Living Fully or Just Existing

Posted in Holy Spirit, Purpose, Pursuing Jesus, Victorious Living by PCraig on March 30, 2012

There is a big difference between living fully and just existing.  Here’s how I would define the distinctions:

  • One is living intentionally and the other living by accident.
  • One is living in Christ and the other is living on your own.
  • One is empowered by the Spirit of God and the other by yourself.

Jesus understood the difference and gave us the option of following Him in the power of the Spirit to a life of purpose.  He demonstrated this life by the way He lived and made it possible to be recorded so we could follow His ways.  He declared it to be His purpose and available for all when He declared, “I have come that you might have life to the full.”

So, whose fault is it if you are not experiencing this empowered kind of life?  Are you carefully and closely following the lifestyle of Jesus?  Do you yield yourself to the Spirit’s empowerment each day, or do you try to orchestrate your own life for the most part?  It could mean the difference of living fully and just existing.  What do you think?

 

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How To Have A Great Easter

Posted in Church Growth, Evangelism, Events, Impact, witnessing by PCraig on March 22, 2012

What are some ways to have a great Easter?  Cadberry Eggs are a good start!  A Godiva bunny isn’t bad either.  But beyond new outfits, baskets, and candy, what are some ways to make Easter an awesome day at Crossroads.  Here are my suggestions:

  1. Pray, pray, pray for the services.  Each of our worship experiences will feature an opportunity for those who don’t know Christ to come to faith in Him.  It takes the Holy Spirit to make this happen!
  2. Pray for you to be used to invite someone to service.  Ask God to lay someone on your heart that you could invest in relationally and naturally invite to be your guest.  (Note:  Use the Freedom series invite cards to help spread the word)  Their eternal destiny and current reality could change because of your invitation!
  3. Plan to attend the 1st service at 9 a.m.  Why?  Because more already attend the 2nd service each week and…it’s the most popular service for guests also.  This will help greatly with providing adequate seating in the Worship Center and crowd control in the kid’s ministry.
  4. Park as far away as you can.  The walking will do most of us good!  The Worship Team and staff will already be parking over at the church offices.  In addition, you can line up along the curb on the north side of the building rather than taking up a parking space that a guest could use.

I believe by putting these suggestions into action, we can have the best Easter ever.  That’s not to say some chocolate won’t be fun too!  Which of these is the Lord challenging you to do?  Which one is the hardest to practice?

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The Power To Change

Posted in Change, Personal Growth, Victorious Living by PCraig on March 14, 2012

Is there anything you would like to change about yourself?  Most of us have something.  Would you like to be smaller, taller, shorter, darker, lighter, less round, or wiser perhaps?  I’m confident that each of us have a list of things we would change about ourselves if given the chance.

If it were just a matter of flipping a switch, most of us would have made the changes a long time ago.  Trouble is, change can be difficult and even seem impossible at times.  For example, it may not have seemed a big deal to drop the extra ten pounds, but now that it’s an extra 100 pounds, it can seem insurmountable.

What about the changes on the inside?  Is it easier to lose weight than a bad attitude?  For many I believe it is, because of deeply ingrained behaviors that have been repeated for years.  How do we change ourselves?  How do we become all that God wants us to be?

I believe God wants us to change and actually offers the power to help us to do so.  How do we tap into that life-changing power?  Can we stay connected to it until the full transformation takes place?

God’s Word actually gives us the secret to bringing about the changes we desire in our lives.  This weekend, we launch a new series called ALL IN that will lead us up to Easter, and it’s about becoming all God wants you to be.  We’ll look at the three step process that the book of Romans gives that leads us to change.  When you apply these steps, you’ll discover a power to change your life.

Do you have some habits that seem hard to break?  Do you have difficulty staying changed?  I’m excited for this series and what it can do for you!

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Who Is It?

I believe God would have us reach out to those around us way more if we were better listeners.  One of the most troubling things to me is the thought of living so fast-paced that I may be overlooking divine connections.  Those moments when God has someone in my path that I could share Christ, or maybe just invite to church, but I’m too busy to see them.

This Easter season especially, let’s make sure we don’t miss out on divine appointments that could literally change a person’s eternal destination.  Here are some ways to get prepared to share:

  • Pray and ask God to help you heighten your sensitivity to His voice & those around.
  • Think about what you should share with them ahead of time.  You could simply be prepared to invite them to church, or ask them a question that allows a spiritual conversation.
  • Have a 2 minute testimony of how God has impacted your life ready to share at any moment.
  • Look around and breathe prayers to God as you go through your day – let Him guide you.
  • Slow down the pace.  Most of us are trying to do too much for things that don’t matter nearly as much as someone living and dying without Christ.

These are just some thoughts to help us all be better used of God.  Did you know that Easter is the best time of year to reach people?  Which of these suggestions do you need to apply?  What other suggestions do you have?

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Party God

Posted in energy, Happiness, Joy, Victorious Living by PCraig on March 1, 2012

There’s no doubt about it, God is a partier!  Most of us good, religious, church-going people probably don’t look at God that way – but the evidence is there.

Let me give you some examples:

In the Old Testament, God invented festivals for the people to commemorate.  He plainly stated that they were to take off work, have a feast and rejoice in things He had done for them.

Moses and his sister Miriam led the people in song after crossing the Red Sea to make merry over God’s delivering power.

King David got so excited over the symbol of God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant, being returned to Israel that he began dancing in the streets.

It says in Zephaniah that God will rejoice over you with singing.  How cool is that?

Jesus attended weddings and feasts on a regular basis and even turned water into wine at one of them as His first miracle.

I not only believe that God is into partying, but I also believe He’s against dried up, pruned up, sour-puss religion that causes people to look depressed.  Jesus said He came to give us life to the full, so that means rich, abundant, joy-filled experience in life.

Last night we took time to come together for a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and it was a blast.  We had whistles, clappers, foam fingers, funny videos, along with prizes and it was a hoot!  Sometimes we can get so busy serving God that we fail to take time to celebrate with His people all of the good things he has done.

What could you take time to celebrate today?  How has God moved in your life in the past?  Take some time to rejoice in the Lord – it will do your heart a world of good!

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