Thursday, April 24, 2014

What is Being "In Denial"?

Do you know someone who is IN DENIAL? They might be obnoxious but are oblivious to it. They can hurt and offend others without ever realizing they’ve wounded someone. Some people are in denial because they won’t acknowledge the elephant in the room. The problem is obvious to outsiders, but those “on the inside” are afraid to admit the dire reality of the situation.

Before Paul was converted, his name was Saul and he nodded with approval as he watched Stephen being stoned to death. His fellow Pharisees had laid their cloaks at Saul’s feet and he was “watching out for the coats of those who were killing him” (Acts 22:20). I’m sure Saul felt honored to be put in charge of guarding the coats, making sure no one would steal them. He probably thought, “Out of all the people here, they chose ME to protect their robes!”

Saul believed he was doing the Lord’s will as he carried out his religious duties, but he was blind to the truth and in denial. I’m sure the Lord had tried to point out the elephant in the room but Saul didn’t want to see it. Religion is Satan’s counterfeit that keeps people busy as a diversionary tactic. Some people are very busy doing church activities (guarding the coats) while their hearts are totally disconnected from God. Here are three reasons Saul was in denial:

1. He was spiritually blind.  A deceived person doesn’t know he is being deceived. A blind man cannot see, no matter how hard he tries to see. Although Saul thought he was pleasing God by guarding the coats, he saw nothing wrong when God’s servant Stephen was murdered. When a person is spiritually blind they cannot see what is obvious.

2. He had submitted to “group think.” Group-think is when you let others think for you. Saul was more interested in what his fellow Pharisees thought than what God thought. A cult is a group of people that follow a domineering leader who, through intimidation, controls what everyone thinks. Before you join any church or organization, make sure it is spiritually healthy. If you sense something isn’t right, be willing to walk away from it. After Saul “saw the light” and realized he belonged to the wrong group, he chose to leave them.

3. His priorities were misplaced. When a person is in denial, he will put great effort into things that don't matter, while ignoring the things important to God. Saul thought protecting the coats was more important than protecting an innocent man from being killed. The wrong priorities always keep us from having the right priorities.

Are you in denial? Is someone you know in denial? The answer is to pray, “Lord, if I am not doing what pleases you, open my eyes so that I can see.” And then have the courage to change course.
www.makinglifecount.net  Making Life Count Ministries
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The Sure Cure for Worry  proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the problem that worries you.

Looking for a good book to study in a SMALL GROUP? Slaying Your Giants is filled with interesting stories and Biblical insights, and includes a free 20-Lesson Discussion Guide.

VIDEO TEACHING (10 minutes): "7 Signs of the End-Times"  Four signs have come to pass, but 3 other signs might be a while before being fulfilled.

Read 200 free BIBLE STUDIES at www.makinglifecount.net 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Tale of Three Crosses

The Bible mentions three men dying on crosses and they all have a story tell.
Cross #1—a thief DYING IN SIN. “And one of the criminals who hanged there was hurling abuse at Him saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save yourself and us” (Luke 24:39). This thief called out to be saved, but he wasn’t sorry for his sins. He wanted to be saved from punishment for his crimes but his heart had not changed. This man died IN his sins.

This man represents those who want to be saved from punishment but don’t want to be saved from their sins. Jesus told the Pharisees (who rejected Him), “I go away, and you shall seek Me, and shall die IN your sin; where I am going you cannot come” (John 8:21) Jesus said that dying in your sins keeps you from going where He was going, which was Heaven.

Cross #2—a thief DYING TO SIN. The second thief said, “We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong…Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 24:41-43). This thief was sorry for his sins and wanted Jesus to save his soul. This thief represents those who see Jesus dying for their sins, have a change of heart and are willing to die to their sinful ways.

Cross #3—a Savior DYING FOR SIN. Jesus went to the cross for one purpose—the die for the sins of the world. Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). That means salvation from sin is only found in Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:21 says, “He will save His people from their sins.”

Both thieves called out to be saved but only one was saved. What was the difference? The first thief wasn’t sincere and had no change of heart. If Jesus had set him free, he would have returned to his life of crime. The second thief wanted to be saved from his sins. If Jesus had set him free, he would have turned from his sinful life and would have followed Him. Which one of these thieves represents you? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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NEW VIDEO TEACHING (10 minutes): "7 Signs of the End-Times"  Four signs have come to pass, but 3 other signs might be a while before being fulfilled.

Read 200 free BIBLE STUDIES at www.makinglifecount.net 

Looking for a good book to study in a SMALL GROUP? Slaying Your Giants is filled with interesting stories and Biblical insights, and includes a free 20-Lesson Discussion Guide in the back of the book.

The Sure Cure for Worry proves that GOD IS IN CONTROL and you can trust Him to take care of the problem that worries you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

God Wants You to Pay Your Taxes

Tomorrow is April 15, the deadline for paying your income tax. Did you know that it is God’s will for you to pay your taxes? You probably haven’t heard too many sermons on this because it’s not a popular topic, but it is in the Bible. Someone asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” He answered, “Render to Caesar the things that are Ceasar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:22, 25). Jesus was accused of being “a friend of tax collectors” (Luke 7:34), which means that He wasn’t continually fighting against them. Paul adds, “For because of this you also pay taxes...render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due…” (Rom. 13:6-7).

No one enjoys paying taxes, but these verses helped me realize that since the Lord wants me to pay my taxes, I can do it honestly in obedience to Him. It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with how the government spends your money. I’m sure that many Christians in the early church didn’t agree with how Caesar spent their money either! The Lord wants you to pay your taxes, not because you agree with all government spending, but because that’s what He commanded us to do.

Here are a couple of suggestions: First, take every legal deduction that you are allowed, but don’t cheat on your taxes by claiming expenses that are not true. Remember, Jesus wants us to be honest. Second, pay your taxes as an act of obedience to God and it will give you a different perspective and motivation, which will take some of the pain out of it. You can pray, “Lord, I’m paying my taxes as an act of obedience because this is what You’ve told me to do.”

You might not agree with me on this topic, but as a follower of Jesus Christ I believe this is the right thing to do. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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NEW VIDEO TEACHING (10 minutes): "7 Signs of the End-Times"  Four signs have come to pass, but 3 other signs might be a while before being fulfilled.

Read 200 free BIBLE STUDIES at www.makinglifecount.net 

Looking for a great book for SMALL GROUP STUDIES?  Slaying Your Giants is filled with interesting stories and Biblical insights, and includes a free 20-Lesson Discussion Guide in the back of the book.

The Sure Cure for Worry Learn to trust God no matter what you are going through.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Oxymorons

An oxymoron is when two words with opposite meanings are joined together, such as:
Act naturally
Found missing
Good grief
Sanitary landfill
Small crowd
“Now, then…”
Civil disobedience
Numb feeling
Unbiased opinion
Jumbo shrimp
Soft rock
Pretty ugly
Only choice
Boxing ring
Liquid gas
Same difference
Tight slacks
Definite maybe
And how about this one …“No, Lord.” It’s an oxymoron to say Jesus is your Lord when you refuse to obey what He says. Jesus said, "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) 

When you become a disciple of Jesus, you agree to obey Him. So when the Holy Spirit tells you to quit your immoral behavior, clean up your impure mouth, or correct your negative attitude, do you say, “No, Lord” or “Yes, Lord”? He is not your Lord unless you say "Yes" and then follow through with the change.
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Read 200 free BIBLE STUDIES at www.makinglifecount.net