RSS

Category Archives: Word of God

An Open Mind

An Open Mind

As we’re nearing the end of our study through the Gospel of Luke, we’re seeing the events surrounding the risen Christ. In my last two posts, I talked about His encounter with some of the disciples along the road.

They returned to Jerusalem to tell the others that Christ had risen. You may want to read Luke 24:33-45 before continuing.

As they talked together, the Lord appeared in the room with them. They were still confused and doubting what was happening. Jesus explained that everything was foretold by Scripture.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Luke 24:45 NIV

The word understand in this verse literally means to put together. The Lord opened up the minds of these disciples to put together all that was happening. This included the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Christ, as well as the Scripture that foretold it. They had to walk in a supernatural understanding in order to grasp what was happening.

We need this ability of the Holy Spirit in us to put together – understand and apply – all that’s in the Scripture. If I don’t cultivate my spiritual prayer life, then where will all of this understanding come from? We can receive these blessing nowhere else but from the Spirit.

Paul understood this and tried to make it clear to his readers. In the following verse, the apostle is taking an Old Testament verse and revamping it for a spiritual people.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV

What this verse actually says in the Greek is, “Who has known the mind of the Lord well enough to be knit together with Him.” But we hold, possess the mind of Christ.

What an incredible truth! In the spirit we have access to the mind of the eternal God. The big question is; will we lay claim to this gift by the Spirit?

It’s clear that the Holy Spirit is needed in order to renew our minds. But this renewal is more than just accessing God’s knowledge. It’s much deeper than that.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…

Philippians 2:5 NIV

This means that the direction of our minds should be the same as Christ. This is evident in our current church experience. So many of our prayers seem to go unanswered. We think we’re praying “in the will of God.” But we don’t see anything happening.

Many times, we don’t receive when we pray because we’re headed in a different direction than Christ. We want the blessings of God. We just want them for a different reason than He does.

We need to direct our mind like Christ. When the Lord walked the earth, His mind was directed by the Spirit. That’s what renewal is all about. It’s not just changing what we think about, but how we think.

This is a difficult thing to do in the natural. Actually, it’s pretty close to impossible. Trying to get the mind to renew itself is a losing proposition. Instead, the best way is to activate our spirit in order to keep our mind Christ-centered.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:2 NIV

This would be quite a challenge for us to do in our own power. I know I can accomplish this temporarily. I wanted to see how long during the day I could make myself think about the things of God. I found it to be a lost cause. The littlest things would distract me and refocus my attention on the things of earth.

Prayer in the spirit, however, allows you to zero in on things above for an increasingly longer time. Your mind will begin to follow the lead of your spirit. You will begin to understand the things of the spirit like never before.

In this way your mind will start to become reset and refreshed. When this is taking place, it goes a long way to changing how the outward man reacts to life. If we’re going to win the battle of the mind, then we must pray in the spirit regularly.

Question: How have you noticed your prayer life affecting your thought life?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lighting the Fire

Lighting the Fire

We’re continuing through the Gospel of Luke. In my last post I started talking about the followers of Christ in Luke 24:9-32. They were discouraged and double-minded concerning Jesus’ death. After encountering the risen Lord everything changed.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 NIV

They said that their hearts burned within them. In order to understand what happened we need to go back to that point. According to the men, it was when Jesus talked with them on the road. Let’s look at what He said to them.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:25-27 NIV

As they were walking along the road Jesus explained the Scripture to them. What would you give to have an experience like that? The Lord, Himself, explaining the Scripture to you. It turns out that you can.

The word explained that’s used in this verse is very special. It’s the word that’s normally translated as interpretation; as in the spiritual gift of interpretation. This explanation that Jesus gave them was no boring lecture. It was an anointed Word straight from the Spirit of God.

That’s what will ignite the fire, not only in those early saints, but in us as well.

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
Jeremiah 23:29 NIV

God declares to us that His Word is like a fire. That’s the Word that Jesus proclaimed to these men on the road to Emmaus. As He spoke to them, the Lord lit a fire in their hearts.

We can have this same experience today. As we spend time in the presence of the Lord, we must have a listening ear. When we hear a Word from the Holy Spirit it will ignite a fire in our heart.

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue…
Psalms 39:3 NIV

God’s Word to us starts the fire burning. But as we meditate on it, the flames increase until it is all consuming. That’s a part of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church today. He brings a Word from God to our attention – if we’re listening.

That’s the key. I’ve heard people pray for God to “send the fire.” It’s not a matter of Him sending it, but of us receiving it. We need to hear a Word from God to get it kindled in our heart. Then meditate on that Word in order to heat it up.

That means we need to develop a sensitive, listening ear in the spirit. And that only comes as we spend time in the presence of the Lord. I’m talking about intimate times where we’re not doing most of the talking.

If you want to feel the fire of the spirit, then you must learn to wait upon the Lord to hear His voice.

Question: What has the Lord spoken to you lately by His Spirit?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 1, 2023 in Revival, Word of God, Anointing, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hearts on Fire

Hearts on Fire

We’re continuing through Luke’s Gospel. At this point we’re in the final chapter. Christ has risen from the dead. The women went to the tomb and had an encounter with some angels who told them of the resurrection.

We can learn some important truths from what happens next. You may want to read Luke 24:9-32 before continuing with this post.

At this time, Christ began showing Himself to groups of His followers in various places. At one point two of them were walking from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus. They had an encounter with the risen Lord, only they didn’t know who it was.

Jesus acted like He didn’t know what had happened in Jerusalem. The disciples shared their grief with Him.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Luke 24:25-27 NIV

It wasn’t until Christ vanished that they knew who He was. Later, once they knew who they’d been with, they discussed it.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:32 NIV

The key point is that their hearts were burning. So, let’s start at the beginning. If this is about their hearts, then how did they begin the process? This is an important question.

As I said before, they didn’t know at first that they were talking to Jesus. He asked them why they looked so sad. They were amazed that there was a person who had no idea of what had just taken place in Jerusalem.

“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”

Luke 24:19-21 NIV

This is one of the most amazing confessions of faith AND unbelief that I’ve ever seen! On the one hand they saw in Christ the power of the Word of God. They were inspired to place their hope in Him as the Redeemer of Israel.

Yet at the same time they were walking in defeat, believing that there was nothing more to hope for. It was over. The chief priests and rulers destroyed the dream.

In this condition, they were what James called double-minded.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

James 1:6-8 NIV

Being double-minded doesn’t mean that you doubt everything. You’re trusting God for some things, while doubting others. You may trust God to save your soul, yet not believe that He wants to provide for your needs.

That’s the place that many Christians find themselves in today. They know what God’s Word says, yet they have no idea how to apply it to their lives. They’re hoping that God will do something in them, while at the same time they expect nothing to happen.

This is where the burning hearts come in. In my next post we’ll see the Lord’s remedy for this double-minded dilemma.

Question: When have you found yourself both trusting and doubting God at the same time?

© 2023 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Get Packed Up!

Get Packed Up!

We’re continuing through Luke’s Gospel. At this point, Jesus and His disciples are about to leave the upper room where the Last Supper was held.

The Lord gives these men some final instructions.

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That is enough,” he replied.

Luke 22:35-38 NIV

The Lord tells His disciples how to prepare for what’s ahead. As I look at this, I can see some spiritual parallels to what He’s saying. It’s how we should be prepared for our walk with the Lord.

Take a purse. That’s a money holder. In some of his parables, Jesus talked about money. A rich man gave money to his servants, for them to increase it while he was away (Matthew 25:14-30).

That speaks to me of calling. We’re called to be fruitful and profitable in the Lord’s kingdom. This means that we’ve sought God’s will for our lives. More than that, now we seek to please God by fulfilling that purpose.

Take a bag. The Greek word used, speaks specifically about a food bag. We need to have something to sustain our inner man.

In the natural, they would probably pack some bread. We have something more nourishing in the spirit.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Matthew 4:4 NIV

We must spend time in the Lord’s presence. We need to be regularly hearing from the Holy Spirit. After all, He’s the one leading and guiding us to our calling and destiny.

Sell your cloak. We need to stop hiding. Many of us are very comfortable in our “spiritual cloaks”. We like blending in with the society around us.

Many times, I hear believers say that they’re trying to be relevant. I’m sick of hearing that. We were never called to be “relevant” to the point of compromise.

If the world can’t see a difference between us and them, then there’s something wrong with our lifestyle. Jesus makes it clear that how we live is going to make the world uncomfortable (John 15:18-19). There’s no way around it.

Take a sword. I don’t think this should take much to explain. We need God’s Word as a weapon. It’s a component of the whole armor of God.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17 NIV

I talked about the Word when I looked at the food bag. That was a Word for our nourishment and growth. This is a Word to defeat the enemy.

That’s why intimacy with the Holy Spirit is so important. Hearing from God is a vital part of our entire walk with the Lord. It’s what we need in every area.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3 NIV

The Lord wanted His disciples to be prepared. Spiritually speaking, we need preparation as well. Don’t be found lacking in the things of God. Walk in the fullness of what He has for you.

Question: What will it take for you to be spiritually prepared?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Christmas Star Rising

Christmas Star Rising

Around the world, people are going to be celebrating Christmas this weekend. Even though it has become commercialized, I still enjoy this season.

It reminds me of how much God loves us. He was willing to send His Son to redeem fallen humanity.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:1-2 NIV

This verse speaks of one of the premier symbols of Christmas – the star. Think about that. What brought you to Christ?

For most, it was a life-changing event. Somebody shared the Gospel with you, and you felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Think about one tiny star. Stars are pretty insignificant to us. These men were pagan astrologers. They made their fortune predicting things through the alignment of stars and planets. Yet, one star spoke enough to them to send them on a journey across the globe to worship Christ.

The fact is stars have always been associated with Christ.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

Revelation 22:16 NIV

The Lord calls himself the Bright Morning Star. In the natural, that’s the planet Venus. It’s the star ships would steer by. It gives direction.

Considering the stars should lead us to worship, just like the Magi. They should bring something to mind throughout this season.

This star should remind us of the Word of God. After all, Jesus Christ is the Living Word.

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

2 Peter 1:19 NIV

We have heard the Word of God. It starts as a seed planted in our hearts. Then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, it grows and matures.

Soon, it becomes a star rising in our hearts. We’re told that it’s important that we pay attention to the Word. It’s like a tiny light shining in a dark place.

Are you in a dark place right now? Many people find themselves in this condition during the holidays.

If so, then it’s important that you focus on the Word. It doesn’t matter how small.

A lot of things start that way. A cloud size of a man’s hand. Joseph in a prison cell. 120 people praying in an upper room.

There’s no way you can look at your life in the dark place and predict what God could do through you. It begins as His light starts to rise in you.

This season – look for the star. Let it speak to you.

Have a very blest Christmas season!

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2022 in Encouragement, Faith, Word of God

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Prepared in the Spirit

Prepared in the Spirit

As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, it’s now the day of the Last Supper. The disciples have no idea what’s about to take place during this feast. All they know is that the Passover needs to be celebrated.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.

He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

Luke 22:7-12 NIV

To understand the importance of this passage, you must first understand the relationship between Christ and His disciples. At that time, the role of Jesus to His disciples was the same as the Holy Spirit is to us today.

Remember that Jesus told His followers that He would send another Counselor to lead and guide them. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us in the same way that the Lord led His disciples. That’s why it’s so important for us to develop sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit.

It’s sad that so many Christians think that God no longer works in this way. I personally believe that the Holy Spirit still desires to operate through the church. It’s the manifestation of the Gifts of the Spirit that will draw unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Christ.

In this instance, Jesus is functioning in the gifts of Prophecy and the Word of Knowledge. Notice how specific His instructions are. I believe that the Holy Spirit will be just that detailed with us, if we’ll place ourselves in a position to hear Him.

What was the response of the disciples to this astounding instruction?

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

Luke 22:24 NIV

This simple statement shows the trust that had developed between Christ and His followers. There was no question or hesitation. They just went and did exactly as they were told.

So often we find two different extremes in the body of Christ these days. The first is that some Christians come up with elaborate stories of what the Holy Spirit “told” them. Then, a few days later the “spirit” tells them something that sounds just the opposite.

On the other hand, I’ve heard people who feel impressed to do or say something. They don’t follow through on it. Then, when it’s too late, they realize that they’d heard from the Holy Spirit and missed the opportunity for a blessing. (I’ve been guilty of this more than once.)

We need to spend quality time in the spirit. That’s where trust and sensitivity are developed. I believe that’s why the disciples had an easier time hearing from the Spirit once Christ had ascended. They simply transferred their focus to the voice of the Spirit.

Spend the time necessary to learn to hear and obey the Spirit. I believe that’s where the Lord is leading His church in this generation. It’s through hearing and obeying that we’ll see the end-time harvest of souls before the return of Christ.

Question: What can you do to develop a listening ear in the spirit?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Jerusalem’s Fall

Jerusalem’s Fall

We’ve been in the Gospel of Luke, looking at Jesus teaching His disciples about the end-times. Having warned them of what they were about to face, the Lord now answers their original question that started it all (Luke 21:7).

He tells them the signs that signal the approach of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Because we live on this side of the historical event, it’s easier to look back and interpret the Lord’s words.

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.”

Luke 21:20-21 NIV

Jesus is referring to a prophecy from the book of Daniel. He makes mention of the desolation of Jerusalem. Daniel calls it the detestable thing that causes the city to be laid waste.

I know a lot of Bible teachers who say that this is a future event, and they have a variety of teachings and beliefs on this subject. I ask you to please read the Scripture without preconceived ideas about what’s being said. Put yourself in the place of the disciples who are hearing this for the first time.

The reaction of the disciples must have been one of surprise. This is because every God-fearing Jew knew that the reference Jesus gave them from the book of Daniel had ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED.

Around 170 BC there was a Syrian ruler named Antiochus IV. He was so full of himself that he gave himself the title “Epiphanes,” which means “the manifest god”. As many emperors did, he forced those around him to worship him.

Antiochus Epiphanes led his army to successfully conquer Israel. On December 15, 168 BC, he set up the image of Zeus on an altar in the Temple of Jerusalem. Ten days later, he dedicated it by sacrificing a pig in the Temple.

Heathen altars were then erected throughout Israel, their celebrations being compulsory. Any Jew would receive the death penalty if found in possession of the Torah. Observing the Sabbath and circumcision were forbidden. Because of their faithfulness to the Law of God, many Jews were killed in those days.

As the disciples heard Jesus speak about Daniel’s prophecy, they must have also thought about the reign of Antiochus. Now they’re hearing from the Lord that it will be fulfilled again. This was a new concept for them to grasp – the fact that a prophetic Scripture could have two fulfillments.

“For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Luke 21:22-24 NIV

This sounds all too familiar to the disciples. Throughout history, the Jews had been conquered again and again. Now one of the worst chapters in their history was going to repeat itself. All they could do was listen and be prepared.

I think the Lord is obviously talking about the times that the disciples were living in. He says that the Jews would be dispersed among the nations. However, there would be a time-limit on how long the Gentiles would be in control of the Holy Land.

We’ve seen this in our generation. Israel has once again returned to their homeland. And, by God’s power, they have once again become a sovereign nation. God is always confirming that His Word is true.

This should encourage us. I believe that this is how the Holy Spirit operates. If we’re listening, the Spirit will always prepare us for what’s ahead in our future. We need to continue developing our spiritual sensitivity to hear His voice.

Question: Why does the Holy Spirit want to reveal the future to us?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2022 in Israel, Return of Christ, Word of God

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Last Days Testimony

Last Days Testimony

I’ve been posting from Luke’s Gospel about how we should be living in the last days. In my last article I talked about what not to do. The last exhortation was, not to worry about your testimony. I believe this a vital piece of knowledge that we need in these last days.

Listen to what the Lord tells His disciples and us about standing before those who oppose us.

This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.

Luke 21:13-19 NIV

We live in a culture that is becoming increasingly more hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians look like they’re becoming more low-key in their proclamation of the Word of God.

Many believers are worried. “What do I say? What if someone from the LGBTQ+ community calls me out? I don’t want to be labeled a ‘hater’.”

The problem, as I see it, is two-fold. First of all, many modern believers have become lazy and scripturally illiterate. They go to church to be spoon fed from the Bible.

We have to realize the times we’re living in. Whether you want to accept it or not, living in the United States today as a Christian, is like living on the mission field. We need to know the Scripture and live it in order to survive, spiritually.

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 NIV

When we allow the Holy Spirit to take us through God’s approval process, there’s no need for shame. Christians who get embarrassed about their faith show that they’re still in their spiritual childhood. It’s not a bad thing, but they need to get into the Word and grow up.

The second part of the problem is a little deeper. There’s an assumption in the words of Christ. He told His disciples that He would give them words and wisdom that none of their adversaries would be able to resist or contradict.

This assumes that God’s people know how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to them. That’s the number one problem in the church today. We’ve lost the ability to hear from God.

We try in our own intelligence to reason and debate with the world. We try to convince them that our way of thinking is correct. The result is that they resist and contradict us at every turn.

Then, when that doesn’t work, we try to give them a list of quotes from the Bible. We want them to see what God thinks about the subject. But, what we find, is that the last thing they want to hear is the Bible. Please understand – people of the world don’t believe the Bible.

We have to come to the realization that, today, we’re in the same position as the early church. We’re in a society like the Roman Empire. They were mildly religious, but ungodly. They need to hear a Word from God. That’s what will make the difference.

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:20 NIV

You do understand that when this was written there was no New Testament. Christians had no Bibles. The only thing they could do was to pray and receive a Word from the Holy Spirit. They had no choice but to hear God’s voice.

Today, we have Scriptural overload. We’ve replaced time with the Holy Spirit with Bible reading. Please hear me – Bible reading is very important. I read the Word every day. But it’s no replacement for time with the Spirit.

The only hope for our society is a group of believers who hear from the Holy Spirit. This generation needs to hear from God. Only then will they hear a message that they can’t resist or contradict. That alone will draw them to the cross of Christ.

Question: How much time do you spend with the Holy Spirit?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Understanding the Word

Understanding the Word

We’re continuing our study through the Gospel of Luke. Jesus is now making His final trip to Jerusalem, where He will be crucified. He explains this to the disciples.

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”

The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

Luke 18:31-34 NIV

Jesus is very clear about what’s going to happen when they reach Jerusalem. We need to understand that nobody took Him by surprise. The Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning of time.

Now, He wanted to prepare His disciples for what was coming. They needed to be ready for these sorrowful events that would literally rock their world.

This passage is jam-packed with important truth. If you remember, in one of my recent posts, I said that when He was ministering on earth, Jesus fulfilled the same role that the Holy Spirit has with us now. We see that clearly in these verses.

Verse 34 actually reads, this rhema-Word was concealed from them. Jesus was giving the disciples a rhema Word. That’s a pure, unprocessed Word directly from God.

There are two more important words in this section. It says that the disciples did not understand, and they did not know what was being said. That’s a big problem.

When we spend time with the Holy Spirit in God’s presence, sometimes He imparts to us a Word from heaven. That’s a rhema Word to us.

Many times, we can’t readily understand it because of our human mindset. At those times, we need to guard it in our heart. We need to protect it and rehearse it. Jesus told His disciples why this is important.

If you remember the parable of the Sower, the seed stood for the Word being sown. Look at what Jesus said about what was sown along the road.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

Matthew 13:19 NIV

If we have no understanding of what’s being imparted to us, there’s a risk we could lose it. That’s what happened with the disciples. They let go of the Word and had to go through depression and confusion between the death and resurrection of Christ.

When we receive something from God that we don’t understand, we need to search Scripture about it. Then continue to meditate on it and ask the Holy Spirit to give us the understanding we need. That’s His role with us.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26 NIV

The issue with the disciples was that whenever Jesus spoke about His death, they never said anything. They didn’t know what He was talking about, but they never asked for clarification. So, when the time came, they were totally unprepared for the devastating events.

We should learn this lesson. Spend time listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then, guard that Word in your heart. Over time, and with the help of the Spirit, understanding will come, and you’ll see that which God has given you.

Question: What are some things that God has spoken to you?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , ,