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Three Main Functions of the Mind (Repost)

Three Main Functions of the Mind (Repost)

Over the next couple of weeks or so I’ll be on vacation. While I’m gone I’ve felt that I should repost my Top 10 most read articles. Some of you have been following me long enough to have read them already. If so, my prayer is that they will again be a blessing to you.

I enjoy studying teachings about the subject of Creation vs. Evolution. I believe there’s a very important issue involved that no one seems to talk about.

We’ll start by looking at a passage from the book of Hebrews.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Hebrews 11:3

Actually, it all boils down to one key phrase – we understand. What does it mean to understand?

The Bible talks about three basic concepts that deal with how the mind functions.

The first is knowledge. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and it’s the easiest to acquire. We go to school or read books and get knowledge.

The next is wisdom, and that’s a little bit tougher to get. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to solve problems. The only way to get wisdom is through experience or time spent in God’s presence.

The third and most important function is understanding. Understanding involves direction. It looks for the eventual outcome of a line of thinking. It tries to put together all the facts, and asks, “Where does the path I’m on take me?” This process exercises the mind to its greatest potential. It’s hard work and sometimes brings unexpected results.

Because of this, most people will not seek understanding. Yet seeking is the only way to obtain it.  You must choose to understand.

Understanding, then, is exercising the mind to see the entire picture of life. It looks at how everything fits together. This is what our society desperately needs.

Unfortunately, most school systems teach us NOT to understand. Everything is about the present. Does it feel good right now? Instead of understanding, they seek explanations – as long as these explanations fit into their worldviews.

There’s an unfortunate outcome to this kind of living.

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
Psalm 32:9

Our modern society displays the truth of this verse. The less understanding you possess, the more you need to be controlled.

We frequently hear people complain, “There are so many new and complicated laws now.” What does that tell you? I believe that we’re training a generation how not to understand.

The ability to seek understanding is the basis for a clear direction in life. It’s got to be the starting point. Without direction, there’s no reason for self-control.

This is why the creation-evolution debate is so emotional. It involves issues that affect the very core of who we are and how we view our existence.

Question: How is a lack of direction displayed by our present society?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2021 in Creation, Spiritual Walk

 

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Pleasing to God

Pleasing to God

As we continue on in the book of Romans, Paul shows us the clear choice that we’re faced with.

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Romans 8:6-8

The choice laid before us is death vs. life and peace. It’s clear from Scripture that this has always been the choice throughout history.

We need to understand that peace is the total blessing of God. In opposition to that, the mind focused on the flesh is hostile toward God. Therefore, it cannot submit to God’s law because it doesn’t have the power to submit.

It’s a simple fact that a mind focused on the things pertaining to the flesh cannot please God. That’s because God isn’t impressed by our rules, feelings, logic, or will-power.

What exactly does the Bible say about pleasing God?

On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4

This verse makes it clear. The only way to please God is through the condition of our heart. If that’s the case, than what does it take to have a heart that’s pleasing to the Lord?

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…

Colossians 1:9-10

It takes spiritual wisdom and understanding in order to please God. On top of that, we must bear fruit. I assume he’s talking about the fruit of the spirit. These are not things that can be accomplished by our mind or our flesh.

This was evident in the life of Christ.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”

John 8:28-29

This is the foundation of how Jesus pleased the Father. He spoke as He was taught by the Father. That means His wisdom and understanding came from a spiritual source. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit the same way He wants us to walk.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

1 John 3:21-22

When John says that we obey His commands; what’s he talking about? Is it the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on Mount? No, it’s the spiritual instructions we receive as we spend time in the presence of God.

That’s what pleases the Lord. It’s all about our spirit-walk. According to the verse in Romans, above, without my spiritual walk, I do not have the power to please God. Don’t neglect the most important part of your relationship with God. Spend some intimate time with the Holy Spirit.

Question: What has the Holy Spirit impressed you to do lately?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Dark Thinking

Dark Thinking

In my last post, I began looking at Paul’s view of society without Christ.  He also made the point that God’s character is seen through His creation.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

As a believer who loves the outdoors, this verse excites me.  To see the beauty of a mountain vista, fall colors, lake, sky, and wind.  They all combine together to give a sense of awe and wonder.  All of Creation seems to cry out that it’s the work of someone vastly more intelligent and powerful than you or I.

