Easy DOESN’T It

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

It’s really easy to jump into this verse and tackle the part that talks about throwing off everything that hinders… That would be the easy place to start.

But let’s talk about ‘easy’ while we’re at it. How about the part that actually admits that the areas that hinder us… EASILY entangle us.

I have a simple question for you today… Why do you / me / we put ourselves in the situations that we frequently fail in??

We know what is a trap, or a noose, or a hazard to our life… yet we can ‘easily’ find ourselves falling right back into it again. It is something to avoid, or keep away from… and the sin that so ‘easily’ entangles us… is ‘not so easy’ to throw off.

That’s why we run with ‘perseverance’. Breaking habitual sin is not ‘easy’… it’s hard. It’s a conscious decision to NOT do what you so ‘easily’ wish to do… that by throwing off what ‘hinders us’ (does not benefit us… actually makes us worse off) we can begin to actually become better people and more like the people we actually know God would want us to be like.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

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The Recipe For Great Churches

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Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1Corinthians 12:13 NIV)

It’s a great concept to read. It’s a great rally cry for churches. It’s an easy sell. But what about putting it into practice? What does something like ‘that’ look like?

Well I can tell you first-hand how much this passage of Scripture came to mind this past week. On Sunday night we hosted our missions event at the church and had a GREAT time! It was SO much fun to laugh and chat with everyone as we enjoyed some amazing food and talked about what our team is planning on doing while we’re away.

I led the night… but to be honest with you, there were a NUMBER of areas that I had NO idea how things were prepared, implemented, or executed. I didn’t serve ONE plate. I didn’t take ONE ticket. I didn’t play ONE note. I didn’t clean ONE table.

But it all got done. The event was a hit and everything seemed to get accomplished. It was a great success! That’s because each member of the team knew that they had a part to play and made sure that it got done. The night went by smoothly not because ‘someone’ took control… but because ‘everyone’ did their part.

That’s what God is calling us to at Evangel. Not leaning on the few to make it all happen… but allowing everyone to be a part of the wonderful work that God has for us to do. Our decision to refrain from doing our part either makes someone else have to do it or it doesn’t end up getting done. We had INCREDIBLE food on Sunday night… but it would have been useless to have kept it in the kitchen while leaving everyone out around the tables starving. Let’s ALL get out of the ‘kitchen’ and serve the world the BEST thing they’ve ever needed… Let’s bring them Jesus.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

Listen To Me

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He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7 AMP)

I was chatting after the first service this past Sunday with a dear couple whom I love and appreciate very much. I probably shouldn’t tell you their names because they wouldn’t want to be in the limelight but if you were to ask me if their last names were the Nicklas’ I would not confirm nor deny that it was them.

Anyway, the husband (again we are staying anonymous) was mentioning to me that in light of the challenge to take 5 minutes every day to stop everything and ‘listen’ to what God is saying to you, that this passage in Revelation 2 spoke strongly to him. He said that he likes the Amplified Version (above) because there is a firm difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’. We can ‘hear’ a lot of things without taking the time to ‘listen’ instead.

How true that is! This series on the Holy Spirit (The Advocate) and this challenge to take some quiet time every day this week is SO fixated on LISTENING to the voice of the Holy Spirit that is speaking to you.

I want your lives to be better and to be obedient to the voice of God which is speaking to you. I can guarantee you one thing… if you choose not to ‘listen’ to His voice, you will never hear exactly what He is saying to you.

May you take time today… and tomorrow… and the next few days to not only ‘hear’… but ‘listen’ to what God is saying to you. It won’t come without an attentive heart, and willing spirit, and and open mind. His is speaking to you right now… but are you listening?

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig