Easter Everyday

We just finished celebrating the greatest event the world has ever known – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It not only changed history, but it changed my history! All that I’ve done before won’t matter anymore when we know Jesus is alive.

The first person to meet and greet Jesus after His resurrection was none other than a woman whom Jesus freed from seven demons. And, you think you’ve got problems! She had seven problems she couldn’t solve, fix or repair. Her life was broken in seven places, and only Jesus had the power to set her free.

We all have demons that we deal with in our lives. Some allow their pain to defined them, spend their lives trying to numb it or escape it to no lasting impact. Mary Magdalene, as she was called, was the kind of person we give up on, but not God. He has a way of weaving them into His story, by showing up and showing off His amazing grace. This is one of the great reasons why I love God. He chooses people we wouldn’t choose, does what we can’t do, and transforms us from the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory.

She thought she would never hear His voice again. This one, that had freed her, taught her so much, and might be the Messiah. However, on that Sunday morning, she heard Him call her by name, “Mary.” That’s all it took. She went from sorrow to gladness, from hopelessness to hope, from weakness to strength. Jesus is truly alive.

What about you? The resurrection is the central fact of history, but is it the central fact of your life? When it is, that’s the game changer. He moves from being alive to being alive in me.

God is still in the resurrection business. He resurrects relationships, careers, dreams, and hopes.  Seek Him today and you will find Him. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus because she went to Him. Once she saw Him, I think it was like it was Easter everyday. It can be the same for you and me.

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Tapping Into God’s Power

Posted in Change, Deliverance, Holy Spirit, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 11, 2017

In today’s reading of the One Year Bible, I was reflecting upon the anointing of Saul to be the first king of Israel. The story is chronicled in 1 Samuel 10 where the prophet Samuel tells Saul that the Spirit of the Lord is going to come upon him in power. Indeed, just as the prophet declared, the Spirit of the Lord does come upon Saul with so much power that he is transformed.

This is a specialty of the Spirit of the Lord, a life that is transformed. I can relay so many stories of addictions, hurts, losses, physical illnesses, emotional scars and countless other issues, that have been changed by the power of the Spirit.

Like Saul, we just need to be open, receptive and expecting the Spirit’s power to come upon us as we walk out our journey each day. In the New Testament, we find every believer in a position to receive the Spirit’s power. Read the book of Acts in the Bible and you’ll find ordinary people moving in extraordinary power because of the Spirit.

Whatever stronghold, addiction, hurt, pain or habit you may be fighting, know that by tapping into the Spirit of the Lord, you can be changed. I don’t know about you, but in a culture like ours, I need all the power I can get.

Also, don’t miss the launch of our next series, Breath, Wind & Fire starting May 28, as we talk about the Holy Spirit.

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Are We Really Bad Or Good?

Posted in Character, Deliverance, Heart, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 20, 2015

Ever wonder, “Are we good people gone bad, or bad people gone good?”  In other words, do we have an evil root or a good root?  I would like to believe that we are all good people deep down, but we can sometimes get off-track and do bad things.  However, what seems more likely is that we are bad people deep down, but we can overcome it and live good lives.  Why do I feel this way?  Let me give some Scripture as a reference:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Even the great Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:15-18 “…for what I want to do I do not do…I know that nothing good lives in me.” 

So, if we’re all wicked at the core and not good people after all, what hope is there?  Our hope is in God who sent His Son to be the only good person and be the only good sacrifice for our badness.  If we were naturally good, would Jesus have to die for us?    Who will rescue us from ourselves – Jesus!

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Fighting Back

What would you do if you knew someone was trying to cause harm to you or your family and you could do something about it?  Wouldn’t you try?  Isn’t there something inside you that would rise up in response?

I’ve got news for you, if you didn’t already know it, someone is trying to bring harm to you and yours.  Jesus totally identifies this individual and his intentions in John 10:10, where He says, “the thief has come to steal, kill and destroy.”  In other words, there is a thief who is intent on robbing, killing and ultimately destroying you and yours.  So, my question is, “What are you going to do about it?”

Now that you know there is someone intent on brining harm to you and your loved ones, what can you do?  Over these next five weeks we are launching a new sermon series called FIGHT – Winning Life’s Battles over hurts, habits and hang-ups.

The enemy wants to put you down, but Jesus wants to lift you up.  Satan wants to remind you of your past, but Jesus wants to give you hope and a future.  The evil one desires to “steal, kill and destroy”, but Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.”  I believe what Jesus says more than what the devil says – how about you?  Learn how to fight back and live the life Jesus intended for you to live.

Join me for what I believe will be a powerful series of freedom, deliverance, healing, hope and release!

FIGHT begins THIS Sunday, November 2 @Crossroads.

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Repost: Depression Freedom

Posted in Attitude, Deliverance, Victorious Living, Worry by PCraig on July 4, 2014

Originally posted: 12/16/11

Songs talk about this being the most wonderful time of the year and yet it can be a source of depression for many.  Some feel the loss of loved ones greater at the holidays; some aren’t close to family and feel isolated, while others might have financial pressures that make it stressful.  There are countless reasons to get depressed, but how can you avoid it?

