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Category Archives: Anointing

Love Pressure

Love Pressure

In my last few posts about the book of Romans, I’ve been talking about the power of God at work in us.  We’ve seen that there’s a process that begins when it’s initiated by our faith in God.  It brings us from faith to an experience of God’s glory.

Paul continues this thought.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:5

Paul now brings us to the greatest power in the universe – love.  That’s the place the Holy Spirit is bringing us to.  His desire for every believer is for us to walk in love.

Love is the spiritual pressure placed upon us to produce change.  It was what compelled Christ to minister the way He did.

Actually, I can’t think of any more powerful force in all of life other than love.  For the love of God, or another person, we’ll do things that we might never have done under ordinary circumstances.  Love is a driving force in many of the things we do.

God’s love that He pours into our hearts is the source of our spiritual power.  The same love that drove Christ forward is now placed within us.  When we had no power, God saved us by the death and resurrection of Christ.  He has plugged us into His power source.  The very love that pressures Him can now drive us forward to bless others.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

It’s Christ’s love that should empower everything that we do.  We need to take inventory of what drives and motivates us.

Do you feel a pressure that drives you to reach out to the lost?  Does love compel you to be a blessing to those around you even when you don’t feel like it?  Do you have a compassion for those who are in need?  If not, then you haven’t tapped into the love of Christ.

It’s so easy to say, “I love the lost and I want to see them saved.”  But if there’s little or no pressure to do something about it, then that’s a sign that there’s little or no manifestation of God’s love.  The verdict is simple, no love, no power.

If you want to see this principle in action, just look to the early church in the book of Acts.  They felt the pressure of God’s love to the point where they were willing to die, if necessary, to bring salvation to those around them.

In my last post, I talked about our faith being proved as genuine.  I believe that walking in the love of God is one of the proofs of a genuine faith.

We don’t talk very much about God’s approval of life and ministry.  We seem to think that we can just do what we please and ask God to bless it.  After all, we’re doing it for the Lord.

No.  On the contrary, it’s God’s standards that we need to aspire to.  It’s found again and again in Scripture, if we look for it.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

We must do what it takes to live in intimacy with the Lord.  Only in this way will His love increase in our hearts.

Question: How much of the pressure of Christ’s love do you feel within you?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in Anointing, Faith, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Marks of an Apostle

As we go through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he’s continuing to deal with their infatuation with these “super-apostles” that travel the region.  These ministers exalt themselves and put down any other ministry that are not a part of their group.

When these “minsters” came to Corinth, they berated Paul’s work.  Yet, even though it was Paul’s ministry that gave birth to this church, they didn’t speak up on his behalf.

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it.  I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:11

Paul understands that it’s foolish to exalt yourself.  But, because the Corinthians didn’t speak up for him, he had to remind them of his work in their church.  They should have stood with Paul when these people were slandering his work.

I like Paul’s sarcasm here.  He makes the statement that even though he’s nothing, he’s better than those “super-apostles”.

He goes on to explain.

The things that mark an apostle — signs, wonders and miracles — were done among you with great perseverance.  How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?  Forgive me this wrong!
2 Corinthians 12:12-13

If you don’t already know this about me, let me tell you that I believe God never stopped anointing apostles and prophets.  These callings are still available today, to those who are open and listening for the Lord’s voice.

The marks of an apostle are the things Paul lists.  All of them are miraculous works of God through His servants.

Signs are miracles that point to the truth of God’s Word.  They confirm that what God says will stand forever.  Wonders are miracles that cause you to simply stop and stand in awe of God’s power.  Of course, there are also miracles that don’t fall into either of those categories.

We need these ministries today.  The Bible tells us what they’re for.  In Ephesians 4:11-13, we’re told that they mature us.  To my knowledge, these verses aren’t fulfilled yet, so these gifts are still needed.

More than that, apostles are vital to the saving of souls.  Listen closely to what Paul says to the Roman believers.

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.  So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:18-19

The Gospel is more than just spoken.  It involves what we say and do.  My question is; can you fully proclaim the Gospel of Christ without signs, wonders, and the power of the Holy Spirit?

I don’t think so!

Question: Why do so many people try to win the lost with only convincing words?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2020 in Anointing, Ministry, Power of God, The Gospel

 

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The In Crowd

In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul begins to talk about some of the “super-apostles” that were traveling around at that time.  There were a number of them who associated together.  They looked down on ministers like Paul who was not a trained speaker.

This is like the associational or denominational groups of our day.  They have the temptation of thinking their group is the best.  Paul gives us some insight into these people.

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.  When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
2 Corinthians 10:12

The first word I want to look at in this verse is “classify.”  That’s an interesting word.  It literally means to judge in or to count among.

There’s a modern word that I think, best describes what Paul is saying here.  That’s the word, label.  Paul tells us that he doesn’t label himself as one of them.

We live in a society of labels.  We label people in regards to everything from appearance (race) to gender identification to religion, and politics, just to name a few.

I believe that labels have no place in the body of Christ.  As soon as you place a label on yourself, a barrier goes up that can begin to exclude people.

The next thing he says is that he doesn’t use that group as a standard of comparison.  What these other ministries do or don’t do has no bearing on what Paul is called to accomplish.

This should apply to us as well.  We have no business judging ourselves based upon what others are doing.  Each of us has a unique set of gifts and callings in Christ Jesus.

One of the biggest problems with the “super-apostles” that Paul’s talking about is that they commend themselves.  This means that they put themselves forward or display themselves.  That’s never a good idea.

In the church, we need to let our praise come from the Lord or others.  What I say about myself is immaterial.  Only those who have been affected can say what they have received from my ministry.

According to Paul, the problem with these other ministries is that they’ve come up with their own method of comparison.  It’s also a problem among church leaders today.  It’s all wrapped up in the word, measure.

That word is all about size.  How big is your church?  How many people are on your e-mail list?  How many subscribers to your blog?

Since when do these factors translate to your anointing?  It’s more about maturity, obedience to God, and the eternal effects of your ministry.

We need to stay focused on what really matters.  Don’t be looking at and comparing yourself to what others are doing.  Walk your own path with Christ.

Question: What is the number one calling upon your life right now?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2020 in Anointing, Leadership, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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Using Authority

Some people use their authority as a weapon.  They try and force others to do their will.  Paul talks about what he sees as the correct use of the authority God gives to church leaders.

For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
2 Corinthians 10:8

Apparently, there were those who vilified Paul’s ministry.  They looked at the fact that he didn’t force his authority on others as a weakness.  They falsely claimed that this was proof that he had no authority.

Of course, Paul was not the type of person who cared what others said about him.  He continued to walk in his calling before God.

He explained to the church that the reason God has given him authority was to build them up and not to tear them down.  Paul boldly declares that he won’t be ashamed of not being a spiritual bully.

I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.  For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”  Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
2 Corinthians 10:9-11

Even in his writings, Paul is not trying to force anyone to do his bidding.  But there is a greater ministry at work here.

There are obviously people who are jealous of Paul’s ministry.  So in order to feel better about themselves, they have to discredit Paul.

In their critique of Paul, they admit that his letters are powerful.  The words they use show that they see the weightiness and the force behind what he’s saying.

There’s a reason for this.  I don’t think that anyone knew it at the time, but God had anointed Paul to write New Covenant Scripture.  Of course, these critics could see that Paul’s letters were important.

The letters had to be powerful.  The Holy Spirit was empowering them to speak to the church for another couple of thousands of years.  Without question, they had a force behind them.

But in person, Paul was speaking to a congregation that he had given birth to in the spirit.  He wanted to nurture and love on them.  That’s why some despised Paul, saying that his in-person ministry was of no comparison to his letters.

What these people didn’t realize is that Paul had the authority of God to “clean house”.  He just preferred to use a gentler method.  He wanted those under his ministry to desire the changes that were necessary.

This should speak to us.  As church leaders, it should never be our goal to force those under us into submission.  We should be seeking to lead by example.  In that way, we’re portraying the true picture of Christ to those around us.

Question: What are your thoughts on leadership by example?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2020 in Anointing, Leadership, Ministry, The Church

 

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The Teacher – A Lamp (Repost)

Over the next week or so I’m going to be away, visiting family.  So during that time, I’m reposting one of my more popular series.

For the last couple of posts, I’ve been talking about teachers in the body of Christ.  I showed that true teachers bring light to our Christian walk.  In our generation there’s a lot of teaching from the Bible going forth; but is it directed by the Holy Spirit?

In His ministry, Jesus made some statements that the disciples couldn’t understand.  Many of them pertained to the church.  They would only understand them after the resurrection.

One of them pertained to the body.

“Your eye is the lamp of your body.  When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.”
Luke 11:34

I think you can agree that this is not talking about our internal organs being lit up.  The Lord is dealing with a deeper issue here.

To understand what Jesus is saying, you have to look at the greater context.  He starts this section by talking about the preaching of Jonah.  All of Nineveh repented when they heard his preaching.

The Lord then talks about King Solomon.  The Queen of the South came all the way from Central Africa to hear his wisdom.

Christ was showing the high value that people placed upon hearing a Word from God.  The people who heard Jonah and Solomon didn’t just want to know what the Bible said.  They were looking for something that would change their lives.

Look at the very next thing that Jesus says after explaining about Jonah and Solomon.

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl.  Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”
Luke 11:33

The reason that these two men were called to their roles, was not to simply enjoy their times with the Lord.  They were to use their gifts to bring light to those who needed it.

The people of Nineveh needed to understand repentance so that the judgment of God could be averted.  The Queen of the South needed to understand how to rule her people wisely.  They needed someone to light the path ahead of them.

That’s what Jesus is talking about when He says that the eyes are the lamp of the body.  I believe that He’s talking about the need for Holy Spirit directed teaching in the body of Christ.

We need to come back to this truth in our generation.  I believe that this is one of the things that God is trying to restore in us.

We can see it in the church of today.  There are ministries where the people know their place in Christ and are secure in their walk with God.  There are other parts of God’s kingdom where the believers seem to be doing as they please – simply living for themselves.

We need to be praying for the church.  Pray that God would continue to raise up teachers after His own heart.  We need the body of Christ to be full of light.

Question: Why is human-led teaching so accepted in some areas?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Anointed to Teach (Repost)

Over the next week or so I’m going to be away, visiting family.  So during that time, I’m reposting one of my more popular series.

In my last post, I started talking about the teacher’s anointing.  What’s the purpose of a teacher in the body of Christ?  I think the answer will surprise a lot of people.

There are many who think the reason we need teachers is so that we can learn what’s in the Bible.  Actually, it seems to me that this is what most teachers are trying to do.  They believe that it’s all about getting my knowledge of the Scripture into your brain.

I’m here to tell you that this is NOT what God is calling teachers to do in His kingdom.  Yes, we are to use the Scripture, but the purpose has to be according to God’s agenda.

For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…
Proverbs 6:23

The calling of a teacher is to bring light.  Specifically, godly teaching shines a light on the way of life.  It shows how to get from where you are now, to where God wants you to be.

Scriptural teaching is never about knowledge and always about life.  You know that you’ve sat under an anointed teacher because you leave with an understanding of how to walk on a higher level with Christ.

As a matter of fact, if you look up the word “taught” in the New Testament, you’ll find out that it’s always about how to live.  They were taught how to walk as a new creature in Christ.  They were taught the walk of faith and how to love one another.

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
Colossians 1:28

This is the goal.  It’s the perfecting of the saints.  A teacher’s anointing brings with it a passion for the building up of the body of Christ.

As I look around the church of this generation, I see very few who operate in the teacher’s anointing.  That doesn’t mean that there are few called and anointed teachers.  The problem is that if the only examples you’ve seen are those who simply pass on Bible knowledge, then that’s the course you’ll follow.  We need teachers who are willing to spend time listening to the Holy Spirit.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 2:13

I think that we should listen to the Apostle Paul.  After all, he did write most of the New Testament.  Where do you think he got his teaching from?

As for me, I know that I’m called as a teacher.  I also know that I’ll be judged more strictly.  I want to make sure that the message of my teaching is not simply Bible knowledge, but the true light of the Word of God for the hearers.

This should be the heart of every teacher of the Word.

Question: How do you recognize a teacher walking in his or her anointing?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Counter-Culture of Faith

Our culture is our way of life.  Why, then, does modern Christianity seem so much like the culture of America?

It doesn’t matter what you talk about, the statistics are very close.  Divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and a host of other issues seem very much a part of church life.

Even with this latest outbreak of COVID-19, the church seems to be in as much fear as the society around us.  Why are we so much like the world?

We would rather talk about religion than Jesus.  We try to be so careful not to offend anyone by what we believe.

I think an important word to use is counter.  Think about how we use it in society.  We have groups in counter-intelligence or counter-terrorism.  To be counter means that you are going opposite that group.

More than any other people-group, Christianity should be a counter-culture.  We should have our own cultural lifestyle.

As the church, we should have our own way of doing things.  It should be very different than how our society operates.

We need to see the Scriptural pattern.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

This verse tells us that it’s God’s job to make us stand firm in Christ.  How does He do that?  The Lord accomplishes it by anointing us.

Anointing – now there’s a rich word.  The very word, Christ, means the Anointed One.  His anointing came from the Holy Spirit that was upon Him.  Now we’re standing firm in the Anointed One.  That’s where we have the power to fulfill what we’re called to do.

This passage states that the anointing upon us is one of the things that are guaranteeing what is to come.  This tells me that we have a future in Christ.  This anointing is taking us somewhere.

In the same way, this culture we live in is headed somewhere.  It leads to addiction, divorce, depression, fear, guilt, and, worst of all, hell.  Personally, I don’t want to go where the American culture is leading us to.

As the church of Jesus Christ, our future – our direction – should be vastly different.  Actually, the world should want what our culture leads to.  The differences should be obvious.  We need to get back to the basics of what Christ wants to do in us.  Then we must follow it through to the end.

Question: What are some differences that should be obvious to the world?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Path to the Anointing

This is the last post in a series I’m writing to explain what walking in the anointing of God means.  It seems that the church is under the impression that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same anointing as Jesus.

Hopefully, based upon my last few posts, you understand why that’s not the case unless you go through the same process He went through.  We need to seek God’s approval to walk in His power.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

We’re now in a position to understand what Paul was telling Timothy in this verse.  Do your bestbe diligent – to present yourself to God as one anointed.  When you’re approved before God there’s no need to be ashamed.

This is a big problem among God’s people in our generation.  We’re full of boldness when we’re in praise and worship.  But on the job or at school it’s a different story.  We keep our faith inside, not wanting to “offend” anyone.  That’s foolishness since every other group will openly declare what they believe to be true.

It all comes down to power.  I want to say to those I work with, “God loves you.  He’ll change your life.  He’ll heal you and bless you.”  But I worry that if they let me pray with them, nothing will happen.

Furthermore, what if I’m not healed and my life isn’t blessed?  What if they ask me about that?  I’d rather just keep quiet and avoid the embarrassment.

The church needs to be on its knees seeking approval for ministry.  Then, when the anointing is upon us, we’ll not worry about what the world or our friends think.

I believe that the next great revival will involve the church coming to an understanding of this truth.  But we’ll have to attain a certain level of intimacy before the Lord will manifest His anointing in us.  This is probably going to be the hardest move for the church to enter into.

I don’t think it will come as a wave, but as individuals begin paying the price for God’s approval.  Then, they must show up at the place and time of their anointing.  It could be a big or small meeting.  It won’t matter as long as it’s God’s appointed place.

Do what it takes to secure your anointing.  Follow the example of Christ.  Seek intimacy with the Father.  Then, as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, walk in obedience to His voice.

Understanding this truth gives us more insight into the spiritual battles we face.  We need this approval in order to wear the helmet and wield the sword.  Too many Christians are entering this struggle with no spiritual weapons.

It’s time for God’s people to submit under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We need to allow Him to bring us through His training program.

It’s only when we can correctly handle God’s Word that we’ll be entrusted with true power.  Over the next few posts, I’ll talk about this in more detail.  My desire is to see the church rise to the level God is calling us to.

Question: What could happen if the whole church walked in the anointing of the Lord?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Anointing is Approval

I’ve been posting about David’s anointing as king and how it relates to our spiritual approval process.  It’s surprisingly similar to what we go through in the church today.

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.  Samuel then went to Ramah.
1 Samuel 16:13

It’s clear from this verse that the Holy Spirit and power follow the anointing.  That’s what Christ was referring to when He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE He has anointed me.” (Luke 4:18)

I believe that this is a special move of the Holy Spirit to work with signs and miracles.  It’s not the same as the Holy Spirit simply being in us because of salvation.  It’s the power of God, present to confirm His Word.

If you’ve been following these posts, you may remember I said how little the word “anointing” was used in the New Testament.  If you check it out, except once by Paul, all the usage was Jews writing to Jews.

Paul wrote most of the New Testament to Gentiles.  What would a Greek know about the Hebrew anointing?  Paul wrote to people who had no knowledge of it.  How did he describe it?

To understand it, let’s talk about the priesthood in Israel.  To become a priest, you didn’t just walk up to the temple and say, “I’m a Levite and I want to be a priest.”  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

To be anointed as priest, you had to attend and graduate a school of the law taught by a Rabbi.  Then you had to prove that you’ve memorized the Pentateuch (The first five books of the Bible).  You had to show your family records proving priestly lineage.  Then you would strip and every inch of your body would be inspected by a board of priests who were looking for any defect that would disqualify you.

Only when you had passed every test would you be robed in priestly clothes and the oil of the anointing was poured on your head.  Being in the right family was only the beginning.  It wasn’t until you were tested and approved to be a priest that you could be anointed.

In reality, our spiritual anointing involves being approved by God.  That’s the word Paul used throughout his writings to the Gentiles.  They wouldn’t understand anoint but approve they could grasp.

The Greek word that Paul used is translated as approve, commend, chosen, or election depending upon the context.  But these words were used by Paul the same way in which anointing is used in the Old Testament.

What we miss sometimes, is that we can be saved, but not approved to walk in the power of God.  We think that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same authority as Christ.  We have to be approved to walk in God’s authority.

It’s that approval which gives us access to the pieces of issued armor.  If you’ve been following my posts then you know I’m referring to the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.  With these, we receive power and authority.

I believe that this is what’s ahead for God’s people.  The next move of God will be to bring us into the fullness of this work.  When this happens, we’ll see the greatest harvest of souls since the Book of Acts.

That’s the true anointing of power.

Question: What does it take to be approved to walk in the authority of the Holy Spirit?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Anointing – A Divine Appointment

In talking about the anointing that we have in Christ, there’s a subject that needs to be addressed.  I’m getting to the point where I cringe when I hear another sermon or teaching about our position in Christ.

It’s not that I think they’re unscriptural.  Far from it.  I believe that I’m “the righteousness of God” in Christ Jesus.  I believe that I’m holy, healed, prosperous, and anointed in Christ.

The problem I see is that if all we concentrate on is our position in Christ, we miss out on seeing the manifestation.  I want to live out all the things that Christ paid for me to possess.

One of these is our anointing.  We are all called to an anointing in Christ.  I want to see it manifest in us.  That takes more than just sitting back and confessing it by faith.

For a few posts, we’ve been looking at David’s anointing as king.

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
1 Samuel 16:10

Here we can see the problem in some of our teachings on the anointing.  We’re all called to an anointing.  The problem is that all of us are called, but few are chosen.  When you talk about walking in the anointing, it involves being chosen by God.

The anointing is not just about calling.  The progression is: called, chosen, and anointed.  The simple truth is that you can be called from now until Jesus returns and never see the anointing manifest.

That is if you never do what it takes to be chosen.

Look at what had to happen in David’s case.

So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
So he sent and had him brought in.  He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.  Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
1 Samuel 16:11-12

“I told you, that your whole family needed to be here.”

These words strike anger and resistance into the hearts of God’s people.

“Who are you to tell me that I need to be at these special meetings?”

When your church has a guest speaker and you see that as an opportunity to take the day off – do you know what you’re missing?

“I have something important that needs to be done.”

There are times and places that God may want to meet with you.  Your prayer time, Bible study, a church meeting, or some other “holy appointment” could be a potential encounter with the anointing of the Lord.

God may have a pinpoint anointing for you.  But you have to be at the right place, at the right time, where God has expected to meet with you.  Don’t miss that appointment.

In my next post, I’ll show how the anointing and God’s approval go hand in hand.

Question: How could this be a source of the lack of power and effect of the church in America?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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