Monday, July 21, 2014

The Ark of the Covenant

You’re probably seen the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Have you ever wondered why God told Moses to make the Ark of the Covenant? Hebrews 9:4 tells us “the Ark of the Covenant (was) covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” Each thing represented something about God.

The tablets of the Ten Commandments that Moses received on Mount Sinai = God’s Law
The jar of manna from the wilderness = God’s provision
Aaron’s rod that miraculously budded = God’s miracles. Aaron was the first high priest who would represent Israel before God.
The cover (or lid) of the Ark was called the mercy seat = God’s mercy.
The mercy seat had two golden cheribum (angels) with outstretched wings = God’s presence. The Ark was the connection between God in heaven and man on earth.

One day out of the year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and would sprinkle blood on the top of the Ark of the Covenant—the mercy seat. The mercy seat was over the tablets of the Ten Commandments, which were inside the Ark. When people sinned the Law was broken, which required God’s judgment. But when the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, this act demonstrated that the blood activated God’s mercy, and that mercy triumphed over judgment (James 2:13). Without the blood there would be no mercy.

The Ark in the Old Testament was an object lesson to teach us about Christ’s redemption in the New Covenant. We have all broken God’s Law and need forgiveness. Immediately after Jesus died on the cross, He took His blood into the Holy of Holies in heaven and placed it on the Mercy Seat to obtain eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:11-12). Now salvation is available to everyone who will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord. For more on the Ark, read the sermon “Don’t Touch That Ark!” and Where is the Ark of the Covenant today?

NEW STUDY: Where is the Ark of the Covenant today? The Ark disappeared from the tabernacle in 587 B.C.  In 1981, three rabbis claimed they found it under the Temple Mount. This study includes a video of their discovery! MUST WATCH

SERMON: “Don’t Touch that Ark!” Why did God kill Uzzah for touching the Ark? This message shows how need to learn from his mistake.
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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Have You Been Brainwashed?

Webster's dictionary defines brainwashed as "to indoctrinate so intensely and thoroughly as to effect a radical transformation of beliefs and mental attitudes." When we hear the word "brainwashed," we normally think of a commune of people who can't think for themselves because they’re in a cult.  They blindly follow the orders of their domineering leader whose chief aim is to be exalted and control others.

But what about the not-so-obvious forms of brainwashing? Is it possible the news media and other TV programs are trying to brainwash their viewers by slandering those who don't line up with their agenda?  When a girl in high school is pressured to compromise her beliefs to be popular, isn't that also a form of brainwashing? Can it even happen in legalistic churches? Here are some common denominators in brainwashing:
1) Following a leader primarily out of fear of upsetting him 
2) Feeling pressured to think or act a certain way
3) Being belittled if you don't to conform
4) The loss of spiritual joy and freedom
5) Feeling guilty, even when you haven’t done anything wrong
6) Not growing closer to the Lord in spite of being highly involved in the organization
God has called us to freedom, not bondage (Gal. 5:13). Jesus told His disciples, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). If you’re not free, you are not experiencing the truth.

But I'd like to present a different idea about being brainwashed. Our minds are unclean and we need to have them washed!  Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse our guilty consciences and set us free. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14).

Although Jesus shed His blood 2,000 years ago, He can cleanse your mind with His blood today "through the eternal Spirit" who transcends time. Do you need your brains washed? Get honest with God, admit your sins to Him, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

NEW BIBLE STUDIES
When did Satan enter Judas? Did the devil enter him once or twice?
What does “poor in spirit”mean?  It’s not about your finances!

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

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blessing Those Who Sneeze?

Not long ago I was in a meeting when someone sneezed. Three people said, “God bless you!”
Have you ever wondered why people say “God bless you” after someone sneezes? It’s even weirder when someone speaks the German word “Gesundheit.” We’ve learned to bless people who sneeze because we were taught growing up that it’s the polite thing to do.

So where did this idea come from? The custom of blessing people who sneezed goes back to the Dark Ages when people believed that sneezing was expelling a demon from one’s body. Speaking God’s blessing supposedly prevented the evil spirit from re-entering the person. Pope Gregory the Great popularized the “sneeze blessing” to ward off the bubonic plague, where sneezing was a symptom of the disease. Of course, blessing the sneezer is a superstition and the practice is not found in the Bible.

It just goes to show that we often do things out of tradition and never think, “WHY am I doing this?” Even in church we can follow the traditions of men instead of God’s Word. If you try to break the man-made tradition to follow a new way where God is leading, some people will protest, “We’ve never done it that way before!”

The Pharisees revered their traditions over God’s Word. Jesus rebuked them, “And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matt. 15:3). Jesus never said to bless those who sneeze, but He did say, Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you(Luke 6:28). That’s the command we need to obey, not the other.


The Sure Cure for Worry proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the things that worry you.

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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Going the Extra Mile

Jesus said, "Whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two" (Matt. 5:41). He was referring to the law where a Roman soldier could compel any Jew to carry his backpack for one mile. The pack was called a sarcina and weighed 66 pounds. If you refused to carry it, you would be flogged.

Imagine being on your way to your destination when a Roman soldier orders you to carry his 66-pound pack. It would be hard enough to carry it for one mile but now Jesus tells you to carry it an extra mile. So now you must carry it two miles and then walk two miles back to your original starting point, which now makes four miles. (Remember, you're walking under a heavy load and not driving a car.)

Let's say you've carried the pack for a mile and the soldier says, "You can put it down now."  You reply, "I want to carry this for you for another mile." The soldier curiously asks, "Why would you want to do that?" You answer, "Jesus told me to do this for you." Now you have an opportunity to share your faith with this Roman soldier as you walk that extra mile. By going above and beyond your expected duty, his heart opens and is receptive to what you have to say. There's no telling how many Roman soldiers became Christians during that second mile.

We don't carry packs for Roman soldiers anymore, but the principle of going the extra mile is still applicable to us today. Do more than what people are expecting at your job, at home, and in your relationships.  When husbands and wives are fighting each other their hearts can become closed toward each other. However, when you choose to go the extra mile out of your way to bless your spouse, your hearts will open up to each again. Keep doing things that will please your spouse and you can save your marriage and make it enjoyable again. Going the extra mile at your job just might keep you from getting laid off.

When we obey what Jesus asks us to do we will see Him act supernaturally in our situation. It’s not the first mile where miracles occur. It’s the second mile

Slaying Your Giants explains how to defeat 20 “invisible giants” that you battle in your mind.

The Sure Cure forWorry proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the things that worry you.

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How NOT to Make Decisions

Jurors in Kentucky couldn't decide whether or not to convict a man of murder—so they flipped a coin and found him guilty! The lawyer for the defendant said, "It's scary to think that twelve people would decide to flip a coin to reach a verdict, especially in a murder case." The judge threw out the decision and ordered a new trial. 

On an episode of House Hunters, a couple flipped a coin to decide whether to buy a more expensive house or a lesser priced one. The coin landed on “tails.” That’s how NOT to make a decision. Many people place their destiny in the hands of fate instead of the hands of God. Here is God’s way to make decisions.

1. Pray for wisdom. God always knows what we need to do, even when we don’t. James 1:5-7 says He will give direction if we will ask in faith.

2. Consider your options.  Think through your situation and list every possible option to take. Jesus said to first sit down, which settles down our emotions so we can think clearly. Then calculate the cost, which means to do a background check on the potential situation (see Luke 14:28-32).

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to point you to the right path. Psalm 32:8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you."

4. Walk in the light you have. Sometimes it's a spotlight while at other times it's a flicker we can barely see. Walk in the light that God provides.

After deciding don't look back and question your decision. Doubting yourself will only cause problems after you have already made the correct decision. (see Luke 9:62)  Remember that decisions produce consequences. Good decisions will result in good consequences. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

NEW BIBLE STUDY at Making Life Count Ministries: 

Slaying Your Giants explains how to defeat 20 “invisible giants” that you battle in your mind.
The Sure Cure for Worry proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the things that worry you.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net 
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Umpire in Your Heart

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart and acts as an umpire to guide you down the right paths. When you are making a decision He will lead you through the desires in your heart (Psalm 37:4) and the peace in your heart. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." The Greek word for "rule" means "to act as an umpire."

In a baseball game, the umpire is the one who decides whether you are safe or out. In the same way, when you praying about what to do, having an abiding peace in your heart gives the assurance that you’re on the right track, and a lack of peace in your heart is a warning that something isn’t right. A lack of peace in your heart can be for one of three reasons:

1. It might be God’s will, but you need to get some questions answered first. The umpire is telling you to do more investigating of the situation to clear up some issues. If you can resolve those uncertainties, God will give you peace to proceed.

2. It might be God’s will, but the timing is not right. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…He has made everything appropriate in its time.” A lack of peace may mean the umpire is saying you need to wait for further guidance.

3. It is not God’s will and the Holy Spirit has removed your peace. If it isn’t God’s will, the umpire is telling you no by shouting “you’re out!” He is giving a warning that you are heading down the wrong path.

Submit yourself to God and let Him direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). He knows the future and His peace, or lack of peace, is one of the ways He will guide youwww.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  

NEW BIBLE STUDY at Making Life Count Ministries: 
What does “the earth is full of God’s glory” mean? Isaiah 6:3 says that the earth is full of God’s glory. With all the evil in the world, how can it be filled with God’s glory? What does it mean?

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

How Strong is the Radio Signal?

When you're driving your car and listening to a radio station, you’ll get the clearest signal when you're closest to the tower. It’s easy to hear the station’s music because you are near to the source. But if you're driving out of town and going away from the tower, the radio signal gets weaker and starts breaking up. When you stop hearing that station, you’ll start picking up radio signals from other stations.

That's what happens in the spiritual realm. When we are spiritually close to God, we are able to clearly hear Him. But if we start drifting away, or if we're deliberately running away from God, the signal gets weaker and it becomes hard to hear His voice. It’s at that point we become susceptible to hearing voices that are contrary to God. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).  

Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). His sheep hear Him speak because they are following Him. When we stop following, we stop hearing.

Are you away from God? If you want to hear His voice again, turn the car around and start heading in His direction. As you draw close to Him in your heart, you will begin to hear His voice speaking to you again. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8). He wants to speak to you but He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. You must make the first move by seeking His face and then He will respond by drawing near to you. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

2 NEW BIBLE STUDIES at Making Life Count Ministries: 
What does “a land flowing with milk and honey” mean? For years I heard that phrase and never knew what it meant. Do you know?

What is the difference between the “Day of the Lord” and the “Day of Christ”? These two terms mean something different in Bible prophecy.

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