Sunday, April 5, 2020

God Will Show You The Next Step


Worry always concerns things that might happen in the future. You don’t need to know everything about your future. You only need to know where and when to take the next step.

I hated being in second grade, so I asked my father why I had to go to school. He explained, “So you can get to third grade, and then fourth grade, and then later to high school, then college, and then you’ll get a job to support your family.” 
That was NOT what I needed to hear! I was just trying to get through the next day at school, and now my dad was adding even more burdens on me for years to come. It was too much information for me to handle.

That’s why Jesus told His disciples, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). To make life easier, He would reveal things to them a little bit at a time—as they needed to know it. God leads us one step at a time. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God gives enough light to your feet to take the next step. The light keeps moving with you as you take each step, which lights the path to your destination.

After the prophet Elijah stopped the rain in Israel, God led him to the brook Cherith. After the brook dried up, God told him to take the next step—go to Zarephath (1 Kings 17:1-9). The Lord didn’t speak to him about taking the next step until Elijah needed to know it.

When Joshua was leading the people into the Promised Land, they wondered how they could cross the Jordan River. God told Joshua to tell the priests, who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, when to take the next step. When the priests arrived at the Jordan and took the next step into the river, the waters parted for them to cross over (Joshua 3:8-4:18).

God isn’t going to reveal everything that will happen in your future, but if you will seek Him, He will tell you when to take the next step. It’s called walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid. For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear and worry, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Jesus Slept Through the Storm to Make a Point


The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when a violent storm hit. The waves were breaking over the sides and the boat was filling up with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion (Mark 4:38). Did you know this is the only time the Bible says Jesus was asleep? That’s no accident. He was sleeping during the storm to make a point.

Jesus was sleeping the stern, which was the lowest place in the boat. The boat was filling up with water, and the disciples couldn’t bail it out fast enough. As waves crashed into the boat, the water rushed down to the stern. Picture Jesus sleeping as water is filling up the stern. He’s soaking wet, the boat is being tossed from one side to the other, yet He doesn’t wake up! It’s nearly impossible to sleep under those conditions, unless God calms you so much that you can. He might have slept through the entire storm if the disciples hadn’t awakened Him.

When we encounter a storm, we don’t know how dangerous it will get. Some storms have little waves, while others have big waves. This was an intense storm too big for them to handle. It looked like God wasn’t in control. The disciples woke Jesus up and screamed, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:38 NLT) Jesus commanded the winds to be still and the sea became perfectly calm, which proved He was in control of the storm. He demonstrated that He was in charge of their circumstances, whether He was sleeping or awake. 

The disciples were amazed that He could calm the storm simply by speaking words. And He can calm your fears as well by speaking words to your heart. Listen carefully, and you will hear Him whispering those words to your heart, “Peace, be still. Do not be troubled. Do not be afraid.”

Are you trusting God through the storm? You’ll never be able to sleep through the storm like Jesus did until you first rest in the fact that God is in control, even when your boat is filling up with water. God is still with you, even if He appears to be sleeping and unconcerned. It’s just a test. If the Lord doesn’t calm the storm you are going through, He will keep you calm through the storm. Either way removes fear. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid. For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear and worry, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"See That You Are Not Frightened"


Are you worried about the corona virus and what will happen next? When Jesus told His disciples about future events happening at the end of the world, He said, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened” (Matt. 24:6). Jesus picked a worst-case scenario that could be terribly frightening, where He’s talking about wars happening all over the world, and specifically told His followers to KEEP CALM and to not be frightened

Jesus knew His words would be recorded in the Bible so people living in the future, like you, could read them. But do you believe what Jesus said? He wouldn’t tell us to not be frightened in desperate situations unless two things were true.
1. He has control over earthly events. Obviously, He has to be in control of future events or He couldn’t predict them. If He can predict the future, it means He must have control over it.
2. He is watching over each one of us, even when scary things are happening. Again, He couldn’t tell you to not be afraid unless He was present to protect and provide for you.

Jesus also said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28). Did I hear that right? Did Jesus just say not to be afraid—even when someone wants to kill you? Again Jesus instructed His followers to not be afraid.

You cannot worry and trust God at the same time. Faith forces out fear, and trust forces out worry. David said, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). If you don’t trust God to guide you and provide for you, you will live in a constant state of fear, and self-preservation will become your highest priority.

Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid.  For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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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

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Will You Cheat to Get What You Want?


Several years ago, a high school basketball coach in Kansas cheated in a game by making an illegal substitution. One of his players was injured in the first half. At halftime, the coach made the switch. He asked the injured player's identical twin, who was not listed in the official score book, to put on his brother's uniform and pretend to be him. The twins looked so much alike that no one could tell the difference. The twin wore his brother's number and led the team to victory.

But the thrill of victory quickly turned into the agony of deceit. The coach couldn't live with his guilty conscience. "After the game, my conscience bothered me," he said. "What I did wasn't right. I voluntarily turned myself in to the state."

Proverbs 11:1 says, "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight (honesty) is His delight." The false balance refers to when dishonest merchants used two different stone weights to balance their scales. Lighter stones were placed on the scales when selling, so it would give the buyer less product for the price. They switched to heavier stones when buying, so they would receive more for the same price.

Dishonest people believe they'll be better off if they cheat. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on income taxes. Philanderers cheat on their spouses. They don’t realize God is watching and won't let them enjoy what they get. "Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." (Prov. 20:17).

Instead of cheating, try a different approach. Why not do what is honest and trust God with the outcome your situation? It might mean giving up the immediate profit, but don’t forget the end of the story. God has ways of making up the difference for you, both here and in eternity. 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, March 8, 2020

The Worst Trip Ever or The Best Trip Ever?


When my wife Cindy and I went our 25th anniversary cruise, the crew waited on us like we were royalty. We ate gourmet food and watched entertaining shows every night. It was by far the best trip we ever took. 

One day the passengers had to gather at a certain place on the ship to disembark at our next stop. Everyone was waiting in line to go ashore but something caused a delay. After waiting thirty minutes, people started complaining. A grumpy man yelled, “This is the worst cruise I’ve ever been on! The service is terrible.” Then an elderly woman chimed in, “You can say that again. I’ve been on cruises much better than this!”

I whispered to Cindy, “Are we on the same boat as them? This is a trip of a lifetime, visiting tropical islands, away from work, eating the finest food, enjoying fantastic service and great entertainment, and all they can do is complain!” 

The problem wasn’t the food, service, or entertainment, but their ungrateful hearts. As they were complaining about their luxury cruise, God was looking at all the starving people in the world who would love to swap places with them and eat their gourmet food.

The Lord isn’t against going on a cruise, but He does want us to be thankful and to “do everything without grumbling and arguing” (Phil. 2:14 HCSB). Your attitude will make the difference between being on the worst trip ever or the best trip ever.  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, March 1, 2020

Life's a Cinch by the Inch, But Hard by the Yard


Are you stressed out by life’s responsibilities? Jesus said, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matt. 6:34 TLB). He lived one day at a time, and managed His stress on an hourly basis.

Many times He said His “hour had not come” (John 2:4, 7:30, 8:20). He didn’t become distressed until He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when the time arrived for Him to be betrayed. “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood” (Luke 22:4). Luke describes a condition called hematidrosis, where sweat and blood are mingled in extreme cases of stress.

He knew from the beginning He would die for the sins of the world, but you don’t see Him sweating blood every day His life. That’s because He handled His stress on an hourly basis. He dealt with each issue as it came, and not before then.

Stress comes from handling too many responsibilities at once. Let’s say 365 toothpicks represent your responsibilities for every day in a year. If you bundle 365 toothpicks together, you won’t be able to break the bundle in half. If you bundle 30 toothpicks together to represent one month’s responsibilities, you won’t be able to break them in half either.

But if you unbundle the 365 toothpicks and deal with each toothpick one at a time, you’ll be able to break all 365 toothpicks. That’s how God wants us to live—one day at a time. One hour at a time. One toothpick at a time. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: 46 Quotes on Prayer

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

Sunday, February 23, 2020

How to Make Doubts Disappear


After John the Baptist was thrown in prison, he began to wonder if Jesus really was the Messiah. So John sent a message to Jesus asking, “Are You the Expected One or shall we look for someone else?”(Matt. 11:3)

Dear Jesus,
I am writing to inform you that I have been thrown into prison by Herod. I’ve been thinking about all of those things that I had preached about you, even before you began your ministry.
Remember how I told everyone that your winnowing fork was in your hand, and you would thoroughly clean your threshing floor? And remember how I said you would burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire? To me that meant that you would put an end to all injustice. I was counting on you to correct all wrongs.
To be honest, Jesus, I never thought I’d have to write this letter. I was sure you would have straightened things up around here by now. Rumors have it that Herodias wants my head. If you are wondering when to get out your winnowing fork to start cleaning up, now would be a good time. That is, if you are the one we are expecting. 
Respectfully yours,
John the Baptist
P.S. If we are to look for someone else, please let us know.

A few days later, the mailman delivered a letter to John’s jail cell. He anxiously opened it, hoping to receive news that Jesus was arranging for his quick release. Instead, John read:
Dear John the Baptist,
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Agape,
Jesus
P.S. Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.

Jesus wanted him to recall the facts he knew to be true. “John, you know I’ve opened blind eyes. That’s a miracle no one else has ever done. The prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah would do this (Isa. 29:18, 35:5, 42:7). You know I’ve healed paralyzed people and cleansed lepers. I’ve made the deaf to hear and even raised the dead. Who else can do these things except the Messiah? If you will concentrate on these things you know to be true, your doubts will disappear.” (Slaying Your Giants p.38)

Focus your faith on what you know to be true. Not on what you don’t know. That's how you make doubts disappear. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Resolving Conflicts

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