Sunday, May 1, 2016

Can You Find the Normal Person in the Picture?

The 1960’s TV show The Munsters was a comedy about a family of four monsters and one normal person. Herman Munster was Frankenstein’s monster, his wife Lily and Grandpa were vampires, and the son, Eddie, was a werewolf. Marilyn, the niece, was the only normal person. The four Munsters believed they were normal and that Marilyn was the oddball. Of course, they had it backwards—Marilyn was normal and they were abnormal.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the world is going view you like the four Munsters see Marilyn. They actually believe that since you aren’t like them, you aren’t normal. You are Marilyn living in a world of Munsters. Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19 NCV).

The world is getting weirder every day. Abnormal is now considered normal, and normal is abnormal. Right is wrong and wrong is right. If you choose to remain a virgin until you get married, they think something is terribly wrong with you. Although you want to be accepted by others, keep in mind that you are living to please the Lord. You are not living for this world, but the eternal kingdom to come. “Nonbelievers (the Munsters) think it is strange that you do not do the many wild and wasteful things they do, so they insult you. But they will have to explain this to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:4).

Stop trying to change yourself to be accepted by the Munster world. Just live to please Jesus and He'll take care of everything you need in this life. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net Twitter:  @KentCrockett

Sunday, April 24, 2016

If Jesus Wrote a Letter to Your Church

In Revelation 2-3, Jesus wrote letters to seven churches in different cities. These letters (recorded by the apostle John) were to be delivered to those churches so they could make corrections. It made we wonder—what would He write to today’s churches? What would He say in a letter to me? Here are some facts about those letters:

1. Each church had an opinion about itself that was inaccurate. “Groupthink” is conformity of thinking within a group and doesn’t allow differing points of view. Laodicea thought they were wealthy and had no needs. Jesus corrected them, “You don’t know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
2. Jesus praised them for what they were doing right. He told the church at Ephesus, “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil…and have not grown weary” (Rev. 2:2-3).
3. Jesus rebuked them for what they were doing wrong. He also told Ephesus, “But I have this against you, you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Rev. 2:4)
4. Jesus told them how to make corrections. “Remember how far you have fallen, repent, and do the works you did at first” (Rev. 2:5).

IF JESUS WROTE CHURCHES TODAY He might say this (proceed with caution!)
To the Liberal church: “I know your compassion for all broken and rejected people, and will accept them into your church. But I have this against you—you have ignored My Word about the need for repentance and you will not allow Me to change their hearts.”
To the Traditional church: “I know that you do not compromise My Word, that you are teaching it to all age groups in your Sunday School classes, and you support missions. But I have this against you—you hold on to man-made traditions, which prevents Me from making changes that you desperately need.”
To the Contemporary church: “I know that have changed the atmosphere to make your church more inviting to the younger generation. You’ve updated your music, made your sanctuaries more comfortable, and even serve donuts and coffee. But I have this against you—entertaining the congregation has become more important than worshipping Me. Your music production and movie clips have become idols. Your congregation is spiritually shallow and you are not making disciples.”

IF JESUS WROTE A LETTER TO YOU: “I know that you call yourself My follower and attend church every week. But I have this against you—social media is more important to you than reading my Word. You're more interested in being popular than pleasing Me.”

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m just speculating about what He might say. Your church might be perfect. Or it might need a letter written to it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  
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Did you know you can TRANSLATE this devotional into other languages? On the right side of www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com choose a language and click “Translate.” If you know someone in another county, send this devotional to them in their language.

Receive these devotionals 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, April 17, 2016

Two Kinds of Hearing

There are TWO KINDS OF HEARING—hearing with your ears and hearing with your heart. Everyone has TWO KINDS OF EARS—physical ears on your head (“ears”) and spiritual ears on your heart (“ears to hear”). Jesus said, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23). The people listening to Him teach could hear His words with their ears, but not everyone could hear with their spiritual ears. Jesus explained, “While hearing (with their ears), they do not hear (with their hearts)” (Matt. 13:13). They heard God’s Word but they never changed because it never went deeper and pierced their hearts.

Some people say, “I’ve never heard God speaking to me.” You assumed He would speak in an audible voice to your ears, but He usually speaks with thoughts and impressions on your heart. “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:7).

WHY CAN’T PEOPLE HEAR WITH THEIR HEARTS?
1. Your heart is closed. Jeremiah said, “Their ears are closed, and they cannot listen” (6:10). You can turn off your phone if you don’t want to be bothered. Someone may be trying to contact you to give you an urgent message, but you cannot hear it because you chose to turn it off. God wants to speak to you, but your heart must be open and you’re willing to hear what He has to say.

2. Something is blocking your ability to hear. A man said to his friend, “You’ve got a carrot in your ear.” His friend said, “What?” The man yelled, “You’ve got a carrot in your ear!” The friend said, “I can’t hear you. I’ve got a carrot in my ear!”
Some people cannot hear God because something is blocking their hearing. God says, “You’ve got unforgiveness in your heart.” You say, “What?” He says, “You’ve got unforgiveness in your heart.” You say, “I can’t hear you. I’ve got unforgiveness in my heart.” But if you will forgive, it will remove the blockage that’s keep you from hearing.

If you will open your heart and remove the blockages, you will be amazed at how God will speak to your heart because you now have “ears to hear.”

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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Day You Stand Before God

Did you know that you are mentioned in the Bible? Can you find yourself in these Scriptures? “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:10,12). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10). “I also saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne…and the dead were judged according to their works” (Rev. 20:12). You are reading about yourself in the Bible.

