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How Will the World See Jesus?

JesusJesus called us to be the light of the world. We are to bring people to the knowledge of Christ. How does this happen? There’s a picture of this in the book of Revelation.

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
Revelation 1:12-13

Through this passage we can gain great insight into the function of a church. This is the point where John begins to see his vision. The first thing that happens is that he hears the voice of the Lord.

Where’s it coming from? He turns around to locate the source and the initial objects of his attention are the golden lampstands. Verse 20 tells us that the lampstands are the churches. So the first thing John sees is the church lighting up the area.

Then, as the view comes into focus, he starts to see the Lord Jesus Christ walking among the churches. We must always remember that when the world hears the voice of the Lord calling them, the first view they’ll get is of the church. It’s only through the light of God’s people that the world will see Christ.

It’s sad today that, in the United States, the church has become the object of such disrespect. The worst part of it is that most of this was brought on by ourselves.

Our pride, arrogance, and foolishness have caused the world to write us off as worthless. Many godless people today feel that if there are any answers to the problems of life, they won’t be found in a church.

Is the picture in Revelation a representation of your church? Can people hear the voice of the Lord there? When they turn to look, do they see Jesus Christ in all His glory?

We are the body of Christ on earth. It’s ultimately through us that the voice of God is heard. How well are we communicating the message?

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:19-20

The presence of the Lord is an incredible thing, and must not be taken lightly in our churches. Jesus walks among us – He is present in all that we do. This knowledge should motivate us to come together in unity of spirit.

The original Greek of the above verse reads that where two or more come together in My name, there I am in the middle of them. The Lord is not just off to the side watching as a spectator does. He stands between us. He wants to be at the center of all that we do.

Walking in unity assumes that there’s more than one person in the mix. We must come into agreement – for that’s the place of power in God. I can’t do it alone.

God has ordained that there’s a special manifestation of His presence when we come together as “the Church.” It must not be ignored or taken lightly. I need to be a part of a local body of believers. I need to be in unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

That’s how the world will see Christ in us.

Question: How do we show more of the light of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Revival, The Church, The Gospel

 

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The Practical Side of Fasting #spiritualfast

FlyingI want to wrap up my posts on fasting with some practical advice for those who are just starting out.

Fasting has a cumulative effect over time.  Don’t just try fasting once and expect to become “Faith Man.”  Step by step it decreases the pull your flesh has over your life.  It allows the faith that you have to exert a greater influence.

You need to know your body’s limitations.  There are some people who need to take a cautious approach.  These are people who are on certain medications or have medical conditions (such as diabetes) that require you to have food at regular intervals.  If you are one such person, then you need to consult with your doctor before starting a fast.  Tell them that you desire to fast for spiritual reasons and ask if there is a way to do so safely.

Remember that fasting is not a religious exercise, but a spiritual encounter.  God, who knows your heart, will release His power in you.  If you have to eat something with your medication, then look at the food as a part of your medicine.  It will not detract from your fast because your faith is in Christ.

There are side effects from caffeine.  If you are addicted to caffeine (which means that you regularly drink coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine in it) it’s possible that you will get moderate to severe headaches during your fast.  These headaches are the symptom of withdrawal from caffeine.  This can be avoided if you continue to drink something with caffeine in it on your fasting day.

There are side effects from sugar.  If sugar is a regular part of your diet, then you will experience hunger pains.  That’s your body’s normal reaction to a withdrawal from sugar.  Just be aware of that and let it run its course.

Drink large amounts of water while you’re fasting.  In this way you will get some health benefits as well as the spiritual.

Just make the decision and start fasting.  I believe that every Christian should be fasting at least one day a week with some kind of extended fast once a year.  You might ask, “Can’t I just use more self-control over the flesh to keep it down?”  Sure you can; it is possible.  It’s also possible to build a house without the use of any power tools, but there are not many people who would want to do it that way.

God has given us some supernatural “power tools” to strengthen us spiritually.  We’re being foolish if we ignore them.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 13:2-3

Here is a good example of fasting at work.  The church leaders were in the midst of a time of fasting and prayer.  They were able to hear the voice of the Lord and obey quickly.  I believe that this is one of the secrets to the power that the early church possessed, and that we need in our generation.

Questions: If you fast regularly, how often do you fast?  If not, has this series encouraged you to try it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Fasting, Spirit of Excellence

 

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