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Category Archives: Revival

Pure Motives

Pure Motives

We’re continuing through the Gospel of Luke. The end of the Lord’s ministry was quickly approaching.

That being said, there are posts that I really enjoy writing. There are others that I wrestle with God about publishing them. I don’t want to be the one who rocks the boat. Unfortunately, today’s post is one of those that I didn’t want to write.

Jesus was nearing the cross and the battle lines were being drawn between Him and the religious leaders of His day.

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”

Luke 20:45-47 NIV

In Jesus’ day, there were those who taught the Scripture, while at the same time having an element of self-indulgence. There were times that they taught the truth of God’s Word, drawing people closer to the Lord. At the same time, they were feeding their own egos and lining their pockets.

These religious leaders liked the fact that they were highly esteemed among the people. They were able to dress well and were readily recognized.  People wanted to be at the meetings when these leaders were present.

According to Jesus, for all of their training and knowledge, they weren’t scoring any points with God. As a matter of fact, the Lord warned the crowds that they needed to do what these leaders taught, while at the same time rejecting their self-absorbed lifestyle (Matthew 23:1-4).

Jesus also condemns the religious system itself. He points out the fact that their extravagant way of life is paid for by those who could least afford it.

That was the easy part of this post. Now on to the difficult section…

Lately, I’ve been becoming more and more disheartened by the direction of our modern system of Christianity. It seems like in many areas we’re taking on the attitude of corporate America.

What do I mean by this? In most large corporations, the senior executives make more money than they could spend in ten lifetimes. In that same company, the employees who do the bulk of the work can’t make ends meet with the one salary they earn from doing that job.

Now we have huge churches where the pastors have big homes, garages full of cars, private jets and a continual desire for more. Many of their members have to work two or sometimes three jobs to make ends meet. Granted, they’re preaching Jesus Christ, and many are getting saved under their ministry. But at what point is enough, enough?

I’m told that their luxurious lifestyle is the reward for their faithfulness in the ministry. As a pastor who has been serving the same church for over 30 years, I find that kind of thinking offensive. I gave up a career where I was on track for a six-figure engineering salary when God called me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not jealous of these preachers. If I had it to do all over again, I would gladly make the same choices for the honor of serving my Lord. I just don’t like being told that the car I drive or the house I rent is the indication of how faithful I’ve been to the calling of God.

It’s nothing new. The church has been dealing with this throughout history. I like Paul’s attitude.

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Philippians 1:18 NIV

That’s the attitude I want to portray. I apologize if I seemed to be ranting. I hold no ill will against any of my brothers or sisters in the ministry. I simply want Christ to be exalted in His church.

Question: What is the true indication of faithfulness to God?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Jesus Christ – God and Man

Jesus Christ – God and Man

As we continue to look at the Gospel of Luke, we’re at the point where Jesus is in Jerusalem, during the last weeks before the cross. The religious leaders were testing Him with questions. Their desire was to discredit the Lord before all of the people.

Instead, their plan backfired. Their hypocrisy was exposed for all to see. Now Jesus turns things around and asks them a question.

Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’

David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Luke 20:41-44 NIV

Jesus is giving the crowd something to think about. It’s also a testimony as to who He really is. Any teacher of the Law would know exactly what He was saying.

First, the Lord asks a question. Why do the teachers of the Law use the term Son of David for the Messiah?

That’s important because the phrase Son of David is never used in the Old Testament in relation to the Christ. It does teach that Messiah would be a king from the line of Judah.

So they were right in assuming the connection to David. But the title, Son of David, was coined by the Rabbis. So in answering the question – they call Messiah the Son of David because their careful study of the Scripture pointed them in that direction.

The next question is harder to answer without a willingness to have your heart changed. If David calls Him Lord, how can the Messiah be his son? Jesus is quoting the prophecy of Psalm 110.

In the Hebrew, David gives a prophecy that “Yahweh will say to my Adonai…”. But in Scripture, both Yahweh and Adonai are names of the one, true God.

It’s through this teaching that Jesus declares to all the religious leaders who He is. By their own study, the teachers of that day should realize that the only way for the Son of David to be Adonai is for God Himself to take on flesh.

That’s what sets Christianity apart from all the seemingly Christian based cults. Jesus Christ declared Himself, on more than one occasion, to be God in the flesh. That’s the test of what is the true church versus the false.

Even in Paul’s day, there were those who would try to deny the deity of Christ. He condemned the church at Corinth for not being careful with their teaching.

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
2 Corinthians 11:4 NIV

That’s also what separates Christianity from all other religions. They all teach that man has to strive to reach acceptance with a god or struggle for perfection. The true God tells us that it’s impossible for us to do it on our own. So He took the initiative to take on flesh and provide the way of salvation for us through the work of Christ on the cross.

I am so grateful for the gift given to us by Jesus Christ. There truly is no other name under heaven that provides such a rich reward for those who choose to follow Him.

Question: What events brought you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2022 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Children of the Resurrection

Children of the Resurrection

Continuing through the Gospel of Luke, we see a lot of opposition from the religious leaders. This is especially true from the Sadducees who don’t believe in the resurrection, angels, demons, or miraculous powers. You may want to read Luke 20:27-40 before continuing with this post.

They want to discredit Jesus publicly. So, they come at Him with a question that had stumped the Pharisees (who believe in the resurrection) for many years.

The question is about a woman who had seven husbands in accordance with the Law of Moses. They asked Jesus; at the resurrection, who would receive her as their wife, since she was married to all seven?

The Sadducees felt this proved that the resurrection was illogical. Therefore, it shouldn’t be believed.

Of course, these men had lost the battle before they ever approached Jesus. That’s because Christ is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). There’s no way that these leaders could show the Resurrection that there’s no resurrection.

In looking at the answer the Lord gave them, I see some important truths we need to grasp.

Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”

Luke 20:34-35 NIV

The first thing I see is the great transition. The age we live in now, is temporary. Our Resurrection Day is the start of a brand new age. We change from being mortal to immortal (1 Corinthians 15:42).

The way Jesus describes this is absolutely great. The phrase, considered worthy, is, deemed entirely deserving, in the Greek. Because of what Christ did on the cross, you and I can now be considered entirely deserving of immortality.

However, there’s even more to be thankful for in this verse. The phrase, taking part, literally means to hit the mark.

We know that the word, sin, means to miss the mark, in both the Old and New Testaments. But now, because of Jesus, we can actually hit the mark of being worthy of the resurrection. This is something far beyond what any human being is capable of on their own.

…and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

Luke 20:36 NIV

We put on immortality because we are now children of the resurrection. But there’s even more to it.

The phrase, they are like the angels, literally means, they have the same power as the angels. Please understand that we DO NOT become angels. (Don’t get your theology from It’s a Wonderful Life)

I think about the power of angels in the Scriptures. They have the ability to appear and disappear at will. One angel could defeat an entire army. We will be clothed in this same power one day.

But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Luke 20:37-40 NIV

As believers, we should never fear death. We know that when our body ceases to function, we simply change our residence.

Yes, we go through a grieving process when a loved one passes. But that should be because we know we will miss them for a while. We don’t grieve because we will never see them again. We know there will be a grand reunion one day.

Keep that truth before your eyes. Allow the hope of the resurrection to propel you forward for the Lord.

Question: How does the hope of the resurrection inspire you?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2022 in Power of God, Return of Christ, Revival

 

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Caesar and God

Caesar and God

As we continue to study the Gospel of Luke, it’s getting closer to the time of the cross. The Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus in His words. They’re sending delegations of teachers to Him for the purpose of tripping Him up.

Each time they do, the wisdom of Christ proves superior. In His teaching, the Lord highlights the hypocrisy of these religious leaders.

The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Luke 20:19-22 NIV

This is an interesting group that came to Jesus. Mark tells us that these spies were made up of both Pharisees and Herodians. The Pharisees wanted national independence for Israel. The Herodians were very comfortable under Roman rule. They expected that no matter what Jesus answered, someone would be offended.

He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius.”

Luke 20:23-24a NIV

The key word here is duplicity. It’s really a Greek word for craftiness. Jesus knew that these men were simply saying what they thought He wanted to hear. They figured they could get Him off guard by complimenting Him. The fact is, that if they really believed what they said about Him, they would have been followers of Christ.

If you think about it, it’s actually something we should take seriously in our generation. It seems pretty easy for us to say things like, “Jesus is my Lord.” Every week we sing lyrics that say, “Jesus, you are my whole life. I give my all to you.”

We need to ask ourselves; do we really mean it, or are we just saying what God wants to hear? That’s what it means to be a hypocrite. It means that under certain, public conditions, we say things that are not true in our daily lives.

“No! I’m not trying to deceive anyone. I’m just singing the words that they put on the screen.”

Remember, Jesus said that we would have to give an accounting for every careless word spoken (Matthew 12:36). I believe that includes the careless words we sing too.

He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

Luke 20:23-26 NIV

This is the truth that we all need to hear. If we live in the world, then there are obligations that come with it – taxes, jobs, expenses, and other things as well. The Lord knows about these.

The problem comes in when we voluntarily obligate ourselves to the world. In our generation, we take on too many things that leave no room in our schedules for the plan of God.

We don’t have time for spiritual things because of that night class, soccer practice, movie night, or the hundred other things clamoring for our attention. We can binge watch twelve episodes of our favorite TV show but have no time for intimate prayer with the Holy Spirit.

According to Jesus, we need to get our priorities straight. The time is now for the people of God to live as though Jesus Christ truly is our whole life. Then we’ll see the hand of God manifesting the power that they had in the early church.

Question: How do you reorder your schedule to make more time for developing your spiritual life?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2022 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Kingdom Squatters

Kingdom Squatters

We’re continuing through the Gospel of Luke. As Jesus approaches the time of His crucifixion, the opposition of the religious leaders is on the increase. They tried to discredit Him by showing that the Lord had no credentials from any earthly source.

Jesus proved that their attacks were all motivated by the desire for political power. Now He turns to the crowd to teach them, in a parable, the truth of the present situation in Israel.

Of course, there are some things we should get out of this teaching. We need to be thinking about our responses to God.

What’s your purpose for being a part of God’s kingdom? Are you fulfilling that purpose? Jesus gives this parable to explain God’s priorities.

Today I’ll be looking at the Parable of the Vineyard as recorded in Luke 20:9-18. You may want to read it in Scripture before continuing with this post.

In this parable, Jesus tells of a man who owned a vineyard and rented it out to some farmers. According to the terms of the lease, the owner was to get a share of the harvest as payment. This was a normal agreement for property owners in those days.

It’s interesting to see that the owner did all the work to set up the vineyard. All the farmers needed to do was move in and start harvesting.

How does this relate to the kingdom of God? Simply put, the Lord is looking for fruit. It’s not about our church attendance, Bible reading, or even our tithing. He’s looking for the fruit of our relationship with the Holy Spirit that He placed within us.

During His ministry with the disciples, Jesus made this abundantly clear to them.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NIV

What we have to understand is that this is not our kingdom, but God’s. Everything we have is owned by someone else. Even our very lives belong to the Lord.

Because of this, God is well within His rights to demand anything He wants from us. We know right from the outset that He’s looking for the fruit of the Spirit.

Please understand that the fruit of our relationship with Christ is for the benefit and refreshing of those around us. The fruit of the Spirit are not merely for my personal gain.

The tenants in the parable didn’t understand this. They wanted to keep everything for themselves.

We live in a society where we’ve been taught that in most places – restaurants, stores, etc. – it’s all about what I want or need. Somehow we’ve transferred this mindset into our spiritual life. When it comes to being a part of a local church; I base it on what I can get from it.

What services do you offer me and my family? Do I like the type of music and the length of the worship service? Do I enjoy the way the Pastor delivers his sermons?

Wait a minute!!! Why does God have me in His kingdom? Is it purely for my comfort and enjoyment? No! I serve at the Lord’s good pleasure.

The tenants in this parable made a great mistake. They figured that if they could get rid of the owner’s son, then they could take over the vineyard. After all, squatters have rights.

Too often, I’ve seen this attitude in God’s people. The Bible refers to it as godlessness. Yes, there are many godless Christians.

To be godless simply means that God and His will don’t figure into any of your decisions. You’re living as if there’s no God. These are the squatters in God’s kingdom. They’re living on God’s property as if it belongs to them.

