When God says, “Don’t preach.”

when god says don't preach

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to write down my thoughts about what happened at Evangel Church this past Sunday. I thought that if wrote it down on social media it would come off the wrong way. But to not say ‘anything’ I felt was horribly unfair to hiding what God did. So I thought I would blog about it.

Church on Sunday was something I will probably never forget. I’ve had a few days now to think more about what happened; about what God was doing in the hearts of all of us as a church family.

The service was an hour and a half of “God’s agenda… not ours.” From the moment the congregation started singing I knew that something different was going to happen. There was no emotional reprieve… only momentum. With each verse, each chorus, each song the level of anticipation and sense of God’s Presence grew. It was like being on a date between the Maker and the Made that hit it off from the get go and was only getting better as the date went on.

I looked around and people had already started to come up into the altar area on their own. People were hungry. People ARE hungry for what God is doing. By the time I went up after the ‘singing’ (we ended up singing for another 30 minutes afterwards) I called others to join those already up at the front. Called people to come up who were lacking the Presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Called for those who were sick to be prayed for by anyone around them.

There was ministry EVERYWHERE…. People crying. People praying for those who were crying. People standing with hands raised. People curled up on the floor weeping. Presence… everywhere.

Let me be clear. There was no ‘smoking gun’ for the service. No new song. No ‘special’ event that tipped the scales. There wasn’t a new formula for us to now try to mimic.

There was though a sense of expectancy in the room. I could already sense it during the preservice prayer. We were waiting. We were longing. We were desiring more of God.

What I have found over the years is that we only get more of God in our lives one way… by releasing more of ourselves. Surrender. It’s not about God deciding to give us more of Himself. He gave us His Son! He built the broken bridge of relationship all the way over to us… except for one last step. That step is the only step towards God we need to take.

I didn’t feel right preaching on Sunday. It was already noon. Our time of worship made celebrating communion one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced. We ‘felt’ the joy of what we gained from Jesus’ sacrifice. His Presence.

Jeremiah 2:2 says “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me.” I got to see what I’ve been ‘seeing’ for a long time for Evangel. A Bride totally in love with the Groom; and a Groom loving on the Bride that He laid down His life for.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

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Get Over It!

I think we all have things in our life that we wished we had never done. Mistakes. Bad choices. Failed attempts to do the right thing.

But too often we hang the mantle of our purpose on the coat rack of our past instead of discovering the potential of our purpose by wearing it with courage and conviction.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

PS – Here is a clip from Kerry’s message a couple of weeks ago addressing this very thing. Enjoy.

 

Which Man Will I Be Today?

I have to be honest with you. I have personal pep talks every day.

No, I don’t look in the mirror and yell “YOU CAN DO IT!!!!” like some crazed Rob Schneider with a sombrero on my head! No, every day I need to remind myself of who I am, and Whose I am.

I know each day (each moment actually), I can be one of two men: the man whose desires are momentary and probably self-seeking, or the man whose desires are to honour and serve the One who loves me and has purposed a greater life in me.

So I choose (or at least attempt to choose) the man who God desires me to be… knowing that He who has done GREAT things in my life, has planned even GREATER if I choose to follow Him.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

C

Die Like You Are Living

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – (John 11:35 NIV)

Death is a part of life. It’s truly an unfortunate part of life… but it’s part of life nonetheless. Some people are waiting to die. Every morning is another admission that their journey on this side of the grass is not finished yet. They wait, and wait, and wait some more. They wait, because they don’t see a purpose to their existence on this side of eternity.

But there are others who understand that ‘this’ side of the fence is simply just the first round of an eternity ahead of them. And these people choose to make the most of ‘this’ time instead of waiting for death to ultimately, and without exception, make its invitation to eternity.

I like that Jesus told us that through Him we find life… not ‘after they die’, but ‘even though they die’. That means that He is life now… in the present… at this very moment.

I like that we can choose to experience His Life in all that we do today, and tomorrow, and the next day… and each and every day that He gives us until His timing says that it is the appropriate time for us to experience the next wave of His life… eternity.

So today I choose to live my day in the Life that He alone can give. And I’ll choose to live life as long as my heart is beating. For death is only a ‘part’ of life; not the finality of it… so I choose not to live today like I’m dying… but rather die someday in the midst of fully living.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

Grace That Is More Equal

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I don’t think this is going to be a long rant. I guess I’m just writing this as an addendum from yesterday’s message at Evangel entitled “The Level Playing Field” from our ‘Feltboard Chronicles’ series looking at the parables of Jesus.

Someone wrote on social media in response to my message their thoughts about what I had to say about Matthew 20:1-16; where the owner of the vineyard went out throughout the day getting workers to bring in the harvest. By the end of the day, some workers had only worked one hour but he still paid them the full day’s wage (which was more than generous for a FULL day’s work… you’ll have to listen to the message to get the whole backstory on that).

The point that I was making (and I believe Jesus was making too) was that even though WE seem to place a pecking order on people’s worth (including ourselves) that God does not. Grace is only able to be given to those who do not deserve it… which includes ALL of us.

Well a friend of that person posted that they wondered if I had read Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. At first I was surprised. Then a little humoured. Then a little confused. Now I’ve settled down to a disappointed sadness.

Sad, not because my feelings are hurt… but because they probably represent so many people who miss out on the beauty of God’s grace.

You see, I firmly believe that there is no one too bad to receive God’s grace. That said, I also believe that there are a lot of people who unfortunately think that they are too GOOD to receive it too. “Oh, I don’t need God.” “I’ve got my life under control.” “Fill in the blank excuse……”

Titus 2:11 says, “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! (The Message)” It’s common access to an uncommon grace.

Communism says that we are all equal. Thankfully, Grace instead says that we are equally positioned in a relationship that none of us deserve.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

 

C

God’s Marriage Proposal

I know, it’s Christmastime and Boxing Day sales are creeping up even ‘before’ Christmas!!!

Some people ask me how come God had to come as a baby. Why did He need to do something as drastic as that? Well, I guess I could try to explain it this way:

I love my wife… terribly. I remember how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I hardly had any money but I got a ring and asked her to marry me… and she said “Yes!”

Would she have said yes if I sent a messenger? Or maybe in a letter? Would she have jumped for joy if I had sent her an email or text message? Probably not. It was SO important to me that ‘I’ needed to do it!

John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world the He sent His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” That’s how much God loves us and that’s why He sent Jesus… No other way could He express His love for us but to come and tell us Himself… through Jesus.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig