mean to be afraid of God.

The Greek word in that verse actually comes from a compound word that means to take care. We must be careful how we live out our faith.

It’s a lot like a diamond cutter working on a costly gem. They will sometimes study a diamond for months before they ever make the first cut. It’s not that he’s afraid to cut the diamond. It’s because the stone is so valuable, he wants to make sure that he makes it the best possible shape.

The diamond cutter will “take care” how he cuts. Because done correctly, the stone could be worth tens of millions of dollars. Done incorrectly, he could reduce the value to 100 times less.

Our spiritual life is like the diamond cutting process. Done carefully – in the fear of the Lord – our walk with God is glorious. Done incorrectly and we may lose out on much of what the Lord has planned for us.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Hebrews 5:7

The words reverent submission in this verse are the same words taking care that we’ve been talking about. Jesus took care in His walk with God. That’s why He was able to fulfill the destiny to which He was called.

This should be the mark of faith in our lives. If we truly believe what God says, we’ll take care.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Hebrews 12:28-29

Reverence and awe is all about taking care. Why? Because God is a consuming fire. What does that mean? If I take a step out of line, then He’ll consume me in judgment?

Absolutely not! What it does mean is that everything that’s not of Him in my life is destined to perish. If I build my life on chasing after the things of the world, then I will eventually find myself with nothing to show for all my efforts.

If, on the other hand, I take God’s Word to heart and build carefully on those principles, then I’ll see God’s hand at work in my life. I’ll see those things come to pass that the Lord has promised me.

Even after my time on earth is finished, I’ll have an everlasting reward in the Kingdom of God. This is how we need to look at life. It’s not about what will make me happy right now in this moment. The question is what will be important to me one million years from today?

Question: What is an area of your Christian walk that you need to take care in?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Faith, Power of God, Word of God

 

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Proverb – What do You Value?

Proverbs 10:2
Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.

This sounds like an oxymoron.  A treasure that’s of no value.  How does that work?  I guess it all depends upon your perspective.

In the natural realm, any treasure is good and valuable, no matter how it’s gotten.  That’s the trouble with us humans, we can’t see the big picture.  We look at what will make us feel good right now.  That’s why so many people in our generation have clawed and fought their way up the corporate ladder, only to find out it was leaning against the wrong wall.

We get trapped in the love of money and excuse it away.

“I’m doing this for you, so you can be comfortable.”

“This extra job is only temporary.”

It is only after we have lost those people who are dear to us that we start to question if it was worth it.

Righteousness – a life lived with God’s priorities in view, delivers us from death.  No, not the grave, but from a living death.  Living your life in God’s will for you will keep your relationships from dying.  It will keep you from an unfulfilled life.  Then, in your later years, you can look back with no regrets.

After all, what is value?  We are eternal beings.  Only a miniscule part of our existence will be lived in this life.  As wonderful as money seems right now, it is only an illusion.

Don’t get me wrong, I need money to get by, the same as everyone else.  But money has no eternal value.  It is only good for life on this planet.  I need to be storing up eternal wealth.  That’s where righteousness comes in.  It will last throughout the ages to come.

As I said, it all comes down to perspective.  What is important to you?  Better yet, what is going to be important to you one million years from today?  Remember, there will come a day when things that you highly valued will suddenly become worthless.  And things that you didn’t care about will suddenly become of supreme importance.

Start planning now for your life in eternity.  It will reap the greatest profit you could ever hope to achieve.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Fear of the Lord

Lightning 3What does that mean?  Should I be afraid of God?  Is He watching for any slip so He can zap me?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is misunderstood by many people.  I have talked to Christians who were so very afraid that they would mess up even a little.  They think that God is watching them so closely that if they make the smallest mistake, they will be penalized severely.

Fortunately that’s not what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord.  The best illustration I ever saw was a show about people who cut diamonds for a living.  The show chronicled the diamond from when it went on the auction block to when it’s stones ended up in the fine jewelry shop.

The winning bid was about 3 million dollars for this large diamond.  The jeweler was sure that he could more than triple the value by the way he cut it up into smaller stones.  What happened next surprised me.  I expected him to immediately begin the process of cutting the diamond.  Instead, he took the first three months to simply study the diamond.  He basically stared at the diamond for hours a day, making notes, drawings, and plans for the cuttings he would perform.  With a stone that valuable, he didn’t want to do anything that would ruin it.

That is a picture of the fear of the Lord.  I am not afraid that God is going to get upset at me and hurt me.  On the contrary, my relationship with God is so important to me that I fear anything coming to disrupt it.  It is so valuable to me that I don’t want to ruin it.  I want to walk before God in such a way that our fellowship grows daily.

Cultivate a true fear of the Lord.  Meditate upon how valuable it is to be in relationship with Him.  Then let that attitude motivate you to live a reverent life before Him.

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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