Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Did Jesus Write in the Dirt?

Some Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus and asked if she should be stoned to death (John 8:3-11). Instead of answering, He stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. He told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” He stooped down again and wrote on the ground. Beginning with the oldest man, they all left one by one. So what did He write?

Since the Bible doesn’t record what He wrote we can only speculate. Scripture tells us they left “one by one” starting with the older men. Whatever He wrote convicted them. He probably wrote individual messages to each, from oldest to youngest. Since He addressed “the one without sin” He probably wrote their own specific sins, including adultery.

Some scholars speculate He wrote the names of women with whom they had committed that sin. Could it be that the Pharisees didn’t accuse the man caught in the act because he was in their group? It’s possible they were all guilty of adultery, which meant they would have to stone each other!

After her accusers left, she called Him “Lord” (v.11). Jesus replied, “Neither do I condemn you.” Many people quote this verse saying “don’t cast stones” and “I don’t condemn you,” but they omit the rest of the verse, “Go and sin no more” (8:11). Jesus didn’t want her to keep committing adultery but told her to live a godly life. He says the same to us when we come to Him—He cleanses us from sin but also calls us to live a life that’s pleasing to Him. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, April 16, 2017

IF Jesus Rose From the Dead, THEN. . .

So what difference does Jesus’ resurrection make? If He rose from the dead, then…
1. It verifies that everything Jesus taught is true. Heaven is real, Hell is real, Angels are real, Satan and demons are real, etc.

2. It proves that Jesus is the correct spiritual leader to follow. Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6)—not Mohammed, Buddha, or anyone else. “There is salvation in no one else; there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)

3. It establishes the fact that Jesus is more powerful than death. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20).

4. It means He’s still alive today in heaven. He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9). He lives in an eternal kingdom beyond this world (John 18:36).

5. It means everyone will stand before Him to be judged. “For we must all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Romans 14:10)

6. It gives assurance to all His followers there’s no need to fear death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25)

7. It means everyone who believes in His resurrection will be saved. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

Out of all the events that have occurred in the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important. And that means those who trust in Him have a reason for living.
If you aren’t sure that Jesus rose from the dead, I encourage you to watch the movie Case for Christ (NOW IN THEATRES). Click to WATCH MOVIE TRAILER. Based on a true story of an atheist investigative journalist, Lee Strobel, who set out to disprove Jesus’ resurrection.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

How Do We Know Jesus Rose from the Dead?

Is the resurrection of Jesus fact or fable? If it’s a fable, you can live any way that you would like. But if it’s a fact, it changes everything about our reason to live:

1. Old Testament prophets predicted the Messiah would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10, 30:3, Acts 2:27-31, 10:43, 13:33-35, Matt. 12:40). The prophecies were recorded hundreds of years beforehand.

2. Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection. (Matt.16:21, 17:9,23, 21:19, 26:32,56, John 2:19,21). Even the unbelieving Pharisees remembered His prophecies about rising from the dead (Matt. 27:62-64)

3. Jesus’ disciples, who fled when He was arrested, were so convinced He rose from the dead they were martyred for Him. They remembered Jesus had prophesied His own resurrection (John 2:22). Peter, who had previously denied Him three times, boldly preached He rose from the dead (Acts 2:24,32, 3:15, 4:2,10, 5:30, 10:40-41).

4. Pontius Pilate ordered Roman soldiers at the tomb to keep His body from being stolen. (Matt. 27:62-66). The Roman guards reported to the chief priests that He rose from the dead (Matt. 28:11-15).

5. After Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to over 500 people. (1 Cor. 15:4-8)  

6. Paul, who had murdered Christians, was changed after met the resurrected Jesus and preached for years about His resurrection. (Acts 9:1-6, 13:30,33-37, 1 Cor. 15:8)

If you aren’t sure that Jesus rose from the dead, I encourage you to watch the movie Case for Christ (NOW IN THEATRES). Click to WATCH MOVIE TRAILER. Based on a true story of an atheist investigative journalist who set out to disprove Jesus’ resurrection.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What REALLY Happened on the Cross

Two thousand years ago, people watched Jesus die on a cross. But what really happened on the cross couldn’t be seen by the people watching Him die because it occurred in the spiritual realm. What happened? Every sin that’s ever been committed from Adam and Eve until the end of the world was placed in His body--including every sin that you and I will ever commit. 
   Sins are bad thoughts, words and deeds that separate us from God. Dying for all sins is a hard concept to grasp, but Scripture reveals that it’s true:

***  “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24)
***  “(Jesus) offered one sacrifice for sins for all time” (Heb. 10:12)
***  “He Himself is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2)
***  “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18)

Even though Jesus paid for all sins for all time, it doesn’t mean everyone has been forgiven. He made forgiveness and salvation available to all. Since forgiveness is in Jesus, we must receive Him into our lives to receive forgiveness for all sins. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “He who has the Son (living inside you) has eternal life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). No matter what evil things you have done, God will cleanse you if you’ll receive Jesus Christ into your life.
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TESTIMONY: I received a message this week from a woman in South Africa. “I love The Sure Cure for Worry. It's helping me a lot. Now I know I can trust God alone and not use my own understanding. God is speaking to me through this book.”

