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Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

You Think You Have Problems

You Think You Have Problems

As we continue through the book of Luke, we now come to the end of chapter 10. An incident takes place that we usually just quickly gloss over. But I think it holds a truth that we need to take to heart.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

Luke 10:38 NIV

If you remember, the 72 disciples were traveling throughout Israel making preparations for Jesus to minister at various towns. One of the towns they prepared was Bethany. A woman named Martha agreed to host the meetings in that town.

Now the day had arrived, and Martha was doing her part. But she wasn’t happy about it.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Luke 10:39-40 NIV

Martha began to feel the challenges of all the things that needed to be done. As the pressure built, she had an emotional outburst. We’ve probably all been there.

There are times when we let the challenges of life get to us. We try to bottle it up inside. But, eventually the pressure gets too great and we crack. Many times it gets aimed at the very ones we love and who don’t deserve the scolding.

What you need to understand, is there was more going on here than what we see on the surface. Jesus saw what was actually at work in her life.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42 NIV

The Lord saw that Martha was “worried and upset”. That’s important to note. These words literally mean that she was distracted and caused to be in turmoil by many things going on in her life. What were those things?

First of all, her sister Mary, was a big problem in itself. For some reason she had a reputation around town as being a very sinful woman (John 11:2; Luke 7:37-38). And yet, she placed herself right at the feet of the visiting preacher.

On top of that, her brother Lazarus, had a very grave illness (John 11:1-14). He was probably bedridden. In all likelihood, Martha was the one caring for him constantly.

I don’t have the space to go into the details, but she had another concern. In my studies, I found that Martha had married a Pharisee who later contracted leprosy. Because of this, he had to leave home. The Law required him to quarantine himself away from society.

So, Martha had to bear all of these things alone. Her mind was distracted and troubled by all of these issues as she tried to host these meetings on her own. It turned out that all these things were more than she could handle. It caused her to break down.

The answer for her dilemma is the same as for us. Although she probably didn’t want to hear it any more than we do. During these times of crisis we have to spend more quality time in the presence of the Lord.

We think that the answer is to keep busy and “do something” to get out of our mess. In reality, the best thing is to simply spend some time listening to the voice of the Spirit. That’s what we really need to get us through the difficult seasons of our lives.

In the above passage, nothing is spoken of what Mary was going through. I’m sure she heard the whispers of those around her. She saw the looks of disgust on the faces of the townspeople.

In spite of all that negativity, she pushed herself to be in the position to receive the only thing that could set her free. She heard a Word from the mouth of God. Her life was changed forever.

We can experience the same thing in the Lord’s presence!

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

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Jesus – Our Example

Jesus – Our Example

I’m continuing to go through the Gospel of Luke. In this book we’re seeing the pattern of life that the Lord lived out. Throughout His ministry the disciples were able to watch and then imitate the Lord’s lifestyle.

They saw the Lord, and how He walked, for months at a time. I need to ask; how can I follow that same example in my life? If I can understand how He lived and ministered, then I can start to implement that into my walk. What is it about Jesus that made the difference?

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Luke 10:22 NIV

Without a doubt, the defining characteristic of Jesus’ life on earth was His relationship with the Father.

That’s the key – relationship with the Father. It’s not just knowing about the Father. Jesus knew who the Father is. He had an intimate relationship with the Father. It’s from this relationship that everything else flowed.

Jesus described the power of this relationship on many occasions.

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19 NIV

It wasn’t a matter of deciding what to do at the moment. The Lord didn’t see a sick person and, at that point, pray and hope that the Father would heal them. Jesus knew what He was going to do BEFORE He got into the situation.

This was because He had already seen the Father doing the work. He spent time with the Father in the Spirit so that He was prepared for what was to come. But it wasn’t just the work that needed to be done.

“For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
John 12:49-50 NIV

This is an amazing statement. Not only did His words come from the Father. But the very way in which He presented those words was orchestrated by the Father.

He didn’t attend seminary (although there’s nothing wrong with studying). He didn’t sit down and craft a good sounding sermon. The content and the delivery were learned in the presence of God. That’s why it was acknowledged that no one ever spoke like Jesus did.

It’s clear from the Gospels that the pattern of Jesus’ life was first of all, being in an intimate relationship with the Father. Then, watch what the Father is doing and listen to what He is saying. Finally, do and say exactly what you saw and heard.

This is the pattern that was handed down to the Apostles.

Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Luke 10:23-24 NIV

The disciples were given a great gift. They were able to live with the Messiah. They could watch Him and listen to Him on a daily basis. Through this, they could learn how to live according to the same pattern.

We’re blessed as well. We have the writings of these men as our guide. We can walk by the Lord’s example if we’re willing to read His Word and spend time with the Holy Spirit.

Question: How would the church look if we all followed this pattern?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2022 in Ministry, Revival, Sonship, Spiritual Walk

 

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Jesus on the Road

Jesus on the Road

As we continue to look at the life of Christ through Luke’s eyes, we get a glimpse into journeys that took place in the Lord’s ministry. This post will deal with Luke 9:51-62. You may want to read that before continuing.

In this section of Scripture, we see the Lord attempting to go through the region of the Samaritans on His way to Jerusalem. Many Jews considered them unclean and went miles out of their way to go around this area.

As He was going through, the Lord sent some disciples ahead to make food and sleeping arrangements for the night. They came back with the report that no one in the village wanted Him there.

Some of Jesus’ disciples wanted to call fire down to consume the town. The Lord rebuked their foolishness and they continued to another town where they were welcomed. Along the way, they met some interesting characters.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Luke 9:57-58 NIV

A young man wanted to travel with Jesus. The problem was, the Lord had no corporate office. He had no house in the big city. He traveled almost the whole time during His ministry.

In some ways it’s very difficult to live your life “on the road.” Jesus did it for three years. He understood the stress of always having to be on the move.

Spiritually speaking, if we serve the Lord, we can expect to be just like Him – to be constantly on the go. He doesn’t want us to stagnate, but to press on toward the prize. To do that we must be always willing to change and to try new things as the Lord continues to call us forward.

This kind of life is forever bringing new challenges across our path. Each step of the way we are being drawn to deeper commitment, greater devotion, and higher callings. With each new opportunity for obedience comes a choice – to be satisfied with the old or to move on in Christ to the new. It’s exciting following Jesus – but you have to keep moving.

When they met another person, Jesus told the young man to follow Him. In response, the man said that he had to wait until his parents died.

He didn’t think that the time was right for him to go off with the Lord. Personally, I don’t believe that Jesus would have asked this person if it would have jeopardized his parent’s safety.

Sometimes we respond the same way to the Lord. We tell Him that we’re not ready to follow His leading. Unfortunately, the time will never look perfect to follow the Lord’s plan for your life.

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:60 NIV

God knows what we need to do. Immediate obedience to the Spirit is the best response.

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”

Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:61-62 NIV

It seems that there’s always something else we want to do before we get around to obeying God’s will. I’ll be able to serve Christ whole-heartedly next week, next month, next year.

The time is now to put down the excuses. It’s time to wake up and move forward in Christ.

Jesus is always on the move. He wants to take you from where you are now, to your destiny in Him. You just need to make the choice to begin following His leading.

Question: What’s the next thing on God’s agenda for your life?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2022 in Faith, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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Transformed with Jesus

Transformed with Jesus

So many people are hungering to see a manifestation of the power of God. The Jewish people were looking for it in Jesus’ day. That’s the Lord’s will for us as well. It’s something that you have to seek and pursue.

In my last post from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told His disciples that some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power (Luke 9:27). In today’s post, we’ll see the fulfillment of this.

Three of the disciples were about to witness the power and glory of the kingdom of God. The Lord was taking them on a special trip.

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

Luke 9:28-31

Many times during His ministry, Jesus would go off by Himself to a remote location and pray. Once there, He would spend time in the Father’s presence, hearing what His next assignment would be.

Now, the Lord takes His three closest disciples with Him up a mountain. They’re going to learn first-hand about the kingdom of God in a mountaintop experience. It should speak to us as well.

The first key to a mountaintop experience is the fact that they were all alone. There were no distractions. They could concentrate on what was happening with Jesus. We need to get to that place of unhindered focus on the Lord and what He’s speaking to us.

It was in that place that they had a revelation of the glory which Christ possessed from eternity past. That’s the defining characteristic of a mountaintop, at least in Scripture. It’s all about clarity of vision. You can suddenly see clearly what God wants you to see.

When you’re on top of a mountain, above the tree line, you have an unobstructed view in all directions. You can see clearly both where you came from, and where you’re going to. And even more than that, you get a fresh revelation of Christ.

In that place you have a greater understanding of who Jesus is and what He wants to accomplish in you. It’s a place of spiritual clarity.

The disciples didn’t know how to handle it.

Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters — one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

Luke 9:32-33

Here we see some of the biggest problems of our flesh in the Lord’s presence. First, they become sleepy. Our flesh finds the presence of God boring.

Then, once they were awake, they had to come up with a “great idea” to help the Lord. Why do we always think that we need to say or do something? Why can’t we just stay quiet, listen for His voice, and drink in His Spirit?

We need to learn to just be still in the Holy Spirit’s presence. It’s what the Father told the disciples.

While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

Luke 9:34-36

If we will quiet our hearts before God, we could have this type of mountaintop experience. Not with our physical eyes, but in the spirit. The results will be well worth it. We’ll find ourselves with Jesus alone. That’s the change that can only happen in the spirit.

Questions: Have you ever had a mountaintop experience and what did you learn from it?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Control

Control

As we continue to study the Gospel of Luke, we’re now starting chapter 9 today. Some of the same issues are talked about here.

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Luke 9:1-2

In my last post I talked about how Christ ministered on a different level than the Pharisees. The power of God flowed out of Him. As in the case of the woman with the issue of blood, it was even without the Lord’s knowledge at times.

Now that’s a definite problem for us in modern day Christianity. We want control. We want to be able to turn it on and off. We want people to know who the power came from.

It seems to me that God wants us to be a hose, and we want to be a faucet. This brings my mind back to a post I wrote a few years ago. It was about II Timothy 3:5.

This was the verse in which Paul warned us that in the last days there would be those who had a form of godliness but denied the power. If you remember, the Greek word for deny was a-rheonot flowing.

So many people want to control instead of flow. We cannot have that kind of attitude and be greatly used by God. We must see ourselves as a channel of the Lord’s power, and not a container.

That brings us to the verse we’re looking at in Luke today. Jesus called His disciples to Himself. Then, as they were all together, He gave them the power and authority they needed to do the same things that the Lord Himself was doing.

This is the next logical step in this line of thinking. Because the power of God flows, it can be given and received. Jesus was able to give the disciples power because it flowed through Him. This is good news for us also, because we have the same Holy Spirit living in us that Jesus had within Him.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

What a great verse! Power is given by the Holy Spirit and we can receive it. This seems a little too simple for our liking. We try to make it so complicated. So we have come up with all kinds of laws, disciplines, steps, and rituals that we say are necessary in order to walk in this power.

We have placed tithing, confession, and a whole host of other requirements in people’s path. But the truth of the matter is that I must abide in Christ. Then the power will flow through the Holy Spirit to me if I’m in a position to receive it. It’s actually all about positioning ourselves correctly. That’s what a majority of my blog is about.

I’m trying to get the church to reposition itself for revival. That’s where we need to be. In a position to receive the power of the Holy Spirit the same way that Christ did. Then, the world will see the difference and be drawn to the Lord. After all, it’s all about Him, not us.

That’s why I like the way the Lord positioned His disciples. He didn’t just give them power and authority, and then release them. He gave them a mandate. They were to preach the kingdom of God.

It wasn’t all about the power. The message was the most important part. The healings and miracles were simply the signs pointing to the truth of the message.

That’s a lesson we need to learn. We can’t just seek the power of God simply to satisfy our need to feel important. There’s a higher purpose that needs to be fulfilled.

As believers, the power of God is available to us all. Spending time in the spirit changes us to become more like Christ. That’s how we position ourselves to receive it. Then the world will be drawn to the message of hope through Jesus Christ.

Question: How would our church look different if we ministered like Jesus?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Healing Faith

Healing Faith

For the last couple of posts, we’ve been talking about the Synagogue ruler whose daughter was dying and the woman who needed healing from her bleeding. Jesus agreed to go with the ruler to heal his daughter but was interrupted when the woman touched Him and was healed.

This incident is recorded in Luke 8:40-56. It might be helpful to read through that section of Scripture before proceeding with this post.

This passage is a great example of what it takes to have faith for healing. In times past, people were told that if you just had enough faith, you’d be healed. That made it real simple. As a minister, I could blame you if you’re not healed when I pray for you.

“Come back when you really have faith.”

That kind of thinking does great injustice to those who are seeking to be set free from their sickness. The problem is that healing faith is always Word based. It’s not about me summoning up enough belief to be healed.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17

In order for the sick to be healed, someone has to hear a Word from God. Then, as they move in faith – received from that Word – the healing takes place. Even in the Old Testament this was the case.

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

Psalms 107:20

A Word from God will inspire faith for healing. Once it’s acted upon, the healing takes place. That’s one of the reasons I like this section of Scripture. It shows the power of this truth.

The woman in the above passage heard from the Holy Spirit that if she could just touch the edge of Jesus’ clothes, she would be healed. Jesus confirmed this by saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”

The synagogue ruler is the one who heard from God in that part of the story. He knew in his spirit that if he could get Jesus to come to his house, then his daughter would be healed.

Sometimes it’s the faith of the one praying. Remember the leper who came to Jesus and said, “If you are willing you can make me clean.” It was the Lord’s faith that prompted Him to say, “…be healed.” (Luke 5:12-14)

In another part of the Bible, we read about some men who heard from the Spirit that if they could just get their paralyzed friend in front of Jesus, he’d be healed. They ended up cutting a hole through a roof to fulfill this Word. Scripture records that when the Lord saw their faith, He healed the sick person. (Luke 5:17-25)

In all of these cases, and many more, somebody had to hear from the Father and walk in the faith they received. It could be the sick person, the minister, a friend, or a family member. That’s because healing faith is received through a Word from God.

That’s why it’s so important that we spend time in the Spirit. We need to develop our sensitivity to the voice of the Lord. I believe that only then will we see the power that was manifest in the life of Christ and in the church of the book of Acts.

Hearing from God. That’s where the Lord is bringing His church to in our generation. Let’s walk with His plan and cultivate our intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

Question: How many other Scriptures can you find that show this principle of receiving healing faith through a Word from God?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2022 in Faith, Healing, Power of God, Word of God

 

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First Things First

First Things First

“Stick to what you’re working at. Concentrate on what you’re doing. Don’t get side-tracked.”

That sounds like good advice. And it is…most of the time. However, we have to come to the realization that good advice doesn’t always line up with the will of God for you. And, God’s will doesn’t always sound like good advice.

That’s what happened from time to time in the ministry of Jesus. I’m talking about an incident that took place when He got off a boat near the Sea of Galilee one day.

We’re going through the Gospel of Luke. In my last post, Jesus ministered to a demon possessed man by the Sea of Galilee. Now the Lord has sailed back across the sea.

You can find it in Luke 8:40-56. You may want to read that passage before continuing with this post.

Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

Luke 8:40-42

At this point in His ministry, the Lord was gathering crowds wherever He went. Today was no exception. But these were not simply people who were following Him. They were expecting something from Him. They wanted Jesus to heal them or set them free from demonic oppression.

I don’t know how I would have been able to handle it. Crowds of people suddenly running up to me, screaming for my immediate attention. Yet Christ was able to keep His composure through all of it.

All at once, the sea of people parted. Someone who was well-known and respected by the community was coming forward. The elder in charge of their local synagogue was in desperate need of a healing for his daughter.

Jesus agrees to go with him and they start heading in that direction. Then, as they’re proceeding, an interruption takes place. People are pressing in all around Him, yet the Lord stops and looks around.

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

Luke 8:43-45

“Wait a minute, Jesus. Let’s do one thing at a time. There’s someplace else we need to be.”

That might have been my thought when this happened. But then, I would have been out of the will of God. There was a bigger purpose than I could see.

The reason that Jesus could go through situations like this, unflustered, was because of His intimacy with the Father. Time spent in God’s presence allowed Him to have a great sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

That might be one of the reasons why we get ourselves into trouble when unexpected things pop up. We react with the best of our understanding. Many times it’s our limited knowledge that fouls things up.

The Lord could hear and obey the voice of the Spirit, even in a stressful situation. He could know which requests to accept, and which to ignore. This was true even when from the outside it looked like the wrong plan of action.

We know, from the end of this passage, that Jesus was proven right by His decisions. He remained in God’s will through the whole encounter. We need to cultivate this same intimacy with the Holy Spirit. I believe it will help us to see God’s plan unfold on a daily basis.

I will probably be talking about this passage over the next few posts. There are some good lessons that we can glean from it.

Question: How do you cultivate personal intimacy with God?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2022 in Ministry, Prayer, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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The Word, Faith, and Testing

The Word, Faith, and Testing

As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, we find that Luke has set his narrative up to be topical. He’s not concerned with a timeline as much as showing what Jesus taught, and how it applied to a personal walk with God.

So far in chapter 8, the Lord has been emphasizing the Word of God. He’s taught the people how to receive it, respond to it, and obey it. Luke now shows how it worked in the Lord’s life.

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”

He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

Luke 8:19-21

I believe that Luke included this incident to give us a summary of what Jesus has been teaching so far. There’s a family-like intimacy with the Father when we hear and obey God’s Word to us.

The Lord was told that His mother and brothers were desiring to meet with Him. That’s important to Jesus’ response. Do you have a desire to meet with the Lord? The solution is to hear God’s Word and do it.

The disciples were listening. How well did they hear and do it?

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out.

Luke 8:22

The disciples seemed to start out correctly. They heard the Word of the Lord and set sail in that direction. So far, so good.

As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

Luke 8:23

Now we see an illustration of exactly what Jesus said would happen when the seed falls on the rocks. I’m sure the disciples were joyfully starting out on their journey across the lake.

However, Jesus said that there would be a time of testing whenever you receive a Word from God. He even took a nap so that they would be free to show what they learned.

Then it arrived. The disciples were tested by a squall that suddenly came up. They were in a dangerous situation. Would they continue in faith or “quickly fall away”?

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Luke 8:24-25

The outcome is that they gave up without even a fight. They went to the Lord totally ignoring His Word to them and announced definitively, “It’s all over, we’re destroyed.”

The first thing Jesus did was to show them the power of His Word. Even the elements of the weather are under His control. He quieted the storm and then dealt with his disciples.

The big question He asked them was, “Where is your faith?” They had heard His voice. They should have trusted His Word. Yet they failed to see the power He had placed in their hands.

Their hearts were still rocky. They didn’t get it. Jesus asked about their faith, yet they asked each other, “Who is this?” They should have been asking, “Why couldn’t we do what He told us to do?”

Obviously, Jesus intended for them to quiet the storm. The problem was that the Word had not yet taken root in their lives.

This is why time with the Holy Spirit is so important. The more time we spend in His presence, the deeper our roots grow. Then, in the times of testing, we’ll find ourselves walking in the power of God.

Question: How deep is your spiritual root system?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2022 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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The Word – Good News and Bad News

The Word – Good News and Bad News

As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we just finished looking at the Parable of the Sower. In that section of Scripture, we saw the different responses to the Word of God as we receive it. Now Jesus comments on the overall effects of the Word.

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”

Luke 8:16

The Lord is still talking about the results of God’s Word in a person’s life. The Word is like a light in a dark place. It illuminates large areas of our lives. We know this from other parts of Scripture as well.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalms 119:105

As we spend time in the presence of the Lord, the Holy Spirit gives us insight into many things. He prepares us for the road ahead. He gives us instructions to carry out. He also warns us of sin and faults that we need to repent of and turn from.

The only reason for turning on a light is to see your surroundings better. Lighting a lamp, and then covering it up, is both illogical and foolish.

It’s the same with God’s Word to us. So many believers want to know God’s will for their lives. They ask how to hear His voice speaking to them. Then, once they hear from the Lord, many times they choose to ignore His Spirit.

The best approach is to commit to follow the Lord’s leading before you ever receive His Word. The only acceptable answer to Him is, “Yes, Lord!”

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”

Luke 8:17

However, there’s both good news and bad news in hearing God’s voice. The good news is that everything is revealed and brought into the open. Of course, the bad news is that everything is revealed and brought into the open.

I don’t believe Jesus is talking about revealing your deepest secrets to the world. He’s talking about disclosing things to you about yourself that you’ve hidden away.

Many times, in God’s presence, I’ve learned things about myself that I had no clue about. In those times I had a choice. Either I deal with the issue, with God’s help, or ignore it and continue walking toward that spiritual cliff.

I’d love to tell you that I always made the right choice. However, that would be a lie. But, I am learning to obey the voice of the Spirit more and more as He sheds His light on my path.

Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

Luke 8:18

As in most areas of life, attitude is everything. The Lord shows the result of either decision we make when His light shines on our lives.

In this verse, the word He uses is “holds”. Whoever holds on to it, will be given more. When I embrace God’s Word to me, I prepare myself for more to come.

In contrast to that, I can choose not to hold on to the Word I’ve heard. I can say, “I’m doing okay. I don’t need to change anything right now. Maybe in the future.” In that case, I actually begin to lose ground in the spirit.

We need to be spending quality time in the Spirit, listening for God’s voice. But, that comes with a warning. Once you’ve heard from Him, don’t ignore what you’ve heard. Obey the Lord’s instructions no matter how difficult you think they are.

Question: What’s the last thing you heard from the Holy Spirit?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Dark Road

The Dark Road

I’m continuing in my study of the Luke’s Gospel. Jesus is walking through Israel, ministering to the people as He goes.

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.

Luke 7:11-12

In this section of Scripture, two crowds are about to meet. The first was made up of Jesus, His disciples, and a large group of people who simply wanted to see what they were doing. They were probably talking and laughing as most do on a walk.

But then, as they approached Nain, another crowd was coming out of the town. This group was more somber. It was a funeral procession for a young man whose mother was a widow.

What are your thoughts when you see a funeral procession? Maybe you’re stopped at a red light, and you have to wait while all the cars go through. Do you see them as family and friends who have just suffered a loss, or an annoying pause in your daily routine?

In those days, it was the custom to weep and wail loudly at a funeral. I wonder what the disciples and others were thinking as they approached the town and saw this group coming toward them. There was probably an awkward silence that came over them.

But just then, the Lord did something that you’re never supposed to do at a funeral.

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still.

Luke 7:13-14a

Jesus had a different response than was expected. Instead of the usual, “I’m sorry for your loss,” He told the mother not to cry. I’m sure it was obvious that she was the mother by the fact that her tears were real.

Then, He actually grabs the coffin, causing the bearers to stop walking. This was totally unthinkable. Touching the coffin would make the Lord religiously “unclean” for days. I’m sure the disciples were asking themselves; why would He do such a thing?

Very soon they got their answer.

He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Luke 7:14b-15

All I can say is that Jesus is the Lord of the unexpected. Just when we think it’s the end, and all hope is lost, Christ comes on the scene with resurrection power.

We need to trust the Lord no matter what it looks like around us. I don’t know how dark the road is that you’re traveling on right now. But I know Jesus. I know He has the power to come into any situation and raise your dead dreams back to life.

God can do what no one else can do. That way, He gets the glory.

They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Luke 7:16-17

When something like this happens, there’s no room for doubt. God has showed up. He manifests His love and concern for His people.

Our problem is that we don’t seem to have this expectation anymore. We think things are just going to continue this way forever.

It’s time to start trusting God for the miraculous again. Give Him room to show His power. Spend time in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Let Him impart new faith into your heart.

As the church wakes up to this principle, the world will begin to see the glory of God in us. Then, they’ll be drawn to Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Question: What are you trusting God for right now?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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