I Will Pass Over You

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 30, 2010

The way that God led His people out of Egypt has such a forshadowing of the method Christ would use to free us from our bondage to sin.  In today’s One Year Bible Reading, God instructs the people of Israel to slay a sheep or goat with no defects.  They were to take some of the blood of the animal and apply it to the doorframes of the house in the shape of a cross.  Isn’t that amazing!  Before crucifixion was even invented God paints a picture of the blood of our Savior on the left, right and top doorframes of the Israelites homes.

They also were to eat bitter salad greens that would picture the bitter way that Christ would die for our sins.  In addition, they shared bread without yeast that depicted a Savior without sin.  Yeast is often used in Scripture as an image of sin. 

God’s word to them was, “When I see the BLOOD, I will PASS OVER you.”  This Old Testament feast of Passover was celebrated each year as a picture of the coming Messiah that would shed His blood.  Now today, if you and I will apply the blood of the heavenly lamb to our lives, He will pass over us.  Aren’t you thankful that He passes over all your sin, shortcomings and faults?  His grace is still amazing!

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Impressing God

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 29, 2010

In yesterday’s One Year Bible Reading in Matthew, Peter thinks he is going to impress the Lord with his ability to fogive.  He says, “Should we forgive someone who sins against us seven times?”  I’ve heard that the culture in that day had said that a person should be willing to forgive up to three times in reference to being hurt.  Thinking that Jesus would be impressed if he went over that number, Peter offers more than double or seven times – wow!

Instead of being impressed with Peter’s generosity of forgiveness, Jesus says, “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”  Most scholars agree that Jesus’ point is that you should forgive so much that you lose count.  Rather than saying, “Hum, that’s six times, one more and your done,” Jesus is promoting such forgiveness that you don’t know what number you’re on. 

To further impact this principle of forgiveness, Jesus tells a story of a man who was forgiven much, but went out and showed unforgiveness toward someone else.  The illustration ends with these somber words of warning, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

According to Jesus, forgiveness is no light matter to our heavenly Father.  It seems that it even determines the extent in which we are forgiven.  I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure there is adequate forgiveness for me when it comes to all my shortcomings.  If that means throwing away your hurt feelings and scoreboards, then get out the emotional trash can and get rid of it.  That is what will impress your heavenly Father.

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The Reluctant Leader

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 28, 2010

Moses reminds me of how many of us have reluctance when it comes to stepping out and doing something great for God.  When God first comes to Moses, he says that he wants to use him to free His people from Egyptian slavery and lead them into the Promised Land.  Instead of being grateful that God would chose him, Moses begins to tell God why He’s made a bad choice. 

How about you?  Has God ever spoken something into your heart and you felt He was calling you to action, but instead of responding in faith you began making excuses?  Over and over God reaffirmed to Moses that He knew all of his shortcomings and has chosen to use him anyway. 

Just as God spoke promises to Moses of His abiding presence, guiding hand, and mighty power, likewise the Bible is full of promises to every believer.  All it takes for these promises to come to pass is simple obedience. 

God wants to use your life to touch the lives of others, so instead of reluctance, get an attitude of expectancy.  Moses saw things he never could have imagined as God flowed through his life to lead the nation of Israel.  It was this humility that made him great.  You probably can’t imagine how God can use you, in spite of your past, to touch the lives of others. 

Just as Moses pushed through his initial reluctance to do great things for God, you too can do the same and watch God go to work through you!

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Time

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 26, 2010

God has really been getting my attention lately on the topic of time.  There’s a verse in Ephesians chapter 5 that says “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”  I really think time management is a spiritual issue.  Think about it, how much time do you have left?  Do you want to maximize it, leverage it, and use it to it’s full potential for the glory of God?

When we stand before God, one of the most tragic realizations would be for Him to show us all that we might have accomplished with our lives if we had just been a better steward of time.  As a result, I am writing down my schedule every day in great detail to see how I’m using my time.  Also, I’m praying for the Lord to show me any wasted time that I can recapture.  And finally, things I can control that try to steal my time. 

I’ll try to keep you posted on all God does with this along the way.  Any of you having the same kind of thoughts?

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Give God the Glory

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 25, 2010

As a follower of Christ, you gotta love it when both the owner and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts give glory to God in interviews on national TV immediately after yesterday’s game.  It’s in that moment that you have the opportunity to talk about all your time of preparation, level of intensity, or personal strength.  Instead, each of these men humbly gave glory to God for the ability to play sports and then enjoy winning the game. 

I was thinking about all the times we have the opportunity to choose to give glory to God when asked.  For example, someone says to you, “Wow, you really did great on that project at work!”  It’s in that moment you and I have the ability to say, “Yeah, we were fortunate how it all came together”, or “Yeah, I guess our hard work really paid off this time.”  When we choose to make comments like those, we are robbing ourselves of a chance to give God the glory.  We are actually stealing the glory to ourselves or acting like God had nothing to do with it. 

Next time someone praises you or recognizes an accomplishment, instead of taking all the credit, or blaming it on luck, why not allow God to get the glory He deserves?

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Partial Obedience

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 23, 2010

I can’t help but keeping coming back to the thought of how our actions determine our destination.  Too many people think that they can sow their wild oats all week and come to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.  It just doesn’t work that way.

Does it work in your family for your kids to tell you, “But, I did most of what you wanted me to do”?  And, God is a better parent than we are.   

Many of us settle for partial obedience and get partial results.  If you want all God has for you, then sell out and go all the way.  God is looking for those whose hearts aren’t aligned with Him.  Not partial alignment – whole alignment!

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Person of Praise

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 22, 2010

 David was such a man of praise in the Bible and earned a title of man after God’s heart.  We sing a song that says, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship – and it’s all about You, Jesus!”  I love reading through the Psalms as David shares out of an honest heart all of his feelings, but even in the frustrating times, he is careful to give God praise.

Praise and worship is not always about the circumstances, in fact, it’s often in spite of the circumstances.  Another song I enjoy says, “I will praise You in this storm.”  Notice, it’s not FOR the storm, but IN the storm.  I’ve learned that you can praise your way right out of a storm as well. 

How’s your praise level?  Running on empty?  Do you need to fill up?  Start today making praise and worship a part of your life and maybe you could earn the title “a person after God’s own heart.”

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Premise & Promise

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 21, 2010

Have you ever gone into a dark room and felt the wall for the light switch?  It’s an uncomfortable feeling until the light goes on and then you can see clearly.  In Psalm 18:28 David says, “my God turns my darkness into light.”  Isn’t that an awesome promise? 

No matter what you may be going through and how much darkness pervades over your life, God can turn it into light.  This Psalm is part of our daily reading in the One Year Bible and many promises are made.  However, I noticed that most of these come with a premise first.  In other words, “if I do this _____, God will do/be this______.” 

Most people want the promise without the premise.  They want God to do His thing, but then they want to do their own thing.  In verse 23 he declares, “I have…kept myself from sin”, and that the rewards have come from that kind of living.  The premise of God being our shield (vs.30) is “for all who take refuge in him.” 

You see, you can’t have the promise without the premise, because it’s the foundation upon which the promise will come to pass.

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Attracting God’s Favor

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 20, 2010

I love the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis that we are currently reading in our One Year Bible.  It is the story of how you can’t keep a good man down.  Even though the people around him abused him, hated him and did things to put him down, he just keeps bouncing back up to the top.  The Bible says that even while he was in prison that the favor of the Lord was upon him. 

How about you?  Is that the way it works in your life when people try to work against you?  If not, what are the differences in the way Joseph handled adversity and the way you deal with it?  If you look closely you’ll see that Joseph never complained, always remained optimistic (even in jail), didn’t lose his faith even when falsely accused, and reached out to lift others instead of feeling sorry for himself.  He gave hope and help to the chief baker and cupbearer while they were all incarcerated! 

Examine your own life and see if your life is filled with whining or worship, complaining or compliments, misery or ministry.  It just may be you’ll discover why you can’t seem to get out of that prison your in, and decide today is the day to start attracting God’s favor to your life!

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Give It Your Best

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on January 19, 2010

The Apostle Paul said, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”  In other words, don’t just do what you can to get by, do a great job – give it your best! 

Here’s how Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

Do your best, give it your all, deliver the goods, make it happen, and in the end, you’ll feel good about yourself and your Heavenly Father will be glorified.

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