Monday, December 28, 2015

Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

One man said, "Here it is February and I've kept every one of my New Year's resolutions. Yep, I've kept every one of them in an envelope in my desk." Why do so many resolutions fail? Three things are required to make a lasting change in your life: 
1) A decision to make a change
2) A point in time when it begins 
3) The power to make it happen.

New Year's brings the first two. We make lists of the things we've decided to change and then mark January 1st on the calendar as the starting point. We soon find out they don’t stick because we don't have the will-power to follow them through.

The reason is we're trying to conquer the desires of the flesh by using the strength of the flesh. The "flesh" in the Bible means our natural desires and impulses, which causes the problems we're trying to resolve. When we try to change using our own strength, we fail because "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41). The flesh isn’t strong enough, nor is it willing enough, to make the change.

Quit depending on your own strength and yield yourself completely to the Lord for His power. Then you will "be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man" (Eph. 3:16). God promises to give you the power through the Holy Spirit to make the changes in your life that He desires, which is a whole lot better than making more resolutions that you can’t keep.
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  @Kent Crockett

WATCH MUSIC VIDEO: "Nothing Without You" by Bebo Norman

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Why Did the Angels Appear to Shepherds?

It was like any other night. The shepherds were pulling the night shift near Bethlehem. Little did they realize that a host of angels would suddenly appear to announce the most significant event to ever happen on earth—the birth of a baby who was God in the flesh.

You’d think that the angels would appear to the high priest and the Sanhedrin, who were the religious leaders in Israel. Why did God chose shepherds to be the first to receive the good news? Although the Pharisees and Sadducees appeared to be pious to everyone else, the Lord knew the corruption and evil that lurked in their hearts.

On the other hand, the shepherds were humble and were probably raising sheep that would be sacrificed in the temple. Perhaps they sat around the campfire, discussing the Scriptures concerning the Messiah being the sacrificial Lamb who would die for the sins of the world.

An angel suddenly stood before them and announced, “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…You will find the baby wrapped in cloths, and laying in a manger” (Luke 2:8-14). Then, a multitude of angels appeared, praising God. Maybe the Lord sent only one angel to make the announcement, and then sent the multitude of angels to confirm the message.

If I were one of the shepherds, I would have asked, “Are you going to give more details about how to find this baby? How about drawing us a map?” The angel could have said, “Take a right at the tax collector's office, go down three blocks to the Bethlehem Inn and ask the innkeeper how to get to the stable. It’s the first manger on the left. You can't miss it. It’s the only one with a baby inside.”

In spite of the poor directions, God made sure that the shepherds found the baby. And if you are willing to search for Christ, He will make sure that you’ll find Him as well.
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  @Kent Crockett

If you have enjoyed these devotionals, would you please consider a year-end gift to Making Life Count Ministries?  Donations are tax-deductible. 

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Prison Inmates' Christmas Play

Several years ago, the inmates in a maximum security prison decided to act out the Christmas story for the other prisoners. Because none of the props could be brought in, all the costumes had to be made from what they could find inside the prison.

A mop was used for Mary’s hair. A ski mask with cotton balls glued on a sock was used as sheep. A cardboard box became the manger. Everything was falling into place, except for one problem. They needed a baby Jesus. They couldn’t use a baby doll because nothing could be brought in. Someone suggested that Mary could just hold a blanket with nothing inside. Everyone said that wouldn’t do. They were running out of ideas.

On the day of the performance, the prison chaplain came running to the group of actors and said, “I think I found something that you can use for baby Jesus.” Now the play could go on. 
The Christmas story was portrayed beautifully and the inmates were enjoying the performance.

They came to the scene where the prisoner with the mop on his head playing Mary was about to reveal her baby—the Christ child. Mary picked up a blanket from the manger (the cardboard box) and carefully unwrapped it. Inside the blanket was not a doll, but a cross that had been hanging in the chaplain’s office. A cross in the manger—what a perfect example of why Jesus came to earth!

Jesus born—to die. That’s an incredible thought. He left heaven and took on a human body was so that He would die on a cross for your sins. He was physically born 2,000 years ago, but He wants to be spiritually born in your heart today. And that’s the complete Christmas story. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  @Kent Crockett

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

670 Trillion Hairs and Counting

Do you ever wonder if God really knows what’s going on in your life? Jesus revealed an amazing fact when He said, “Indeed, the very hairs on your head are numbered” (Luke 12:7). The average number of hairs on a person’s head is 100,000. Most people shed about 100 hairs a day, and since the world’s population increases by 200,000 people each day, the total number of hairs on the planet is in constant fluctuation.

The world’s population is approximately 6.7 billion. If we multiply that number by 100,000, we find that God is keeping track of 670 trillion hairs on people’s heads. And that’s not counting the beards! We would not have known this incredible fact about God’s knowledge if Jesus hadn’t told us. (The Sure Cure for Worry, Kent Crockett, Chosen Books 2013, p.72).

So why did Jesus tell us this? To assure us that God does know what’s going on in our lives. Our faith will grow as we grasp how great and powerful our Lord is. If God knows the smallest details about everyone in the world, can you see how it would be wise for us to completely surrender our lives to Him?

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