Last weekend we looked at this topic in depth and here are the main things discovered:

  • Stop Hiding It.  Until you admit your depressed no one can help you.
  • Ask For Help.  This may mean joining a Life Group, go to counseling, or visit a doctor.
  • Take Action Today.  Delay keeps us down.  Quit postponing & procrastinating.  You know what you need to do, now go do it!  Make the phone call or set up the appointment.
  • Seek The Healer.  Jesus wants to help you more than you know.  Don’t doubt Him, attempt to hide from Him or run from Him.  Instead, we need to run to Him.  (Ps. 147:3; Isaiah 61:1-3)

Satan will try to get you to focus on what’s wrong with your life, on things you don’t have, and the hardships of life.  Instead of biting his bait, fix your eyes, mind and senses on what you do have and the promise of God to never leave you or abandon you.  It may look dark at the moment, but hope and help is on the way and God can turn things around for you.  Don’t give up, instead take action and I believe you’ll begin to come out from under the dark clouds of despair into a new day full of God’s sunshine.

One of the things that lifts me is positive, uplifting music.  What works for you?  Whatever it is, take time to activate it in your life today.

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What’s In You?

Posted in Change, Deliverance, Pursuing Jesus, Victorious Living by PCraig on June 19, 2014

How do you break the power of bad habits and hang-ups in your life, especially those that you have dealt with for years and have tried to overcome to no avail?  Maybe you’ve used various methods that worked for others but they didn’t work for you.  Is there anything else you can do?

I was reading in Colossians chapter one yesterday and was reminded of how God’s power can work in us.  Paul writes about “Christ IN you, the hope of glory” and how HIS (Christ’s) energy…so powerfully works IN me.”  Many people try will power, positive thinking and meditation to attempt to win the internal battle for control.  I think all of those things can be effective, but what if they aren’t?  Is there anything else you can do?  I believe this is where Christ’s power working IN us can help us do what we could not do before.

I’ve known people who had alcohol, drug and sexual addictions that they could not break on their own.  But, one day, they tapped into God’s power and won a victory that could not be sustained before.

So, what are you battling today?  Addiction, habits, anxiety, disorders, lust….?  Whatever it is, why not tap into Christ’s power and let it powerfully work in YOU?  People who have battled these things for years have found freedom and deliverance through the power of Christ.  I believe the same can happen for you.

Get your Bible, read Colossians 1 & 2, confess verses 27-29 of chapter 1 over yourself this week.  You CAN be free!  You CAN lay down that addiction, habit or hang-up!  What Christ’s power has done in others, HE can do in YOU!

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Getting Ready for Miracles

I am so excited about what I believe God is going to do this weekend!  As you know, many of us have declared a 21 Day Fast to start off the New Year.  Also, many of us started on January 1st, so we are now on day 17.  That means by this weekend we will be nearing the end of the fast and already people are being impacted.

Here’s what I want to ask you to do with me:  let’s believe for a day of miracles this Sunday as we gather in worship.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6).  Even Jesus Himself was called to a long fast and THEN the day of miracles began to happen through His life.

How do you prepare for this weekend?

  • Keep up the prayer and fasting specifically for this day of miracles.
  • Ask God to perform signs & wonders in our midst for His glory.
  • Come expecting to receive your miracle.
  • Invite others to come expecting as well.
  • If you haven’t already been fasting with us, then consider doing so between now and Sunday.
  • When special prayer is called for in the service, be ready to step out and receive prayer for your miracle.  (*Don’t be late!  This time of prayer will occur DURING our time of worship to God – toward the start of service)

What kind of miracles should we expect?  I’m believing for God’s healing power to touch those who are sick in body.  Also, for those bound by sin, addiction, hurts of the past, and oppression of the enemy to be set free by His delivering power.  And further, I’m believing for God to open wombs for the childless, lost loved ones to be reached, give direction to those seeking, and other kinds of miracles as well.

Our God is all we need!  He is the Lord God our Provider who cares for His people and is able to do far exceedingly above all we could ask or think.

Just like Jesus’ example, prayer and fasting gets you ready for the day of miracles.  I’m ready for it now, how about you?


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Getting Free

Posted in Deliverance, Fasting, Pursuing Jesus, Victorious Living by PCraig on January 10, 2013

Battling sin, bad habits, harmful addictions, and troubling oppressions can appear to be hopeless at times.  Some people make a New Year’s resolution each year to give up, quit, and no longer _____________ (fill in the blank), only to be back at it again faster than they imagined.  We hear about people breaking habits, giving up addictions and being free from the past, so how do you do it?

The Scriptures share a key in Isaiah 58 when it says, the kind of fast the Lord has chosen is “…to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.”  God wants to set you free!  He says that when you fast you can expect His power to be unleashed in your life break the bondages.

As you fast, cry out to the Lord to break those bonds that tell you that you will never be free.  Is there something in your life that has you bound, weighed down, and defeated?  Are you “yoked” (chained, tied) to a bad habit, a habitual sin or generational curse?  You don’t have to remain yoked to that anymore.  The fast God chooses breaks every yoke.

What chain needs to be broken off of your life?  Let Him set you free today!  Commit to God, confess the sin/habit/hang-up, and accept God’s freeing power in power of His Spirit.

Those of you that have been set free from addiction, sin, habits, hang-ups and generational curses, give praise to God for it once again!

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