Monday, May 30, 2016

Willing & Able

The following excerpt is from my new book If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? (Kent Crockett, Hendrickson Publishers 2016, p.29).

A farmer owned two mules named Willing and Able. Willing was eager to work but struggled to pull the plow. Able was a powerful mule but stubborn. Whenever the farmer tried to get Able to pull the plow, he refused to move. Willing was willing, but not able. Able was able, but not willing. And that’s why the farmer never got any work done.

Answered prayer requires two things—the ability of God and the will of God. It takes both God’s hand and His heart to bring His answer to our prayers. We must believe that He is able to answer our prayers, and that He is willing to do it.  We just can't believe one or the other. We must believe both.

A father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus and said, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us’” (Mark 9:22). He believed He was willing but not sure if He was able. Willing – Able = Unbelief

Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and tempted Him to jump off, trying to get Jesus to trust in the ability of God but to ignore the will of God (Matt. 4:6-7). Jesus didn’t take the bait.  Able – Willing = Presumption   

King Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace. They had told him, "Our God who we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king." (Dan. 3:17). And God did deliver them. 
Able + Willing = Answer

What are you praying for? Do you believe that He’s able to do it? Do you believe that He’s willing? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  
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NOW AVAILABLE at your local Christian bookstore. If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? Some things in your life will not happen unless you pray! CLICK HERE to read chapter one (look inside).

Receive these devotionals (free) 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, May 22, 2016

The Astronaut's Space Suit

How was it possible for men to visit the moon? Temperatures on the moon measure between 253 degrees F and minus 243 degrees—and the moon doesn’t have oxygen. Scientists pooled their knowledge and designed a space suit that made it possible for astronauts to briefly live on the moon. When the astronauts finished their mission and returned to earth, they no longer needed to wear their space suits.

Your body is like a space suit that the astronauts wore when they walked on the moon. God designed your body to enable you to breathe air and eat food to keep you alive for a brief time on earth. But the real you is your eternal spirit living inside your body. One day you’ll die and your mission on earth will end (James 2:26). At death, your spirit will leave your “space suit” and you’ll go to your eternal destination—either heaven or hell. The good news is that you can decide right now where you will go.

It amazes me how so many people never think about the afterlife. They’ll live for 80 years on earth and never truly examine the evidence that the Bible is true and put their trust in Jesus Christ. God’s plan of salvation is so simple that a child can understand it. Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead, and wants you to believe in Him.

As I grow older, I realize that most of my natural life is behind me and it won’t be that long before I leave my “space suit” behind. Death for anyone can happen at any time. But if you place your complete trust in Jesus to save you, you should be looking forward to your eternal home in heaven. The apostle Paul, who had seen heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4), said the next life is “very much better” than life on earth (Phil. 1:23). Make your reservation now for your home in heaven. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  
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NOW AVAILABLE in eBook: My new book If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? is now available in eBook format (paperback in bookstores on June 1). Some things in your life will not happen unless you pray! CLICK HERE to read chapter one ("look inside").

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, May 15, 2016

Guarding Your Heart

Steve Irwin was "The Crocodile Hunter" on the TV series by that name. I remember watching one show where he was in a muddy river at night catching crocodiles with his bare hands! On another episode, he caught with his hands the 10 deadliest snakes in the world. I thought for sure he would eventually be killed by a crocodile or deadly snake. The world was shocked by how he actually died.

In 2006, Irwin was snorkeling in shallow water above a stingray, when suddenly it threw up its tail and spiked him in his heart. He died seconds later. Experts said the odds of this happening were one in a million. The only way a stingray can kill you is to stab you directly in your heart with its barbed spine. He let his guard down and was attacked at the one place where he was the most vulnerable—his heart.

The Scripture tell us, "Guard your heart above all else for out of it flows the springs of life" (Prov. 4:23).  Protecting your heart against attacks from Satan is your highest priority. The devil will try to plant evil thoughts in your heart that can destroy you. You can stop these "heart attacks" by stationing guards around your heart.

HOW TO GUARD YOUR HEART
To guard your heart means to stop destructive thoughts as soon as they come. Depression wants to enter your heart to destroy your will to live. Anger wants you to destroy others. 
1. Yield to the Holy Spirit.  “Submit therefore to God…” (James 4:7) The Holy Spirit is the only One who gives you the desire and power to be holy. Without the Holy Spirit, you can’t resist anything evil.
2. Control what you think about. You can choose what you think about. When you go to the wrong places in your mind, it opens your heart for an attack. “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27).
3. Resist Satan. If you are under attack, don’t give in but take a stand against the enemy. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). But he won’t flee if you don’t resist.
Only you can protect your heart, so start right now. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  
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NOW AVAILABLE in eBook: My new book If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray? is available in eBook format (paperback in bookstores June 1). Some things in your life will not happen unless you pray! CLICK HERE to read chapter one (look inside).

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, May 8, 2016

The Things You Shouldn't Have Said

The prophet Isaiah had a vision of God on His throne in heaven. Immediately Isaiah said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:1, 5).

Isaiah was one of the greatest Old Testament prophets, so what did he say that was so bad? It probably wasn’t filthy words, but he was ashamed of the words he shouldn’t have said. Perhaps he had lost his temper and called someone an idiot. Maybe he belittled someone in private, but now he was ashamed because He knew that God had heard it.

Have you ever said something that you wish you hadn’t said? We all have. You cannot recall those words, but you can apologize to the person you hurt. You would be amazed at how humbling yourself and asking forgiveness can heal and repair a relationship. If you’ve ever made fun of, or unjustly criticized someone, it helps to realize that person was created by God. John reminds us, “The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

An angel touched Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal and said, “Your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven” (Isaiah 6:6). The Lord will also forgive you for the words you wish you hadn’t said—if you will ask Him. And don’t forgot to apologize to the person you harmed. 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, 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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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