Frankie Mazzapica - Blessings You Should Expect
Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "Blessings You Should Expect". Blessings You Should Expect. I'll tell you where I'm getting this message from, it's in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 8 and 9, First Corinthians 1:8-9, it reads this, it says, "The Lord will keep you strong". Now, I could preach a whole sermon just on that, because if you've ever thought to yourself, "I don't wanna keep goin' to church, and I don't wanna keep worshiping because I know how I am, I'm just gonna fall back into my old ways again. I've already said I'm sorry, Lord, please forgive me 7.2 billion times".
If you're depending on yourself to be holy, depending on yourself to be strong, I'm telling you, you will live the rest of your life frustrated. But God says this, he goes, "I will be your strength. I will keep you strong until the end so that you will have no blame on the day that Jesus Christ returns". Now, I'm not preaching on that verse, but just put your hands together for that. Now, it leads into the verse that I wanna share, it's in verse number 9 and it says this. God will do this because he has called you into a partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ. He's saying I'm gonna keep you strong. You depend on me, I'm going to keep you strong because you are so important to my plan that I have called you to be in partnership with Jesus Christ. Your partnership, who you partner with, determines how fast your life accelerates.
Who you are in relationship with determines the blessings that come into your life. Now, for those of us that are sayin', "No, the blessings come from God," have you ever received a paycheck that is signed Jesus? God sends his blessings through people, and if you're not in relationship with the right people, then God is unable, or he's limited on the blessings that he can send you. Let me illustrate this. I was standing with two friends, it was a unique situation. It wasn't identical to this, but I was talking to two friends, and the person on my left was telling us about how he has a friend who lives in Hawaii, and he said, "Hey, I want you to come to my house in Hawaii. I'm gonna be at my own house in Phoenix," this guy's loaded.
I'm gonna be at a house in Phoenix, why don't you and your wife just come have a vacation at my house in Hawaii? Stay as long as you want, free, no charge, eat the brisket in the refrigerator, have whatever you want. And this friend over here to my right said out loud, "I need better friends. I need different friends". It's the relationship that matters. Let me say it this way. Life moves at the pace of your relationships. If you lock yourself up into a closet and never come out, first of all you're gonna starve, but secondly, it's very difficult for God to bless you while you're locked up, because he uses relationships.
I have something so exciting for you, that you are in partnership with God. If you get a job at a snow cone stand, then you can be excited because you have a job. But if you get a different job that's paying you ten times more, it's just a new relationship is all it is. If you come home and you're excited because you got a new contract, then you are... why? Because it's your partnership. God is saying this, Jesus created the world. He pulled mountains out of the ground. He carved his finger and land and caused streams. He holds the ocean in his hand. He said I want you to be in partnership with him.
Now, this is how this works. This is how this works. In John 15 verse 5 Jesus says this about the partnership with you. He says "this. I am the vine," he is talking to you. He "says, I am the vine, you are the branches". In other words, I am the trunk of the tree, and the branches are attached to me. You are the branches. It says whoever remains in me stays connected. You're the branch, you stay connected to God. What does that mean? What does it mean to be connected? Your mind is always aware that he is there. You're talking with him and you're living for him. He said if you remain connected with me, you are going to bear much fruit. Because you can produce nothing without me, nothing.
So there's two blessings that I want to talk about, two large pieces of fruit that you can expect to receive as you partner with him, as you stay connected with him. The two things I'm going to talk about, number one is understanding, and number two, usefulness. Let me talk about understanding. The most difficult thing that a person has in their relationship with God is understanding how phenomenal he is. It's understanding the love that he has for you. If we could get a glimpse of how much he loves us, everything else would be easy. We would have an understanding of what his presence feels like.
Paul said it like this in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 18. He goes, I wish. I wish you had the power to understand. I wish you had the blessing of understanding. I wish you had the fruit of understanding. I wish you knew how far, and how wide, and how deep, and how high his love is for you. I wish you knew. Because when we get a glimpse of his presence, everything else increasingly becomes very, very dim. There's this old song I grew up with and I might not even get the words right, I'm definitely not gonna sing it, but it says, you guys can help me. As I gaze into his wonderful face, the things of this world becomes strangely dim. Strangely dim, why is it strangely dim? Because the things that were so important all of a sudden, strange.
