Saturday, January 13, 2018

What Does "Washing Feet" Mean Today?

In Jesus’ day people wore sandals and walked on dusty roads which made their feet filthy. This made it necessary for their feet to be washed every day. At the last supper, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash on another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

Jesus did this to leave us “an example.” Does this mean we should be washing people’s feet today? In those days they walked on dirty roads. Today we ride in cars on paved roads, so there’s no need to wash feet. I know of a church that washes people feet every Sunday because Jesus said this. They miss the point. It’s an example that goes beyond changes in culture.

First, it’s an example of humility. In those days washing other people’s feet was a slave’s job. Jesus said, “A slave is not greater than his master” (13:16) and washed their feet. If no job was too humiliating for Jesus, no job should be beneath us.

Second, it’s an example of serving others. Jesus did not say, “If I wash your feet, you can serve Me by washing My feet.” He said wash other people's feet. In other words, the way we serve God is to serve others. So what does “washing feet” mean today? 

It could mean mowing someone’s yard, cleaning a bathroom, fixing someone’s flat tire, shoveling snow off your neighbor’s driveway, or taking a meal to a sick person. Ask God what He wants you to do. So have you washed any feet lately?  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

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Every Knee Will Bow

December 17, 2017 marked the 6th anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, the former leader of the North Korea and father of current dictator Kim Jong-un. In freezing weather, thousands of North Koreans carrying flowers bowed down to two enormous bronze statues of Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather (see photo).

It reminds me of when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar built a gigantic statue and commanded everyone to bow down to it (Dan. 3:1-27). Three Jewish captives, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to it and were thrown into a fiery furnace. God protected and rescued them from the fire.

One day every knee will bow to Jesus. “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil.2:10-11).

Think about it. Everyone in history will bow their knees to Him. When will this happen? His followers will joyfully do this—perhaps at the moment we enter heaven or possibly at the Judgment Seat of Christ when we are rewarded (2 Cor. 5:10). Satan and every demon will also bow and confess Jesus is Lord. Everyone who rejected Him will defiantly admit He is Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). This doesn’t mean they will be saved at this time but it will be a confession they were wrong and that He is Lord.

No one has to bow grudgingly. If we’ll willingly “bow now” and receive Him as Lord we’ll joyfully worship Him when we see Him face to face. 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, December 31, 2017

Nathanael Under the Fig Tree

Nathanael was sitting under a fig tree one day. We don’t know the details but he probably prayed, “Lord, can you see me under this fig tree? Can you hear what I’m praying? If you can, I’ll follow wherever you lead me.”

Sometime after that, Philip comes running to him and says, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth…Come and see.” When the Jesus saw him coming He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:45-50)

Although they had never met, Jesus knew everything in his heart. Like a computer program scanning for viruses, He scanned Nathanael’s heart and couldn’t find any deceit. The first words Jesus said to Nathanael must have stunned him: “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Even though Jesus wasn’t anywhere near the fig tree, He saw him there. This was an unmistakable sign to Nathanael that Jesus was the Messiah and the one to follow.

Nathanael said, "You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." Although we usually give credit to Peter as the first to say Jesus was the Son of God (Matt. 16:16), Nathanael was the first disciple to do so. Jesus said, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” Jesus not only saw Nathanael under the fig tree but He also saw his future.

Just as Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree, He sees where you are at this very moment. He knows what you’re going through and wants to lead you through this life. He knows what’s ahead in 2018. If you’ll follow Him like Nathanael did, you will see greater things too—both in this life and the life to come. 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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Prophet Predicted Bethlehem

The prophet Micah, who lived 700 BC, recorded a future event in the Scriptures: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

Out of all the cities in the world, Micah predicted Bethlehem would be the place where the Messiah would be born. Micah’s prophecy also explains the dual nature of Christ—both God and human. The Messiah would be born in a physical body but the prophecy explains He existed in heaven in eternity past. Jesus told us where He came from, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven” (John 6:51).

Centuries passed without the prophecy being fulfilled. Then approximately 720 years later, events began to unfold to bring it to pass. Caesar Augustus issued a decree to tax everyone living under Roman rule. This required everyone in Israel to return to his or her own city to register. Caesar didn’t realize his order would set in motion the fulfilling of Micah’s prophecy.

Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth but both were from the house of David, which meant they had to travel to Bethlehem to register. What were the odds they would arrive in the town at the exact time Mary gave birth to Jesus, which fulfilled Micah’s prophecy from 700 years before? Only God could make that happen. Bethlehem means “house of bread.” The living bread came down from heaven to be born in Bethlehem—the house of bread.

