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God’s Seed in You

SeedIn many of my posts I talk about the relationship between the Word of God and the Scripture.  The Bible is the written Word of God.  But we also need to hear the Word from the Holy Spirit.  This is where the power of God intersects with our lives.

For a few posts I want to write about how the Word of God relates to us.  The Bible teaches that we must correctly handle the Word of Truth.  In order to do that I must be studying the Scripture – the written record of God’s Word – so that I can handle the Word I receive from God today.

In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
Acts 19:20

The Bible uses many terms in relation to the Word of God.  It uses language such as spread, increased, grew, reached and multiplied.  In the above verse we’re told how.  The verse says in this way.  If you read through this nineteenth chapter of the Book of Acts you’ll get a taste for the effects of the Word.

We see the gifts of tongues and prophecy being manifested.  There was boldness in preaching.  Handkerchiefs and aprons that touched Paul were taken to the sick and they were healed.  Demonic spirits were confronted and expelled.  There was widespread repentance such that a group of new believers burned the equivalent of $5,000,000 worth of satanic sorcery books.

That’s the way the Word of God is described as growing.  Literally, the above verse says that the Word became a force to be reckoned with.  The Word of God is alive and it grows.  That’s the aspect that I want to discuss in this series of posts.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:23

We’ve been saved by the living Word of God.  That Word is a seed that’s growing inside of us.  It will never decay or diminish.  It’s there forever.

Somewhere along the line somebody spoke God’s Word to you.  It doesn’t matter whether they used the Bible or not – you heard a Word from God that changed your life.  It might have been a Bible verse, a word of prophecy, or a statement of divine truth.  Either way, you received it, it grew inside of you, and eventually you accepted Jesus Christ and were born again.

That’s how the Word of God starts its work in you.  The fact that you’ve established Christ as your Lord and Savior is proof that the Word has taken residence in you.  Now it’s up to us what we do with that seed.

Question: What was the Word of God that brought salvation into your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Word of God

 

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The Temporary vs. the Eternal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been posting about the discussion Jesus had with the crowd in John chapter 6.  Having told them that He understood their motives; Jesus goes on to explain further.

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 6:27

The Lord is about to tell them that He’s the Bread of Life and He has the Words of truth.  He goes on to explain that if they’ll come to Him in faith, they’ll never lack for life.  The point is that you can’t spend all your time and energy chasing the things of this world.  There’s a more important issue at stake here.

Too many believers spend their prayer time with the Lord running through their lists of needs and wants.  While there is a place for petitioning the Lord in prayer, that should not be the major part.  Prayer is where we get to know Christ in relationship.  It’s give and take.

Yes, it is talking, but it’s also listening.  If we’re going to be prepared for the last days, then we must get past this mentality that chases God around simply for what we think we can get from Him.

The crowd made their motives very plain to Jesus.  Even in their answer, they show Him that His assessment of their true character was correct.

“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
John 6:34

Their thoughts are, “You’ve got the bread from heaven.  Give us this bread.”  Again, they’re thinking in a material way.  If His earthly bread was good, the heavenly must be even better tasting!

It reminds me of the woman at the well.  Jesus said that He could give her living water so that she would never thirst again.  Her reply was, “Great, then I won’t have to come to this well every day to draw water.”

Why are we all so foolish?  Jesus longs to give us eternal, abundant life, yet we are content to simply ask Him for things.  I know that in His Word He’s promised to take care of our needs.  The problem is that we seem to major on the physical.

My true needs are so much deeper than that.  He wants to satisfy the longing of our souls, but this will require that we spend time in His presence.  We fail to enter the abundance that He has for us because we’d rather have the “quick fix” of more money or more stuff so that we can then get on with our plans.  The better solution would be for us to bow our knee to the Lord and take up His plan for our lives.

Question: Why do the temporary issues of life seem so important sometimes?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Encouragement, Faith, Prayer

 

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The Devil and the Word of God

TowerIn my last post I talked about the lies of the devil.  We saw that, according to Jesus, the enemy cannot hold the truth neither is there any truth in him at all.

Understanding this gives us insight into how the devil operates.  He speaks lies, sometimes by making true statements.  We need to understand this as we look at an encounter between Christ and the devil.

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Matthew 4:5-6

This verse is important in understanding the relationship between the Bible and the Word of God.  Here we see the devil quoting the Bible correctly.  He even used it in context.  The verse is from Psalm 91 which we all know is about the protection of God for the Messiah and us.

Now, it’s time for the tough question.  In quoting the Bible, was Satan speaking the Word of God to Jesus?  Be very careful how you answer this.  It’s the basis for understanding how the Word of God works in us.

Jesus clearly taught that Satan could not hold the truth neither was there any truth in him at all, yet it is clear that he has the Bible memorized.  We know that the devil only quotes the Scripture when it suits his purpose to try and deceive us.  His use of Scripture is actually a lie – according to Christ Himself.

As I said previously, we get so caught up asking the wrong questions.  We should be asking, what exactly is the Word of God to me?  I need a Word from heaven.  How do I know what that Word is?  When Jesus heard the Scripture from the mouth of Satan, He totally rejected it as a lie meant to trip Him up in His walk with the Father.

Then what is the Scripture?  It is the written record of the Word of God, given to various people, at different times, under different circumstances and for many purposes.  I have to ask, is what I’m reading God’s Word to me?  The answer to that is both yes and no.

There are some scriptures that have nothing to do with me or what I’m going through.  There are others that the Holy Spirit can use to speak to me.  That’s the key.  What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?  Very often He will use Scripture to speak to believers.

But you must also understand that Satan will use Scripture as well.  That’s why it’s so very important that we learn to discern the voice of the Spirit.  The Bible is a spiritual book and must be read prayerfully.

Question: How has God spoken to you through the pages of Scripture?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Recognizing the Truth and the Lie

AppleThe Word of God is Truth.  Do we really understand how absolute this truth is?

The opposite of truth is lie.  Being able to recognize the lie is an important part of serving God.

Christ could see through the lies of the enemy and did so on many occasions.  Once, when upset by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Jesus said the following.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:44

Here Jesus clearly teaches about the devil and his relationship to the truth.  Is there a little bit of truth in the devil?  Absolutely not!  “He does not hold to the truth, for there is no truth in him.”

While studying this, I was convicted and had to repent of some things that I never thought of as sin.  Satan makes true statements from time to time if it suits his purposes.  But, according to this verse, saying true statements and speaking the truth are two different things in the Lord’s eyes.

The above passage implies that if you make a true statement, in order to get someone to believe a lie, then you are in fact lying.  That’s what got to me.

For instance, if I was heading out of the house on an errand, my wife might say to me, “Honey, there are some important bills that need to be mailed.”

Being the wonderful husband that I am, I would tell her that I’d be glad to do it.  So, with the best of intentions, I take the letters.  I go through the day and complete my errands without ever giving the letters a second thought.

Then when I arrive home, the first thing my wife asks is, “Did you mail my letters for me?”

Not wanting to get in trouble I reply, “Oh, I took those with me first thing this morning.”  My hope is that my true statement would lead her to believe that I had mailed the letters, when in fact I hadn’t.  I always thought I was speaking truth – at least in part.

According to Jesus, this isn’t the case.  The devil uses true statements to get us to believe lies.  Jesus said that he cannot hold the truth and there is NO truth in him.  So that when Satan speaks it’s a lie, even if his statement happens to be true at the moment.  Because of this, I had to repent of all the true statements I’ve made, trying to cover my tracks.

Of course my wife can usually see through it and immediately says, “I didn’t ask if you took the letters, I asked if you had mailed the letters.”  So, in most cases, I was caught anyway.  But the fact is that making true statements with the intent to deceive is the same as telling a lie.

Question: Have you ever experienced this type of lie?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Word of Truth

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

This verse is referencing our Heavenly Father.  In the book of James He is called the Father of Heavenly Lights.  It is His light shining on us that brings us life.  In His love and wisdom He sent Christ into the world to bring us life.

This verse is clear.  We have been given a new birth.  A birth that was not of flesh and blood like our original entrance into this world.  This birth was through the Word of Truth.  I believe that James is referring to something more than the Bible, as wonderful as that Word is.  It is a Word that speaks to our inner being.

One of the names of Christ is the Word made flesh.  He was not a matter of ink and paper coming alive.  He is the living and enduring Word of the Most High God.  Christ said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by me.”  He is the direct expression of the Word of Truth.

It is through this Word, Christ Himself, that we have been given new birth – if we have accepted the free gift of His salvation.  He did this so that He could begin the renovation of the human race in us.  That is what the last part of this verse is all about.  The firstfruits of all He created.

This is the beginnings of the kingdom of God manifest on earth.  Right now it is difficult to see.  It is taking root in the hearts of men and women throughout the world.  But they are changing, becoming what God intended them to be.  His Kingdom is starting in us.

The more time I spend in the presence of that Word, the more I become like Him.  Don’t ever take the presence of the Lord for granted.  It is a privilege to have access to the throne room of God.  It was paid for by the precious blood of Christ.  Let the living Word do the work in you that only He can do.  Spend quality time with Him today.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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