Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why Prayers Aren't Answered Like You Asked

Romans 8:26 says, “We do not know how to pray as we should” but the Holy Spirit will help us in our praying. This means He will reinterpret our prayers and the answer may arrive differently than the way we asked for 3 reasons:

Reason #1  I’m asking for something that will produce harmful consequences.
We ask can for things that are not God’s will, which would sooner or later make us regret it. Sometimes we ask without any consideration of how it will affect ourselves or others.  

If I keep praying for something and God keeps saying no, it means that He must know something that I don’t know. Since God knows the outcome of everything (and I don't), I’ve learned to let Him determine how the answer comes. I’ve learned to thank Him for His “NO” answers because He’s simply trying to protect me. He loves me so much that if I ask for something that will hurt me, He will deny the request. 

Reason #2  I’m asking with the wrong motives.
A pastor asked a little boy if he prayed every night. The boy answered “No.” The minister asked, “Why not?” He answered, “Because I don’t want something every night!” Prayer isn’t just for asking for toys and candy. James 4:3 tells us that if we ask for something with the wrong motives, He won’t let us have it. Although the Lord wants to bless us, He wants to do it when our motives are correct so that it won’t increase our selfishness.

Reason #3  God has something better for me than what I’ve asked for.
Many times when God says no, it’s usually because He has something better for us than we asked. Andrew Murray said, “God reserves the very best for those who leave the choice with Him.” If you have surrendered your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, you need to remember God’s promise:  “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). He will give you His best but you might need to wait for a period of time for it to come. However, when it does arrive you’ll be so glad you waited!  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

BIBLE STUDY: How did we get the Bible?  Do you know how the Bible was compiled?

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Either God is Real--Or He Isn't

Do you wonder if God is real? Maybe you are doubter or unbeliever because no one has given you enough proof to believe. A jury doesn’t need to have every question answered before it can reach a verdict. They just need to examine the evidence to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt. Here are three pieces of evidence to consider. (Click the links for a more detailed explanation)

Item #1  Fulfilled Bible Prophecies The Biblical prophets wrote down numerous predictions in the Scriptures which came to pass hundreds of years later exactly as they prophesied. Fulfilled Bible prophecies provide proof that God knows the future, can control earthly events, and the Bible is true. Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies. The probability of one man fulfilling 48 prophecies is one in 10157.

Item #2  The Amazingly Complex Human Body When you look at your computer with its many complex parts, you know that it required an intelligent designer to coordinate each part so that it would function. Even though you didn’t see the computer being designed and built, you have no doubt that someone, somewhere, made it happen. When you examine complexity of the human body you know it could not have come into existence by accident.

Item #3  Near Death Experiences This is when someone dies and is resuscitated, and the person claims they either went to heaven or hell. While I don’t believe many of the testimonies of those claiming NDE’s, I do believe some people’s experiences are real. I hope you will take the time to watch this incredible video interview of a former atheist was dead for 15 minutes. (If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, fast forward to the 35:45 mark)  

If you’ve read the information on the linked pages, I hope you’ve been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. The good news is that God is not just real but He loves you and has a purpose for your life. I hope you’ll continue your search for truth.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net

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

Friday, February 6, 2015

Consequences

If you wanted to shut down an airport, how would you do it? Just go back for your camera. In 2001, a man who had passed through security screening at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport realized he had left his camera bag behind. Rather than going through security a second time, he hurried down the up-escalator instead of going through the check-point.

Security personnel noticed the man on the run and were forced to take preventative measures. They immediately halted all departing flights and rerouted planes that were destined for Atlanta. Delta cancelled over 147 flights, 10,000 people were evacuated from the airport, and many were scrambling to book hotel rooms. Suitcase conveyor belts were stopped, keeping passengers from claiming their bags. The breach in security cost “tens of millions of dollars” according to the Hartsfield operations manager.

His foolish decision created enormous problems that cost millions of dollars. Sometimes we don’t realize that our decisions will create either good or bad consequences. It’s true when it comes to getting married, handling our money, and thousands of other decisions. Sooner or later everyone will sit at the banquet of consequences (see Proverbs 1:29-31).

In many cases, an impulsive decision is usually a wrong one. It’s best to take your time and think ahead about the consequences of your decision before making it. God’s Word has much to say about how to live and make correct decisions. But you will need to have the guts to take the right path when it seems like everyone else is going in the opposite direction.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net


Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Having Two Identities

You know who Clark Kent is, don’t you? He’s the mild-mannered newspaper reporter for the Daily Planet. But he also has another identity. He’s Superman. (Forget about those other guys in the movies who tried to play him. That’s the REAL Superman in the picture.)

I loved the disguise he wore—a pair of glasses. Once he put on those glasses, no one knew that he was actually Superman. He had an identity as a newspaper reporter on planet Earth but had supernatural powers because he came from the planet Krypton. Whenever he needed to rescue someone, he ran into a phone booth or alley, took off his glasses—and I guess he must have worn that outfit under his clothes—but he came out with his new identity as Superman.

Clark Kent and Superman is just a story, but in some ways that’s a picture of a Christian’s dual identity. We have an identity here on earth through our physical birth, but we also have a heavenly identity though our spiritual birth, which gives us supernatural power. Romans 8:11 says “The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.” Jesus was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit and that same Spirit lives inside of you. That’s supernatural power.

Here’s another fact about your identity as a believer. “If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). Although people may recognize you by your physical appearance, God sees you as one of His children.

Two identities—you have an identity from earth and an identity from heaven. See yourself as God sees you. Believe everything that God says about you. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. As you grow as a child of God, you will learn more and more about who you really are. And that’s the truth that sets you free!

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

When the Good Guy Loses

Why do bad things happen to good people? In the Bible sometimes the good guy loses—or at least it appears that way at the moment. You will never lose by following God, even if it looks like failure from a human point of view. Here are 6 examples of the “good guy” losing. Interestingly, all names start with the letter J.

1. Jonathan was David’s best friend and was killed in battle by the bad guys, the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:2). The good guy died. Jonathan was King Saul’s son and was heir to the throne, but his death allowed David to become king.

We tend to think everyone is guaranteed 70 years of life but we aren’t guaranteed the next day (see James 4:13-15). Sometimes innocent people die at young ages and God doesn’t explain why. Jonathan is an example of young man who loved God but died seemingly too soon.

2. John the Baptist was thrown into prison for speaking truth and Herod had him beheaded (Mark 6:27). Speaking God’s truth will sometimes result in being persecuted and martyred. He was not a failure but Jesus said he was the greatest prophet (Matt. 11:11).

3. Josiah was a good king but was killed in a battle he shouldn’t have been fighting (2 Chron. 35:20-24). What can we learn from this? Don’t fight battles that God hasn’t called you to fight.

4. Joseph was betrayed and sold into slavery, then was falsely accused and thrown in prison. The Bible says “the Lord was with him” even though his circumstances didn’t look that way. God used his adverse circumstances to get him to the right place and then promoted him to be a ruler in Egypt.

5. James, the brother of John, was imprisoned and put to death with a sword, while Peter was imprisoned and miraculously set free (Acts 12:1-10). Why did God send an angel to set Peter free but not James? God doesn’t have the same plan for everyone so stop comparing your situation with those who seem to have it better.

6. Jesus was sinless but was betrayed, falsely accused, and crucified. God’s plan wasn’t thwarted. He became the Savior and paid for the sins of the world, was resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right of God the Father.

Sometimes the “good guy and gal” have bad things happen to them, but if you are submitted to the Lord, He always has the last word. Through His amazing sovereignty He will overrule the injustice and use it for His purposes. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net


Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Following Jesus by Not Following Jesus

When I first became a Christian I was told that I needed to “follow Jesus.” I wondered, "How am I supposed follow Jesus when He isn't physically on earth anymore?" I found the answer in Mark 5.

A man was so possessed with demons that he could break chains that were used to bind him. Jesus cast the demons out of the man into a herd of pigs, which rushed over a cliff and into the sea. As Jesus was getting into the boat to leave, the formerly demonized man begged to go with Him.

Jesus wouldn’t let him go. Instead, He said, “Go back home to your own people and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Jesus knew he could make a bigger impact by sharing his testimony back home rather than going with Him. The man was following Jesus by obeying Him—and not by physically following Him.

How do we follow Jesus today? By obeying God’s Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who indwells all true believers. You don’t have to become a missionary in a foreign country to follow Jesus. You can do the same as this man—share Jesus where you live right now with the people you already know. If everyone would do this we could evangelize the world in a matter of days.


Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Secondhand Faith

If you own a secondhand coat, you weren’t the original owner but received it from someone who was. A secondhand faith doesn’t connect directly with God but imitates someone else’s faith. Some Jewish exorcists who were not true believers in Jesus tried to cast out a demon using His name. They said, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-16). The demon knew their faith wasn’t genuine but was an imitation.

These exorcists saw Paul casting out demons so they copied the words he used. Many people today don’t have genuine saving faith but will say the same words their Christian parents used. Their faith isn’t connected directly with God. They attend church because they were brought up going to church, but they don’t live like they believe in Jesus. They’ve deceived themselves into thinking they are Christians because of their secondhand faith.

Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:14). Someone living at that time was teaching Jesus was Elijah—and even had followers who believed the same thing. These people got their secondhand faith from a false teacher.

Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus said, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17). Peter got his firsthand faith from God's direct revelation to him.

Many people will stand before Jesus on Judgment Day and will be shocked to discover that their faith was secondhand (See Matthew 7:17-23). To find out how to have firsthand faith click here.

NEW BIBLE STUDY: “Why did Jesus talk about Himself in third person?” (Matt. 13:41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom…”)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.