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

Would you like to 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, 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

Would you like to 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, March 13, 2016

Asking God for a Sign

Have you ever asked for “a sign” from God? A sign means to ask the Lord to do something in an unusual way to confirm His will. Moses, Hezekiah, Gideon, and others received miraculous signs from God. A sign can be as simple as a door of opportunity opening or closing, or as complex as a set of circumstances miraculously coming together. No sign by itself should be taken as proof of His confirmation, but should always be affirmed through God’s Word.

In Judges 6, an angel told Gideon that the Lord had chosen him to lead Israel to defeat the Midianites. Gideon asked for a sign to prove he would be victorious. He placed a fleece of wool on the ground and asked the Lord to send dew on the fleece, but let the ground around it remain dry. The next morning, the fleece was wet and the ground dry. Then Gideon asked for another sign—to make the fleece dry and the ground wet. The Lord fulfilled both signs.

Although it's reassuring to have confirmations, signs are often followed by a severe testing of faith. Gideon had to fight the Midianites with his army reduced to 300 men. If you ask God for a sign, be prepared to have your faith tested. Beware of 3 dangers.   

1. The danger of becoming sign-dependent. Some people think they should ask God for a sign about every decision they need to make. This is dangerous because they’ll always need to see proof before they will trust God. Some religious leaders told Jesus, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You” (Matt. 12:38-39). He had already performed miracles before their own eyes, which they had refused to believe. If they wouldn’t repent after seeing indisputable proof that He was the Messiah, why should Jesus give them another sign?

2. The danger of seeing a sign that is not a sign. Some people interpret everything as a sign from God. While watching a movie, they will hear an actor quote a line and believe that it is a message to them from the Lord. Although God can speak to you in any way He desires, don’t assume that everything you see or hear is a sign.

3. The danger of misinterpreting a sign. A farmer saw “G P” written in the clouds, which he interpreted to leave the farm and “Go preach.” After he preached his first sermon, the congregation told him the sign was actually telling him to “Go plow.” When God gives a sign, the message will be clear.  ...to read more click “Asking God for a Sign”

Would you like to 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, March 6, 2016

When Something Smells Fishy

A television news report explained how fish are inspected. The most precise way to inspect fish is with a trained human nose. The fish inspector smells each part of the fish, trying to detect unusual odors. When something smells fishy, it indicates one part of the fish may be bad.

Discernment tells you when something smells fishy. It enables you to distinguish right from wrong, or when someone has hidden motives to entrap you. It keeps you out of trouble. Many people would not be in the mess they’re in right now if they had just used some discernment!

THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE: A critical person only looks for what’s wrong—and cannot see the blessings of what’s good in a situation. A na├»ve person cannot see the warning flag if something is harmful—and is easy prey to be deceived. But a discerning person has learned how to sort out the bad from the good, and error from truth—and won’t be fooled.

RECEIVING DISCERNMENT: First, study the Bible because it will reveal truth (John 17:17). Second, ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth (John 16:13). God’s Spirit will usually upset the peace inside you when something is wrong.

USING DISCERNMENT: Have an open mind to receive truth, but keep your spiritual antenna up to reject error. An open mind is like an open window. It needs a screen on it to keep the bugs out. 1 Thess. 5:21 says, "Examine everything carefully. Hold fast to that which is good." Just because you don’t agree with every little thing your pastor teaches does it mean you should quit the church. Eat the meat and spit out the bones. But it you’re spitting out more bones than receiving meat, it’s time to change restaurants.

Don’t tell your secrets to an untrustworthy person. David made this mistake. He said, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul,” which resulted in the priests being put to death (1 Samuel 22:22, 1 Sam. 21:7, 22:9,18).
Don't be so quick to believe gossip about others because exaggerations and lies are usually mixed into the message. Don't believe every thought that pops into your mind because the evil one can plant thoughts too. You’ll stay out of trouble and enjoy your life by using discernment. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Would you like to 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