If you’ve been guilty of this attitude, then it’s time to repent. Get back to the purpose you were saved for. We need to be producing the fruit of the kingdom.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
John 15:8 NIV

Question: What are the fruits of the spirit that you have produced most recently?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2022 in Ministry, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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The House of Prayer

The House of Prayer

As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we’re approaching the time where Christ submits to the cross. He has now entered and wept over Jerusalem.

Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”

Luke 19:45-46 NIV

I believe this is a very important passage of Scripture. But so many times I’ve heard this used for unimportant issues.

The emphasis of this verse is not about whether the church should host a flea market or Christmas Bazaar. It’s not about book tables or bookstores.

I don’t think these are why the Holy Spirit placed this incident in the Bible. It’s deeper than these surface issues. I’m talking about the spiritual life of the believer.

Think about who we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our lives. We have now become His house.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV

I am a temple to the Holy Spirit. Think about it like the ancient Greek temples. My temple says Holy Spirit on the front.

What would you expect if you came to that temple? What if you entered it and saw a Star Trek Convention going on inside? You may question the priest about it.

“It’s only for this week.”

What if for the next few weeks, you visited this temple and saw a beauty pageant, a chili cook-off, and a real estate seminar.

You’d ask; is this a temple to the Holy Spirit or is it something else? With that thought in mind, reconsider what happened when Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple. I like John’s description.

To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

John 2:16-17 NIV

Notice the righteous anger that Christ displayed. What was it that aroused such an attitude? The disciples realized that Jesus was consumed by a zeal for the house of God.

When Christ told His disciples about the Holy Spirit, He said that He was sending “another counselor just like Me.” (John 14:26 – My paraphrase!) The difference is that the Holy Spirit lives in us. He lives permanently in His temple, our body. And, He has the same attitude as Christ.

Do we really get the point? We’re living in the Last Days. The Holy Spirit is starting to cleanse His temple. We need to submit to His program.

Remember – the Holy Spirit will not hurt His temple. But He will start to ruin that which would try and steal our affection. In my experience, I’d rather willingly give up something, than have the Lord remove it from my life.

What do we do?

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8 NIV

If you really want what the Holy Spirit desires, then sow to please the Spirit. He doesn’t say to summon up all your will power and live right. No! Simply submit to His plan and sow the Word and prayer. Spend time with the Spirit.

Question: What do you need to do to sow to please the Spirit?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Last Days Positioning

Last Days Positioning

In my last post, I began talking about the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem just before His crucifixion. This was found in Luke 19:36-41. At that time the Lord wept over the city of Jerusalem. I said that there were four reasons for His open display of grief.

The first was that looks can be deceiving. Even though a crowd was cheering, the hearts of the people had not changed.

…and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

Luke 19:42 NIV

The next thing that grieves the Lord is us not knowing what brings peace. Peace is the shalom of God. It’s the resting place in Him of undisturbed safety.

Paul talks about spending time in the peace of God’s presence.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 NIV

The peace of God will guard and protect you. It’s all you’ll ever need. Time spent with the Lord is never wasted time. It positions us for the resources we need to fulfill our calling.

We also understand that in the presence of God is safety. The enemy can’t get to me when I’m under the Lord’s protection. I don’t have to fear what the world fears.

The Lord also knows when we allow the attacks of the enemy to get in. That brings Him grief. Jesus saw in the spirit how the enemy would come to Israel.

They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Luke 19:44 NIV

The word, time, in this verse means a set appointment. The Lord is grieved by us not knowing the times. Do we truly know the times we’re living in?

If you’re at the end of the race and you act like there’s still plenty of time, then there’s something wrong with your thinking. The closer to the end of the race, the more you push yourself.

In looking at the world around me, I believe we’re very close to the Lord’s return. And yet, much of the church acts like things are going to go on like this forever. There’s no intensity, no fervor.

We need to be found standing firm in the Lord in these last days. This is not the time to simply coast along. I need to be positioned correctly at the appointed time in order to receive the prize to which God has called me.

But right along with this, the timing is for a purpose. There’s another word in the above verse I want to look at. The verse literally says, “…you did not recognize the time of visitation.”

The Lord is grieved by us not knowing the times of visitation. Do we even understand what “times of visitation” means? The Greek word for visitation means overseeing.

There are times when we need to oversee the work that’s being done for the Lord. Then, there are seasons when God steps in to directly oversee things. We usually call these times, “revivals.”

Of course, we have a choice. We can be like the people watching the parade pass by. Or, we can be like the disciples actively participating in the procession. The difference is how we position ourselves.

Positioning always comes before the visitation. The Apostle Peter explains.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV

Before the visitation we must live as strangers and aliens. After the visitation, the observers glorify God because of what they’ve seen in us.

This is why Jesus wept. He knew that a majority of Israel was missing it. We’re rapidly heading toward the greatest visitation of all. It very well may be the last visitation before the coming of the Lord.

Are we in position? Do you want to be a participant or an observer? Now is the time of decision.

Question: How are you positioning yourself in these last days?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Grieving the Lord

Grieving the Lord

We’re now in the section of Luke’s Gospel that’s commonly known as the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The disciples got a colt and a donkey for the Lord to ride as He entered the city. You may want to read Luke 19:36-41 before continuing with this post.

I believe that in this whole passage of Scripture, one of the most important verses is found close to the end.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it

Luke 19:41 NIV

This verse always amazed me. Here Jesus is entering Jerusalem like a triumphant king. Why would He weep and sob? That’s what I want to talk about in this post. It has a lot to do with where we are at this point in history.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen…

Luke 19:37 NIV

I always thought that it was the whole crowd in Jerusalem who were cheering Him on. But that’s simply not the case. It was only the Lord’s disciples who were cheering for Him. Remember, Jesus had over a hundred disciples at this point.

Look at what the priests said about this.

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:39-40 NIV

Notice that the priests didn’t say, “Tell the crowd to be quiet.” They only wanted the disciples to stop their ruckus. Still, it was a joyful procession marching into Jerusalem. So, why would Jesus be weeping? I see four things that answers this question.

First of all, looks can be deceiving. Our first thought might be that there’s a crowd with you, cheering you on. However, Jesus looked at the hearts of those around Him.

Today, around the country, Christians will be praising God in all of the churches. But how many believers are there who truly want God’s will in their lives? I’m not just talking about healing, prosperity, joy, and peace. I mean for us to have God set the course for our lives.

Many Christians have no problem with God as co-pilot. The hard part is handing Him the wheel. We want to serve Christ while still having control over some of the aspects of our lives.

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Philippians 3:18 NIV

Choosing to be a friend of the world puts you in the same position as an enemy of the cross (James 4:4). Please realize that we don’t make a conscious choice to be an enemy of the cross. Actually, it’s making no choice at all.

Paul says that many “live LIKE enemies of the cross”. Sometimes we’re living like we want God’s will. At other times we live like we want the world. It’s the result of being uncommitted, you want to leave your options open.

That was the greater crowd, they were content to watch and see what would happen. We have to be careful not to simply go along with popular opinion. We need to base our lives on what’s written in God’s Word.

In my next post, I’ll deal with the other three things that caused the Lord to grieve over Jerusalem. I’m hoping they speak to us in this generation.

Question: How can we keep ourselves from becoming captivated by the world’s attraction?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2022 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Church, Word of God

 

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Are You Prepared for the Lord’s Return?

Are You Prepared for the Lord’s Return?

In my last post, I started talking about the parable where a nobleman gave some money to his servants. This is found in Luke 19:11-27.

The nobleman was going on a journey, and he wanted the servants to invest the money for him while he was gone. He gave them each 1 mina, about $2,500, for this investment. Then, he checked their progress when he returned.

Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’”

Luke 19:15b-19 NIV

Everything seemed to be going well. There was increase. Both of the servants ended up with a nice profit. One had a 1000% return, the other made 500%. I wish I could find that kind of investment!

They had used the money they were entrusted with wisely. Their Lord commended them. Now they could expect the reward that they earned.

Finally, the last servant showed up.

“Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’”

Luke 19:20-21 NIV

This servant took what was given to him and instead of using it and putting it to work, he just wraps it up and hides it. The worst part of this whole scenario is that he knows his master is expecting him to increase it.

