Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Sermon the Potter Preached

In Jeremiah 18:1-6, God told the prophet Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. After he got there, the potter preached a sermon to him in a visual way concerning the future of Judah (Israel), but the message applies to us as well. Here are three lessons from the potter’s sermon:

Lesson #1  God is in the process of molding you.  Everyone is in the process of being molded, either by the Holy Spirit or the pressures of this world. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” (Phillips Translation). To be molded by God, we are told to “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5:6).

Lesson #2  God’s plan for you may not be obvious at first.  Jeremiah 18:3 says the potter was “making something” on the wheel. What he was making wasn’t obvious at first. The potter had a plan in his mind concerning the vessel he wanted to make. Romans 9:20 says, “The thing molded will not say to the potter, ‘Why did you make me like this’ will it?” Put your trust in God, even when the plan is unclear and you don’t understand.

Lesson #3  If you make a mistake, remember that God isn’t finished with you.  “But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter, so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:4). The potter detected a flaw in the clay because a gritty substance resisted his touch. Even though the clay was marred, the potter didn’t throw it away. He made it into another vessel.
Perhaps you’ve rebelled against God and resisted His will for your life. And maybe you’ve suffered the consequences and think life is over. The Lord has not abandoned you and still has a plan for your life. If you will submit to Him, He will complete the work that He wants to do in you. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Story Your Face Tells

In the 1800s a couple of prospectors discovered gold and wanted to keep their discovery a secret so others wouldn't find out.  When they went back into town to buy supplies, neither of them said a word to anyone. But as they started back to the mountains, everyone in town was following them with picks and shovels.  Although they hadn’t told anyone about finding gold, their discovery was written all over their faces.

Your face is connected to your heart. Your facial expressions are the newspaper headlines telling the story of what's taking place inside your heart. If you are angry it will show up on your face. If you are depressed, it’s obvious to everyone. But Proverbs 15:13 says, "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face." Joy cannot be suppressed. It will always make a person smile.

We can decide the headlines people will read on our faces. What we think about determines our emotions—and this determines our facial expressions. We can change our moods by changing what we think about. Joy comes from not only thinking positively, but also seeing God’s hand at work in our lives and trusting Him with the outcome of every circumstance. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right …whatever is praiseworthy—think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).

What is the story your face is telling today? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net 

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Is Persecution of American Christians Coming?

Could persecution of Christians actually happen in America? We are being mildly persecuted right now through slander and ridicule. Persecution always begins mildly but then it builds in intensity. Hitler began persecuting Jews by ridiculing them through propaganda so he could brainwash the public to hate them. Once he had the majority on his side, the rest was easy.

I’m not sure how or when the heat will be turned up, but it will happen when Christian beliefs are no longer tolerated by our society. Everyone will have the freedom of speech and expression except if you talk about Jesus or what He taught. You will be penalized in some way if you express your beliefs. But remember, Jesus told His followers to expect this. “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).

How are we to react to persecution? Jesus said, “Do not resist him who is evil, but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also…But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:39, 44). He’s telling us how to react when we are persecuted. In order to not react wrongly, we must view persecution in a different way. After the apostles were flogged they went on their way “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).

When real persecution breaks out, here is what could possibly happen:
  • Many people will stop attending church. People will be stigmatized for going to church. Persecution will drive out the unbelievers and the uncommitted. Even many committed Christians will leave as they feel God is finished with the established church and will find new places to meet and worship.
  • Many churches will close their doors because the decrease in attendance and offerings will not be enough to pay the mortgage and operating expenses. Only the churches that are financially stable and have enough dedicated members will be able to stay open.
  • Many Christians will go underground and meet in homes. After Stephen was martyred, the early church scattered. “And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria…but Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison” (Acts 8:1,3). Many Christians in other countries meet in homes as did the early church. 

God promises to greatly reward us when we endure persecution with the right attitude.Blessed are you when men cast insults at you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12). Jesus said if we could see our great reward in heaven, we would be jumping for joy!

The Lord will always supply the grace and strength to endure all persecution, so there is no need to fear it.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Friday, April 24, 2015

Enjoying Every Stage of Life

Have you ever wanted to be a different age? Younger people cannot wait to grow up. Elderly people wish they were young again. Some people aren’t happy no matter what age they are. It helps to understand that it is God’s will for you to be the age you are right now.

It is no accident that you are alive on earth at this time. God didn’t want you to live in the 1600s but created you to live at this time. Acts 17:25-26 says,  “He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."  

This verse tells us God determined your lifetime to be now. Every stage of life has its benefits. Whether you are 25 or 65 years old, be happy with your age. If you are a parent, enjoy every stage of life of your child. If you are tired of changing diapers, don’t wish for your child to grow up. Enjoy that stage of life because it will pass too quickly. If you are getting older, don’t keep wishing you were younger. You cannot go back in time, so enjoy your stage of life right now. It’s God’s will for you to be at this age—and it’s also God’s will for you to be thankful for it (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net

Two Important Books:
Slaying Your Giants  Learn how to defeat the invisible giants attacking your mind.

The Sure Cure for Worry proves God is in control and can be trusted to handle the problems you are worried about.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Quest to be Famous

A little girl was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. She replied, “Famous!” Why are so many people obsessed with fame? Our society equates fame with significance. The more famous you are, the more significant you are in others’ eyes. And if you are not famous, then try to be friends with someone who is famous so you can tell others, “I’m friends with (fill in name).”

What is fame? It’s how many people know you. It is name recognition. If many people know your name, you’re famous. We live in a time like never before where anyone can become “famous” if their YouTube video goes viral or if they have thousands of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but it is wrong if you are deriving your self-esteem from them. The fact is, the most admired actor is worth the same as a homeless man sleeping in a cardboard box. “The rich and the poor have a common bond; the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2).

One celebrity said when no one knew him, he desperately wanted to become famous so the paparazzi would take his picture for magazines. But after he gained fame, he lost something he couldn’t get back—his privacy. He couldn’t go anywhere without someone asking for his autograph or snapping his picture. He found himself hiding from the paparazzi so they wouldn’t take his picture. The magazine articles about him contained slanderous gossip because that’s what sells. After he achieved his goal of being famous, he discovered his fame wasn’t a blessing but was actually a curse.

God isn’t interested in us being famous in the world’s eyes, but in us being faithful in His eyes. To do this, we must change the audiences we want to please. Instead of living to please others, live to please the Lord who is always watching. “Therefore we have our ambition…to be pleasing to Him. He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:9,15). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net

Two Important Books You Need to Read:
Slaying Your Giants shows how to conquer the 20 invisible giants (attitudes) trying to destroy you.
Amazon.com customer review: Slaying your Giants is by far the best book I have ever read for a Bible Study class. No matter what issues you are facing—fear, temptation, worry, anger… the true stories are uplifting, humorous and very rewarding.”

The Sure Cure for Worry proves God is in control and can be trusted to handle the problems you are worried about.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chicken Pecking Order

A study was done years ago that found chickens have a pecking order to determine their rank. If you put 10 chickens in a pen within a matter of minutes they will start establishing an order of dominance from greatest to the least. The #1 chicken is the dominant one, so it’s at the top and pecks on the other 9. Then the #2 chicken will submit to #1 but will peck on chickens #3-10. Then there’s the #3 chicken, and so on, down to the lowly #10 chicken—who gets picked on and pecked on by the other 9.

People are like chickens in one respect. We have a pecking order where people try to feel more important than the next guy. The truth is that the #1 chicken isn’t worth any more than the #10 chicken. They’re all going to end up in the frying pan one day. The pecking order of importance only exists in the chicken’s mind.

Jesus said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them." (That's their Pecking Order) "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave" (Matthew 20:25-27).

Could it be that we’ve placed too much emphasis in today’s church in being a “ruler”? Churches spend way too much time teaching their people how to be a “great leader.” Leadership has become an idol in some churches. We are more interested in reading business principles in Good to Great than reading spiritual principles in the Bible. Jesus said we are NOT to be like the pagans who love to exercise authority over others, trying to be the #1 chicken that the other chickens fear.

Jesus made His desire very clear: “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matthew 20:28). Notice that He did not tell us to be “servant leaders.” He said “servant” and “slave.” God’s kingdom functions totally opposite of the way this world operates. Jesus isn’t building His Church with proud leaders but with humble servants. If you disagree with me, feel free to peck away. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Most Important Event in History

Out of all the events that have occurred in the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important. Seven reasons it changed history:

1.By rising from the dead, Jesus did something no one else has done.
2.By rising from the dead, it proved He is God.
3.By rising from the dead, it established the fact that He is more powerful than death.
4.By rising from the dead, it verified that everything He taught is true.
5.By rising from the dead, it proves He is the correct spiritual leader to follow.
6.By rising from the dead, it means that everyone will give an account to Him on Judgment Day.
7.By rising from the dead, it gives everyone who trusts in Him a reason to live.

 Four proofs He rose from the dead:
1)  Old Testament prophets predicted He would rise from the dead (Psalm16:10, 30:3, Acts 2:31, 13:33-35, Matthew 12:40). God revealed to them the resurrection would happen hundreds of years beforehand.
2)  His own disciples, who fled in fear when He was arrested, were so convinced He rose from the dead that they were willing to be martyred for Him.
3)  Pontius Pilate posted Roman soldiers at the tomb to ensure that no one would steal His body. (Matthew 27:62-66).
4)  After He rose from the dead He appeared to over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:4-8).  

What do you believe about this? Think it through and ask God to show you the truth. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174