Gift Exchange

Posted in Christian Lifestyle, Fruit of the Spirit, holiday, Lordship by PCraig on December 10, 2015

One of the things that, I believe, keep people from committing to follow Jesus is wondering what they might have to lay down.  Some of us are pretty attached to habits, toys, and calling our own shots, so the idea that we might have to give up something to follow Jesus raises concern.  I totally get that, when looking at it from a natural perspective.  The problem is that we don’t understand what we’ll pick up in exchange for anything we lay down.

It may seem scary to lay, whatever it is, down and put God first, but it would be scarier to walk in the dark alone.  The bottom line is that anything or anyone, you need to lay down to fully follow Jesus would be exchanged for a love, peace and joy like you’ve never known.  It’s the greatest gift exchange you can imagine.

So, this Christmas, what do you need to give to Jesus?  What could be holding back more of the light of God from your life?  Just like you can’t see what’s waiting in a dark room, you’ll never know what God wants to bring into your life until you fully follow Him into the light.  The light reveals it.

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Revelation Explanation

Last weekend, I asked all my Crossroads family to read the first three chapters of Revelation and I’ve had some people asking questions.  So, I thought I would just use my blog and cover a few things.

First of all, did you realize that you are blessed if you read, hear and take to heart the message in Revelation?  Says so in Rev. 1:3.  That is an awesome promise!

Who are the angels and stars that are mentioned?  Most scholars believe these to mean the messengers of the seven churches.  This means that Jesus is holding these churches and leaders in His hand.  They are not sovereign, but under the authority of the One who paid the price for His church.  He walks among them and is very much concerned about them.  Just like He is still concerned and watching over His church today.  God is still the true leader over His church and it’s leadership.

What is the sword from his mouth?  The sword in Jesus’ mouth symbolizes the power and force of His message.  Even when Jesus walked the earth in human form, his voice had power to raise people from the dead and cause others to fall to the ground (John 18:6).  In Ephesians 6:17, we are told to take up the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  Back at the beginning of creation, God set things in motion through the power of His word.  True Christ-followers do not need to fear the words of Jesus, only those who will come under His judgment.  For them, it will be terrifying.

One has to keep in mind that much of Revelation is figurative language.  In other words, it most likely is not a true sword that will come from Christ’s mouth, but rather the power of His voice and words will be like a sword of spiritual power upon His enemies.  Also, consider how tough it would be for a man of 2,000 years ago (John) to write down the incredible things he was seeing.  How could his ancient mind even wrap itself around all that he was experiencing?

You might also notice the repetition of the number seven throughout the Bible, as this is the number of completion.  Though it is used over 50 times in Revelation and over 700 times throughout Scripture, we must be careful not to overemphasize it by attaching symbolic meaning in each instance.  Sometimes a seven is just a seven, especially if Scripture is not explicit about a meaning.  However, there are times, it seems, that God is communicating the idea of divine completeness, perfection, and wholeness.

I hope that by reading these first three chapters, you have allowed the Holy Spirit to speak a new, fresh word into your spirit.  Perhaps one of these seven messages is meant for you today so you can “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

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Jesus Led

Posted in Fasting, Hearing God, Lordship, Prayer, Pursuing Jesus, Submission by PCraig on January 20, 2013

Guest post by John Money:

Today is day 20 of our 21 day church-wide Fast.  I trust that this has been a time of connection to Christ and spiritual growth for you. I have heard many testimonies of how our fellow fasters are experiencing a deeper connection with Christ.  Many have expressed a sense of Jesus being near, speaking more clearly, and more visibly leading their lives.

This is what our hearts truly long for!  Connection with Jesus and following His leading for our lives.

As we come to the close of our Fast, I am focusing on re-affirming to Jesus that I want Him to lead me.  I want him to reign in me.  I pray that you too will join with me in saying, “Jesus, lead me.”

A great verse to meditate on as we close our season of fasting is found in the book of Revelation.  In this verse Jesus says……

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Jesus is standing at the door of your life….the door of your heart….the door of your mind and is saying, ”Here I am, please let me in”

I am praying that each of us will hear him knocking, open the door, and let Him in!  Let’s fight against self-sufficiency and say to Jesus, “Please lead me Lord!”

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Savior AND Lord

Posted in Lordship, Submission by PCraig on September 13, 2010

Is it easier to have Jesus as Savior rather than Lord?  It seems to me that we have a much easier time giving Jesus our sins than we do submitting to His Lordship over our lives daily.  What troubles me is the question, “Does He really offer that option?”  Can you pick Savior without making Him Lord? 

How is it in your life?  Are you trying for the “Save me from my sins and especially eternity in hell, but I’ll handle the direction of my life”? 

Maybe you’re not getting the full benefit of what Jesus came to bring because you haven’t fully surrendered.  Perhaps you’ve confused submission with weakness, or loss.  What I’ve discovered in my life is the more I submit, the more power I receive. 

Is this a struggle for you?  Be honest with yourself and ask, “Am I trying to have Jesus be my Savior without being my Lord”?

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