But that’s not how it is for everybody.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Romans 1:21-23

This passage reminds us that not everyone credits God for His work.  There are those who see a vastly different picture.  As I said in my last post, evolution and chance are the gods of this world.  There are many people who overlook the obvious in order to avoid giving account of themselves to God.

The fact remains that God has revealed Himself in the context of His Creation.  This is why society does not seek understanding even though it’s the most important issue of life.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:24-25

The problem is that understanding brings with it the desire to know God.  So, in order to deflect this knowledge, man has decided to worship creation rather than the Creator.

You may think that this section of Scripture is outdated.  People don’t worship images in the shape of humans or animals anymore.  But is that really the case?

We need to see the definition of the word, worship.  It means the act or feeling of adoration or homage.  It involves the giving of deference, respect or honor to someone or something.

Just because our modern idols are not statues of silver and gold doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  In our society, we worship athletes, entertainers, educators, politicians, and chefs to name a few.  We even have a popular show called American Idol

According to the verses above, this mindset causes us to walk in foolish and empty reasoning.  We end up worshiping things that are temporary and decaying.

Without Christ, we make a very foolish exchange.  We give up the glory of a powerful and eternal God for things that will never satisfy or last forever.

The worst part is that there are many Christians who are running after these same things.  They don’t understand that true satisfaction and fulfillment can only be found in the center of God’s will for them.

Make it your goal to seek the eternal.  Spend time getting to know the God of Creation through your relationship with Christ.

Question: What is the focus of worship in your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2020 in Creation, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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The Cost of Understanding

The Cost of Understanding

We’re continuing our walk through Paul’s letter to the Roman church.  Having finished his introduction, the apostle now begins the journey to maturity.

He begins by talking about mankind, lost and without Christ.  That’s where any walk of faith must start.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Romans 1:18-19

This is an interesting contrast to what he just wrote.  In my last post we saw that Paul talked about the righteousness of God being revealed through the Gospel.  Now we see the anger of God being revealed from heaven.

Who is this anger against?  The answer is simple.  It’s against the godlessness and wickedness of mankind who suppress truth.

We live in a society of spiritual convenience.  What do I mean by that?  It would be very convenient to not have a God that we must answer to.

So on one hand we have true atheists who have made the choice not to believe in God.  On the other hand we have practical atheists who say they believe in God, but live as if God has no effect on their lives.

The result is a society that’s slipping further and further into wickedness.  In Scripture, that word speaks of doing things where it’s self-evident that they’re wrong.

I guess the real question is, how has God made His anger plain?  Many people say that they can look at creation and not even think about a God.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

There’s a key phrase in this verse – being understoodUnderstanding means to apply the mental effort needed to reach a decision.  It means to put together everything you’re seeing to form a conclusion.

This is what society fears the most.  If you apply understanding to what you see around you, it will lead you to God.  There’s no way around it, understanding will bring you face to face with God.

The Lord made it impossible to use understanding to arrive at the conclusion that we’re here by the evolutionary process.  Applying understanding to the world around us will never lead to a belief in random chance.  How does that theory come about?

It starts with the foundation of atheism – I don’t want there to be a God.  I must now find an explanation for how we could have gotten here if there were no God.  Of course, all the facts won’t fit into my theory, but at least I can explain how there can be life without God – even if it means I put my understanding on hold.

That’s why evolution will always be a theory.  It can never be proven, because there are too many things that it can’t explain when taken all together.  All it can do is provide a bit of consolation for those who don’t want to believe in God.

This is where the frightening world of understanding comes in.  Understanding will cost you something.  It brings responsibility with it.  Once I understand that there’s a God that I must answer to, the rest of my life is affected by this knowledge.  That’s why the quest for understanding is one which is not undertaken by many.

It’s my prayer that you are one of the few who seek to understand the truth.

Question: How does your understanding of God affect your lifestyle?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2020 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Relating to Scripture

We’re continuing to look at Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church.  He’s been sharing about his ministry.  Through his words, we can see his attitude.

Now he begins to talk about how he views the church.  We get some insight into why he writes these epistles.

I don’t think Paul knew that his writings were going to become Scripture.  He probably didn’t realize that people would be reading, studying and memorizing them 2000 years after he sent them off.

But God knew!  As the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle to write these words, He was looking forward to all who would believe and accept the Gospel of Christ.

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God.  We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace.
2 Corinthians 1:12

I understand that in the context of Paul’s writing, he’s addressing his comments to the Corinthian church.  He’s reminding them of his way of ministering.

