Sunday, July 5, 2020

Getting Along with the Skunk in Your Life


The grizzly bear is the most feared animal in the forest. It can terminate the life of any other creature with one swipe of its paw. But there’s one animal the grizzly bear will not attack. He has even allowed this animal to eat with him, although it is his adversary.

The animal I am talking about is the skunk. The grizzly bear doesn’t like the skunk, but he has decided it’s better to coexist with him than to create a stink. Sometimes it’s better to learn how to get along with the difficult person in your life than fight him and make your situation even worse.

If your problem is a co-worker or your boss, it’s better to get along with that person than to quit your job. Many people get irritated by the nuisance they work with, and in a moment of frustration quit their jobs. They end up only hurting themselves. It’s better to tolerate the situation than to be unemployed with no income. 

God has a purpose for the skunk in your life. That’s why He assigned you a seat next to him. He’s teaching you how to love skunks. “You yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thess. 4:9). It’s easy to love the lovely, but what about the skunk in your life? God will show you how to do it. Just don’t create a stink with him.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at 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, June 28, 2020

God Appointed You to Live on Earth at This Time


In 1864 during the Civil War, Henry was a student at Virginia Military Institute. When the Union army attempted to destroy a railroad that brought supplies to them, the VMI cadets were called up by the Confederate army to engage them at the Battle of New Market.
     During the battle, Henry was struck in the stomach by a Minni ball, but instead of penetrating his skin, the bullet miraculously bounced off. If the bullet had entered his body, he would have died in battle due to lack of medical aid. If he had died, you wouldn’t be reading this. Henry Stuart Crockett was my great grandfather. If he had died, I wouldn’t be here today.

If you climb up your family tree, you’ll find someone who barely escaped death. If that person had died, you would not exist. You are not here by accident. God determined when you would live on earth and where you would live. “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). Out of all the centuries you could have been born, God appointed you to live at this time.

The Lord also created you with a purpose to fulfill. King David “served the purpose of God in his own generation” (Acts 13:36). Just as David accomplished God’s will during his time on earth, the Lord has a purpose for you to fulfill. If you will seek Him, He will show you your purpose in life. It’s not too late for you to get started.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at 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, June 21, 2020

Two Ways to Serve God and Others


Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Sometimes we’re so busy serving the Lord, and maybe even doing an excellent job, but we don’t do it with a joyful attitude. The Sunday School Times told of an elderly Christian mother who was a shut-in, and had two daughters clean her house.

She said, “My two daughters take turns cleaning my small home. Jean comes and makes everything shine. Yet she leaves the impression that I’m an awful burden. But when Mary comes, no matter how dull the day or how low my spirit, she’s so cheery that my heart is tuned to singing. Above all, she makes me feel that she loves me. They’re both Christians, but what a difference in their attitudes! Mary has the extra touch of grace and does everything with a loving heart.”

One daughter served joyfully, while the other served because she felt obligated. The daughter serving grudgingly made her mother feel worthless, but the one serving joyfully made her feel valued.
Does it bother God when we don’t serve Him joyfully? Moses told Israel, "Because you didn't serve the Lord your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything, your will serve your enemies the Lord will send against you" (Deut. 28:47-48). Looks like our attitude does make a difference to Him.

Do you have a servant’s heart? Elisabeth Elliot said, “The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.” I might add, "and if you’re serving joyfully so you can please the Lord."
Over 270 printable Bible studies at 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, June 14, 2020

Words Can Wound or Heal

It’s like a page taken from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Traci, who was a member of our church, sat by the side of our city’s swimming pool watching her son swim. Suddenly, her leg started bleeding profusely! Blood quickly covered her leg for no apparent reason. No knives or glass were anywhere nearby. She hadn’t even moved, so she couldn’t have caused this bleeding herself.

She was taken to the hospital where doctors discovered the reason for her mysterious stigma. They pulled a bullet out of her leg! Someone had shot a bullet into the air, apparently thinking that bullets only go up and never come down. But this bullet did come down—into her leg.

Many people shoot bullets from their mouths, never realizing the wounds they’re causing to others. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). We have the power in our mouths to bless or destroy. Show me a marriage or a church that’s being torn apart, and I’ll show you a marriage or a church that’s speaking destructive words to fight one another. 

A wife told her husband, “When you talk to me that way, it’s like you’re sticking a knife in my heart.” Destructive words will damage relationships like a sword can cut, but encouraging words will heal relationships. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18).

Do your words wound others, or do they heal? Think before you speak.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at 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, June 7, 2020

A Brilliant Plan to Win the War


One of the cleverest secret plans during WWII was Operation Mincemeat. In 1943, Great Britain planned to invade Sicily, but they had to convince the Germans and Italians the attack would happen elsewhere. They dressed a corpse in a Royal Marines uniform and named him Major William Martin. Planted on him was a cryptic letter detailing an impending invasion of Greece and Sardinia. The fake military document was supposedly intended for the British commander-in-chief in North Africa.

The corpse was transported by submarine and released off the coast of Spain near the shore. As expected, the body washed up on a beach, which the Spanish government believed was a secret courier. They turned the letter over to German military intelligence, which convinced them Sicily wasn’t going to be invaded. The Nazis reacted to the ruse and moved their troops to Greece and Sardinia.

The plan worked. British troops landed in Sicily, helping to end the war in Europe and paving the way for the June 6 D-Day invasion. Major William Martin, a man who never existed, played a significant role in winning WWII.

As brilliant as that plan was, God’s plan to win the war for your soul, Operation Save the World, was even more ingenious. “This Man (Jesus) delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross…to put Him to death, and God raised Him up” (Acts 2:23-24). Satan thought if he could stir up people to kill Jesus, that would be end of Him, and the devil would rule the world forever.

But God outsmarted him. He allowed Jesus to be crucified, so that He became the sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 1:29). Then God resurrected Him from the dead to win the war for souls, and now He lives forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Only one thing is left to complete the plan of salvation for you. You must receive Jesus as your Lord, and then you will be on the winning side for all eternity.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at 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 31, 2020

The Way That Seems Right



Years ago before GPS, my wife and I were traveling in our car to a retreat in North Carolina. She had been to the retreat center a year before, but I hadn’t been there. On the way she said, “This road doesn’t seem right. I don’t remember going this way last year.” I told her, “The road map says we’re on the right highway.”

Later we came to an intersection. Cindy said, “It seems like we need to be turning left.” Again I looked at the map. “The map says we’re supposed to turn right here.” Trying to keep from laughing, I asked, “Do you think we should follow the map, or what seems right?” She giggled. We followed the map’s directions and arrived at our destination, just like it said.  

It reminded me of the verse, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:29). Many people travel through life guided solely by what seems right to them. They’re only thinking about having fun, doing whatever they want, and never thinking about where the road is leading them. It won’t end well for them.

God provided the Bible as our road map to guide us through life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It teaches us about relationships, decision-making, marriage, salvation, and how to live. And it’s always right, even when our feelings try to pull us in the wrong direction.

So when you need guidance, ask yourself, “What does the Bible say about this?” God will show you the right way to go. Just follow His directions. 
www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 
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Last week we looked at the Sadducees and what they believed.
This week’s BIBLE STUDY: Who Were the Pharisees?  

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

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Deceived Person Doesn't Know He's Deceived


The Humane Society in Battle Creek, Michigan, received a phone call about two ducks that were trapped by the ice on a frozen pond. Manager Mike Pearson rushed to pond, inched his way out on the ice and rescued the ducks. Both wooden decoys are expected to survive.

Not everything that looks real is real. A deceived person believes things that aren’t true. Herod heard about Jesus doing miracles and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has risen from the dead and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him” (Matt. 14:2).

Herod had John’s head cut off while he was in prison (14:10). The king knew John was dead, but now he believed that John rose from the dead and put his head back on! Herod believed John rose from the dead, which wasn’t true. But when Jesus actually did rise from the dead, he didn’t believe in His resurrection, which was true.

God used Paul and Barnabas to heal a man who had never walked. The people said, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us” (Acts 14:11). They wrongly believed Paul and Barnabas were the pagan Greek gods, Hermes and Zeus, and worshipped them. But then some agitators from Antioch and Iconium deceived them in a different way, and convinced them to stone Paul (14:19). Deception not only leads people to the wrong conclusions, but also to the wrong actions.

Is it possible that you believe things that aren’t true? It’s always wise to pray, “Lord, if I am deceived about something, please show me the truth.” Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett