What Seeds Are You Sowing?

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on March 27, 2010

Every day we are sowing seeds.  It’s important to think of the law of sowing and reaping every day. 

Here are the laws of the harvest:  You reap WHAT you sow.  You reap MORE than you sow.  You reap LATER than you sow.  You can’t sow hate and reap love.  You can’t sow anger and it not come back more enraged than before.  You can’t sow a good deed today and always hope to benefit immediately.  But, think of this, if you only sow good seed then you’ll always reap a good harvest.

What seeds are you sowing?

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Don’t Focus On My Speck

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on March 26, 2010

Why is it so easy for some people to focus on the speck in your eye, but fail to see the beam in theirs?  This puzzled Jesus also about 2000 years ago.  He said something like this, “Wouldn’t it be more productive if you would spend your time trying to fix the beam in your own eye instead of talking about the speck in someone elses?” 

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need a lot of help locating the specks in my eye (flaws), what I need is someone to help me fix it.  As a matter of fact, if you sit down I can point out a lot of my specks that you’ve missed. 

The point is, until you’ve got all your flaws taking care of, don’t go talking about mine or anyone elses.  Hey, wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all took this advice?

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Dealing With Doubt

Posted in One Year Bible by PCraig on March 25, 2010

Have you ever felt guilty because of doubt?  Can anyone really have a perfect faith that contains no doubt at all?  I’ve struggled with these questions at different times in my life.  There are some stories in the Bible that help me to deal with my doubt and overcome it.

First, I realize that many great heroes of faith in the Bible struggled to believe at all times.  Even Abraham, the father of faith, wondered how he could have a son in his old age and with a wife past childbearing years.  Second, Jesus said it only takes faith as large as a mustard seed to be able to move moutains out of the way. 

The faith that each of us needs to strive for is found in today’s reading in the One Year Bible.  In Luke 7, Jesus commends a military officer’s faith that believed He could just speak a word and his servant would be healed. 

This weekend at Crossroads, we will examine the scar of  doubt and how to overcome it.  Do you believe that something spectacular has to happen for God to move?  Or, do you believe that simply because of Who He is your need can be met?  May God help us to have a simple faith that just takes Him at His Word.

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Partial Obedience

Posted in One Year Bible by PCraig on March 22, 2010

How far can you get on partial obedience?  Is there even such a thing as “partial” obedience?  Wouldn’t that be called “disobedience”?  Just before entering the Promise Land, God warns His people to drive out “all” the inhabitants of the land.  He further says, destroy “all” their idols, and demolish “all” their places of worship.  God even warns them that if they don’t do this then those allowed to remain will become a pain in the neck and worse.  The ultimate caution is that God will do to Israel what He intended to do to the others. 

So, what do you do when you’ve had fair warning of the negative consequences?  If you’re simple, you just go right on ahead anyway.  How many of us have had the doctor,  counselor, minister, spouse or friend warn us about what will happen if we continue our current direction?  Yet, instead of being wise and listening to those bits of wisdom, we keep think somehow it won’t happen to us. 

Instead of getting rid of all the sin in our lives, we hesitate, often because it seems harmless and attractive.  We have these “idols” we don’t want to let go of, such as a bad habit, unhealthy relationship, or a certain life-style. 

Don’t believe the lie that you’re the exception and somehow you won’t have negative consequences for not fully obeying what you know God is speaking to you to do.  It may not happen today, next week or next month, but learn from the children of Israel, they will cause serious problems later. 

Perhaps you need to look again at what you’re allowing to hang around.

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Get Ready For Easter

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on March 18, 2010

Easter is just around the corner and is my favorite date on the church calendar.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas celebration, but it wouldn’t be worth much without the resurrection. 

This year, I’m encouraging our church family to prepare for Easter in the following ways:

  1.  Pray for the new series DOORS to be used of the Lord to touch lives. 
  2. Ask God to help you invite someone new to come that needs a church home.
  3. Use your Facebook or other online accounts to spread the word about our service times
  4. Pick up some extra Invite Cards from the i-center in the lobby to hand out
  5. Attend the 1st Service which tends to be less crowded to make room for guests in the 2nd service.
  6. Park in the lot of Hickory Elementary School and ride our shuttle service back and forth to the building for that day.  (We have a shortage of parking and really need your help with this!)

This is a great time of year to reach out to friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and others whom God brings along your path.  Believe God with us for the most powerful day of services we’ve had yet!

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Knowing Who You Are

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on March 17, 2010

Last night I shared with our worship team how Jesus exemplified true greatness.  But, it wasn’t in how He healed the leper, or made the lame to walk or even in feeding 5,000+ people.  The book of John tells us that when Jesus knew who He was and that He had all authority in heaven and on earth, His very next act was to pick up a towel and wash His disciples feet. 

How amazing is that?  How many do you know that understand how great or gifted they are and so as a result they serve?  Most people are lined up to be served.  What would happen if every person could get over themselves and begin to act like Jesus the Servant instead of Jesus the King?  You see, what makes Him such a great King is that He’s still willing to serve.  It really  is part of what catapulted Him to His position.  Paul talks about the humility of Jesus that caused the Father to give Him a “name that is above every name.” 

True leaders know who they are, but they are not afraid to take on the role of a servant.  Insecure, weak, self-absorbed people are so fearful of being seen as a servant that they fail to see it as true greatness.  Leadership that is not intimidated by the towel is what people are drawn to, just look at how many are following Jesus still today.

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Donkey Talk

Posted in One Year Bible, Uncategorized by PCraig on March 15, 2010

There is a danger in acknowledging that God exists and is powerful, yet failing to submit our lives completely to him.  In today’s reading of the One Year Bible we come to a man by the name of Balaam, who was willing to declare the might of the God of Israel, but did not acknowledge Him as the only true God.  His story reveals the danger of maintaining an outward facade of spirituality over a dishonest heart. 

Balaam was all about obeying God as long as he could profit from it.  Do you know anyone that tries to serve God out of what they can get out of Him?  One day, God even used a donkey (yeah, that’s no typo) to rebuke him in an attempt to bring him in alignment with His purpose for his life.  Perhaps you’ve failed to hear God’s voice because it came from an unusual or seemingly insignificant source? 

Balaam teaches us that motives are just as important as actions.   We can avoid the same mistakes by facing ourselves and getting raw and vunerable before God, so our motives can be pure.

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Redemption

Posted in One Year Bible by PCraig on March 12, 2010

The God of the Bible is all about redemption.  Redemption is the act of purchasing or paying the penalty or cost of an item.  Salvation is the act of responding to God’s redeeming you and I from our sins and penalty associated with it. 

In today’s reading of the One Year Bible this theme is in both the Old and New Testament portions.  In Numbers God speaks of redeeming the firstborn and how a price must be paid, or offering given to show that they are His.  Over in Mark 16 we read of the ultimate redemption by the firstborn of God (Jesus) and His commissioning of the disciples to share this Good News to everyone.  Even the reading in Psalms 55 challenges us to call on God because He will rescue us.  Finally, in Proverbs 11:7 the writer grieves over the wicked who rely on their own feeble strength so that when they die, their hopes die with them.

The only true hope for eternal life rests in the only One who has proven the ability to conquer death.  As we quickly approach the celebration of the resurrection, I can’t help but thank God all over again for His great plan of redemption.  Aren’t you glad that your hopes don’t die with you, and that He has paid the redemption for your eternal life?   Thank You Lord!

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A Spirit of Rebellion

Posted in One Year Bible, Uncategorized by PCraig on March 11, 2010

In today’s reading of the One Year Bible we get a picture of God’s view on rebelling against the authority He has established.  It’s a way more serious thing than what most would think.  In Numbers 16 we find the story of a man named Korah who decided to challenge Moses leadership over the people of Israel.  He accused Moses of arrogance and lording over the people.  Nothing could be further from the truth, because the Bible refers to Moses as the most humble man who ever lived.  Never do we find evidence of any pride in his dealings with the people.

When people develop a spirit of rebellion, they will exaggerate, lie and distort the facts in an attempt to justify their own evil.  David had a chance to rebel against King Saul and even take his life one day.  The moment seemed right, and after all, Saul was treating him like a criminal.  However, David said that he would not touch the Lord’s anointed.  The Lord’s anointed!  By all outward appearance David would have been justified in rebelling against Saul for his evil treatment.  But David, wise beyond his years, believed that if he would honor the one God had chosen to lead, then God would honor him.  He was right!  Not long after God dealt with the matter and David became king over Israel. 

You simply cannot say you fear God if you don’t have respect for those He has placed in authority.  Those who live fulfilled, peaceful and blessed lives are those who esteem those in authority over them.  Learn from Korah’s example, rebellion is a serious thing to God.

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The God of Restoration

Posted in Uncategorized by PCraig on March 10, 2010

We blow it!  Most of the time we don’t want to, wish it had turned out differently, think of the warnings others gave, but in the end, we fail.  No one finishes life with a perfect score.   The wonderful thing about this is that God already has factored that into account and has made a path of grace to forgive you.

This is powerfully illustrated in the life of Peter.  In today’s reading of the One Year Bible in Mark 14, Jesus informs His disciples of His looming death and that one of them will betray Him.  Peter boldly proclaimed that, “These other guys may bail on you, but not me!”  Jesus foretells of how Peter will actually deny Him three times. 

Later that same night, Peter did in fact, deny the Lord three times as He had said.  When it happened, Peter remembered Jesus’ words and was so ashamed of himself.  Have you ever done anything that led you to feel ashamed? 

The amazing thing to me is how Jesus already knew this would happen and planned for Peter’s redemption.  Not only did Jesus forgive Him and say, “No hard feelings”, but it was Peter He chose to use to preach the first sermon by the church on the day of Pentecost when 3000 were saved.  You see, the enemy has come to condemn you, but Jesus has come to forgive and restore you.  Even if you have denied Him three times in a row, He’s still willing to use your life in ways you could never imagine.  Awesome news, don’t you think?  What person could you encourage with this story today?

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