Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is God's Face Shining on You?

Many churches will conclude their worship service with the minister saying, “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). This was the priests’ blessing in the Old Testament for God’s people that was passed down for centuries. In 1979, archaeologists excavating a tomb near Jerusalem discovered two small silver scrolls that recorded this priestly blessing from Numbers 6. The scrolls were dated to the 7th century B.C., making them oldest written Scriptures we have found.

The fact that God would have Aaron and the priests to repeat this blessing for centuries must mean it is very important. It’s not just meant to be a ritualistic chant to let the congregation know the worship service is over. This blessing is an appeal to God to look favorably upon His people and to grant His presence, blessing, guidance, and grace.

“The Lord keep you” is a blessing of God’s protection. Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:10). Jesus revealed this interesting fact—as the angels watch over the children on earth, they are at the same time looking at God’s shining face in heaven. Sometimes we forget heaven is that close.

The Lord CAUSE His face to shine on you” implies that God does not shine on everyone. He causes His face to shine on those who seek His face and want to be a blessing to Him. A number of verses asks that God not hide His face from them (Job 13:24, Psalm 27:9, 44:24, 69:17, 88:14, 102:2, 143:7). The Scriptural blessing goes on to say, “the Lord lift His countenance on you” which is a picture of a father smiling and taking pleasure in his child. If Israel were to ever turn away in rebellion, God says, “But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil they will do” (Deut. 31:18).

When the Lord lifts His countenance upon us, it shows that He is looking on us for our good. God wants to bless us. He wants to protect us. He wants to make His face to shine upon us and be gracious to us, and give us peace. 

Are you seeking God's face? Is the Lord’s face shining on you?

Learn how to conquer the giants attacking you. Read Slaying Your Giants

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Five Reasons to Pray, Part 2

(See below for Reasons #1 & 2)
Reason #3 Prayer shows God how desperately we want something.
“The effectual fervent (desperate) prayer of a righteous person avails much” (James 5:16). When we pray out of desperation we touch God’s heart and catch His ear. Our prayers show Him how badly we want something

As Jesus passed through Jericho, two blind men sitting by the road cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us!” (Matt. 20:30). Even though a huge crowd surrounded Him, Jesus stopped when He heard their cries for help and healed them. On another occasion, a woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years touched the hem of His garment. While a large crowd was touching Him, Jesus felt power leave Him and she was healed (Mark 5:24-34). What was different about her touch? She was desperate for a miracle.

Reason #4  Prayer is the way we release our burdens to God.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Sheep are not designed to carry burdens. You’ve heard of “pack mules” but you’ve never hear of “pack sheep.” When we pray correctly, we transfer our problems into the Father’s hands. If you are still burdened down after you have prayed, you never let go of your problems!

Reason #5  When we pray, God intervenes in other people’s lives and changes them.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus told us to “pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28)? Let’s think about that. He told us to pray for our enemies because our prayer releases the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sins and bring them to repentance. Remember, some things will not happen unless we pray. We don’t typically like to pray for those who mistreat us, but if we will pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them we might see some surprising results. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
CLICK HERE to read the ENTIRE SERMON on “Five Purposes of Prayer” which includes more teaching, stories and illustrations.

NEW PRINTED SERMON: The 5 Purposes of Prayer

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Five Reasons to Pray, Part 1

Imagine a huge building filled with thousands of rooms. Inside those rooms are all the good possibilities for your future—job opportunities, provision of every kind, guidance, and wisdom to make right decisions. The problem is all the doors are locked and you can’t get in. But suppose someone puts a supernatural key in your hand that will open every door. If you don’t use the key, the doors won’t open for you.

That’s a picture of how prayer works. God won’t automatically do everything for us. Instead, He has given us a key to use, which is prayer. Prayer is a privilege God gives us where He lets us participate in His will being accomplished on earth (Matt. 6:10). However, if you don’t use the “prayer key” the door will remained closed for some of God’s blessings. Here are two beneficial reasons to pray.

Reason #1  Prayer is how we develop a relationship with God.
What if prayer didn’t exist? Suppose God didn’t provide any way to contact Him when we’re in trouble. The Lord says, “There’s no such thing as prayer. You cannot talk to Me and I won’t talk to you. I will not intervene in your affairs. If you want help…sorry, you’re on your own!” You would “not have a prayer.” The good news is God does want us to pray so we can get to know Him in a better way. (How often do you pray when you're not in church?)

Prayer is connecting our heart to God’s heart. Prayer isn’t measured by how many words we say because you can talk non-stop but never really communicate with someone. Prayer is having a heart-to-talk with God, letting Him know what’s on your heart. Psalm 62:8 says, “Pour out your heart before Him.”

Reason #2  Some things will not happen unless we pray.
Why should we pray if it makes no difference? James 4:2 tell us “you do not have because you do not ask.” If we don’t use the key the door won’t open. God can change our circumstances if we will call out to Him for help.

Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, was threatening to conquer Jerusalem. King Hezekiah knew he would be defeated unless God stopped Sennacherib. Hezekiah prayed that God would deliver Jerusalem from the Assyrian army. God answered him, “Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you” (2 Kings 19:20 NASB). God came to his rescue because he prayed. If the king hadn’t prayed Jerusalem would have been destroyed. Prayer brought something to pass on earth that would not have happened if he hadn’t prayed.

Prayer can make a difference in what happens in your life. Are you asking Him for help and guidance? Don’t give up. Keep praying and don’t lose heart. God has placed in your hand the key, but it’s up to you to put it in the doorknob.   To be continued (3 more reasons) next week…
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry.
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Did the Bible Predict Television?

God knows everything that will happen in the future and has chosen to reveal some things in His Word. Many prophecies are clearly described while others are in cryptic language or insinuate what will happen. Several Scriptures indicate that the whole world will instantly view certain events taking place in Israel.

During the future 7-year Tribulation Period, two prophets will be killed in Jerusalem and their dead bodies will lie in the streets for 3½ days. The Bible indicates that people from all over the world will watch this event, which would only be possible through TV and the Internet:

Revelation 11:8-10 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

Another future event concerns the invasion of Israel by several nations where God will supernaturally protect Israel and give them victory... To continue reading, click on “Does the Bible Predict TV and the Internet?" 
 www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

READ MORE STUDIES ON PROPHECY: Bible Prophecy Studies 
Worried about the future? Read The Sure Cure for Worry

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net 
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry.
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Why Evolution is Impossible

We’ve been told that evolution is a fact, but it’s actually only a theory that’s based on numerous assumptions. Scientists have tried for years to create life in a laboratory and have never been successful. It’s a fact that evolution is statistically impossible. Mathematicians agree that any requisite number beyond one chance in 1050 has a statistically zero chance of occurring.

Amino acids have to be formed in an exact sequence (like the letters in a sentence) to form a protein. The probability of a protein of 50 amino acids forming by chance is 1065 or 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to one, which is impossible (without divine intervention).

All life contains DNA and for evolution to be true, the DNA molecules must be arranged in a certain order. R. L. Wysong in The Creation Evolution Controversy says, "This means that 1089190 DNA molecules, on average, must form to provide the one chance of forming the specific DNA sequence necessary to code 124 proteins.” It’s not logical to believe that this happens by chance.

Nor has it ever been proven in a laboratory that life can arise from non-life. It’s more logical to conclude that life came into existence through an Intelligent Designer. God has revealed Himself to everyone through the complexity of His creation. If you look at your watch, you can conclude an intelligent person designed all the parts and put it together so that it functions accurately—even though you have never seen that person. When you examine the amazing complex human body, you know there had to be an intelligent designer to make all body parts function together. 

The Apostle Paul writes, “That which is known about God is evident within them, for God has made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

MORE STUDIES on Creation vs. Evolution: Living Fossil Discovered

Making Life Count Ministries
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Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The World Beyond This World

Two caterpillars were crawling across a hot sidewalk when a butterfly flew over them. One caterpillar said to the other, "I wouldn't get up there in that thing for a million dollars!" It's hard for a caterpillar to envision its future as a butterfly. It’s also hard for us in this life to envision what life will be like in the next world.

There is a life beyond this life and a world beyond this world, which will last for all eternity. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). After you spend a few brief moments in this world, you’ll then spend the rest of your eternal existence in the afterlife. Yet, everything in this life will determine what happens in the next life. Click on the links to read more about heaven.

1. To go to heaven when you die, you must receive Jesus Christ as your Lord during this life (John 1:12, Rom 10:13). Salvation is a free gift and is offered to all, but it must be received by faith. Those who reject Jesus will spend eternity separated from Him and His kingdom.

2. Heaven will be far better than this world and filled with joy and excitement (Phil. 1:23, Psalm 16:11, Rev. 21:4). “Those who believe in Him will not be disappointed” (1 Peter 2:6).

3. Those who are saved will have assignments in heaven, which will be privileges like eternal hobbies. “And there shall be no more curse…and His servants shall serve Him” (Rev. 22:3). The fact that we will be serving Him forever means He will have assignments for us. Heaven would be "hell" if we had nothing to do forever! After you are saved, your faithfulness with your earthly responsibilities will determine the eternal rewards you will receive and the assignments you will be doing in the next life (Matt. 25:21, 23, 1 Cor. 3:13-15).

Never forget that we are just passing through this place. You only get one shot at living on planet earth, so make it count. “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net

BIBLE STUDY: Do you understand why we must be judged? Click on this link: “If God forgives our sins, then why do we have to face the judgment?”

Watch this AMAZING VIDEO of a Ian McCormack who died and went to heaven. Ian is a former atheist and is now a pastor in England.

Want to know more about how you can prepare for the next life? Much more information is in my book Making Today Count for Eternity. (Available in paperback and e-book)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Ark of the Covenant

You’re probably seen the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Have you ever wondered why God told Moses to make the Ark of the Covenant? Hebrews 9:4 tells us “the Ark of the Covenant (was) covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” Each thing represented something about God.

The tablets of the Ten Commandments that Moses received on Mount Sinai = God’s Law
The jar of manna from the wilderness = God’s provision
Aaron’s rod that miraculously budded = God’s miracles. Aaron was the first high priest who would represent Israel before God.
The cover (or lid) of the Ark was called the mercy seat = God’s mercy.
The mercy seat had two golden cheribum (angels) with outstretched wings = God’s presence. The Ark was the connection between God in heaven and man on earth.

One day out of the year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and would sprinkle blood on the top of the Ark of the Covenant—the mercy seat. The mercy seat was over the tablets of the Ten Commandments, which were inside the Ark. When people sinned the Law was broken, which required God’s judgment. But when the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, this act demonstrated that the blood activated God’s mercy, and that mercy triumphed over judgment (James 2:13). Without the blood there would be no mercy.

The Ark in the Old Testament was an object lesson to teach us about Christ’s redemption in the New Covenant. We have all broken God’s Law and need forgiveness. Immediately after Jesus died on the cross, He took His blood into the Holy of Holies in heaven and placed it on the Mercy Seat to obtain eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:11-12). Now salvation is available to everyone who will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord. For more on the Ark, read the sermon “Don’t Touch That Ark!” and Where is the Ark of the Covenant today?

NEW STUDY: Where is the Ark of the Covenant today? The Ark disappeared from the tabernacle in 587 B.C.  In 1981, three rabbis claimed they found it under the Temple Mount. This study includes a video of their discovery! MUST WATCH

SERMON: “Don’t Touch that Ark!” Why did God kill Uzzah for touching the Ark? This message shows how need to learn from his mistake.
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.