After we die, each one of us will stand before God to give an account for our lives. If your sins have been forgiven, it will be the most joyful day you will ever experience (Psalm 16:11). But if your sins haven’t been forgiven, it will be the most terrifying day (Heb. 10:31). The good news is it’s not too late for you to have all your sins forgiven.

THIS WILL BE A JOYFUL DAY if you are saved by God’s grace. When you call out to Jesus to save you from your sins, He will forgive you by His grace (Eph. 2:8-9). Because Jesus is your Lord, you can stand before God with confidence on that day (1 John 4:17).
JUDGED ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS? Our “works” are every thought, word, and deed that we will ever do in this life. Works have nothing to do with salvation. However, God will examine everything that you’ve done AFTER you are saved to determine your heavenly rewards. Your faithfulness in serving the Lord in this life will determine what you will be doing in heaven forever (Matt. 25:22-23). You can read more about how your life on earth will determine your life in heaven in my book Making Today Count for Eternity.

If you reject salvation through Jesus before dying, the Bible teaches you will be judged for each sin, which will determine your punishment forever (Rev. 20:12). This will be a terrifying day to stand before God. But remember, that day hasn’t yet come, and it’s not too late to change your eternal destiny. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

FACTS ABOUT HUMMINGBIRDS: Why hummingbirds could not have evolved.

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

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fishing Lessons

In July 2008, Bob Greene (picture on left) literally went fishing to catch a man. Bob was having his morning coffee when he heard someone calling for help. The cry of distress came from a man drowning in the Kennebec River. Greene grabbed his fishing pole, cast out a line, and snagged the man's shirt with a fishing lure.  He reeled him safely to shore, where the rescued man was taken to a Portland hospital.

Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19).  If you aren't fishing, you aren't following.  Here are four things to remember when "fishing for men."

1. Be sensitive enough to hear the cry of people who need to be saved.  If Greene had ignored the voice he heard, the man would have drowned. Some people are depressed or they're going through a difficult time, which can be a cry of desperation.

2. Throw out a line. Put down your coffee cup, or whatever else that has your attention, and make an effort to reach the person in need. Explain the gospel in a way he or she can understand it. Here is an example of what to say.

3. Reel in the fish. Don’t leave the person dangling and wondering how to be saved. Lead him or her in prayer to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

4. Provide proper follow-up. Bob Greene didn’t leave the rescued man on the shore, but checked him into a hospital. Help the saved person get involved in a Bible study and Christian fellowship.

Surely you know people who need to be saved. Don't let 'em get away
Listen to Song of the Month "You're Beautiful" sung by Paul & Bethany Baskin

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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wrongly Believing in the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the most significant event in human history. You might think that His birth was the most important thing to have ever happened, or maybe it was His death. But if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, it would have cancelled out His birth and His crucifixion. The apostle Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless. You are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17). Paul had seen Jesus in His resurrected body, and was pointing out the importance of believing that He arose (1 Cor. 15:8).

What do you really believe about the resurrection of Jesus? The Scriptures make it clear that you must “believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead” for you to be saved (Romans 10:9). However, there are two ways to wrongly believe in the resurrection.

1. Wrongly believing Jesus was raised spiritually, but not physically.  This belief actually denies the resurrection. The Jehovah’s Witnesses wrongly believe Jesus became a spirit and not in a physical body. However, Jesus confirmed that it was His physical body, “See My hands and My feet…for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). He had His same body, but it had undergone a miraculous change.

2. Wrongly believing in His resurrection with your head, but not your heart. Roman 10:9 says you must “believe in your heart.” Some people will mentally acknowledge the fact of His resurrection, but this isn’t real faith. When you truly believe in your heart, it will radically change your life. You realize that His resurrection validates everything that Jesus taught about Himself, the afterlife, and the importance of following Him as your Lord.

So then, do you believe in your heart that Jesus was raised in His body? If so, it’s extremely important for you to tell others about the most important event in history. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

How Does Jesus' Blood Cleanse Us?

The Bible tells us that only the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from sin, but how does this happen? Two realms exist—the natural (physical) realm and the spiritual realm. Jesus shed His blood on the cross in the natural realm, but His blood also has a tangible element in the spiritual realm that exists for all eternity.

JESUS TOOK HIS BLOOD INTO HEAVEN AFTER HE DIED. In the Old Testament, the high priest sprinkled the blood of a goat on the mercy seat in the temple to cover for the sins of Israel for one year. They followed this ritual for centuries, which taught the people what Jesus would do with His blood after He died.
On the cross, “Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit, and behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom (Matt. 27:50-51). Hebrews 9:11-12 tells us Jesus entered into heaven with His own blood to obtain eternal redemption. I believe that in His Spirit Jesus took His blood to heaven and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat in Holy Place in heaven.
This explains why the veil in the earthly temple was torn in two from top to bottom (heaven to earth). At the moment Jesus made atonement in heaven, God split the veil apart to show that He had opened the way to heaven for us. This happened immediately after He died, not when He later ascended into heaven in His resurrected body.

HOW HIS BLOOD CLEANSES US. Although Jesus made it possible for all to be saved, it is up to each person to receive salvation. Jesus came to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). A sin is any unholy thought, word or deed. No one has ever seen a sin because it exists in the spiritual realm. In the natural realm, we understand sins only as actions, but apparently each sin also has a tangible element in the spiritual realm. You must be cleansed from all sins on your soul before you can enter into heaven after you die.

When you call out to Jesus to be saved, His blood is applied to your sins (even the worst sin imaginable), which completely cleanses your soul. Just as soap is more powerful than dirt, His blood is more powerful than your sins. He has “released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). 1 John 1:7 says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Therefore, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (Acts 10:15). And this is why Jesus came to earth—so you can spend eternity with Him in heaven. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

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