Friday, April 24, 2015

Enjoying Every Stage of Life

Have you ever wanted to be a different age? Younger people cannot wait to grow up. Elderly people wish they were young again. Some people aren’t happy no matter what age they are. It helps to understand that it is God’s will for you to be the age you are right now.

It is no accident that you are alive on earth at this time. God didn’t want you to live in the 1600s but created you to live at this time. Acts 17:25-26 says,  “He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."  

This verse tells us God determined your lifetime to be now. Every stage of life has its benefits. Whether you are 25 or 65 years old, be happy with your age. If you are a parent, enjoy every stage of life of your child. If you are tired of changing diapers, don’t wish for your child to grow up. Enjoy that stage of life because it will pass too quickly. If you are getting older, don’t keep wishing you were younger. You cannot go back in time, so enjoy your stage of life right now. It’s God’s will for you to be at this age—and it’s also God’s will for you to be thankful for it (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Two Important Books:
Slaying Your Giants  Learn how to defeat the invisible giants attacking your mind.

The Sure Cure for Worry proves God is in control and can be trusted to handle the problems you are worried about.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Quest to be Famous

A little girl was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied, “Famous!” Why are so many people obsessed with fame? Our society equates fame with significance. The more famous you are, the more significant you are in others’ eyes. And if you are not famous, then try to be friends with someone who is famous so you can tell others, “I’m friends with (fill in name).”

What is fame? It’s how many people know you. It is name recognition. If many people know your name, you’re famous. We live in a time like never before where anyone can become “famous” if their YouTube video goes viral or if they have thousands of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but it is wrong if you are deriving your self-esteem from them. The fact is, the most admired actor is worth the same as a homeless man sleeping in a cardboard box. “The rich and the poor have a common bond; the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2).

One celebrity said when no one knew him, he desperately wanted to become famous so the paparazzi would take his picture for magazines. But after he gained fame, he lost something he couldn’t get back—his privacy. He couldn’t go anywhere without someone asking for his autograph or snapping his picture. He found himself hiding from the paparazzi so they wouldn’t take his picture. The magazine articles about him contained slanderous gossip because that’s what sells. After he achieved his goal of being famous, he discovered his fame wasn’t a blessing but was actually a curse.

God isn’t interested in us being famous in the world’s eyes, but in us being faithful in His eyes. To do this, we must change the audiences we want to please. Instead of living to please others, live to please the Lord who is always watching. “Therefore we have our ambition…to be pleasing to Him. He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:9,15).

Two Important Books You Need to Read:
Slaying Your Giants shows how to conquer the 20 invisible giants (attitudes) trying to destroy you. customer review: Slaying your Giants is by far the best book I have ever read for a Bible Study class. No matter what issues you are facing—fear, temptation, worry, anger… the true stories are uplifting, humorous and very rewarding.”

The Sure Cure for Worry proves God is in control and can be trusted to handle the problems you are worried about.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chicken Pecking Order

A study was done years ago that found chickens have a pecking order to determine their rank. If you put 10 chickens in a pen within a matter of minutes they will start establishing an order of dominance from greatest to the least. The #1 chicken is the dominant one, so it’s at the top and pecks on the other 9. Then the #2 chicken will submit to #1 but will peck on chickens #3-10. Then there’s the #3 chicken, and so on, down to the lowly #10 chicken—who gets picked on and pecked on by the other 9.

People are like chickens in one respect. We have a pecking order where people try to feel more important than the next guy. The truth is that the #1 chicken isn’t worth any more than the #10 chicken. They’re all going to end up in the frying pan one day. The pecking order of importance only exists in the chicken’s mind.

Jesus said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them." (That's their Pecking Order) "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave" (Matthew 20:25-27).

Could it be that we’ve placed too much emphasis in today’s church in being a “ruler”? Churches spend way too much time teaching their people how to be a “great leader.” Leadership has become an idol in some churches. We are more interested in reading business principles in Good to Great than reading spiritual principles in the Bible. Jesus said we are NOT to be like the pagans who love to exercise authority over others, trying to be the #1 chicken that the other chickens fear.

Jesus made His desire very clear: “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matthew 20:28). Notice that He did not tell us to be “servant leaders.” He said “servant” and “slave.” God’s kingdom functions totally opposite of the way this world operates. Jesus isn’t building His Church with proud leaders but with humble servants. If you disagree with me, feel free to peck away.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Most Important Event in History

Out of all the events that have occurred in the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important. Seven reasons it changed history:

1.By rising from the dead, Jesus did something no one else has done.
2.By rising from the dead, it proved He is God.
3.By rising from the dead, it established the fact that He is more powerful than death.
4.By rising from the dead, it verified that everything He taught is true.
5.By rising from the dead, it proves He is the correct spiritual leader to follow.
6.By rising from the dead, it means that everyone will give an account to Him on Judgment Day.
7.By rising from the dead, it gives everyone who trusts in Him a reason to live.

 Four proofs He rose from the dead:
1)  Old Testament prophets predicted He would rise from the dead (Psalm16:10, 30:3, Acts 2:31, 13:33-35, Matthew 12:40). God revealed to them the resurrection would happen hundreds of years beforehand.
2)  His own disciples, who fled in fear when He was arrested, were so convinced He rose from the dead that they were willing to be martyred for Him.
3)  Pontius Pilate posted Roman soldiers at the tomb to ensure that no one would steal His body. (Matthew 27:62-66).
4)  After He rose from the dead He appeared to over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:4-8).  

What do you believe about this? Think it through and ask God to show you the truth.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Are We Near an Economic Collapse?

I’m not a prophet, nor am I an economist. But could we be heading toward a huge economic collapse? Some people predicted a collapse in the 1980's but nothing happened. I remember my dad saying, “Pretty soon the national debt will reach one trillion dollars.” He would turn over in his grave if he could see that the nation’s debt is now over $18 trillion. Here is article showing 10 charts that explain the state of our economy. Will we one day reap the consequences of reckless spending? There are three ways to respond to this information:

1. Denial—stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is just fine. But ignoring the problem doesn’t solve it and usually makes it worse.

2. Panic—store up 10 years of food and build an underground safe house. It’s wise to prepare for emergencies within reason, but I’m not sure anyone really knows what would happen if the world’s economy were to fall apart—or how to prepare for it. Besides, God doesn’t want us living in a constant state of fear of tomorrow.

3. Trust God to guide and provide for you. Instead of panicking, place your life in the hands of the Lord and trust Him completely. You cannot worry and trust God at the same time. Trust forces out worry. The Lord promises to provide for His people during times of famine (Psalm 33:18-19, 37:18-19). My book The Sure Cure of Worry gives proof that God knows the future and is in control of it. The book shows how He will guide us and provide for His people even during an economic depression.

In the meantime, remember we can only live one day at a time, so enjoy today. “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Monday, March 16, 2015

Did Jesus Die for ALL Sins?

Did Jesus die for every sin that will ever be committed? Did He die for everyone or only for those who will believe in Him? These theological questions have been debated for centuries. Those who believe in “Limited Atonement” teach that He only died for those who will be saved. Those who believe in “Unlimited Atonement” teach that He died for everyone. The answer becomes clear when we examine the Scriptures.

1. Jesus died for all sins for all time. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “The world” means everyone in the world and not just believers. “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:10,12).

2. Jesus is potentially the Savior of everyone. “We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). He is potentially the Savior of everyone because He died for all sins, which makes it possible for anyone to be saved. He is the actual Savior only of those who put their trust in Him and have received the free gift of salvation. If I bought you a gift and offer it to you, it’s potentially yours but it doesn’t actually become yours until you receive the gift from me.

3. God wants everyone to be saved. “God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). The Lord is “not willing that any should perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Although the Lord wants everyone to be saved, each person must choose to receive the free gift of eternal life.

4. Everyone who repents and calls on Him will be saved. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

You can receive salvation by praying this with a sincere heart: “Heavenly Father, I realize I am a sinner and need to be saved. I am truly sorry for my sins. Jesus, come into my heart and save me. I give my life to you. I ask the Holy Spirit to empower me to live a life that’s pleasing to you. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Amen.”

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, you have been born again and Jesus has come to live inside you. Welcome to the family of God!

BIBLE STUDY: Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs Evangelicalism  This is a more detailed study of “Limited Atonement” versus “Unlimited Atonement.”

SONG OF THE MONTH “Forever Live” by Kari Jobe.  This powerful song (begins at 1:58 mark) describes the moment Jesus rose from the dead.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Can You Answer 10 Bible Questions?

Imagine going to college for four years and never learning anything. If that happens, something is wrong with the teacher, the student, or both. Now imagine going to church for years and never learning what’s in the Bible. Sadly, this is happening all over the country. If you’ve been attending church for 5 years, you should be able to supply the missing words below.

1. The sons of Adam and Eve were _________ and __________. (Genesis 4:1-2)
2. Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount _____________ (Exodus 31:18)
3. King Saul threw a spear at _______________ (1 Samuel 18:10-11).
4. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find ___________ on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
5. Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their __________?” (Matthew 16:26).
6. Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves ________________ in heaven.” (Matthew 6:20).
7. Jesus said, “Unless you ___________ you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)
8. “It is the _________ of God that leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4)
9. “It is by _____________ you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
10. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they __________ Me, and I give eternal life to them.” (John 10:27-28).
Answers: 1.Cain, Abel  2.Sinai  3.David  5.soul  6.treasures  7.repent  8.kindness  9.grace  10.follow

If you couldn’t answer these questions, the solution is reading small sections of the Bible every day on your own. Here is a good Daily Bible Reading Plan to follow. If you cannot read all the verses each day, continue following the plan even if it takes you two years to read through the Bible.

BIBLE STUDY: “How Do We Know the Bible is True?”  Why would you want to read the Bible unless you believe that it’s true? This article will help you decide.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
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