But in the greater agenda of the Holy Spirit, he’s also speaking to us.  Even though he wasn’t aware of it, Paul is explaining to us how he wants us to relate to what he’s writing.

There are two things that he received from God that he wants to shine through in what he writes.  The first is translated as holiness.  This is not the normal Greek word for holiness.  It actually means singleness; without any hidden agenda.

He also says that he writes with sincerity.  It’s a word that means clear and pure.  Paul wants to say what the Spirit is saying.

The only way he could do this was by the grace of God operating in his life.  The wisdom of the world would never give the Word that the Lord wanted to impart to the church.

Look at how Paul describes his writings.  We need to hear this as if it was written to us personally.

For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand.  And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
2 Corinthians 1:13-14

This is the key to the Holy Spirit’s plan in giving us the Scripture.  He gave us a written Word that we could both read and understand.

The word, read, is very interesting.  It literally means to know again.  It assumes that what is written will be reread and reviewed over and over again.

That’s the foundation for our understanding of God’s Word to us.  As we continue to read it, we begin to understand it in the way that the Lord intended us to.  The Spirit of God can bring us into the full understanding of the Scripture.

Paul ends this passage by looking forward to the coming of Christ.  When the Lord returns, there will be a great reunion.  Paul says that he will boast about God’s work in the Corinthian church on that day.

Little did he know that not only will the Corinthians boast about him, but we will boast about his work in us.  Because of Paul’s faithfulness to the Spirit, we have a clear testimony to the grace of God.

Paul’s instructions have not only affected the people of his day but have touched and changed our lives as well.

Question: How has your life been changed by studying God’s Word?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Supernatural Orchestra

In the last few posts, we’ve been looking at how the church should be built up through prophecy, and tongues and interpretation.  God wants to strengthen us by His power.

Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?  Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?
1 Corinthians 14:7-8

In talking about the need for understanding, Paul uses the example of musical instruments.  When we gather together, God has a purpose for what’s being said.  If someone is speaking, then it should be useful to build others up in the faith.

In an orchestra, everyone doesn’t just arrive and start playing whatever they want on their instruments.  They all play the same song together.  Even if some play melody and some play harmony, together they make a cohesive whole.

When we gather together, we need to speak with purpose.  The Holy Spirit is the great Conductor.  He should be orchestrating the whole so that all who attend are touched by His presence.

So it is with you.  Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?  You will just be speaking into the air.  Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.  If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.
1 Corinthians 14:9-11

I understand that the context of this passage is about the need for a message in tongues to be interpreted.  However, in our generation, there’s another point that needs to be made.

In the modern church, we’ve come up with our own particular culture and language.  I sometimes wonder what the unchurched think about when they hear what we say in church.

We question why they don’t respond when we call them to be “washed in the blood” or “come to the cross”.  Those phrases have great meaning to us as believers.  But to the world, they mean nothing.

I’m not saying, like some do, that we need to stop preaching the blood of Christ or His cross.  No, instead, we need to be explaining the significance of these words.  We can’t just assume that everybody knows what we mean by these church terms.

Since I’ve already started going there, let me make a few more people mad at me.  I think that this also applies to those who insist on only using the King James Version of the bible.  That’s a foreign language to most people today.

It’s perfectly fine to use the KJV if those you’re speaking to were raised hearing it.  But in my case, a great number of people that I minister to don’t have English as their first language.  They need to hear the Word of God in a way that they can grasp and apply to their lives.

We need to stop being self-centered in our view of church ministry.  It’s not about what I want.  It’s the Holy Spirit’s desire that should be central.

When we come together as believers, we need to be in prayer as to how the Lord wants His service to flow.  It’s not about the songs I want to sing or the sermon I want to preach.  Christ is the head of the church and He should set the direction for each meeting.

Only in that way will we be assured that everyone in attendance, who are expecting to receive something, will meet with God.

Question: How do we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our church gatherings?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Fellowship, Ministry, Revival, The Church

 

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Understanding – The Key to Unlocking Faith

In my last post, the Pharisees angered Jesus by asking Him for a sign.  They wanted the Lord to prove Himself as if what He had been doing so far was not enough.  He decided to leave the area, so He got into a boat with His disciples.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.  “Be careful,” Jesus warned them.  “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
Mark 8:14-16

The Pharisees wanted to be in control.  Herod wanted to see a miracle to be entertained.  Neither wanted to follow Christ as the Messiah.  Jesus was warning His disciples not to pick up these attitudes.

It’s clear that the disciples didn’t know what the Lord was talking about.  They discussed it.  In the course of their debate, it was decided that He was upset that they only had one loaf of bread between them.

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread?  Do you still not see or understand?  Are your hearts hardened?  Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?  And don’t you remember?  When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Mark 8:17-21

The word used to describe their discussion is dialogue.  Even today we like having dialogues about what it means to be a Christian.  It’s time to stop dialoguing and get back to what the Bible teaches.

Usually, a dialogue will lead us to the lowest common denominator.  More often than not, it’s a compromise with the flesh.  Some of the disciples were probably hungry, so they focused on not having enough bread for their satisfaction.

Jesus clearly rebukes them for discussing His words.  Instead, He tells them three things that they needed.  The important words are: See, remember, and understand.

The word, see, means to ponder or to think about.  Had they really thought about what Jesus said, they would have realized that the Pharisees and Herod had nothing to do with how much bread was in the boat.

The next thing is remembering.  They needed to remember what Christ had already done right in front of their eyes.  One loaf of bread was more than enough to feed them all.  There’s no lack when you’re walking with Jesus.

But the key is understanding.  That word literally means to put together.  You need to see what the Lord is saying right now and put that together with what you remember that He’s already accomplished in your life.  When we do this, we’re opening the door of faith.

Anybody can say, “Yes, I’m trusting Jesus.”  I’m sure the disciples would have said the same thing sitting in the boat talking about not having enough bread.

We need to take what we know from Scripture and apply it to our lives.  Then, remember what God has already done in and through us.  Now, putting it all together, we can move forward with the assurance that Christ has already supplied all we need for life and godliness.

Question: What are some things that Christ has already completed in you?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2018 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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Private Time Insight

Over the last few posts, we have looked at some of the parables of Jesus.  That section of Mark is summarized in the next verses.

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.  He did not say anything to them without using a parable.  But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Mark 4:33-34

The understanding of this passage is actually very important to us as believers.  It holds the key to a greater depth of insight into the Lord’s work in our lives.

But first, we have to know what is meant by a parable.  According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary*, a parable is a “short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth…in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.”

If we want to truly understand our walk with God, then we need to be able to draw spiritual truth from everyday experiences.  This is a big part of getting insight into the Word of God.

This was a big part of Jesus’ ministry to His disciples.  He spoke the parables to the crowds.  They observed the natural world examples.  But in private, the disciples were given the truths that these parables illustrated.

I’ve said it before; the ministry of Jesus to His disciples was equivalent to the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us today.  What Jesus did then, is what the Holy Spirit wants to do now, if we’re seeking and listening.  After all, most of the time the disciples asked the Lord to explain these parables to them.

We go through many different experiences in our lives.  How often do we ask the Lord to explain them to us?  Please understand, I’m not talking about the “Why me!” type of questions.  I’m talking about turning our daily walk into a learning time with the Holy Spirit.

Let me give you an example.  If you don’t already know it, I’m an avid hiker.  I love spending a week or more on the trail.  The fact is that walking is probably the most used illustration of spiritual truth in the Bible.

As I hike, I pray to, worship, and praise God.  I ask Him for wisdom and insight.  Along the way, the Lord has used my hiking experiences to give me tremendous insight into the Christian walk.  Many of the truths of Scripture directly coincide with walking long distances.

But probably the most important part of this whole discussion is the fact that this happened while Jesus was alone with His disciples.  The things that were in parable form were hidden from most people.  But the Lord wanted the disciples to understand them.

The word explained, in the above verse means to untie a knot.  It’s something that stays bound up unless you actively work at it.  In this case, it means spending time, in private, with the Holy Spirit.  It’s in those times that we can receive insight into our walk with God.

Do you seek to understand Scriptural truth from your daily activities?  Did you even know that this was available to you?  Spend quality time in God’s presence listening for His explanations of what you’ve been through.  It will open up your spiritual eyes.

Question: What spiritual insight have you gotten from your daily experiences?

*From Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Prayer, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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How to Miss God’s Best

As we continue through the Gospel of Mark, we now come to one of the more popular sections.  It’s when Jesus teaches the parable of the sower and the seed.  The parable itself is contained in Mark 4:1-9.  You may want to look it up and read it before going on with this post.

There are a lot of important truths in this section.  So I’m going to spend a number of posts on it.  Apparently, the disciples didn’t understand the meaning of the parable.  Later, when they were alone with Jesus, they asked Him about it.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'”
Mark 4:10-12

To understand what Jesus is saying here, we need to know His role in the lives of the disciples.  Christ was to the disciples, who the Holy Spirit is to the church.  He was the One leading, training, guiding and teaching them.  So how the Lord worked with the disciples is how the Holy Spirit works with us now.

The goal of Jesus with His disciples was to bring them into an understanding of the kingdom of God.  His words are spirit and life.  Jesus tells us that by not accepting His Word, there are three consequences.  Unfortunately, I see these very things at work in much of the church today.

Ever seeing but never perceiving.  The word used for seeing is the generic word, to look at.  The word, perceiving, means to know by seeing or to experience.  This is talking about those who see what God has done for them but never experience it.

There are many Christians who spend lots of time confessing their position in Christ.  But they never do what it takes to cross over into the manifestation of it.  It only comes about by hearing and obeying the Lord’s voice.

Ever hearing but never understanding.  Hearing simply means to listen with your ears.  That’s the easy part.  Plenty of people do that every week in church services.

Understanding is on a higher level.  The word literally means to put together.  That’s where we usually miss out.  I need to know how to apply what I’ve heard to the area of my life that needs it.

Again, that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.  If I’m not listening to His instruction, then I’ll never see the changes take place that will move me forward in my Christian walk.

Otherwise, they might turn and be forgiven.  This is obviously the most important part.  But it’s totally dependent upon perceiving and understanding.  What exactly does this mean?

The word, turn, means to turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.  That’s good, but it’s the forgiven part that most of us miss the depth of.  Our understanding of forgiveness is very shallow compared to the Scriptural concept.

When we think of being forgiven, it means that we did something wrong and now it’s okay.  This is not what the Greek word indicates.

The word, forgive, in the Greek, means to pick up, remove, and throw away.  This brings a whole new view of what’s happening in this verse.

When we perceive, understand, and obey a word from God, it causes us to turn around.  Then, at that point, things start dropping off and being removed from our lives.  Things like habitual sins, sicknesses, lack, and depression.

Hopefully, as we continue looking at this parable, we’ll learn to walk in this truth and experience God’s best for us.  If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, take the opportunity now so that you won’t miss an installment.

Question: What is your current level of experiencing God’s best in your life?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Against the Current

As we continue to look at the Gospel of Mark, we see that Jesus’ ministry is increasing.  More and more crowds are being attracted to Him.  The healing and deliverance of the Lord are flowing in abundance.  You would think that everyone would be happy about it.

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.  When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
Mark 3:20-22

I can’t imagine what this was like.  Jesus is invited to someone’s house.  Immediately a crowd shows up.  They were people hungry to hear a Word from God.  There were sick and demonically oppressed people as well.

The Lord and His disciples began ministering to those who came.  As they lost track of time, those who were watching started to get concerned.

The first response came from those who were closest to Jesus.  His family didn’t understand the calling of God.  They felt the need to have an intervention.  Obviously, Jesus was out of his mind.  The notoriety that He was experiencing was too much for Him to handle.

It never even occurred to them that Jesus was operating according to the Father’s plan.  He spent a large amount of time in God’s presence, hearing what He was to do.  Then, Jesus would step out and accomplish the will of the Father.

Scripture is clear that those who don’t listen to the instruction of the Holy Spirit have no understanding of those who do.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14

The same was true with the teachers of the law.  Of course, they had different motivations.  They were teachers.  They saw Jesus as a rival.  After all, if the crowds are listening to Him, then they weren’t listening to the Pharisees.

Jealousy can blind you to the truth.  Instead of judging Christ based on His teaching and spiritual power, they looked at their own loss of esteem.  They decided that only way to feel good about themselves was to discredit Jesus.

These types of attitudes are always around when you’re trying to walk by the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit usually leads you against the current of “normal” opinion.  People tend to attack whatever they don’t understand.

We see this in the body of Christ right now.  There are well-known ministries that are bringing huge numbers of people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Yet in spite of this, they’re treated as if they’re false teachers or even demons in disguise.

Jealousy in the ministry is not very becoming.  I’ve learned that even if I have questions about how a ministry operates, I keep it to myself and praise God for those being won into the kingdom of God.

In my next post, we’ll see Jesus’ response to those who were putting down His ministry.

Question: How have you been questioned about something the Lord instructed you to do?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Ministry, Prayer, The Church

 

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