RSS

Category Archives: Spiritual Walk

God-Given Authority

God-Given Authority

As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re looking at God’s authority structures. We need to learn godly submission, if we want God’s best for us.

For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

Romans 13:3

Under normal circumstances, those in authority don’t strike fear in the ones doing good. It’s those who are breaking the law that fear.

It’s like the people who are in their cars, speeding down the highway. Then, suddenly, when they see a police cruiser parked on the side, they jam on their brakes.

Paul asks and answers a simple question. Do you want to be free from this fear? Then do what’s right.

At this point, Paul gives us an important spiritual key.

For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

Romans 13:4

The apostle makes it clear that the one in authority is God’s servant to do you good. That’s an important point.

We understand that all authority in heaven and earth is God’s. Any authority that someone has is ultimately from God. What we have to do is separate the authority, from the individual who’s in authority.

Authority is a place, a position that someone occupies. We have to realize that God has established the position so there will be order.

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Hebrews 13:17

This includes kings, presidents, governors, senators, etc. We are to respect the position as a part of God-ordained authority. Who is in that position is immaterial, and that’s the hard part.

In my last post, we looked at this next verse. God was addressing King Saul.

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

1 Samuel 15:23

Saul was in the position of king, but God had rejected him. Yet, for years he remained in the office.

At one point, David was being hunted down by Saul, for no reason but jealousy. In the wilderness, David had a chance to kill Saul in his sleep, but he didn’t.

This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’”

1 Samuel 24:10

Here we can see David’s heart. For years the wrong man was in the position of king. The nation was in turmoil. But the position had to be respected.

Our God is a God of order. It’s through God’s order that we can live good and productive lives.

The fact is that no matter who is in the position of authority, there will be those who don’t think he or she should be there. That’s immaterial to the discussion. We respect and pray for our leaders because of the position.

Question: What’s your prayer for our leaders, in both the church and in government?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2021 in Leadership, Ministry, Prayer, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Overcoming Evil with Good

Overcoming Evil with Good

We’re continuing our walk through Romans. Paul is exhorting us to walk in maturity. Of course this is impossible without first implementing his teachings in chapters 8-10. He now makes a very important statement that we should consider carefully.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Is this verse true? Can evil be overcome with good? The answer is a resounding YES! The principles of God’s Word bring victory over evil. Look at the example of Scripture.

In the early church of Jerusalem thousands of people a month were being saved. Jesus was being preached. Also during this time the apostles were arrested and brought before the religious leaders for questioning.

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 4:18

This was the outcome of their meeting. Does it sound familiar to you? It should. This is the attitude of society in the United States today. They tell us that we can do whatever we want – just don’t mention Jesus.

What was the response of the church in Jerusalem to this kind of attitude? Did they go out and preach some more? Hold a Jesus concert? Put a referendum on the ballot? Absolutely not.

They called a prayer meeting. This is what they brought before the Lord at that time.

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:29-30

Considering that they were told not to use the name of Jesus, here’s their request. First, they asked for boldness. Then they asked for healings, miraculous signs and wonders. But the important point was that they wanted all these things to be accomplished in the name of Jesus.

They didn’t just want to preach in His name, they wanted the world to see the power of the name of Jesus. This is the forgiveness principle at work – it’s the power to arrest and destroy sin. It’s all done by the power of the Spirit.

Wait a minute, what does forgiveness have to do with overcoming evil with good? I’m glad you asked. This brings me to a verse that I’ve heard preached many times about our nation. It’s only the power of God – not politics – that will turn our nation around.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Do we want our land healed? Then sin must be forgiven – removed – arrested and destroyed. The only way this will happen is for the church to get on our knees. There needs to be intercession made for our nation.

Not praying for a better president or leaders. Not praying for new laws. We must cry out for God to give us the boldness to speak His Word. We must intercede for the Lord to send miracles, healings, signs and wonders. All of this so that the name of Jesus can break sin.

After all, it’s so much easier to win the lost if the battle is won first in the heavens. In order for us to overcome evil with good, we need to do what it takes. It will require consistent times in God’s presence.

Questions: Why is it so hard to get people to intercede for our nation? Are you willing to “pray the price” for revival?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2021 in Ministry, Power of God, Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

Revenge is Mine, Or Not

Revenge is Mine, Or Not

As we continue through Romans, Paul is encouraging us to live peacefully with those around us. This even includes our enemies.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19-20

This verse clearly tells us not to take it upon ourselves to punish or retaliate against someone who has wronged us. That’s a hard instruction to live out.

Instead, we’re told to leave an opening for the passion, wrath, of God. This goes against our very human nature. We want to feel like we’ve vindicated ourselves. We have a need to prove that we are right and they are wrong.

Paul brought out an example of this in his dealings with the Corinthian church. If you remember, the people of Corinth had a pastime of going to court. It was great entertainment for them.

This even spilled over into the church. Fellow believers were taking each other to court and suing each other for the smallest of problems.

Paul had some strong words for them.

The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

1 Corinthians 6:7-8

Paul makes it clear that when we pursue our own vindication, in our own power, we’ve completely failed right from the start. We’re defeated before we even start to fight the battle. Instead, we should seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this may involve legal means. But there are many times that it will be something less confrontational.

But, as I read the verses from Romans, it seems that it’s more about attitude than anything else. It takes a complete change of perspective to do good to those we consider our enemies. Of course there are those who deceive themselves and say, “I don’t have any enemies.” It’s an attempt to get around God’s command.

I get it. You don’t have any “enemies”. You just have people that you avoid being around, or speaking to, because you don’t like them. These are the very people that you need to go out of your way to show the kindness of Christ to.

According to Paul, we don’t do what’s expected. Our good actions will cause a pain in their head. The more our enemies think about it, the more confused they become. The Holy Spirit will use that to draw them to Christ.

We want to be vindicated. The big question for us is; what’s our goal? Are we after our vindication or a soul that’s saved and in the kingdom of Heaven?

We think that if we’re not vindicated, then we’ve lost. Actually, the real victory is a changed life. That’s a sign of the power of God at work through you.

Let God have His way in the lives of those around you. Walk in the love of Christ and don’t seek your own agenda. See the victory that can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit.

Question: How have you seen the power of these principles at work in your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 15, 2021 in Fellowship, Relationships, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One With the Body of Christ

One With the Body of Christ

We’re continuing our walk through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. In this section of the epistle, he’s talking about the walk of maturity.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Romans 12:16

This next verse deals with how we see ourselves in God’s kingdom. That first sentence literally says, be the same toward one another. We need to realize that in Christ, none of us are any different from one another.

According to our human way of thinking, little things make big differences to us. However, these petty differences mean nothing to God.

Things like where we’re from, what we look like, money, position, and education are all immaterial to God and should be to us. We’re all the same in His eyes.

This means that bigotry and self-interest have no place in the church. That includes race and gender, as well as political preferences. We’re here to serve one another, no matter what.

Then, Paul tells us not to place our focus on high things. Instead, focus on the humble, and get carried away with them. Humility is an important part of the Christian walk. Paul isn’t the only one who talks about it.

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:5-6

I like the way Peter explains this. We’re to put on humility like a piece of clothing. It can cover over all the junk that may be going on inside of us.

But more than that, it comes with a blessing. Humility brings a covering of God’s grace with it. As we humble ourselves, we open our lives up to a release of God’s power. One of the best ways to walk in God’s grace is to live humbly with others.

Getting back to the verse in Romans, Paul’s last statement is very interesting. The original Greek reads, do not become skillful at revolving everything around yourself.

Sometimes it seems that this is how we view the Scripture and our walk with God. “God and the Bible exist simply to bless me.” Absolutely not!! God’s highest goal is to make me a blessing to others. That includes those who do not act kindly toward me.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Romans 12:17

This is another exhortation that needs the power of God to fulfill. Don’t give back evil for evil.

Instead, we’re told to be careful. That means to consider in advance. In other words, we must prepare ourselves to do what’s good in the sight of all men – even those who hate us.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18

Wow! This is a big “if”. It literally says that if you have the power to bring it out of yourself, have peace around all men.

Remember, this is the fruit of the spirit of peace. It grows in you as you plant the seed of the Word and let it mature in the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

This is the peace we must live in. It’s an attitude that must be cultivated in God’s presence. This is one of the surest ways of judging maturity. It’s about how well we live with those around us.

Question: How well does your life reflect these qualities?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Being a Blessing

Being a Blessing

As we go through this last section of Romans, there are some tough exhortations. But remember, this part of Romans assumes that you’ve applied chapters 8-10. This gives you the ability for what’s ahead.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:14

The teaching here goes against our very human nature. This is impossible to do apart from the strength of the Holy Spirit.

This is more than just ignoring those who persecute you or putting up with them. The word, bless, means to speak well of them. To do that, requires us to see through God’s eyes. We need to see what they could become in Christ.

In this verse, Paul even repeats himself with emphasis. He tells us to bless them and don’t curse them – literally, don’t speak doom over them.

To accomplish this requires quality time with the Holy Spirit.

Another thing we must learn, according to Paul, is identification.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Romans 12:15

We must learn to be happy in the midst of happiness and mournful in the midst of mourning. So often we miss this characteristic of Christ.

Jesus sent out 72 of His followers to do what He was doing. They got amazing results.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Luke 10:17

They returned full of joy. What was Jesus’ reaction?

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Luke 10:18-21

The phrase, full of joy, literally means to jump and dance around with joy. I can picture the Lord giving them all high-fives as they arrived.

Then again, when Lazarus died…

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

John 11:33-36

The fact is that Jesus didn’t need to weep. The Lord knew that He was going to call Lazarus back to life. But, He identified with those who were in mourning.

When we identify with others, it shows them that we care about what they’re going through – either good or bad. Many times that will open their hearts to allow us to speak the truth of the Word into their lives.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:22-23

We need to follow Paul’s example.

Question: How have you been a blessing to someone else recently?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 10, 2021 in Ministry, Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Meeting Needs

Meeting Needs

We’re continuing through the book of Romans, looking at the walk of maturity.

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:13

The first half of this verse has an interesting construction. It actually reads; as to the needs of the saints, sharing.

Think about it. Needs – we all have them. When we talk about meeting peoples needs, our first thoughts usually go toward money. There are plenty of places in Scripture that talk about financial needs. But, this verse is talking about more than that.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

We must be prepared to give more than just money. What about a word of grace from our lips? There are many people who could use that word of encouragement.

What about those who are in need of healing? There are also many who need fellowship, guidance, or one of many other kinds of help we could give.

So, what do we do when we see the needs of others in the body of Christ? The Greek word used in this verse for sharing is koinonia. It literally means to be in partnership.

I’ve found that, in this generation, we really don’t understand what partnership is all about. It’s the realization that we all have a part to play in each others lives. It’s a very powerful part of our Christian relationships.

I believe that it’s a perception problem. Sometimes we simply view church as a place where we meet together. Instead, we should understand that it’s an organism that we’re a part of. It’s about more than just our stuff. It’s sharing who we are.

The church of the Philippians is a great example of this.

Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;

Philippians 4:15

Paul commended them for their partnership in the Gospel. They were a blessing to Paul and helped to reach those in other parts of the world. But, they also received a blessing.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Most don’t realize that this is specifically a promise for partners. We are partners in the work that God is doing. It’s like the flow of blood in the human body. That’s how blessings flow through the body of Christ.

Then, along with this, we’re told to practice hospitality. The verse literally says to pursue the love of strangers. That means love those who are very different from you. This is not the only place we’re told to do this.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

It’s a way of giving out God’s grace to others. Why are we having church, if we’re not practicing hospitality? Of course, this also comes with a blessing.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

The fact is that we don’t always know everything that’s going on in the spirit. It won’t be until we’re in God’s presence when we find out all of the effects that our partnership and hospitality had on the world.

Question: How have you practiced these qualities recently?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 8, 2021 in Ministry, Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hope, Patience, and Prayer

Hope, Patience, and Prayer

As we continue through Romans, Paul is giving us a list of things that should be in place in the life of a mature believer. Remember, these are very frustrating to accomplish without first going through the “boot-camp” of chapters 8-10.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

It’s amazing that there’s so much to learn from such a short verse! There’s a lot of truth contained here.

First, we should be joyful in hope. That literally means that you cheer yourself up by your hope. So, the question is; what is hope?

In our modern culture, we’ve defined hope as a strong desire. “”I want to go to the beach tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t rain.” That has nothing to do with the scriptural concept of hope.

In the Bible, hope is what you expect, based upon God’s Word. God says something, and because we trust Him, we expect that what He said will happen.

So, let me ask you; what do you expect from God? Do you meditate on it and what the Word says about it? Do you use this expectation to build yourself up emotionally?

Next, we should be patient in affliction. I don’t like the sound of that. It literally means that when under pressure, we remain patient while staying under it.

I have to tell you that this is easier to do when you’re rejoicing in your expectation. The fact is that we’ll always have pressure. Furthermore, you can’t do anything about the pressure anyway.

The best way to weather it is to put your expectation in God. Find out what He says about your situation. Then, trust the Lord to bring you through it.

Our human nature is to stop looking to God and to start looking for the way out. In most cases that’s not helpful because we don’t have the ability on our own. The best course is to look for guidance and strength from the Holy Spirit. Trust Him to bring about the victory.

Finally, we are to be faithful in prayer. That phrase literally means to be strong toward prayer. This means that you press into the place of prayer even when you don’t feel like it. We see this exemplified in the life of Moses.

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27

The word, persevered, in this verse is the same as faithful, above. Moses remained strong toward God. I believe that’s done by staying strong in prayer.

Think about these three exhortations. They all work together. You really can’t separate them if you want a successful Christian walk.

It’s like a great circle of faith. You can’t be patient under pressure unless you’re joyful in your expectation. Then again, you can’t be strong toward prayer unless you have a patience to endure. And, you can’t have a full expectancy from God unless you’re faithful in prayer.

This is why we should be striving toward maturity. It’s like a snowball of grace, rolling down a hill and growing as it goes.

In his letters, Peter talked about a number of things that should be growing in a believer’s life. I believe that what he said about them could also be applied here.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:8

Our goal should be daily growth in Christ. I realize that most of the time it’s too slow to even notice. But, it’s taking place just the same, if we follow the Lord’s plan.

Question: How have you seen these three qualities at work in your life?

2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 6, 2021 in Encouragement, Faith, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Do You Have a Heart of Mercy?

Do You Have a Heart of Mercy?

In today’s post, I’m talking about the last of the Motivational Gifts found in Romans, chapter 12. It’s the heart of mercy.

…if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:8c

This is probably the most misunderstood of the gifts. That’s because, in our generation, we have no concept of the biblical meaning of this word, mercy. It’s actually a very involved concept.

Let me try to explain it briefly.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites…you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness.”

Matthew 23:23

This is actually a poor translation of what Jesus said. In the Greek, this literally says judgment, mercy, and faith. According to Jesus, these are the most important aspects of the law.

We understand faith and judgment. Faith is the basis for pleasing God – we need to trust Him. Judgment is what you get if you displease Him by breaking His law. In a nutshell, mercy is God’s reward for your faithfulness.

A few years back I wrote a series on mercy. If you want a more detailed explanation of mercy, click here.

Getting back to the heart of mercy, someone with this gift finds their joy in rewarding faithfulness in others. They want to see that people who put forth an effort receive a blessing.

Like I said, they’re sometimes misunderstood, and they’re accused of being too compassionate and forgiving. Sometimes it seems like they’re blessing those who don’t deserve it.

But, this is because of their unique perspective. They have a God-given ability to see the potential in a person who others reject. As they do this, someone with a merciful heart will sometimes bless this person based upon what they see as future faithfulness in Christ.

The Apostle Paul saw this aspect of God’s mercy in his own life. God looked ahead to what Paul would become in Christ.

Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

1 Timothy 1:13

Someone with a heart of mercy will see what people could become and reward that. However, this could lead to problems. That’s why Paul exhorts a person with this gift to exercise it with cheerfulness.

The challenge is that unlike God, we can’t see the future. Sometimes a merciful heart is wrong about where the other person is headed. They’re told to be cheerful, because many times they can be disappointed by the outcome.

We need this perspective in the body of Christ. We need to be reminded that what people look and act like now doesn’t always reflect what they could become in Christ.

As a matter of fact, all of these gifts that I’ve talked about over the last few posts, are important in God’s kingdom. All of them are necessary to fulfill God’s calling on the church.

We are all created unique and different. That’s a good thing. Yes, sometimes our differences bring challenges. Sometimes we don’t understand the thinking of those with a different heart-gift.

Some find others gifts annoying. Sometimes we’ll envy the gifts of others. But, simply put, we need each other. And, we need to be what God created us to be.

I believe that’s why Paul opened this section by explaining that we are all the parts of a body (Romans 12:4-5). We were made to work together as a unit.

Be the blessing to others that you were meant to be.

Questions: Do you have a heart of mercy? Who do you know with this gift?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Do You Have a Leader’s Heart?

Do You Have a Leader’s Heart?

In today’s post, I’ll continue talking about the Motivational Gifts found in Romans, chapter 12.

…if it is leadership, let him govern diligently;

Romans 12:8c

The next is the gift of a leader’s heart. This is another necessary part of the body of Christ. Unfortunately, because of the faults in our humanity, we get the wrong idea of what this means.

First, let me tell you what this is NOT. A leader’s heart does not mean that this person is bossy or controlling. It’s actually just the opposite.

Someone who truly has the God-given gift of this motivation has a grace to see the steps that need to be taken in order to reach a desired outcome. Then, they also have the grace to motivate those who are called to fulfill that mission.

The word, leadership, in this verse, literally means to stand in front of. Along with this, you need to know that the word, govern, is not in the original text. It was put there by the translators to make it easier to read.

So, the grace of a leader’s heart is to take the lead in bringing order to the work that needs to be done in the church. Things are accomplished so much quicker, when we follow a plan.

I believe that James, the writer of the book of James, had a leader’s heart. People seemed to follow his lead without question as he pastored the church in Jerusalem. The book of James is also structured as an instructional guide to help someone begin their Christian journey.

When my wife and I were first married, our pastor had this gift. At one point, our denomination wanted to hold a Women’s Dinner. Our pastor volunteered our church and said that our men would cater it. (He was also a trained chef.)

I was one of the five men who volunteered to serve. The day of the dinner, he gave each of us our assignments and continued to tell us what to do and when to do it. I have to tell you that it couldn’t have run more smoothly, even if we had hired a professional caterer.

I believe that this is one of the more neglected gifts in the church. Many times, in our ministries, there are things that need to be done. Yet, we don’t realize that the gift we need is “in the house”.

We go out and hire people to do things that could easily be accomplished if we only knew each other’s gifts. Please understand, I know that we need to hire people for jobs that need specialized training or certification. But, there are plenty of other jobs that only require a willingness to follow instructions.

That brings me to Paul’s exhortation to those who have a leader’s heart. He tells them to lead with diligence. It’s actually the Greek word from which we get our English word, speed. It means to be quick or eager.

That’s because, like I said at the start of this post, someone with this motivation is not bossy or controlling. They don’t usually push themselves forward. They may offer to lead, or wait to be invited or called upon.

That’s also why it’s so important to understand the difference between position and heart. God can call anyone, with any heart, into any position of leadership. It’s vitally important for those in the position of leadership to keep in mind those that they know have a leader’s heart.

I believe that the work of the Lord would go a lot smoother, “down in the trenches”, if we utilized the various gifts to their greatest potentials. That’s especially true of those with a leader’s heart who aren’t called to positions of leadership.

We need to recognize and use all of these heart-gifts. The gift of a leader’s heart will be a help to any ministry in accomplishing the Lord’s assignments.

Questions: Do you have a leader’s heart? Who do you know with this gift?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Encourager’s and Giver’s Hearts

Encourager’s and Giver’s Hearts

Continuing through the book of Romans, we’re looking at the motivational gifts that Paul speaks about. In my last two posts we covered the prophet’s, servant’s and teacher’s hearts.

…if it is encouraging, let him encourage;

Romans 12:8a

The next in this list is the encourager’s heart. This is the same Greek word that’s used for the Holy Spirit when He’s called the Comforter. Of course, it has nothing to do with our modern definition of comfort.

It’s a Greek word that means to call alongside. The best way I can describe it is to call this person a coach. The encourager has a coach’s heart.

In the world of athletics, your coach is the one who prepares you physically and emotionally for the next game. They understand your strengths and weaknesses, and push you to become the best you can be.

That’s what the believers with an encourager’s heart are motivated to do in the body of Christ. They want to cheer you on and let you know that you’re victorious in Christ.

Because of this desire, everyone likes to be around them. They’re usually uplifting and cheerful. When you’ve spent some time with an encourager, you leave feeling like you’re ready to take on the world.

In all likelihood, the Apostle Paul had an encourager’s heart. In many of his letters, he concluded them with uplifting words for the people he knew in those areas.

The only downside is that many times, others who have a different gift, try to copy this one. We need to understand who we are in Christ, and operate in our own personal gifting.

…if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously;

Romans 12:8b

That brings us to the giver’s heart. These are people who are highly motivated to share what they have with those around them.

Those with a giver’s heart are valuable in the kingdom of God. Many times their ability to share with others is an encouragement to all of us to follow their example.

Please realize that I’m not just talking about money here. They try to meet people’s needs. They have great insight into what someone actually has need of.

They may give money, but many times they give other types of tangible items. It might be a book, an article of clothing, or some food they prepared. They’re a real blessing to those around them.

However, I have seen a misuse of this gift. There were times that I’ve seen a giver’s heart give away something that should have been used on themselves or their immediate family. People with this gift need to be led by the Holy Spirit in their giving to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Someone in Scripture who probably walked in this gift was a woman named Tabitha (Acts 9:36-41). She was someone who was always making clothing for the poor.

It’s important to note that Paul gives a special exhortation to those with this motivation. The word that’s translated as generously, above, actually means with singleness and simplicity. It implies that the giver should not look at what others think or do.

This is important because many times a giver will get upset when they see others ignoring the needs of people that they see so clearly. A person with a giver’s heart needs to realize that we all have our own walk and we’re only responsible for our own actions.

Those with a giver’s heart rarely seek any kind of acknowledgment or special treatment because of their giving. Actually, they seem very uncomfortable when they’re placed in the spotlight. They want to give because that’s what fulfills them.

Questions: Do you have an encourager’s or a giver’s heart? Who do you know with these gifts?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,