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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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One Jesus – Different Calls

Different AnointingI like reading about the disciples in the Bible. They’re recorded as real people. They’re not shown to us like some kind of spiritual superheroes, but people just like us. I want to take some time to talk about a couple of them and their first encounter with Jesus.

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:43-45

In the past I’ve talked about how Andrew came to Christ. Then he went off and called his brother, Peter.

Today I want to introduce you to some new people. That’s because everyone is different.   Everybody’s story is different.

Why and how they come to Jesus is always unique to that person. So we have to realize that disciples of Christ are all different. Each of us is special in our own way. You cannot be me and I cannot be you.

It’s interesting to see that Jesus sought Philip out – Jesus went to Philip and literally said, “Walk my road.”

It turns out that Philip was from the same town as Andrew and Peter. They were from a place called Bethsaida, which means house of fish or fishing house. Think about what kind of a place would have a name like that? Who comes from there? We know that Peter and Andrew, as well as James and John were all fishermen.

Philip didn’t fit that mold. The name Philip means horse lover. Obviously Philip was his own person. He was different and he didn’t care. Yet, even though he was different, his response to Jesus was the same.

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:45

“I have to tell someone.”

When it came to Andrew, he went to Peter to tell him what he had found. This is absolutely amazing because Scripture clearly says that in this case, Jesus found Philip. This tells me a truth that we all need to understand.

Christ calls everyone differently. He made us all different, and attracts us to Himself in different ways. The Lord told Peter, “I’ll make you a fisher of men.” How do you fish? Do you use the same technique or bait for everything?

No! Depending upon where you’re fishing, or what you’re trying to catch, there are many different kinds of bait, lures, and techniques.

We have to remember this in our walk with the Lord. Everyone responds differently to the Gospel message. That’s why we need to be led by the Spirit. In that way, each individual can see Christ as their PERSONAL Savior.

Question: What first attracted you to come to Jesus?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Ministry, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Why We Ignore the Cross

cross 2In my last post I talked about the mystery of the power of the cross. It’s something that God expects His church to understand. It’s been revealed to us in His Word.

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24

This is a problem we face even in our society today. There’s a pressure on the church to cater our message to those we’re trying to win. Religious people want to hear one thing, while the educational community wants to hear something else. Many times we fall into the trap of trying to please our listeners with the message we think they want to hear.

Paul strips away all of these elements by boiling the message down to its vital component. He preaches the same essential message to all who will listen. That message is the Word of the cross – Christ crucified.

The reason is clear. There’s a supernatural call in that Word. It contains the power of God to draw men and women to the place of repentance.

We need to see this. When we water down or ignore the Word of the cross, we lose the bulk of the power needed to win the lost. Beyond that, those who do come to the Lord with little knowledge of the cross, have no desire to become radical disciples of Christ.

This is what the world desperately needs to see in the church. It’s also what the church needs in order to be transformed into the victorious kingdom that was set forth by Christ. We must hunger and thirst for the Word of the cross.

We’ve tried a whole host of other strategies only to be met with little or no results. Isn’t it time to proclaim Christ the way they did it when the world was “turned upside-down” by the Gospel? We need to renew our knowledge of what happened in and through the cross of Christ. This is a message that the Lord can’t wait to reveal to us if we’ll just stop and listen.

This is one of the things that we’re missing in our churches these days. In my last post I quoted I Corinthians 2:7. In it, Paul explained that this message was destined for our glory. That’s why it’s such a mystery. From the outside, the cross looks like a place of pain, suffering, and weakness. But in reality, it will bring glory to all who live by it.

It was the same for Christ. The demonic kingdom had no idea what would be unleashed on the cross. When the “Lord of Glory” was crucified, there was an explosion of power that rocked the universe. It’s clear that Satan would never have allowed this to happen if he had known what the results would be.

It’s time for God’s people to once again unleash this power in the world. We need to walk in the power of the cross. The message of the cross is vital for our last-days testimony.

Question: What would change if we incorporated the teaching of the cross in our message?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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