He has no excuse. The servant even said, “I know you expected me to work with it and to make more because that’s the kind of person you are.”

Listen to the attitude. It’s heard throughout the church today. It’s the cry of those who have bought into the lie of the enemy concerning their lives.

This servant has the audacity to accuse the master of harvesting where he hasn’t planted. It was the master’s money he was entrusted with. The master was planting his own money into the lives of his servants.

I’ve seen this exact attitude in the church. “What has God ever done for me? I’m going to take care of myself first. If I have any leftover time, then I’ll worry about serving Him.”

The Lord gave them the very life in their body. They belong to Him. He has sown so much into their lives, yet they act like they’ve been given nothing and now have to make their way on their own.

There are Christians whose attitude suggests to me that they’re actually annoyed by the presence of God in their lives. They see the Lord who died for them as a hard man to work for.

We need to realize that saint and sinner alike will all give an account before the Lord someday. The Scripture is clear on that. What are you going to answer on that day when you go before the Lord and He says, “Here’s what I’ve given you. I shed My blood for you. I took the crown of thorns on My brow for you. I took the stripes on My back for you. This is what I invested in you. What did you do with it?”

Don’t expect to receive a reward when your response is, “I tried to ignore You the best I could.” That’s not going to earn you any points.

In the end, this wicked, lazy servant lost his money. I believe this corresponds to those who are saved, yet ignore the plan of God for their lives. Paul had something to say about the Lord inspecting our work someday. It sounds a lot like what Jesus said.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 3:10-11

We’ve been given the best foundation. But we’re expected to build our ministry upon it. We must allow growth to come into our life. We must add the Word of God. Then comes obedience to the Word. This must happen if we want to see the increase that God’s looking for.

Growth means change. Do you want to see the changes that God wants? There must be growth if we’re going to reach out to the people God has given to us. If we are walking in a growing relationship with Christ, then we’re building on the foundation that’s been laid in our life.

Question: What have you added to the foundation of your life so far?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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A Son Coming Home

A Son Coming Home

In my last post I talked about Zacchaeus from Luke chapter 19. In looking at this encounter, I talked about the Biblical principle of Sonship. Jesus had just called him down from the tree and told him that He was coming to Zacchaeus’ home.

Zacchaeus had no idea what was about to happen.

So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’”
Luke 19:6-7 NIV

These two verses show us, in a tangible way, the difference between using the power of the law and the power of the Spirit. The law is always trying to block your way. It says that you must get yourself ready before you can abide with Christ. The religious people thought that there was no way that Christ should enter Zacchaeus’ home.

I’m writing this so that you’ll know for a certainty that it doesn’t matter how you start out. Your problems, failings and lack of commitment are all things of the past. You can start fresh by abiding with Christ today.

The time to run to the Lord is before you try to fix yourself up. It’s only as you remain in His presence that you receive the power for changing your life.

Look at what happened to Zacchaeus.

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Luke 19:8-10 NIV

Salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house. We usually misunderstand what salvation is all about. If you can grasp its total impact in Scripture, salvation actually includes all of God’s life changing and restoring power. It was this power that was manifest in Zacchaeus’ life that day. His love of money dissipated in the light of the Spirit’s love.

But, more importantly, Jesus said that he, too, is a son. He may have gone his own way for a while, but Zacchaeus was loved by the Father. The Lord was clear that He came seeking Zacchaeus.

It’s an interesting perspective because Zacchaeus thought that he was seeking Christ. It’s just like our spiritual worship.

Scripturally, the word, worship, means to bend forward as if to kiss. If we will bend forward to kiss the Lord, then He will bend forward to kiss us.

The greatest ministry of Christ was that He came to seek and save that which was ruined. Right now the body of Christ in America is full of ruined sons and daughters. It’s time to seek the Lord.

What we’ll find is that in our seeking of Him it’s actually the Lord who’s seeking us. It’s time for us as believers not get saved, but to BE SAVED. We need to rise up to our rightful place and position of Sonship.

This can only happen as we see the importance of our relationship with the Father. This means that we understand how to relate as sons and daughters to our heavenly Father.

Question: How does Sonship change your view of who you are as a believer?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2022 in Encouragement, Faith, Revival, Sonship, Worship

 

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