It used to be so important, but now, oh, my goodness, I can't believe that used to be important to me. I cannot believe I used to be stressed out about that. I cannot believe I was living in my whole life. I cannot believe, because, wow, now I want to live only for you. In Psalms 27 verse 4, the psalmist got a glimpse, and he said this. "O, God, this one thing I ask. This only will I seek, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life". Don't you wanna build a? Nope, don't you wanna have? No, no, no, no, no, I don't want any of that. I know it sounds strange. I don't want any of that. All I want, to spend time in your presence, watch this, to gaze in the glory of your face, and dwell in your sanctuary all the days of my life. Do you see the contrast?
All of a sudden, understanding as we dwell with him, as we pursue him. How do you pursue God? Isaiah chapter 6 verse 26, it says this. "Those of you who pray, give yourself no rest, and give God no rest until he has completed his promise," no rest. God, I want to know how much you love me. God, I want to know what your spirit feels like. God, give me a glimpse, even if it's, like, looking through a keyhole at space. Just give me a glimpse. If there is any prayer that God is most excited about answering, it's that one. It is that one. That is the fruit. That is a blessing you can expect. People who are bored with God, bored with the church, nonchalant about the things of the Lord, they just haven't had a glimpse of his presence. Once you get a glimpse, everything changes. Can you say amen to that? C'mon, everything changes.
Number two, usefulness. Usefulness is the blessing that you should expect. I used to play basketball in high school, we had a running and gunning team. I mean, we were really good, not because of me, but these guys, I mean, they could dunk the basketball when they were seven years old. They were just really, really good. It was on the east side of Houston, running and gunning, and the team was so good. All 15 guys were so good that the coach would put in five players for two minutes, and then two minutes later, he'd take 'em out and put it in a different five for two minutes. And then the coach would take them out and put in a third five for two minutes, and each five would just go wide open. We were running all over the court because we didn't have to save any energy. We were running and gunning.
If you could watch our team it was like... and as soon as we'd get tired, the next five comes in. But I'll never forget, it was at the end of the game, and now the coach had to pick a five to finish the game. There was about a minute left to the game, and we're all gathered around the coach, and the coach looks at all 15 of us, and I don't know how this happened, but he started on the left, and he said, "I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you," and he looked at me and says, "And I need you". I can't tell you what it felt like when he looked at me and he says, "And I need you". He put the five on the floor, and we played, and we won, and here I am to this day thinkin' to myself, "He needed me".
Can I just tell you that when the Lord looks around, he says, "I need you, I need you, I need you, and I need you". But until that moment, that revelation, that understanding that you're needed, until that happens, we have a tendency to kinda sloth through life. We take everything serious except for our assignment, and why is that? It's not because we don't love God, everybody in this room loves God. It's not because we don't want to commit ourselves to him, because we're committing ourselves to the best of our ability, but what we haven't got a glimpse of is how important we are, how useful you are to the kingdom. You are so useful. God has created everything, but he's sayin' I need you.
Let me just share with you, he loves you so much that he's looking forward to the day when you are in heaven and you get to see him as he truly is, and he can embrace you. He is looking for that day, but that day cannot be today. It cannot be today, and why is that? Because you are too useful to the plan. And once your assignment is over, who knows how old you'll be. Once your assignment is over, then he goes, "Okay, your assignment is over, now is the time for you to be in my presence, and we can truly embrace". The reason why you're sitting here right now is because your assignment isn't over. You are useful to this plan on earth, and I want you to get a glimpse on how grand he is and how important you are.
A friend of mine told me about a dream, and it was a dream where this gentleman walked right up to the presence of God, and God was sitting behind this desk. Jesus, it was Jesus sitting behind the desk, and he noticed that on the front right corner of the desk, there was a small, little globe. And he said to Jesus, "Is that the earth"? And Jesus said back, "No, that's the universe". Small, little globe compared to his presence. There is nothing that exists that's not in him. You can't go outside of him. You can get in a rocket ship and go for 150 years, you can never get outside of him.
The Bible says this in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 17. It says that he was before all things, and all things, Mars, Jupiter, the furthest star, all things are held together within him. This is how grand he is. And he says in all the grandness and all the splendor that I have, you are useful. I need you. And when we are pursuing him, when we are aware of his presence, when we are praying relentlessly, we are giving ourself no rest, what is discovered is the blessing of usefulness. That is when we discover what we are called to do. When we began to distance ourself from the rest of the world and say I have a singular focus, I gotta work to pay the bills, I gotta do the dishes so that we're humane, I gotta do the yard, I gotta do those things.
I don't get to do those things, I gotta do those things. But after I get all these temporary things done, I'm back to pursuing God. And the idea of separating yourself from the world, like, I'm sorry, I can't talk like you. I'm sorry, I can't dress like you, I'm pursuing a holy God. And and I know that my life has gotta have a degree of holiness. What does holiness mean? It just means to be separate. It doesn't mean to be perfect, it means to be separate. The Bible says this, what's the verse? First Peter 1:14, it says, "Be holy in every aspect of your life, just as he who has called you is holy". Be separate in every aspect of your life. I'm sorry, we can't dress like that. I'm sorry, we can't watch like that. I'm sorry, we don't listen to these things.
There is a difference between a child of God, a difference between someone who is recognizing their partnership with God. There's a difference when someone says I need more understanding, so therefore I choose to be separate. But there's a difference of a person who is saying I am going to remain in the vine. "Those who remain in me". Now, there's this funny Scripture about 4 verses later, it's in John chapter 15 verse 9, it says this. Jesus talking, "I have loved you the exact same way as God the Father has loved me". And then he says this, "Remain in my love. Stay in my love".
Now, if you're anything like me, you would think I do want to remain in your love, but how do I do that? He's so wonderful that he answered that question in the very next verse. He says those who follow my commandments remain in my love. This is what I'm tryin' to say. Is when you crave understanding, you crave to know your usefulness, you say to yourself, "Lord, how do you want me to live? How can I please you? And whatever commandments you have, whatever desires you have, this is how I want to live my life".
Imagine for a moment, Prince Charles in England, hey says, "Hey, I want you to come visit me. I want you to come to my palace," or whatever they call it. "I want you to come visit man and I want to give you a tour. And not only do I want to give you a tour, I want you to live here for a few weeks". Of course you say, "Well, I gotta work. I don't know how that's gonna work". He goes, "I'll give you two year's salary, just come live here for a couple of weeks".
I'll see you in a minute. But before we get on the plane, we get an email and it says it's from his secretary, or whatever they call it an England, I don't know. It says hey, just so you know, the king would rather you take your shoes off before you step in, and it really bothers him when people don't eat at the table, when they just grab their plate and they go walk into the living room. It really bothers him. He wants you to sit at the table. And then also, there's a measure of privacy that he really likes, and so when you go to sleep, if you would shut your bedroom door, and you know, we'd really appreciate that.
And just be proper, say excuse me, and he's really particular about that. And then you think to yourself, rubbish, rubbish, I don't take my shoes off when I walk into my house, it's my shoes, my house. I don't like to close the door when I go to sleep, I like the door to be open, I want to hear everything that's going on. If I say thank you, if the thought crosses my mind, then I'll say thank you, but I'm not gonna be like, "Thank you, thank you," I'm not gonna get overwhelmed with bein' polite. I'm just... if it crosses my mind, I'll be polite. I'm not gonna get overwhelmed with it. And another thing, in my family we can eat dinner wherever we want. We can eat dinner in the kitchen, we can eat dinner in the living room, we can eat dinner while we're watching TV, and so you tell Prince Charles we'll eat wherever we wanna eat, thank you very much.
Do you think Prince Charles will be like, "I didn't know. I didn't know. I didn't know that that's how you felt, just come anyway. Who cares, just stomp in the house wearing whatever you want, I don't care. In fact, just come sleep in my bed and just lay crossways, eat wherever". Do you think he's gonna do that? No, because when you walk into his kingdom, there's a culture that he has, and if you want to be in his kingdom, you'll look at his culture, you honor his culture, you adapt to his culture, and you say to yourself, "All of my personal desires stay outside".
When we come to the Lord, we say Lord, what is your culture in the kingdom? What do you like in the kingdom? How do you want us to talk? How do you want us to live? Because I want to be a part of that kingdom so much. I want to be connected to the vine so much. I wanna know you so well. I want to know what my assignment is, so therefore I choose holy. I choose to be separate. How do you want me to live? Because you are my King. You are my King. Come on, put your hands together for that.