Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Humility Test, Part 2

Jesus said, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). The Humility Test will reveal areas of pride in our hearts. See last week for Part 1.

Question #5: Do you have trouble submitting to authority? Yes or No
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” (1 Peter 2:13,18). Anyone can submit if we agree with those in authority, it’s when those masters are unreasonable that we have the problem. The only way we can submit to unreasonable authorities is through a humble heart that seeks to please the Lord.

Question #6: Are you unwilling to do humiliating jobs? Yes or No
Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all” (Mark 10:43–44). This statement was revolutionary. No one had ever taught humility was a virtue and a slave was important.

Humility is willing to do any job God asks no matter how insignificant or undignified it might be. Being a servant doesn’t necessarily mean having a lowly position, but having a lowly heart. A person can be in a high position and still maintain a servant’s heart.

Question #7: Do you look down on anyone? Yes or No
Pride sets itself up in a higher position so it can look down on others. Humility never looks down on anyone. God tells us to regard others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Humility doesn’t mean we put ourselves down, but we lift others up. All people are equally valuable in God’s eyes, but from our viewpoint others should be considered as more significant.

Question #8: Do you brag about your strengths instead of weaknesses? Yes or No
Admitting our weaknesses opens the way to receive God’s power. Paul said, “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Cor. 12:9). Although it’s tempting to brag about our achievements, it’s better to keep silent and let the accomplishments speak for themselves. A chicken lays one egg and cackles about it, while a salmon lays 10,000 eggs and doesn’t say a word.

Grading Your Test
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, those are areas of pride in your life. “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:5–6)

The only one who can humble “yourself” is yourself. Humility shines the spotlight on God, not ourselves. 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, January 15, 2017

The Humility Test, Part 1

Jesus said, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). We have tests for nearly everything in life, but what about a test for pride? The Humility Test will detect areas of pride in our hearts.

Question #1: Do you depend on yourself more than God? Yes or No
Humility means being completely dependent on God to strengthen us (Rom. 5:2). A pastor was riding on a bus seated next to a college student. The minister asked, “Are you spiritually ready for the temptations that you’ll face in college?”
“I won’t have a problem,” the student replied, “I have strong willpower.”
The minister said, “I can make a pencil stand up on this book cover even though the road is bumpy.” The student said, “No way. You can’t do it.”
The pastor held the pencil up with his hand. The student said, “But you didn’t tell me you would hold it with your hand.” The pastor said. “Have you ever seen a pencil stand up on its own without someone holding it?” He let go of the pencil, which instantly fell over. The minister told him, “The only way you can stand is if God is holding you up with His hand.”

Question #2: Do you get upset when you don’t receive recognition? Yes or No
Pride loves to be worshipped. It craves attention and is greatly offended when it is overlooked. Jesus asked the Pharisees, “How can you believe when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” (John 5:44). It’s not wrong to graciously receive recognition for job well done but don’t take pride in it.

Question #3: Do you think you deserve a higher position? Yes or No
When we humble ourselves, we understand that God determines who gets promoted and who doesn’t. “For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another” (Psalm 75:6). This means we shouldn’t be envious of those who are promoted, or be the least bit upset if we are passed over for promotion. Advancing to a higher position is ultimately in God’s hands.

Question #4: Do you compare yourself with others to find your self-worth? Yes or No
“When they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12). If we compare ourselves with others we will become proud or discouraged—and neither are from God.   To be continued next week….

For more about the Humility Test and God rewarding humble people in heaven read Making Today Count for 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, January 8, 2017

Remembering & Forgetting, Part 2

Remembering means we choose the thoughts we dwell on. God wants us to remember some things and forget some things. Remembering will bring up feelings from the past—whether they’re good or bad.

Deut. 6:12 says, “Watch yourself that you do not forget the Lord.” Some people can go through the whole day and never think about God. Some can go an entire week without thinking about Him. We forget God by widening the gaps in time when we think about Him. We need to recall these three things:

1. Remember God’s faithfulness. God told Israel to remember how He faithfully led them through the wilderness (Deut.8:2). If we don’t remember God in the wilderness (hard times), then we won’t remember Him in the Promised Land (good times). If you are going through a time of uncertainty, remember that “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24).

2. Remember God’s goodness. A man gave some candy to a little girl. The girl didn't say anything, so her mother said, "What do you say?" The girl said, "Do you have any more?" When God blesses us we need to remember to thank Him. 

Before Israel entered the Promised Land, God told them, “You will bless (thank) the Lord your God for the good land He has given you” (Deut. 8:10). He then warned them that they might forget Him after they received all His blessings: “Beware lest you forget the Lord your God…lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them…when all that you have multiplies, then your heart becomes proud and you forget the Lord your God” (Deut. 8:11-14). Remember that God is the source of your blessings.

3. Remember that you’re God’s child.  When you received Jesus as your Lord, you became His child, He forgave all your sins, gave you eternal life, and gave you His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). You have a new status in God’s eyes. Don’t forget that.

I’ve learned that I can remember these things by reading His Word every day, staying in contact with Him through prayer, and recalling all the good things He has done for me. It will work for you too. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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WATCH MUSIC VIDEO “No Longer Slaves to Fear” by 3b4joy

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Remembering & Forgetting, Part 1

A sign in a psychiatrist’s office read “Amnesia patients must pay in advance.” God wants us to remember some things and forget some things. The problem is we forget the things we need to remember, and we remember the things we are supposed to forget. Forgetting means that we choose to let go and stop thinking about a bad memory so we can get on with life. The apostle Paul told us, “Forgetting what lies behind” (Phil. 3:13). Here are 3 things to forget:

1. Forget your past sins. Do you feel guilty about something you did? When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, He forgave all your sins and wiped the slate completely clean. God says, “I will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12). We have no right to remember what God has forgotten.

2. Forget your past hurts. If you hold on to your hurts, you will eventually become bitter. Unforgiveness means you won’t let go of what someone did to you. Stop hitting the “play” button on the DVR in your mind. Make a decision to let go of your hurt, place the hurtful situation in God’s hands and stop talking about it.

3. Forget your past regrets. Regret means you keep kicking yourself over decisions you should have made, or shouldn’t have made. However, your decision or indecision didn’t take God by surprise. Ephesians 1:11 says God “works all things after the counsel of His will.” You can’t change anything in your past, but God can lead you from where you are right now

The rest of your life can be the best of your life if you’ll stop recalling things God wants you to forget. Next week we’ll examine things we need to remember. 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, December 24, 2016

Light Came Into a Dark World

Darkness is the absence of light. This world was in darkness, so God decided to send a Light into the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Did you catch that? He’s the only person who brought the light of God’s revelation to the entire world. We celebrate the birth of Jesus because He is the Light of the world.

Darkness is also the absence of life. People are in darkness because they are excluded from the life of God. “Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them” (Eph. 4:18). “In (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4) Jesus came to earth to bring light (revelation of God’s truth) and (spiritual) life.

Why do some people reject the Light and want to remain in darkness? Three reasons.
1. They don’t understand who Jesus is. “And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). Most people have heard of Jesus, but they don’t understand that He was God in a human body and He came to earth to save them for their sins so they can spend eternity with Him. This is why we need to share about Him to others.

2. Their minds are made up and are unwilling to change. Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). When the Pharisees saw Jesus performing miracles, they were unwilling to believe and follow Him because their hearts were hard (Mark 3:5-6).

3. They love darkness because their deeds are evil. Light drives out darkness. “The Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). When you follow Jesus, you choose to walk away from darkness (evil behavior) and your life will change. “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).    
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Old Testament Christmas Story

The Christmas story was written in the Old Testament 700 years before Jesus' birth. God’s prophets looked into the future and wrote down how to identify the coming Messiah (Savior). I believe God in the flesh walked on this planet and that's why I live to please Him. Consider these prophecies:

He will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:12, Matt. 2:1) Out of all the cities in world, the prophet Micah pinpointed His birthplace.

He will be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23) Isaiah recorded 38 things the Messiah would do. The prophet predicted His mother would become pregnant without a father.

He will be called out of Egypt. (Hosea 11:1, Matt. 2:13-15). Joseph and Mary were told by God to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath until he died. The Lord then told them to return, fulfilling Hosea's prophecy: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

He will rule over an eternal kingdom. (Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1:32-33). Jesus existed in heaven before He came to earth. He died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven where He rules over His eternal kingdom. You can be saved by receiving Him into your heart.

To read more prophecies about the Messiah click here
Watch this music video "A Christmas Hallelujah" (click 0040)
 www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Joseph's Side of the Story

You’ve heard the Christmas story a hundred times. Everyone hears about baby Jesus, Mary, the angels, the shepherds, and the wise men. But what about Joseph? He’s often overlooked, but is a great role model for us:

1. Joseph loved grace more than justice. Put yourself in his shoes. He finds out his bride-to-be was pregnant and the only natural explanation was she had cheated on him. I’m sure Mary explained that the angel Gabriel informed her that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and she would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35). But that was a hard pill to swallow.

If he had exposed her publicly, the Law commanded that she be stoned to death (Dt. 22:23-24). Joseph was “a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly” (Matt. 1:19). Joseph decided to send her away secretly because he loved grace more than judgment.

2. Joseph trusted the Lord more than his own logic. His plan was interrupted when an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained that she really was conceived on the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20-23). Joseph believed the divine message even though it made no sense. A virgin conceiving had never happened before. There will be times when you will also need to trust the Lord more than your own logic (Prov. 3:5-6).  

3. Joseph accepted his supporting role in life. Some people have leading roles in life while others have supporting roles. Both roles are equally as important. Joseph accepted his role as her husband. By taking her to be his wife, it appeared to others that he had gotten her pregnant. How would it sound to say, “An angel told me that no human got her pregnant.” No one would believe that story. Sometimes you have to do what is right even if only God knows the truth!

Joseph ignored the gossip being said about him and Mary because pleasing the Lord was more important to him than his own reputation.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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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
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett