Up or Down?

Posted in Counsel, Decisions, Hearing God, Will of God, Wisdom by PCraig on April 24, 2014

Be very careful whom you listen to or get advice from day to day.  The reason is that people can hear from God one day and then be listening to themselves the next.  Shoot, they can have an impression from the Spirit of God one moment and then minutes later share with selfish motivations.

A great illustration of this comes from the life of Peter in Matthew 16:13, when Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  In a couple verses He then asks them, “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Peter steps up and answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus then blesses Peter with this answer and tells everyone that Peter got it direct from the Father in heaven.  Wow!  It’s not a bad day when Jesus tells you and everyone around you that you hear from God.

However, as you keep reading, you find Jesus telling the disciples how He is going to suffer, be killed and then raised.  Peter evidently, still feeling good about hearing from the Father, takes the Lord aside and begins to “rebuke him.”  He says, “Never Lord!  This shall never happen to you!”  Jesus recognizes that Peter is now listening to the Satan himself and tells him that he’s saying these things because of a wrong perspective.

Now, how can you get that off in such a short amount of time?  Because we’re all human and have the ability to get off track.  That’s why you need to be praying on your own when you are taking advice from people.  A well-meaning person can be influenced by selfish motivation that skews their words.  The danger for you and I is to not know the difference.

Jesus shows that you have to be careful who you listen to each day and do your own praying so you can have discernment.  By doing so, you will be able to know what direction their advice to you may be coming – up or down.

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What The Resurrection Means For You Today

“I have seen the Lord”!  With those words, everything changed.  Mary Magdalene came back from the empty tomb to the disciples to report that Jesus had risen from the dead and had actually talked with her.  From that point on, her life and the lives of many others were never the same again.

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for you and I today?  Here are just a few things:

  • A guarantee of eternal life (John 11:25-26 – Sunday’s text!)
  • Demonstrated His power over death (Acts 2:24)
  • Secures our forgiveness (1 Cor. 15:17)
  • Safeguards our resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23)
  • Gives us hope in hard times (2 Cor. 1:8-11)

Today, we think about His sacrifice, suffering and separation He endured for our sins, but not without hope for resurrection.  The cross would mean nothing if not for the empty tomb.  Praise God for those who said, “I have seen the Lord” and those who having not seen, yet believe.

Be sure to do all you can to invite someone to be your guest in Easter services this weekend.  Let others know what the resurrection can mean for them today.

 

 

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Others

Posted in Evangelism, Serving, witnessing by PCraig on April 10, 2014

You probably don’t need any encouragement to think more about yourself.  If you’re like the majority, we do that really well.  We seem to all be born with a huge dose of selfishness.  More likely, we need to be challenged and reminded to think more of others.

This selfish problem is not just outside the church by the way.  Christians are pretty good at wanting the music they want, the seat they want, the feeling they want when they come to church.
In this Easter season, I would like to remind us that our leader, model and Savior said that He did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for us all.  To make the effort to be more like Jesus, let’s take much of the focus off ourselves – what we’re going to where for Easter, or eat, or get for our kids.  Instead let’s think more about: OTHERS.
Let’s not only care about their outside needs of clothes, shelter and food.  But, consider their greater need of eternity.  Jesus came to give His life for all, so let’s be mindful of that this Easter season.  As we build toward the celebration of the resurrection, keep your eyes and ears open to people who need the Lord.
After all, you weren’t just rescued from your sins for you – it was also so you could reach others.
Easter is a great time to invite people to go to church.  Statistics say that about 80% of Americans would consider going to church if only they were invited.  Let’s be about others!
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