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, March 26, 2017

When Your Provision Changes

When the Jews were slaves in Egypt, their provision came from their masters. But when Moses led them through the Red Sea into the wilderness, they needed a new source of provision. God sent them food from heaven during that time. “The Israelites ate manna for 40 years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate manna until they reached the border of the land of Canaan” (Ex. 16:35).

They changed locations again and needed a new source. “The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year” (Joshua 5:12).

When a famine hit, God told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith and commanded the ravens to bring him food (1 Kings 17:4-7). When the brook dried up, God told him to change locations and go to Zarephath for food. (If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? p.184)

One day your provision will change. Many people have lost their jobs. Many go through divorce and must find new provision. Others can’t work for various reasons. When your provision changes, keep three things in mind:

1. Remember that God is your provider. When you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, He takes responsibility to be your provider. He may provide through your job or in other ways.
2. If your brook dries up, you may need to change locations. When you lose your source of provision, God can show you like He did Elijah where to go to find new provision.
3. No matter how bad your situation, trust God to provide. He’s aware of what you’re going through and has a plan for your life. Ask Him to reveal what to do.

For more about trusting God to provide, read The Sure Cure for Worry ($2.99)
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Parable of Two Houses

One man said, “My realtor sold me a two-story house. He told me one story before I bought it and another story after I bought it.” Jesus told a story about two houses, which explains a truth about two types of people.

The wise person built his house on a rock foundation, while the other built on a sand foundation. Both houses were fine for a while, but then a storm came. “The rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew, and burst against that house (Matthew 7:25,27). The storm came from above (rain), beneath (flood), all sides (winds). The house built on sand collapsed and “great was its fall” (v.27), but the house built on rock withstood the storm. Here are three observations about this parable:

1. Both people built houses but the difference was where they built. The wise person built his house on a rock foundation and “dug deep” (Luke 6:48) because he prepared for the future. The foolish person only thought about enjoying the present and built on sand because it’s much easier to sink posts into sand.

2. Both houses experienced the same intensity of the storm. The rain, floods and wind hit both houses. Just because you’re a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean you will escape trials. God will give you the grace and strength to endure the storm.

3. Both builders heard the words of Jesus, but only one obeyed. (7:24,26) Think about it this way: Jesus told both of them to build their house on the rock (Himself), but only one obeyed and did it. And that’s the point. Many people disobey what Jesus clearly said to do. They attend church but they live immoral lives. Jesus said you will know true believers from unbelievers by the fruit they produce (7:17-20).

Shady real estate agents (false prophets--7:15) will try to sell you sandy sites to build your life. Don’t listen to them. Jesus said the person who doesn’t obey Him will one day be destroyed. But the one who hears and obeys will stand. Are you obeying what Jesus said? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Do I Have Blind Spots?

Recently I was driving on the Interstate and wanted to change lanes. I didn’t know a car was slightly behind me on the right in my blind spot. My wife in the passenger seat told me about the car that was hidden from my view. I didn’t get angry with her for pointing out something that I couldn’t see. She was helping me, which kept me from getting in a wreck.

Just like we have blind spots in our cars, we’ve got blind spots in our lives. We have faults and weaknesses that we can’t see on our own. How can we possibly see something we are blind to? It takes humility and willingness to change.

1. Ask God to reveal your faults. King David knew he had blind spots, so he prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Ps. 139:23-24). He realized God knows everything and would reveal harmful attitudes in his life.

2. Ask someone you trust. It hurts to hear someone point out our faults, but if we ask someone that we trust it will probably be accurate and easier to accept. A friend of mine once asked me, “If I knew something about you that you don’t know, would you want me to tell you?” He left the decision in my court, and I told him I did. He told me something I needed to hear and correct.

3. Your critics will gladly point them out. A critical person will probably exaggerate your faults, but ask God if there’s a grain of truth in his/her statement. Shimei cursed and slandered David, but David found a grain of truth in his criticism (2 Sam. 16:5-12).

When we see our blind spots and correct them, it keeps us from wrecking our marriage and relationships—which pleases God and brings His blessing.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett