Sunday, July 31, 2016

Turning Down Treasure in Heaven

A rich, young ruler asked Jesus, “"Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" No single verse calls him the “rich young ruler” but when we read the gospels we find he was:
1) Rich (Mark 10:22). He owned much property. There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy. In fact, most people reading this blog have more wealth than this man ever dreamed of having. You probably have a car, computer, air-conditioning, and phone, which this man didn't have.
2) Young (Matt. 19:20). He had good health and was in the prime of life.
3) Ruler (Luke 18:18). He had status with people obeying his orders.

He tried to live for God. He didn’t commit adultery, steal, or slander, and had honored his parents (Mark 9:19). Jesus said, “One thing you lack. Go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come follow me” (Mark 10:21).

JESUS OFFERED HIM 2 THINGS:
1. He could have been the 13th disciple. Jesus invited him to be a disciple when He said, “Come follow me.” Maybe he would have written one of the gospels. Perhaps he could have fulfilled the spot that would be vacated by Judas (see Acts 1:20-26).
2. He offered him “treasure in heaven.” This may be hard for you to believe, but Jesus said there really is something called treasure in the next life. We don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s far more valuable than anything in this life and it will last throughout all eternity.

TRADING UP: Jesus asked him to trade up—exchanging this world’s stuff for something much better in the next world. “But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property (10:22). He turned down the offer because he loved this world more than the next one. If he would have sold his possessions and followed Him, Jesus would have provided everything he needed.

Are we to sell everything today? God doesn’t expect you to get rid of your clothes and walk around naked! But He does want you to surrender all you have into His hands and let Him tell you how to use it to further His kingdom.
How do we follow Him today? You can’t physically follow Jesus today, but you can follow Him by obeying His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Here's how to get started. 

Are you going to turn down treasure in heaven too, or take up His offer? 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, July 24, 2016

God's Secret Weapon

When your enemy attacks you, God has a Secret Weapon for you to use. Jesus instructed you to “pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28) and “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Praying is God’s Secret Weapon to use against your enemies. My book If God Knows What I Need, Why Should I Pray (chapter 16) explains three reasons why you should do this.

1. Praying for your enemy protects you from becoming resentful and bitter. If you have been abused by someone, your natural reaction is to respond with revenge, which will eventually destroy you. Praying for that person prevents the seed of unforgiveness from being planted in your heart and puts you in a position to receive God’s blessing (Job 42:10).

2. Praying for your enemy starts the repentance process in them. Praying is God’s Secret Weapon to change your enemy. Sometimes it looks as those who are getting away with their evil behavior without suffering any consequences. God wants them to change and your prayer is what begins the process of them repenting.

3. Praying for your enemy releases the Holy Spirit to convict him and her of their abusive behavior. When the innocent victim prays for the person who caused the hurt, God intervenes and brings conviction on the oppressor. Only the Holy Spirit can bring true conviction, which brings change.

The Lord might even bring punishment on your enemy to bring him to repentance. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, or the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn His anger away from him” (Prov. 24:17-18). This verse tells us God is watching both you and your enemy. If you are thrilled to see your enemy punished, He might remove His hand from the situation.

If you don’t use God’s Secret Weapon and pray for your enemy, you are in danger of becoming bitter and the abuser may never change. And this is why Jesus said to pray for those who mistreat you. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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WATCH MUSIC VIDEO  “No Longer Slaves” http://tinyurl.com/zh8o268

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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What God Wants Most

What does God want the most from you? Out of 613 commandments in the Old Testament, Jesus said the greatest is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and will all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). He wants all our love and not just part. He wants us to love Him in four ways.

1. All your HEART.  Not half-hearted love. My whole heart. What am I most passionate about? Is it money? A hobby? I love my hobby, which is football, but it’s not my greatest passion. If I love my hobby or anything more than God, it becomes an idol. It’s not wrong to have hobbies, but the Lord wants me to be most passionate about Him.

2. All your SOUL.  The Greek word for "soul" also means “life.” I'm to love Him more than my own life. I should be willing to die for Him, and willing to live for Him every day.

3. All your MIND.  This is my thought-life. What do I think about most as I go through my day? I show my love for Him through my thoughts. He wants me to think good and holy thoughts, not evil or impure thoughts.

4. All your STRENGTH. I will love Him till my dying day. It takes strength to love Him through the good times and the bad.  

Remember we cannot do this until we first realize His great love for us. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). You can pray, “Lord, I want to love you in this way. I surrender to you and ask you to show me how I can love you with all my being.” www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Download for $7.96.  Buy If God Knows What I Need, Should I Pray? (eBook) for only $7.96.

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

Sunday, July 10, 2016

It's Too Hard to Believe

Some things are easy to believe and other things are hard to believe. For example, you might find it easy to believe that I have $5 in my pocket, but you’d find it hard to believe I could have something from the Titanic in my pocket. The RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 and now sits over 2 miles deep at the bottom of the Atlantic. Suppose I told you, “I really do have something from the Titanic in my pocket.” Would you think that I was lying or telling you the truth?

You’re probably saying, “You must be joking. How could you possibly have something from a ship that’s been at the bottom of the ocean for over 100 years? It’s just too hard to believe.” Many things in the Bible are also hard to believe, such as how did Jesus feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish? How did He give sight to the blind? How did He come back from the dead? And every other miracle.

Our faith shouldn’t be based on our ability to comprehend, but on the truthfulness of our information. Jesus revealed God’s power by saying, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). Once you accept the fact that God can do what is humanly impossible, then it becomes easy to believe Jesus performed all those miracles, even though you cannot fathom how He did them.

As I write this, I really do I have something from the Titanic in my pocket. How is that possible? I was watching the History Channel about exploring the Titanic wreckage, and at the end of the program they were selling pieces of coal they recovered from it. I bought a piece of coal and have a certificate of authenticity to prove it. 

Just because something is hard to believe doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Even though I wasn’t there to see them recover the piece of coal, I believe in the document that tells me it’s authentic. And even though I wasn’t there to see the miracles of Jesus, I believe in the document from eyewitnesses who saw them happen. What in the Bible is hard for you to believe? You can believe in it—if you will trust the testimony of the eyewitnesses. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Download for $7.96.  Buy If God Knows What I Need, Should I Pray? (eBook) for only $7.96.

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

Monday, July 4, 2016

The "R" Word

The “R” word is something that many people don’t want to talk about, but it’s essential for salvation (Luke 13:3). It’s “repentance.” A pastor told a man, “When you walked into the room, I detected you have 7 demons that are tormenting you. Would you like me to cast them out?” The man thought for a moment and said, “How about 6 of them?” Some people refuse to let go of the one thing that’s destroying them.

The Definition. Repentance means desiring to change so we can be pleasing to the Lord. Immediately after Jesus was baptized, He preached, “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Repentance is not simply changing your behavior. It’s having a change of heart first, which results in changing your behavior. You really can’t repent without the Holy Spirit working in your heart, who gives you both the desire and power to change.

The Turning Point. A counselor friend of mine went to see a youth in drug rehab. The counselor asked, “If I gave you a gun, would you kill someone?” The youth said, “No way. I would never kill anyone.” Again he asked the same question. He replied, “I already told you no.” He asked a third time. The youth got angry, “No! I told you I would never do that!” The counselor said, “When you feel that way about drugs, then you’ll be free from drugs.” You cannot be free from bondage until you’re determined to change.

The Reward. What in your life needs to change? Is it an attitude? An addiction? Paul wrote, “You turned away from idols to serve the true and living God” (1 Thess. 1:9). When you seek to be close to God, you’ll turn away from your sin—and only then you’ll discover a freedom and joy that you didn’t know was possible! (Rom. 15:13). But you’ll never experience these blessings until you first decide to change in your heart. 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