Richard Craig, Author at GraceAndWorks

Is God In Control?

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Is God In Control?

If you are feeling on edge, worried, or anxious you are not alone! Uncertainty quickly leads to fear and fear erodes away at our faith. Fear can be powerful. In fact, fear is one of Satan’s most used tactics to get us to doubt God. We have the power to overcome anxiety and fear with God’s promises. Despite what we feel, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control. When everything around us feels out of control, we can allow Scripture to prove to us that God has been, is, and will be sovereign over our lives and world. He is our peace and comfort.

List of Scriptures that show God is in Control:

Isaiah 55:8-9
My thoughts are not your thoughts
My ways are not your ways

Deuteronomy 31:8
He will not leave you or forsake you

Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and heart fail
God is my strength

Psalm 125:2
The Lord surrounds his people from this time and forever

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15
Rejoice and do good
Whatever God does, it is forever and can’t be added to
Or subtracted from

Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing

John 14:27
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid

Hebrews 11:1-4
We have to have faith

SMILE, God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.


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Time is something you will never get back.
In America a lot people are wasting time and wasting their lives on things that are meaningless.
Young men and women today are playing video games all day instead of doing something productive.
Wasting time is dumbing down our society.

Who or what is your main priority?
Is it Christ?
Are we wasting our lives on worldly things?
We need to place our focus on Christ. Time is precious.

Make time for the Lord in prayer.
Walk with Him daily.
The world teaches us that it’s all about me, but this should not be.
Put others before yourself.
We must stop this comfortable Christianity and seek to tell others about Christ.

People are losing their salvation, that should affect us.
Sometimes we truly don’t realize how short life is.
I’ve talked to people one day and not too long after, they were gone.
On the day of Judgement it’s going to be too late for everything.

It’s going to be too late to accept Christ.
It’s going to be too late to get to know Christ more
It’s going to be too late to teach.
Don’t put off doing God’s will.
We have to stop being lazy.
What is going on with our relationship with Christ?
Let’s not waste our lives!

“Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.” – Victor Hugo

Save the excuses. It’s not about “having” time. It’s about making time. If it matters, you will make time.

“You have eternity to enjoy the honeymoon, but only a short time to prepare for the wedding.” Woodrow Kroll

What does the Bible say?

Psalm 90:7-12 Teach us to number each of our days so that we may grow in wisdom.

Psalm 39:4-5 “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a season for everything, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

Ephesians 5:15-17 So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely. Use every chance you have for doing good,
because these are evil times. So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:11 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the bad they are.

Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act with those who are not believers. Use your time in the best way you can.
Take your eyes off of the world and put them on the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Let us git rid everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily ensnares us.
And let us run with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith.
For the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Discipline yourself!!

Proverbs 6:6-11 How long will you lie there, you lazy person? How long will you do nothing?

Proverbs 12:24 The diligent will take control, but the lazy will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 19:15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.

Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate!!

Proverbs 6:4 Don’t allow yourself to sleep or even to close your eyes.

Matthew 8: 18-22


A Potpourri Of Thoughts We Have…..

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A Potpourri Of Thoughts We Have

We think negative–God thinks positive.
For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer.

We say: “It’s impossible”
God says:
Luke 18:27—All things are possible

We say: “I’m too tired”
God says:
Matthew 11:28-30–I will give you rest

We say: “Nobody really loves me”
God says:
John 3:16 and John 13:34—I love you

We say: “I can’t go on”
God says:
2nd Corinthians 12:7-10–My Grace is sufficient

We say: “I just can’t figure things out”
God says:
Proverbs 3:5-6—I will direct your steps

We say: “I can’t do it”
God says:
Philippians 4:12-13–You can do all things

We say: “I’m not able”
God says:
2nd Corinthians 9:6-8–I am able

We say: “It’s just not worth it”
God says:
Romans 8:28–It will be worth it

We say: “I can’t forgive myself”
God says:
Romans 8:1 I forgive you. (If God can forgive you, then you should be able to forgive yourself)

We say: “I can’t manage”
God says:
Philippians 4:19-20–I will supply all your needs

We say: “I am afraid”
God says:
2nd Timothy 1:7–I have not given you a Spirit of fear

We say: “I’m always worried and frustrated”
God says:
1st Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6-7–Cast all your cares on ME!!

We say: “I don’t have enough faith”
God says:
Romans 12:4-8–I’ve given everyone a measure of faith

We say: “I’m not smart enough”
God says:
1st Corinthians 1:30—I give you Wisdom

We say; “I feel all alone”
God says:
Hebrews 13:5–I will never leave you or forsake you.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a GREAT day all.


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Damaging words come in many different fashions–Insulting, Verbal Abuse–Yelling–Intimidation–Name Calling–Making Fun of Someone
Show of Power–Bullying–Show of Pride–Backbiting, etc. AND GOSSIP

Almost everyone has experienced the harm of gossip before. Whether the people talking didn’t mean direct harm, or not,
the result of gossip is almost always broken trust and hurt feelings. Gossip can be defined as information about the behavior or personal life of other people,
often without the full truth revealed or known. God’s Word warns us to stay away from people who gossip and to guard our words when we speak about others!

Scripture also uses the word slander which means making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
Slander can destroy someone’s reputation, marriage, job, wealth, and family. The tongue has power and we must be careful with how we use our words.

Proverbs 10:18 Spreading slander is foolish

Proverbs 16:28 Whispering separates the best of friends

Proverbs 26:20-22 If there is no Tailbearer strife ceases

Romans 1:28-32 Re-Read vs 32

2nd Corinthians 12:20 Backbitings and Whisperings

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word come out of the mouth

James 1:26 If the tongue can’t be bridled, religion is worthless

James 4:11-12 Do not speak evil of another

James 3:2-10 Be careful of the tongue

Damaging Words–Re-Read part of intro.


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It’s the time the year many start thinking about New Years resolutions. Some of these might be:
Lose weight
Start working out–getting a gym membership
Stop smoking
Stop drinking
Eat better
Get a better job
Find a nicer place to live
Get a better car
Make myself a better person–That’s what I want to talk about here.

I want to look at some of the commands Paul has given to the Church and people in Phillipi

Philippians chapter 2 has many of these.

Verses 1 an 2
Be like minded
Have the same love
Being of one accord
Being of one mind

Verse 3:
Do nothing through selfish ambition
Do nothing through conceit
Esteem others better than himself

Verse 4:
Look out for not only your interests, but others interest as well

Verse 5:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ

Verse 12:
Be obedient–work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

Verse 14:
Do all things without complaining
Do all things without disputing

Verse 15:
Be blameless and innocent children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation

Verse 16:
Hold fast the Word of Life

Chapter 4:

Verse 4:
Rejoice in the Lord–ALWAYS!!

Verse 5:
Be gentle to all men

Verse 6:
Pray–Let your requests be known

Verse 8:
Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–Meditate of these things.

Take these commands and make them your resolutions. Become that better person!!


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Fight! Contend! Do Battle!

When abandonment of religious belief arises, when false teachers emerge, when the truth of God is attacked, it’s time to fight for the Faith.

Only the Christians that are spiritually solid can stop the issues.

This letter focuses on a common Salvation by those who believe in Jesus. Jude challenges them to do battle for the faith.

False teachers invade the Church doing as they please.

Christians should not be caught off guard!!

The challenge is great, but so is God. He is able to keep Christians from stumbling.

Jude verses 1 and 2:
Identifies himself as the brother of James and a bondservant of Jesus.
It’s addressed to those called, sanctified, and preserved in Jesus Christ.

Verses 3-16
The sin and doom of ungodly people.

Verses 17-23
The call to persevere

Verses 24-25
The closing comments to his letter.


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When I was farming with my Dad, getting rid of weeds was a PRIORITY!! We used machinery behind the tractor two, three, and sometimes four times a summer.
Summer tilling was the way to get the ground prepared for planting the crops in the fall.
Getting rid of the weeds not only made things look better, but also preserved the moisture.
If there was a crop in the making, sometimes, we would have to use a weed spray. Back in the 50’s and 60’s we didn’t know about how harmful these sprays were.
We sat on open tractors with the spray drifting all around us. This, ultimately was one of the things that caused Dad to have an early death.
It scarred his lungs and the last few years of his life, he was on oxygen.

Those of us with yards and gardens know full well the problem with weeds. If we don’t take care of them, they will overtake the plants and the grass.
We pull them. We spray them. And still can’t seem to get rid of them. It’s an ongoing and constant problem.

THEN, there are those of us that have “Weeds” cropping up in our lives. They are as troublesome as the weeds on the farm and the weeds in the gardens and yards.
We have to cultivate our lives so the “Weeds” don’t take over. It takes concentrating on us, being aware of what is going on, and being strong enough to get rid of them.
These “Weeds” can be many different things. Such as: a bad relationship,
friends that take advantage of us, bickering among family members, jobs that we don’t like, health problems, homes that are not “Home”, financial difficulties, stress, drug abuse,
alcohol abuse and the list goes on and on and on and on!! So,
how do we get rid of the “Weeds?” God says that He will never leave us and will never forsake us. We sing a song, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” in Worship services.
Do we really believe this?
I would hope so, because God can and will help you get rid of the “Weeds.” Through prayer, you can lay all your problems on Him and He will help you through them.
That’s where we get the strength to cultivate our lives and get rid of the “Weeds.”

Hebrews 4:16
Draw near with confidence.

Hebrews 13:5-6
God won’t forsake you.

Romans 8:17-18
Suffering with the present can’t compare with the future Glory

John 14:1
Jesus said, “let your heart not be troubled”

1st Peter 5:6-7
Cast all anxieties on Him for He cares about you.

Matthew 6:25-31
Don’t worry.

Philippians 4:6
Have no anxiety about anything–Pray.

1st Corinthians 10:13
God will put no more on you than you can handle.

Romans 8:28-39
No matter how bad things seem, nothing can separate us from God’s love.

It doesn’t matter how bad things seem, if we stay close to Him, nothing can separate us from God’s love.
He will not forsake us.
We need to not let anxieties get to us and we need to not let our hearts be troubled.
We should cast our burdens and anxieties on the Lord.
Blessed is the man who endures his trials and tribulations and stay steadfast in the Lord.


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I’ve been wondering about this word, PRACTICE, for quite some time now.

A short definition: Do something over and over to get better.

I’ve always wondered why people say that a Doctor is “Practicing” medicine or why Attorneys are “Practicing” the law. Shouldn’t they know what they are doing? I’ve always thought to myself that I would just prefer a Doctor, instead of one still “Practicing” or an Attorney that knows what they are doing, instead of still “Practicing.”

So, I decided that they are still “Practicing”, doing things over and over, so they get better at what they are doing (sure hope by the time I need one, that they would know what they are doing). Then, I thought, why don’t we have “Practicing” teachers, sales people, secretaries, business owners, preachers, coaches, etc.?

In athletics, we have, football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, and track “Practice” so the players can get better by doing the same thing over and over, until they get them right. All that “Practice” is done so they can be prepared for the events they compete in, and hopefully, they can win their event.

The next question I had was, why are Christians just called Christians? Shouldn’t we be called “Practicing” Christians? After all, doesn’t God want us to get better at what we do for Him? Shouldn’t we “Practicing” for Heaven? Thus the Sermon name of Heavenly “Practice”.

Let’s look at some of the scriptures that will show what we are supposed to be “Practicing”, to be better Christians, and how to show ourselves approved in order to gain that home in Heaven, that God promises those, who are obedient and “Practicing” Christianity.

James 1:1-2
Be joyful in your various trials–Faith

1st Corinthians 10:13
No temptation beyond what you can handle–Faith

Hebrews 10:24-25
Attendance–Not forsaking the assembly

1st Timothy 6:9-12
Be careful of greed

Romans 13:13-14
Walk properly
Put on Christ
No provision for the flesh

Ephesians 4:31-32
Be kind to one another

Philippians 2:1-4
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition

2nd Peter 1:5-9
The building tree for the “Practicing” Christian

SMILE, God loves YOU!! Have a GREAT day all.


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Not something we just fit into our Christian lives
Fellowship is important
Fellowship will challenge us
Fellowship will keep us accountable
Fellowship is showing obedience to God and His Word
Fellowship is not to be neglected


Ephesians 5:2
Walk in love

Colossians 2:1-2
Knit together in love

Philippians 2:1-2
Be of same mind
Have same love
Be in full accord and of one mind

1st Peter 4:9
Be hospitable


1st John 1:7
Fellowship with one another and God

1st Corinthians 1:9
Called into fellowship of Jesus

1st Corinthians 12:12
One body in fellowship with Christ

Fellowship is vital for growth and stability in our Christian lives.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a GREAT day.


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We have heard God’s Word, Believed it, Confess Christ as the Son of God, Repented from our sins, and was Baptized. So….NOW WHAT??

Here is Paul’s instruction to the Church at Rome in Romans Chapter 12.

I. Offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God (1-2)

II. We are to use each of our unique God-given gifts for His glory (3-8)

A. Because what we have is from God, we ought to be humble (3)

B. Each member of the body has a different role (4-5)

C. We are to use our God-give gifts (6)

D. Use each specific gift to the fullest (6b-8)

III. Qualities of the complete Christian (verses 9-21)

A. Love (9-10)

B. Passion (11)

C. Heavenly-minded (12)

D. Hospitable (13)

E. Forgiving (14)

F. Encouraging (15)

G. Others-centered (16)

H. Upright (17)

I. Peaceful (18octr

J. Patient (19

K. Generous (20)

L. Victorious (21)

Live the life that God wants, not what you want.
Have a GREAT day all!! SMILE God loves YOU.