People Are More Important

Posted in Attitude, Friendship, holiday, Perspective, Relationships, Thankfulness by PCraig on November 27, 2013

In our Avon Rotary Meeting this morning, we took time to go around the room and express what we were thankful for.  Many noted their children, spouses, community, friends and other people in their lives.  It made me think of how much more important people are than stuff.  When you get a room full of people together to discuss what they are most thankful for, none of them said, “My house, my car, or my money.”  Funny how we don’t always live like these are our real values.

Let’s be sure that our best hours of each day are given to the “things” that mean most to us (other than God of course), and that’s people.  Who are these people in your life?  What are some ways you can show them how grateful you are that they are in your life?

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Step Out

Posted in Choice, Faith, Used of God, Victorious Living by PCraig on November 21, 2013

The more I live the more I’m convinced that great things are not accomplished so much by great people, but by people who made themselves available.  God has a way of taking an available vessel and filling them for His glory.  When He does this, people note that the ability came from Him and not from them.

Often it is not the brightest, smartest, or most talented that go far in life and make the biggest impact.  I’ve known plenty of people who were highly intelligent, loaded with degrees and filled with knowledge that haven’t had near the impact of way lesser people in the same regard.  Why is this?

Again, God doesn’t necessarily use the most talented, brightest and well-known people in the room.  Instead, God waits for the person who will dare to go beyond their comfort zone and try something.

Peter did this when he walked on water with Jesus.  As far as I know, Peter is the only other person (besides Jesus) who has ever walked on water.  He did this, because while the other eleven disciples sat in the boat, he dared to get out.  He wasn’t the smartest, brightest, or most talented necessarily – but, he was the most daring.

What might get accomplished through your life if you would do the same?  Why not take a risk and step out of the boat?  You’ll only know what God could do with someone like you as you step out of the boat.

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More Where That Came From

Posted in Hearing God, Holy Spirit, Victorious Living, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on November 14, 2013

Last weekend I ran out of time and I hate it when that happens!  So, I decided to give some more of what I didn’t have ability to share on the weekend, here on the blog.

As many of you know, we launched a new series last weekend called SPIRIT that is focusing on who the Holy Spirit is and what He does.  The passage of Scripture that we concentrated on was from 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 and I would encourage you to read it.

We said the Holy Spirit is more than just an add-on that makes cameo appearances in our lives.  People demonstrate this mindset when they say things like, “The Holy Spirit was really here today!”, implying that He’s not always there, but can show up on occasion.

Also, many tend to get prideful and divisive as they experience more of the Holy Spirit.  In verses 10-16 Paul says that the Spirit reveals things to us, but not so we can get puffed up about our knowledge or experience.  That’s the last thing the Spirit is trying to do!  The real thing the Holy Spirit should reveal is just how much we NEED Him and have to HAVE Him.

Finally, the Holy Spirit is not weird.  What He is though is mighty, unpredictable, unchained and amazing!  People get strange and start telling other people that “God told me to tell you”.  Let me be clear, if you are a believer, then you don’t need someone else to tell you what God says, He can speak to you directly.  Now, He may use someone else to confirm something you are already sensing, but if you are filled with the Spirit, then you don’t need someone else to tell you what you need to do.

The fact remains that God knows stuff you don’t know.  So, instead of trying to hear God through others (and their spin on it), why don’t you tune into God yourself?  What would happen if you did?  What might God say?  What if He wants to tell you not to take that job you’ve applied for because He knows something?  What if He wants to tell you not to get married to that person because He knows the future?

Maybe you’ve already missed some messages that wanted to get through to you.  Some of you might have already missed one when you were 18, 20, or 25 years old.  Isn’t it time to get the insight of the Holy Spirit in you?  Paul says “We CAN have the mind of Christ”, so get tuned in.

*Don’t miss this weekend’s message on the Holy Spirit’s power!

**Also, if you missed last weekend, go to crossroadsavon.com or just click here: http://crossroadsavon.com/podcast/

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Under the Influence

I’ve never been drunk before.  Ever.  So, I can’t really tell you from personal experience what that’s like, but I’m sure many of you could tell me.  It’s interesting that the Apostle Paul takes drunkenness as an analogy of how we should be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:18.  This made me think, “What happens when a person is drunk and how does that compare with being filled with the Spirit?”

People drunk on other “spirits” might have the following:

  • Released inhibitions.  I’ve heard of people doing things while drunk that they would never dream of doing when sober.  That must be why guys love visiting bars to pick up women, hmm?
  • Change of personality.  Some people become more vocal when they are drunk and get louder than they would be otherwise.
  • Loss of control.  People under the influence of alcohol are not able to do the things they normally could, like drive a car, perform tasks, and even walk a straight line.

Let’s just take those three and compare them to being filled with the Spirit as Paul suggests.  A person filled with the Spirit might:

  • Release their inhibitions and do things they normally wouldn’t do like, witness to strangers, use a spiritual gift, and serve outside their comfort zone.
  • Change their personality and act more like Jesus than the devil.  Instead of getting angry, impatient and unkind, they might release the fruit of the Spirit (Gal . 5:22, 23) from within.
  • Lose control and allow God to have more control over their lives.  Rather than asking, “What should I do?” a person might ask, “What would please God in this situation?”

These are just a few things I thought of that happen to a person under the influence of the Holy Spirit?  Can you think of some others?  This weekend (Nov 10) we launch a new series called SPIRIT that will look into this topic and more over the next four weeks.

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