Sunday, June 17, 2018

Parable of the Apple Orchard


A farmer went into town to get a haircut. He brought an apple with him from his orchard to give to the barber. The barber took a bite and said, “This is the most delicious apple that I've ever eaten. Where did you get it?” The farmer replied, “I grew it in my orchard. You can come out and pick as many apples as want. Just call me first and I'll take you out there.”

A couple of weeks later, the barber was driving by the farmer's orchard and remembered his offer to let him pick apples. He got out of his car and picked an apple. He took a bite and it was the most bitter apple he had ever tasted. He went to another tree, grabbed an apple and it too was sour. He tried one more tree and it was no different.

When the farmer came back to get a haircut, the barber said, “I stopped by your orchard and picked some apples, but they were all bitter and not sweet like the one you brought me.”
The farmer said, “Remember, I told you to call me first? I planted bitter apple trees along to road because people kept stopping and stealing my apples. Once they taste my bitter apples, they never come back. The sweet apples are planted further away from the road.”

Satan uses this tactic to keep people away from God. He plants bitter, hypocritical church-goers along the road to keep people from discovering the goodness of God. The hypocrites might not even be saved. Unbelievers are turned off by their hypocrisy saying, “If that's what God is like, I don't want any part of Him!” The unbelievers never go deep enough in their search for God to find out what He is really like.

David said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). I can't taste something for you. You must do it for yourself. Just make sure that you’re sampling the Lord and not a bitter apple that's pretending to be sweet. Once you’ve tasted the true God, you’ll know in your heart that He really is good! 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, June 10, 2018

Staying in the Light


Did you know that a goldfish will lose its color if it doesn’t stay near light? If it stays in darkness for too long or if the light isn’t bright enough, the color of the goldfish begins to fade. Staying in the light is a lesson for us as well.

When Moses was on Mt. Sinai in the Lord’s presence, his face radiated with the glory of the God even after he came down from the mountain (Ex. 33:18-23, 34:29-35). Moses didn’t try to manufacture the brightness with his own ability. The light radiating from his face was a result of being in God’s presence. 

God “has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Unfortunately many believers want to spend time with both light and darkness. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12) So how do we walk in the light? The only way we can reflect the glory of God is to spend time in His presence.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We draw near to Him in our hearts by talking with Him in prayer throughout the day. We regularly read His Word and let Him speak to our hearts. We love Him and worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24) If we don’t actively seek the Lord (in the light), we’ll drift away from Him (into darkness). “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). Drifting away doesn’t mean losing your salvation, but slipping back into our old ways. Then we lose our “color”—our joy, enthusiasm, and strength.

I pray you’ll decide today to stay in the light of God’s presence. He loves you, wants to speak to you, and will guide through this life.  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, June 3, 2018

When a Person's Conscience Stops Working


Have you noticed that many people’s consciences aren’t working? Nearly every week a psychopath shoots up a school, concert, or mall. Violent people are bullying and attacking others on social media using the most hateful and filthy words. Sexual immorality is rampant, even with those who claim to be Christians. Don’t people have consciences anymore? Perhaps the following story explains what has happened.

Years ago I rented an apartment located next to some railroad tracks. I was soundly asleep on the first night when a train came roaring past my room, blaring its horn. Immediately I jumped out of bed with my heart pounding, as I covered my ears to block the noise. After the train passed, it took me a while to get back to sleep.

The next evening, the same thing happened. I covered my head with a pillow and went back to sleep. Each night after that, I briefly woke up and then quickly went to sleep. As I kept ignoring the train horn, I eventually learned to sleep through the night without waking up.

This explains what has happened to many people’s consciences. God has put a conscience inside everyone where people instinctively know the difference between right and wrong. “Their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Rom. 2:15).

When their conscience convicts them they’re doing something wrong, they keep ignoring the warning (like me ignoring the blaring train horn) and they eventually learn to not hear it anymore. Their consciences stop working. The Bible calls this a “seared conscience” (1 Tim. 4:2, Eph. 4:18-19), meaning their conscience loses sensitivity and fails to respond.

We’re seeing an increasing number of people in the world with seared consciences. That’s why they commit mass murders in schools and restaurants. This is why so many people “call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). The only remedy is that they will turn to God and come to repentance. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Beware of Dog"


A salesman was making his first visit to see a farmer. As he walked down a long dirt road he saw a big sign that read, “Beware of Dog.” He paused for a moment and decided to keep going. As he got further down the road he saw another sign: “Warning! BEWARE OF DOG!” He gulped and thought about turning around, but decided to proceed. His longing to make the sale was greater than his fear.

Finally, when he arrived at the farmhouse, he saw a puppy sitting on the front porch, wagging its tail. When the farmer answered the door the salesman asked, “Do you really expect that little dog to keep people away?” “No,” the farmer replied. “I expect the signs to do that.”

Most of the time, the thing that we dread won’t be as bad as we think. The actual dreaded event isn’t as tormenting as worrying about all the things that could go wrong. Worry and Faith both make assumptions about the future. Worry assumes the worst will happen, but faith (in God) assumes the best will happen.

Did you know that 92% of the things people worry about will never happen? You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, but what about the other 8%?” The other 8% will either not be as bad as you think, or God will give you the grace to get through it. That takes care of 100% of your fears—if you will trust the Lord with them. This is why David could say, “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Don’t let fear and worry drain you of your joy and strength. Instead, trust God to control your life and every event in your future. It will make your life a lot more enjoyable. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************
NEW SERMON: Fishing Lessons” (How to Fish for Men)

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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Can a Camel Get Through an Eye of a Needle?


Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:24). A camel was the largest animal in Israel and a needle had the smallest opening. People in that day believed that a rich person was the most likely to make it into heaven. By combining these three things, Jesus created a totally impossible situation. The disciples were stunned in disbelief and said, “Then WHO can be saved?” (19:25).

Theologians over the centuries have tried to change the meaning of the text, trying to turn the impossible into the possible.  
In the 5th century, a person copying manuscripts changed the word "camel" (which is kamelon in Greek) to kamilon, meaning a rope or cable. The problem is, you can’t get a cable through the eye of a needle either. I have a hard time getting a thread through one.

In the 15th century, the opposite was tried—to enlarge the needle’s eye. Someone came up with the idea that the "eye of the needle" wasn't really a needle after all, but a small gate entrance to a city. According to this theory, the camel had to leave its load and crawl on its knees to get through the gate. Apparently when the architect designed the gates he forgot about all the camels needing to get inside the city!

But that theory isn’t correct either. Luke, who was a physician (see Col. 4:14), used the Greek word in Luke 18:25 for a surgeon's needle proving it was not a small gate. Jesus was literally talking about that big, lumpy animal going through a tiny, little hole.

What’s the point of Jesus' teaching? No one, whether rich or poor, is going to enter into heaven without God doing a miracle to get him or her there. A camel can go through the eye of a needle if it’s passed molecule by molecule through the eye and reassembled on the other side. Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), meaning ONLY GOD can get you there.

All you can do is realize how impossible it is to get into heaven and call out to God to save you. You can pray, “Lord, I can’t do anything to get myself into heaven but I believe you can get me there. Jesus, I believe you died for my sins so I can be forgiven. Come into my heart and save me. I give you my life.” If you sincerely prayed that prayer, the camel just went through the eye of the needle.  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, May 12, 2018

How Does God Feed Every Bird in the World?

Do you worry about how God will provide your needs? As Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, He looked at the faces in the crowd and could read their minds. They were worried about starving. They didn’t have refrigerators, canned food, or grocery stores like today. Most people didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Then Jesus pointed in the air and said, “Look at those birds…Your heavenly Father feeds them.” (Matt. 6:26a)

Really? Did you just say that God takes responsibility for feeding every bird in the entire world? I’ve never seen a gigantic hand coming down from heaven, opening the beaks of every bird and dropping in worms. If He doesn’t feed them like that, how does He do it? He feeds the birds by guiding them to their food supply whether it’s worms, seeds, or bugs.

Jesus then applied this object lesson to everyone listening, hoping they would make the connection. “You are worth more than birds” (Matt. 6:26b). If the Lord feeds birds, won’t He also take care of His children?

Consider for a moment who’s instructing us not to worry. The Son of God—and it’s impossible for Him to lie. His reputation is at stake. But Jesus isn’t just telling everyone in the crowd not to worry. He’s also speaking to everyone who would be reading His words in the Bible. Jesus knew His words would be recorded in the Scriptures for people living in the future to read.

He knows what you need and how to get the provision to you—on one condition. He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” If you’ll seek the Lord as your highest priority, you’ll never have to worry about your needs being met. When trust and follow the Lord, He promises to provide food and everything else you need. (The Sure Cure for Worry, pp.195-196) www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net ****************************************************************************************************

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Very Puzzling Parable


Jesus told a parable about a man who was thrown into hell for wearing the wrong clothes! In Matthew 22:2-14, a king gave a wedding feast to honor his son. In this parable, the king is God the Father and the son is Jesus. In those days, two invitations were sent out. The first invitation let the person know they were invited to the event. The second invitation announced the feast was ready. 

The king sent his servants out with the second invitation to let his invited guests know it was time to come to the meal. Instead of joyfully responding, the invited guests ignored the invitation. So the king decided to open up the feast to everyone.

He sent his servants out on the streets to invite strangers to the wedding feast for his son. This was unheard of!  Kings only invited prestigious people to events like this but this king invited everyone--including evil people (Matt. 22:10). Thieves, murderers, and prostitutes were invited to the feast to honor his son. This shows that God loves everyone and wants every person to be saved, no matter how evil they may be.

As the king was looking at the wedding hall filled with the guests who accepted his invitation, he spots a man who isn't dressed in wedding clothes. He asked him why he wasn't dressed appropriately. The man couldn't give an answer, so the king throws him into hell!  Now you're scratching your head, trying to figure out why he would do that.

In those days when a wedding was held, the host bought a wedding garment for each person to wear.  It was a free gift to the invited guests.  All the person had to do was put it on, which showed honor and respect for the person being married.  This man had no excuse because he refused the free gift from the king.  The interpretation is the wedding garment was "the robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10). 

The man was at the feast just to get the free food and had no interest in honoring the son. Many people today want to go to heaven to get the free food but have no interest in living for the Lord in this life. On Judgment Day, they will be like the man who refused to wear the wedding garment.

God is inviting you to spend eternity with Him, but you must accept the invitation and receive the robe of righteousness.  Will you be at the wedding in the next life?
              CLICK HERE to read the entire sermon on this parable.  

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