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Freedom Fighters

Freedom Fighters

In my last post, we saw how the disciples exhibited a lack of faith when a huge storm came up while they were crossing the lake. Now, it would seem to them, like they went from the frying pan into the fire.

When they reach the shore, they arrive at a burial ground. Almost immediately a demon possessed man who lived in the tombs came running towards them. Because of the length of the passage, I can’t show it all here. I suggest that you read Luke 8:26-39 before proceeding.

In this section of Scripture, we see a man tormented by the enemy. He had no house of his own but lived in the tombs. On top of that, he wore no clothing.

According to Luke, many times the authorities would try to arrest him. They even bound him with chains. But, because of the strength of the demons, the chains would break in his struggling. At that point, the demon would drive the man away from town.

Listen to what Luke says.

Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Luke 8:29b

The word, driven, means to be pushed along like wind driving a sailboat forward. He could probably resist a little, but it eventually got the better of him.

It’s interesting to see where the enemy led him. He was driven into places of loneliness and death. He was all by himself, surrounded by the tombs. That’s not a great place to live.

When Jesus began to minister to him, he cried out…

When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man.

Luke 8:28-29a

The enemy was afraid of being tortured. They know that Jesus is going to be their final Judge. But, what the demon sees as torture, this man would see as freedom.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

The goal of the enemy is to destroy lives. Unfortunately, there are many people who think that it’s better than what the Lord offers. They think that God is out to torture them and take away all of their fun. They don’t understand that what Christ is really offering is perfect freedom.

That’s where we come into the picture. We must let them see by our lives, the blessing of serving God. Too often it looks like we want what the world has. That’s not how it should be.

We need to walk as Jesus did. The Lord understood how to handle the work of the devil.

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

1 John 3:8b

Our goal should be the same as that of Christ. We should live to set the captives free. All the while we must watch ourselves so that we’re not captivated by the world.

The power of God did more than just tame the demon possessed man. He was set free and his life was totally renewed by the power of God. That’s the type of victory we should be seeking in our generation.

But it will require us to spend time in the Father’s presence just as Jesus did.

Question: What are some areas that you see the need for Christ to set people free?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Our Glorious Future

I’m continuing with Paul’s view of the resurrection in his first letter to the Corinthian church.  There were some in that church who looked at the resurrection as an optional belief.  In my last post, Paul showed that it was actually the foundation of our faith.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22

This is the basis of our hope.  Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection.  Because He was raised to life, I know that I will also be raised up in Him.

As a part of the human race, we all inherited death from Adam.  But now, because of the obedience of Christ on the cross, we can inherit the life of Christ displayed when He rose from the dead.  Death couldn’t hold Him.

But, we have to wait for our turn.  That only happens when Christ returns to the earth at some point in the future.

But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:23-26

There’s an order to the resurrection.  Christ was the first to experience it.  He opened up the way for all of us.

When He returns, it will be our Resurrection Day.  All who belong to Christ will rise to meet Him in the air.  First, those who have died as believers will rise from the dead.  Then, those who are still alive at His coming will simply be transformed into their new resurrected bodies without going through the death process.

That’s not the end of the story.  When Christ returns, He’ll set everything straight.  Right now, the earth is under the temporary government of the enemy.  The devil and his kingdom have dominion, authority and power over mankind.  (Of course, in Christ we have the power to overrule that authority!)

When Jesus returns, He’ll end Satan’s reign of terror.  All of the authority structures of earth will be made right once again.  It will be what God had intended when He first created Adam.

However, even now Christ is reigning.  From the day the Lord rose from the dead He has become the Ruler of the earth.  He just didn’t exercise that authority yet.

The battle for planet earth is over.  Christ is already victorious.  In Him, we’re on the winning side.  That’s why we have nothing to fear.

Our job now is to free the captives from under the tyranny of the devil’s kingdom.  We’re a part of the victorious invading army.  Don’t let the enemy intimidate you.  He can only stop you if you believe his lies.

It’s time for God’s people to live like we own the place.  We do, in Christ.  It’s time for us to stop being distracted by the world’s activities, and set our hands to the task of preparing for the Lord’s return.

Live like it’s forever…because in Christ it is!

Question: How do you live in the now, with eternity in view?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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A New Kingdom

NightI’ve been posting about the change that takes place when we receive the salvation of Jesus Christ. Our whole reality changes. The Apostle Peter understood this.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia…
1 Peter 1:1

In the opening statement of his letter, he describes the believers that he’s writing to. He tells us that we’re strangers in this world. The word he used literally means aliens alongside, resident foreigners. We may live here, but we’re no longer a part of this system.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Hebrews 11:13

We know that Hebrews, chapter 11, is the faith chapter. Towards the end of this chapter, the writer makes a comment about all these Old Testament saints. They were all still living by faith when they died.

But more than that, they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. We need this mindset. I do not belong to this world. This truth is emphasized over and over again in the Scripture.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

I live in the world, but I don’t belong to this world. I live by a different set of rules. I live on a different level.

There are a lot of things that are going on in the world – who’s in power, the economy, the weather, etc. These things are important, and I need to understand what’s happening, but they don’t determine what I do.

That’s because I’m a part of a different kingdom. We are a part of the kingdom of God.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13-14

This is the key to most of our Christian walk. We were under the authority of darkness. The word authority basically means permission to act. Now we have been brought over into the King-dom of Christ. That’s the dominion of the King – the area of His rulership.

When I was saved, I placed myself under His authority – in His kingdom. That’s why we can do things, and trust God for things that the world can’t.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20

Because of our position, in this world but not of this world, we have diplomatic immunity. We operate as diplomats – where I am, my kingdom is. Wherever I am, the rules of my government are in operation. That’s why every believer should strive to understand how God’s Kingdom operates.

Question: What are some things that we should be doing as ambassadors of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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