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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

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

 

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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

 
 

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Do You Know the Two Anointings of Music?

Did you know that the Bible speaks about how we should aim our singing?  There are two goals we should direct our music toward.

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Psalms 96:1-2

The first should be pretty obvious.

Our music can be directed toward God in the praise of His glory.  This is an important part of our relationship with the Lord.  Singing His praises transports us into His presence.

I get so upset when believers view the praise and worship time as merely the “warm-up act” for the pastor’s preaching.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As we sing praise and thanksgiving to God, we are brought into a deeper spiritual place.  We become more open to the move of the Holy Spirit.

Praising God in song is an important part of a spiritual walk.

The second aim of music may surprise some of you.

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…
Ephesians 5:19

Our music can be directed toward each other.  There are many people (and I used to be one of them) that dislike the use of songs that are not directed toward God.  This verse clearly shows the necessity of both types of music.

There are times when we need to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another.  Why is that so important?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

It’s through music that the Word of Christ can live richly in you.  Singing music that’s directed at each other is a form of teaching and admonishing.  As we sing, we learn.

This is an incredible truth.  When my children were small, they learned all the states and their capitals because they were put to music. How much more important is it to get the Word into our hearts?

Through music, the Word of Christ can enter our lives and stay with us.  That’s why I’m so adamant about not singing songs that contain bad doctrine.  Too many Christians believe error because they learned it in their music.

We give praise to our God.  We teach and admonish each other.  Both of these can and should be done through the music of God’s people.

Question: Is there a song that opened up your eyes to a spiritual truth?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Encouragement, Music, The Church, Word of God

 

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