This is just one of many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, proving the Bible is inspired by God. For more about Bible prophecies being fulfilled read The Sure Cure for Worry.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, December 16, 2017

How Did the Shepherds Find Baby Jesus?

You know the story. An angel appeared to some shepherds at night and announced the birth of Jesus saying, “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). That’s it? No further instructions? How did they find Him? Maybe it happened something like this…

In April 2001, my friend Eugene needed his car windshield replaced. The repairman would be coming to town on a Sunday so Eugene left his vehicle at his workplace at 7 am. It was a cold morning and a storm was coming, but for some reason Eugene decided to walk home instead of having his wife pick him up. After walking a few blocks it started to lightly rain and he heard a baby crying in the distance.

As he kept walking, the cries grew louder and sounded desperate. He looked at a nearby bowling alley, which was closed, and noticed a baby stroller parked behind the building. Eugene sprinted to the stroller. Inside was a little baby that had turned blue due to the cold. He ripped off his shirt, quickly wrapped up the infant and called 911 on his cell phone. The police came and took the baby to the hospital.

The baby was too far away from the street to hear from inside a car. Only someone walking down the street could have heard the cries. Just minutes after the police left, it started pouring rain with winds reaching 40 mph. If Eugene hadn’t been walking down that street at that precise time, the baby would have died in the storm. Later it was discovered that a little boy who lived in a nearby apartment complex took the baby for a stroll and left her there.

Did God lead Eugene to find that baby? Yes He did. But Eugene didn’t know God was leading him. The Lord put a thought in Eugene’s mind to walk home in bad weather instead of calling for a ride. And that’s how God guided him to the right place to find the baby.

God did something similar with the shepherds. I believe as they hurried into town the Lord put a thought in their minds to turn left at the tax collector’s office rather than right. As they walked down the street they heard a baby crying and followed the sound to find Jesus.

THE LESSON: If someone wants to find Jesus, God will make sure the person will find Him. And He can lead us by putting thoughts in our minds, even if we are unaware of it. For more about God’s guidance & divine appointments read The Sure Cure for Worry.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's How You Say It

You can control how people respond to you by the way you say it. An Army private was serving apricots in the lunch line to the other soldiers. As the first 100 soldiers passed through he asked, "You don't want any apricots, do you?" Only 10% replied they did.

When the next 100 soldiers came through, he changed the question and asked, "Would you like some apricots?" When asked this way, half the soldiers wanted them. He asked the next 100, "Would you like one bowl of apricots or two?"  This time 50% wanted one bowl and 40% wanted two bowls.

Asking negatively brought a 10% response but asking positively brought a 90% approval. By changing his wording he changed their perception of the apricots. It changed from something they didn't want…to something they wanted…to something so good they wanted more.

This shows that relationships can improve or be destroyed by our words. “From the same mouth proceed blessing (building up) and cursing (tearing down)….these things out not to be so.” (James 3:10). We can bless instead of curse by doing 3 things:

1. Check your motive. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Look inside your heart and make sure you’re “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

2. Choose your words wisely. Think before you speak. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). We can actually heal a wounded person’s soul by first thinking, then speaking.

3. Change your tone of voice. “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1). A gentle answer is a soft tone of voice and calms the other person. Harshness is loud and obnoxious, which evokes anger in the hearer. Can you see how lowering your tone can restore a strained relationship?

Remember, it IS what you say, but it’s also how you say it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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If enjoy these devotionals would you please consider a year-end gift to Making Life Count Ministries? Gifts are tax-deductible.

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How Did the Worm Get in the Apple?

How does a worm get inside an apple? Most people think it burrows in from the outside, but it actually comes from the inside. How does it get there? When the apple blossom is on the tree, an insect comes along and lays an egg in it. As the apple starts growing, the egg hatches inside the heart of the apple and the worm tunnels its way out.

This shows how Satan can plant evil thoughts inside our hearts. The thought can be very tiny at first and even seem innocent. If we don't reject it but instead dwell upon it, the thought will grow inside our hearts. Sin begins in the heart and burrows its way out through our attitudes, words, and actions. Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders" (Matt. 15:19).

Thoughts, both good and bad, lead to actions. The thief thinks about stealing before he robs the store. The slanderer thinks about destroying someone before she spreads vicious gossip. On the other hand, kind people are always thinking about helping others before they bless someone.

Are there any worms living in your heart? Carefully guard it from evil thoughts (Prov. 4:23) and think healthy thoughts instead (Phil. 4:7-8). It will make a difference between a turbulent life and happy life. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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If enjoy these devotionals would you please consider a year-end gift to Making Life Count Ministries? Gifts are tax-deductible.

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