Saturday, July 22, 2017

Catching the Fish with a Coin in its Mouth

The tax collectors came to Capernaum and asked Peter if he and Jesus were going to pay the temple tax (Ex. 30:13). When Peter went into the house to inform Him, Jesus spoke about the tax before Peter could say anything. He told Peter to throw a hook into the Sea of Galilee and the first fish he caught would have a coin in its mouth, which was the amount to pay the temple tax (Matt. 17:24-27).

If you’re single and wonder how you’ll find the right person to marry, or if you’re unemployed and need a job, Matthew 17 shows how God can make a divine appointment to meet your need. If God can lead a fish to a man, He can lead a woman to a man, or a man to a woman.

1. Jesus knew about the need before Peter told Him. Matthew 17:25 says Jesus spoke to Him first about the tax. Even though Jesus wasn't outside to hear the conversation, He wanted Peter to know He supernaturally knew of the need before he asked. He also knows about your need and how to answer your prayer (Matt. 6:8).

2. Jesus told him to throw out a hook, not a net. Jesus didn’t tell him to throw out a net and sort through all the fish one by one. He told Peter to throw out a line to catch only one. Many times when God wants to provide He asks us to throw out a line. He may ask you to fill out a job application, make a phone call, or move to a new location.

3. Peter’s responsibility was to obey Jesus and trust God to make it happen. Peter had no control over which fish would bite on his hook. All he could do was throw out a line and hold the fishing pole. After you obey what God says, you may need to patiently wait for Him to make the divine connection. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7)

4. God made sure the right fish would bite on his hook. Out of the thousands of fish in the sea, only one had a coin in its mouth. Peter threw his line and after a few seconds, his cork began to bob and disappeared under water. He pulled back on his pole, lifting the fish out of the sea. When he opened its mouth he found a stater inside, the exact amount to pay the tax for Jesus and Peter. 

The only way it could have been more miraculous was if he had taken the coin out of the fish's mouth, and the fish had said, "TA-DA!" The right fish was at the right place at the right time with the right amount. God 's divine appointments never disappoint.
FOR MORE ABOUT HOW GOD MAKES DIVINE APPOINTMENTS read The Sure Cure for Worry.
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Do You Trust the Kicker?

Suppose you’re at a football game and your team is on the other team’s 20-yard line with the clock stopped. One second is left in the game and you’re losing by 2 points. The kicker runs on the field and if he kicks the field goal your team wins the game.

Only one problem. The kicker is terrible! He’s missed most kicks all year. Nervous fans are squirming and afraid to watch. A fan yells, “He'll miss this one, too!” Why are they worried? They don’t trust the kicker.

Consider another scenario. A different kicker comes in for the final play. This player has never missed a field goal all season. The fans give each other high-5's because they're confident he will make the kick. Why aren’t they worried? They trust the kicker.

Here’s the real kicker. Worry is a trust issue. We worry because we don’t trust that God is in control and will fail us in our time of need. Worry never trusts—and trust never worries. You can’t worry and trust God at the same time. Since trust forces out worry, your worry will leave by placing your complete trust in God. Here's how.

1. Trust begins with having a relationship. I can’t trust someone that I don’t know, so trusting God begins with having a relationship with Him (Rom. 10:13) and trusting His heart.

2. Trust grows as we believe what He has promised. Trust increases as you deepen your fellowship with God. Although you won’t see God until after you die, you can see what He has promisedin His Word, the Bible. God has given us proof the Bible is true through fulfilled prophecies about the future. It’s impossible for Him to lie (Heb. 6:18) and He stands behind His promises (2 Cor. 1:20).

3. To quit worrying we must choose to put our trust in God. Psalm 56:3-4 says “When I am afraid, I will PUT my trust in You…in God I have PUT my trust. I shall not be afraid.” To “put” means to transfer from one place to another. You put gasoline into your car by transferring it from the gas pump to the tank. So when you put your trust in the Lord, you transfer it from yourself to HimFor much more about trusting God for provision and the future read The Sure Cure for Worry.
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Catching a Connecting Flight

My wife and I were on a flight from California to Florida when the pilot was forced to land in Texas due to severe weather. We stayed that evening in Houston and the next morning caught a connecting flight to Jacksonville. Even though our original travel plan was interrupted and diverted, we still ended up at the right destination.

As we seek to follow God and His plan, sometimes we’re diverted to another path. That doesn’t mean we can never get back to the right place. God’s sovereignty works like catching a connecting flight. He takes you where you are right now and redirects you to the correct destination.

1. We can be diverted to another path by others’ rejection. Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him as a slave to some Midianite traders. Joseph caught a “connecting ride” to Egypt where God promoted him to be a ruler (Gen 37, 41). If you lost your job or went through a divorce, remember that God still has a plan you.

2. We can be diverted to another path by our own rebellion. God told Jonah to go preach to the people in Nineveh. Instead of obeying Him, Jonah caught a ship going in the opposite direction. The sailors threw him overboard and a “connecting whale” swallowed him and took him back to Israel. No matter how far you’ve strayed from God, He will still provide a way back to Him.

3. We can be diverted to another path through adverse circumstances. These are unforeseen situations that sidetrack us, like the severe weather that forced our plane to land in Houston. The apostle Paul was sailing to Rome when a terrible storm wrecked the ship on the island Malta. After God used Paul to heal many people on the island, he caught a “connecting ship” (an Alexandrian boat) and still ended up in Rome (Acts 27-28).

Trust God to lead you in your current situation and show you the steps to take. Prayer: “Lord, please forgive me for choosing the wrong way. I surrender to you and ask you to lead me in the right path.” www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
****************************************************************************************************
BIBLE STUDY: What does it mean to repent?

Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, July 2, 2017

How to Forgive Your Enemy

Jesus told a parable about a king that forgave a slave who owed him $50 million in today's dollars. It would take him 4,500 lifetimes to pay it off, yet the merciful king dismissed him from the entire debt! You’d think the slave would be so grateful for being forgiven that he would forgive everyone who owed him as well. Not so with this guy. When he found a fellow-slave who owed him $15, he started choking him, saying, “Pay back what you owe me!” (Matt. 18:28).

Are you choking someone who has hurt you? You aren't physically strangling your enemy, but what about in your mind? The $50 million debt represents the debt we owe to God. When we ask God's forgiveness, the merciful King dismisses the debt. Since we’ve now received His mercy, He wants us to extend mercy to our enemies and dismiss their debt as well.

How can you forgive those who have hurt you?
1. Focus on what God did FOR you, not what that person did TO you.
I can’t give away something that I haven't first received. I can't give you $15 if I haven't first received $15. And I can't give forgiveness to others until I’ve first received it from God. But since the Lord has forgiven my $50 million debt, it’s no problem for me to forgive $15.

2. Change the way you view the person who hurt you. You won’t forgive as long as you’re angry at your enemy, so you’ll need to change how you view him. The king was angry at first but then "felt compassion" for the slave, which moved him to forgive him (Matt. 18:27). When his emotions changed from anger to pity, forgiveness followed. Find a way to feel pity and compassion for your enemy. Perhaps the person is lost, is mentally ill, or was abused as a child—see them in that way. (I’ve shared real examples of this in my book Slaying Your Giants pp.59-70.)

3. Let go by taking your hands off your enemy’s neck. People owe different kinds of debts. Some people owe money. Others might owe you an apology. Perhaps you’re upset because someone hasn’t thanked you. Keep in mind that hateful people never apologize, and ungrateful people don’t say thank you. Quit expecting your enemy to make things right with you. Instead of choking him (or her), trying to force him to repay, take your hands off his neck. Take the loss and let it go, just as the king let go of the $50 million debt that was owed to him.

Prayer: “Lord, thank you for forgiving my $50 million debt. I choose to forgive (name the person) for (describe the offense). I’m letting go of (person) and I’ve changed the way I view him/her.”
When you forgive your enemy you’ll stop being tormented inside. And that's worth a whole lot more than the $15 debt you forgave. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Get Out of Debt!

Many people have never been taught how to manage their money. They’re crippled with debt and don’t know what to do. A recent survey revealed 44% of Americans don’t have enough money to pay an unexpected $400 expense. Another survey showed 75 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Americans have now accumulated over a trillion dollars credit card debt, over a trillion dollars student loan debt, and more than a trillion dollars car loan debt.

If you’re in trouble with debt, you’ll never get out of it unless you follow a plan. Write a budget and stick to it. To be debt-free, you’ll need to increase your income (if possible), reduce your expenses, and pay extra on the principal.
1. Increase your income. Perhaps you can get a part-time job. Sell things you don’t need and use that money to pay extra on your debt. Use your income tax refund to pay off debt or save it for unexpected expenses.

2. Reduce your expenses. Quit dining at restaurants and eat at home. Downgrade your cell phone plan. Most people don’t need a smart phone but can use a flip phone instead. Drop cable or satellite TV. You can buy an antenna and still pick up many stations free. Drive a reliable used car instead of a new one. I recently sold my 20-year-old car and upgraded to a “like new” 2008 Camry with only 92,000 miles.

3. Pay extra on the principal. With the money you’ve saved by reducing your expenses, pay more than the minimum amount by adding the extra money to the principal on the debt. Get rid of your Payday Loans first because you’re paying up to 400% interest! After you pay that off, put extra money on your credit card debt, with is typically 15% or more. Again, you must pay more than your minimum payment. When that debt is eliminated, pay off your car and home mortgage ( Read 10 Secrets to Life’s Biggest Challenges pp.131-151).
CLICK HERE for more info on How to Get Out of Debt
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Proof the Bible is True!

Many people attack the Bible because they think it isn’t true, but what if it can predict the future?

In the movie Back to the Future part 2, Marty McFly gets in his time machine and travels 30 years into the future. As Marty walks down the street, he sees a sports almanac in an antique store window, which lists all the scores from the year 1950 to 2000. Marty buys the book and takes it back to 1985 so he can bet on all the games. Since the outcome of every game has already been determined in history future, he would win every time. The plan backfires when his enemy, Biff Tannen, steals the book and places the sure bets, making himself rich instead of Marty.

The prophecies of the Bible can be compared to the sports almanac that Marty bought. Just as the scores of future games were recorded in his almanac, God’s predictions of future events are recorded in the Scriptures. We’re not talking about the end-of-the-world prophecies that are still waiting to be fulfilled, but the hundreds of predictions by the Old Testament prophets that have already come to pass.

How is it possible to predict the future when it hasn’t occurred? The prophets received specific information directly from God, who told them to record in the Scriptures what would happen in the future. The prophets would die long before most of their predictions would come to pass.

Time has proven the prophets to be correct. The prophet Micah (5:2) predicted the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem over 700 years before Christ was born. Zechariah (11:12) looked over 500 years into the future and foresaw the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Psalm 22 describes the crucifixion of Jesus 1,000 years into the future, prophesying His hands and feet would be pierced and lots would be cast for His garments.

God made sure these prophecies were recorded in Scripture so that we would be able to verify them after they came to pass. Jesus said, "I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He" (John 13:19, 14:29).

Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies made hundreds of years before He was born. The probability of one man fulfilling just 48 prophecies is one in 10 to the 157th power. This gives us indisputable proof God controls earthly events and the Bible is true.
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Monday, June 12, 2017

How Did We Get the Bible?

How did we get the Bible? God inspired over 40 prophets to write the original manuscripts, which were later copied. Because they didn’t have copying machines or duplicating presses, each manuscript had to be copied by hand. This task was done by scribes, who patiently copied the Scriptures when the scrolls became too worn and had to be replaced. The material they wrote on only lasted about 40 years, so they had to keep making new manuscripts over the centuries to preserve the text from being destroyed.

The Jewish scribes valued the Scriptures so much that they counted every letter on every page they copied. The word for scribes, sopherim, literally means, “the counters” because they counted, not only every word, but every letter. The middle letter of the manuscript was marked, as was the middle word of each major section of a book. If the letters of the copy didn’t match up with the original, they destroyed the entire page and started over.

By the time of Jesus, the most recent Old Testament book, Malachi, had been copied and recopied over a span of more than 400 years. The books of Moses had been copied for more than 1,400 years! Imagine copying the book of Exodus without making a mistake.

Today we have over 14,000 manuscripts: 5,000 Greek manuscripts, 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and 1,000 manuscripts in other languages. Compare this with the non-biblical manuscripts—we have 7 manuscripts of Plato’s writings (380 BC) and 5 manuscripts of Aristotle (350 BC).

Over 3,000 years, thousands of scribes spent their lives carefully copying manuscripts so that we could have a Bible today. They did all that work for you—and have you read the Bible through even one time? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

CLICK HERE for more about How We Got the Bible
****************************************************************************************************
Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett