Shortcuts

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Many of the problems we face in life occur from shortcuts.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Philippians 2:5-8

“If you are the Son of God tell these stones to become bread,”
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down”.
“All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.”

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

The Bible tells us Jesus’ purpose was to “to save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) and to “destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).

Satan did not want Jesus crucified he just wanted him dead.
Or disqualified.
He tried many times to convince Jesus to take another route, shortcuts, or kill Him outright first directly and then through others.

Remember King Herod’s savage massacre of all the baby boys in Bethlehem? That was Satan at work.

Remember a couple times along the way when crowds picked up rocks to stone Jesus? That was Satan stoking the frenzy.

Remember Jesus’ internal agony, His bloody sweat, in Gethsemane? Satan was likely behind that, too.

Finally satan used Judas, one of Jesus own inner circle to turn on him.

Satan did anything he could to keep Jesus from fulfilling His two-fold purpose: to die for us and destroy Him.

Shortcuts, not living with and for a purpose bring about most of the problems we face. And satan tries to convince us tbere is another way, a shortcut, and will if he can destroy us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

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In our jobs we can choose the easy way, the convienent way, it won’t matter if we cut a few corners. And when the promotions are available we’re not chosen and guess who is one of the first to go when the downsizing comes?

In our marriages when the going gets tough we can choose the easy way out. Walk away from the hard work of building and fighting for our husbands or wives, loving them with sacrificial love, extending the grace and forgiveness and understanding that we promised until death do us part .

In our lives we often live unfulfilled and accomplish little but never commit to anything and more often take the path of least resistance. Unwilling to take the road that few go down.

We cheat, we lie, we bend the rules, break our commitments and our promises.
To get there a little faster, gain a little more, save a little time, get an advantage, make it easier.
Not realizing that when we lose focus, forget our purpose, take the shortcut there are always consequences.
Ask Pilate.
Ask Judas.
Ask the people all around you. Broken, and hurting.

I am thankful for what he did for me and for you, for all who believe in Him
Thankful I don’t have to be the sacrifice for my sins or earn His love.
He took care of that.
In every attack, Jesus kept His heart focused. He lived and died on purpose. He refused to take shortcuts.
For me, for you.
I want to live my life just as He did on purpose and intentional. No shortcuts.
Help me Jesus to live like you did.
Amen

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About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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