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The Constant Light

BeamWhat are you striving for? That’s an important question that we all need to answer. James had some insight into this issue.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:16-18

The first thing he tells us is not to be deceived. That’s because the truth goes contrary to what we normally accept as logical in our modern society. We think that to get ahead we need to struggle and sacrifice.

Fortunately, the most valuable thing offered to us, is absolutely free. James makes it clear that if it’s worth having then it comes from God. You can rely on Him to know what you need the most, and to provide it as we trust in Him.

As you probably know from reading my blog – I love to go camping. At night, I love sitting around a campfire under the stars. The fire that I watch produces light. But it isn’t consistent.

The shadows of a campfire move and dance around the whole time. Sometimes the things around me look like they’re moving, even though they’re standing still.

That’s not how God’s light works. The light of His Word is a clear, constant source of blessing for us. I don’t go off in one direction, and then find out that the Lord has changed His mind. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.

It was by God’s wisdom that He chose to give us birth by the Word of Truth. He’s referred to as the Father of Heavenly Lights. It’s His light shining on us that brings us life. In His love and wisdom He sent Christ into the world for that purpose.

This passage is clear. We’ve been given a new birth. It’s a birth that wasn’t flesh and blood, like our original entrance into the world. This birth was through the Word of Truth.

I believe that James is referring to something more than the Bible, as wonderful as that Word is. It’s a Word that speaks to our inner being.

One of the names of Christ is the Word made flesh. It wasn’t a matter of ink and paper coming alive. He’s the living and enduring Word of the Most High God. Christ said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” He’s the direct expression of the Word of Truth.

It’s through this Word, Christ Himself, that we’ve been given new birth – if we’ve accepted the free gift of His salvation.

He did this so that He could begin the renovation of the human race in us. That’s what the last part of this verse is all about. The firstfruits of all He created.

This is the beginning of the kingdom of God manifest on earth. Right now it’s difficult to see. It’s taking root in the hearts of men and women throughout the world. But they’re changing, becoming what God intended them to be. His Kingdom is starting in us.

As we let the clear, consistent light of God’s Word shine on us, it will transform us. It won’t take us in random circles, always searching for something better. It will bring us forward from glory to glory as the Holy Spirit works God’s will in us.

The more time I spend in the presence of that Word, the more I become like Him. Don’t ever take the presence of the Lord for granted. It’s a privilege to have access to the throne room of God. It was paid for by the precious blood of Christ. Let the living Word do the work in you that only He can do.

Question: What are some changes that the Word has accomplished in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Faith, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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Born Again and the Kingdom

CastleI’ve been posting about the Biblical definition of being born again. It’s quite different than how we use the term in this generation. In this post I want to look at how Jesus describes it to a believing Pharisee who met with Him.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:3

In answering his statement of faith, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. In the book of John, the gospel that was written to the church, that’s a ground shaking statement. Telling a believer that he needs to be born again is something unheard of in our generation.

According to Jesus Christ Himself, believers must be born again. Obeying the law isn’t enough. Trying your best to be good isn’t enough. The Good News is not “believe in Jesus and follow the law.” It’s all about becoming a new person.

The Lord tells Nicodemus and us that unless we experience the process of this new birth, we will not see the Kingdom of God. At this point it’s important that you understand what Christ is saying in this passage. He’s not saying that you must be born again in order to be saved. That’s how we describe it.

The Greek language has two words that translate to the word see in English. They are blepo and eidon. Blepo means to look at with your eyes. That’s what we normally think of when we hear that word.

That’s not the word in this verse. Instead it’s the word eidon, which literally means to know by seeing. In other words – to experience something. Christ was telling this Pharisee that unless he is born again, he will never experience the kingdom of God.

You can sit back and watch things happen in the Kingdom of God. But if you want to be a part of what’s going on, experiencing the manifestation of the kingdom, then you need to be born of God.

At this point Nicodemus was thinking merely in the physical. He asked about how you could return to your mother’s womb. In later years he probably looked back on this and laughed. Jesus explained it further.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
John 3:5

The Lord wasn’t talking about physical birth, but entering the kingdom. That’s the definition of being born again – being given access to the Kingdom of God.

Then again, that brings us to another sloppy definition of the modern church – exactly what is the Kingdom of God? Listen to how Jesus described the Kingdom to the Pharisees that opposed Him.

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”
Matthew 21:43

The Kingdom of God is about producing its fruit. It’s not just reciting a prayer, then sitting back and doing nothing. Paul gives us even more insight.

…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:22

Paul and Barnabas, as they were encouraging the disciples, told them that in order to enter the kingdom, hardships would have to be overcome. When was the last time you heard that preached on a Sunday morning? Well, you’re reading it today. It’s hard! You must be born again!

Question: How does the church react to the thought of hardships these days?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Word of Truth

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

This verse is referencing our Heavenly Father.  In the book of James He is called the Father of Heavenly Lights.  It is His light shining on us that brings us life.  In His love and wisdom He sent Christ into the world to bring us life.

This verse is clear.  We have been given a new birth.  A birth that was not of flesh and blood like our original entrance into this world.  This birth was through the Word of Truth.  I believe that James is referring to something more than the Bible, as wonderful as that Word is.  It is a Word that speaks to our inner being.

One of the names of Christ is the Word made flesh.  He was not a matter of ink and paper coming alive.  He is the living and enduring Word of the Most High God.  Christ said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by me.”  He is the direct expression of the Word of Truth.

It is through this Word, Christ Himself, that we have been given new birth – if we have accepted the free gift of His salvation.  He did this so that He could begin the renovation of the human race in us.  That is what the last part of this verse is all about.  The firstfruits of all He created.

This is the beginnings of the kingdom of God manifest on earth.  Right now it is difficult to see.  It is taking root in the hearts of men and women throughout the world.  But they are changing, becoming what God intended them to be.  His Kingdom is starting in us.

The more time I spend in the presence of that Word, the more I become like Him.  Don’t ever take the presence of the Lord for granted.  It is a privilege to have access to the throne room of God.  It was paid for by the precious blood of Christ.  Let the living Word do the work in you that only He can do.  Spend quality time with Him today.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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