Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Sword First, Then the Hand


Admiral Horatio Nelson was an English navy hero who twice defeated Napoleon's army. Whenever he won in battle, he always treated the enemy prisoners with dignity. After one of his victories, the defeated commander was brought on board Nelson's flagship for a formal ceremony where he would surrender his sword.

The man quickly walked across the deck and stuck out his hand for the Admiral to shake. Nelson held his hand to his side and refused to shake his hand. Nelson told him, "The sword first—then the hand." It was an important point that couldn’t be overlooked. Surrender comes before peacemaking.

To be at peace with God we must first surrender our swords. We quit fighting against Him. When the commander surrendered to Admiral Nelson, he didn't keep fighting him. He handed over the sword and was at his mercy. When we surrender to God, we quit fighting Him and we do what He says.

We come to God on His terms. He tells us to forgive others (Eph. 4:32) but if we refuse to obey His instructions, we haven't completely surrendered. He tells us to honor Him with our wealth (Prov. 3:9), but if we don’t we haven’t surrendered. He tells us to flee immorality (1 Cor. 6:18-20), but if we don’t we haven’t surrendered. 

Do you want peace with God? Hand over your sword.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Terror By Night


Psalm 91:5 says, "You will not be afraid of the terror by night or of the arrow that flies by day." I didn’t fully understand this verse until I went on an overnight campout with a couple of elders from our church.

At sunset, the clouds grew black and within minutes we were in the middle of a torrential storm. Wind was blowing thirty miles an hour and lightning striking around us every few seconds. Psalm 91:5 refers to the "terror by night." This was it! I thought we were going to die and actually envisioned making the obituary column our local newspaper. I wasn’t afraid to die but wasn’t ready to leave behind my wife and two small children.

Then I remembered the disciples panicking in the boat on the Sea of Galilee when the terrible storm hit. We were acting just like them when they thought they were going to die (Mark 4:35-41). They didn't trust God during the storm and now that we were in the same boat, neither did we! 

I reminded the other guys that the disciples must have felt this way when they thought their boat would sink during the storm. We prayed together and then started praising God in our tent. Instantly a supernatural peace came over us. We were overwhelmed with God’s presence and our fear immediately vanished, even as lightning was still striking around us.

The storm passed. We didn’t die. But we did learn from experience something we had only known in theory before. If you’ll praise God in the middle of the storm your fear will leave. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Little Foxes Can Cause Big Problems


The space shuttle Discovery was once grounded—not by technical difficulties but by woodpeckers. They pecked on the insulating foam on the shuttle’s external fuel tank. Without the foam, ice forms on the tank when it’s fueled which could cause disaster. The damage was repaired and the Discovery later launched the Hubble Space Telescope.

Little things can have big consequences. Solomon wrote, “The little foxes…are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom.” (Song of Sol. 2:15). You’d think a drought or a hail storm would be the biggest reasons vineyards were destroyed. But Solomon said “the little foxes” were the culprits in causing the destruction. A fence would stop the big foxes but the little ones could sneak through.

The vineyard owner couldn’t see the little foxes running through the vineyard and breaking the tender vines. The withered vines wouldn’t become visible until a couple of days later. Enough ruined vines meant no grapes grown and no wine for that year.

The “little foxes” are still around and can cause problems today. The little fox of temptation—looking at porn and “innocent” flirting can lead to a broken marriage. The little fox of unforgiveness results in the cancer of bitterness. The little fox of mismanaging money leads to unbearable debt or embezzlement. The little fox of worry destroys your peace of mind.

Little things can cause big problems but you can stop it before it gets out of hand. Is a little fox destroying your vineyard? www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Seeking to Impress Others?


A businessman’s office wall was covered with award plaques and framed documents. On it was a diploma from Harvard Business School, a “National Salesman of the Year” award, and a letter from the President of the United States. A visitor was impressed by his honors and asked, “How did you manage to accomplish so much in such a short time?” “It really wasn’t that hard,” the man replied. “I have a sign-printing business.”

Hypocrisy is trying to impress others by pretending to be something that we’re not. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because they performed their religious duties “to be seen” by men (Matt. 6:1). “To be seen” in Greek is theathemai which is where we get our word “theatre.” The actors on the Greek stage performed in the theatre and craved for the applause of their audience.

The Pharisees were religious actors, playing the role of a righteous person in the “theatre” of street corners, synagogues, and the temple. They longed for applause of people rather than the applause of God.

In the age of social media, seeking to be popular and please people is a danger for us as well. The apostle Paul said, “For am I seeking the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).

Don’t sacrifice what you know to be true for fear of what others think. Only one opinion matters. God’s. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Monday, April 22, 2019

Are You Burying Your Talent?


Jesus told a parable about a master who gave money to three slaves to invest and multiply. He gave one slave five talents, another two, and another one talent—each according to his ability. The one-talent slave shirked his responsibility and buried his talent. His master was furious because he didn’t use it to the best of his ability (Matt. 25:14-30).

God expects you to use what He gave you—whether it’s 5 talents or if it’s only one. Just because he only had one talent didn’t give him a right to bury it. One-talent people can make a huge difference if they will make the most of what they have.

Trey Woods was born with only one arm but he earned a scholarship to play football at Sam Houston State University as a defensive back. Dawuan Miller was another one-armed man who became a defensive back for Boise State University. You would think they would be glad to just sit on the bench, but not so. Woods used his one arm to break the school’s career record with twelve blocked kicks. Dawuan used his one arm to intercept two passes in playoff games.

On September 16, 1995, Sam Houston State played Boise State in football. For the first time in the history of the sport, two colleges played a game with one-armed defensive backs starting for each team. Few will remember the score of the game, but no one will forget how two one-armed players overshadowed the rest of the talent on the field.

It’s amazing what people can do with one arm—or one talent. Whether you have five talents or only one, God wants you to faithfully use your ability for His purposes. Are you using it or burying it?
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 13, 2019

How Do We Know The Titanic Really Sank?


The Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, but how do we know for sure? No one alive today was there when it sank. So does that mean it never happened? Do you have to swim to the bottom of the Atlantic to see it with your own eyes before you will believe?

Approximately 1,500 passengers drowned but 700 people survived the tragedy. Those survivors were eyewitnesses to the accident, and newspapers recorded their comments about what they saw. No one living today questions whether or not the Titanic sank because we have a record of the eyewitness reports.

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? Just like we know about the Titanicthrough the eyewitness reports. Paul writes, "He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than 500 brethren at one time...then He also appeared to James and all the apostles...and He appeared to me (Paul) also." (1 Cor. 15:6-8).

But here's the real proof. The disciples were so convinced of His resurrection they were willing to die for Him. And most of them did. When they were threatened with death and offered their release if they would deny Christ, they would not renounce Him. 

Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down. Thomas was killed with a spear. James was executed with a sword. Phillip was crucified. They were so convinced Jesus was resurrected that nothing could change their minds—even torture and death.
Fact: Jesus did rose from the dead. He's worth following for the rest of your life. Can you believe it? www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Will Anyone Have a Dirty Robe in Heaven?


After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he wrote, “Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7). Why did he say “whiter than snow”? Even a fresh snowflake isn’t entirely white. On every snowflake you will find a tiny speck of dust that it picks up while falling. Even though it’s white, it’s not completely clean.  

Jesus shed His blood on the cross for a reason—it “cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Not some sin. All sin. His blood is the only hope we have to be cleansed. Suppose you get a spot on your clothes. The cleaners use a chemical on it that’s stronger than the spot. Your sins make dirty spots on your soul. The only thing more powerful than your sins is Jesus’ blood.

The Bible tells us people in heaven are clothed in white robes (Rev. 7:13). Do you think anyone in heaven will be wearing a white robe except for one or two dirty spots? No one in heaven will say, “There were a couple of sins the blood of Jesus couldn’t get out.”

David is in heaven wearing a robe whiter than snow. “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). Normally blood on a robe makes it red. But the blood of Jesus makes the robes white. Every saved person’s robe went through a washing machine at the cross. When Jesus washes you with His blood, no sin can stay of the robe. Have you been washed? www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com