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God’s Representatives

MirrorWe sometimes get the impression that it doesn’t matter what people think about us. After all, “I’ll live the way I want. I don’t care what you think about me.” As Christians, we have to be careful about that attitude.

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11

Whatever we say or do should be praiseworthy. Of course, that in itself can bring on another set of problems.

We all like to be praised. When we accomplish something worthwhile, we expect people to notice and appreciate us. It makes us feel good about ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with accepting praise for a job well done.

The problem we get into, is wanting to keep it ALL for ourselves. If we live independent of God, then we don’t have to give Him any praise. The fact is, my wisdom isn’t good enough. My strength will never overcome all the obstacles before me. I need to rely upon God.

So there are the two ditches on the side of our path. Not caring at all about how we affect people, or living for praise. Either way, we miss out on God’s best. I need to learn to live with the knowledge that my life represents someone other than myself.

I belong to Christ. I’m a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I’m an ambassador for a realm that’s beyond this world. As such, I can’t allow myself to pick up the attitudes of this world.

When I spend time in the presence of the Lord, I begin to live on a higher level. Then, when someone is touched by my words, I can’t take the credit for it. God gets the glory.

When I do something sacrificial that my flesh would have never agreed to apart from God’s prompting, He get the praise for it.

We should seek to live our lives in such a way that God receives continual praise. This requires us to spend time with Him, meditating on His Word, and listening to His Spirit.

Yes, there will still be things that we’re praised for, but our goal should be for the Lord to receive most of the glory for how we live. In that way our lives will be a continual testimony to the greatness of our God.

Question: How has something that you’ve done brought praise to God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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Watching for the Signs

WorkI’m posting about supernatural signs. Specifically, we’re looking at the sign of the virgin birth of Christ.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

In my last post we saw that the Lord was dealing with an evil king of Judah named Ahaz. He refused to ask God for a sign when asked to by the prophet Isaiah.

Because of this act of disobedience, God Himself would choose the sign. This would be the sign that the Lord is victorious. You can do your own thing. But God will accomplish his will though you…or around you.

This sign was what God was going to accomplish. Basically what God said was, “You don’t want to know what I’m doing now so I’ll tell you something you’ll never see.”

Someday there will be a virgin. She will not be married and never had sex. Yet, miraculously, she will conceive and bear a son. His name – the designation of who He is – will be Immanuel. The Hebrew word Immanuel literally means with us is God.

Now let’s fast forward to the New Testament. A young woman named Mary is found to be with child. She’s a virgin. Her fiancé, Joseph, is confused. Then he’s visited by an angel with a message, exhorting him to marry her, because this is no ordinary child.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”
Matthew 1:22-23

Years of waiting were now fulfilled. The Messiah was soon to be born.

A supernatural sign brings hope to those trusting God. I’m waiting for a sign. The Bible says that when you see the sign of the Son of Man in the sky, stand to your feet and lift up your head for your redemption is here. That gives me hope.

I know that God is going to step into our world one day. Things aren’t going to go on like this forever.

There was a day when many were waiting expectantly for the Messiah. There were shepherds in the field watching their sheep. They heard the angelic announcement.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:14

These angels were giving glory to God in the highest place. On earth, they proclaimed peace, shalom to men of good-will. That literally means to those who have a will to do good. This message was to people who have God’s good (pleasing and perfect) will resting in them.

This is because; ultimately a supernatural sign brings glory to God. When I see the sign come to pass, I give God glory.

I want God’s will. He wants to show signs and wonders as He brings forth His will. Therefore, we need to work with Him. Expect God to speak. Expect Him to show up. Expect a miracle each day.

Question: What signs have you seen of the Lord working in and through you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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Four Kinds of Glory

 

 

BeamWe use the word glory quite a lot in the Christmas season. But what does it mean when we say, “Glory to God!”

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

I don’t know if you can really define glory. All you can do is see how it’s used. I want to talk about four uses – 2 from the Old Testament and 2 from the New.

Glory is the visible manifestation of God.

This is probably the most well-known. In the tabernacle and temple there was a visible ball of light as bright as the sun. This was called The Glory.

Glory is the weight assigned to God.

How much weight do you give to what God says vs. what the world says? What Christ says vs. what the doctor says?

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
Psalms 29:1-2

We must give God the weight that His name deserves. His ways, will, and Word are more important than anything else. How much priority do you place on the Lord’s will for you? That’s the glory you give Him.

Glory is an opinion expressed about God.

What’s your opinion of God? That’s the glory you give Him.

“He’s nice; I talk to Him once a week.”

How do you affect the opinion others have about God? Jesus looked at it this way…

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
John 17:4

We give glory to God in our service to Him. Standing in church with your hands lifted doesn’t raise people’s opinion of God. It’s what you do out there on the street. I can tell your opinion of God, by how you serve Him.

Glory is the visible sign of God at work.

This is probably the most important one. When others see God’s work in us, it brings the focus to Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

We are the clay pot that houses this glory. Should His glory be in a clay pot? I don’t think so; but God planned it like that. He wants His glory to be seen in us.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Do everything so that people see how much weight you give to God. And how high an opinion you have of God. But mostly, so they can see God at work in and through you.

Question: How have you seen God’s glory in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Ministry, Power of God, The Church

 

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