Sunday, November 27, 2016

Letting Go of People

Pharaoh was a Control Freak and had kept God’s people in bondage for years. The Lord sent Moses to him with a message, “Let My people go!” (Ex. 5:1). Perhaps a “difficult person” is keeping you in bondage through an unhealthy relationship. The one tormenting you is living in your mind rent-free! Either you are trying to control and change that person, or that person is trying to control you. Both ways create bondage. God told Pharaoh to let go and He’s also telling you to let go

1. If you don’t LET GO, you cannot be spiritually free. You can hold on to something with your hands, but you can also hold on to something with your heart. To “let go” means to release in your heart the person or situation into God’s hands and to let Him make the corrections needed. Jesus wants you to be “free indeed” (John 8:36).

2. If you don’t LET GO, you cannot move on to the next new thing.  For a trapeze artist to reach out and grasp the new bar, he or she must let go of the old bar. The new bar is just far enough away so that you cannot grab it while still clinging to the old. If you don’t let go, you’ll keep swinging in the same old routine and nothing will get better for you.

3. If you don’t LET GO, dysfunctional people will continue to control you. Dysfunctional people can act like Pharaoh and will get upset and angry if you don’t do exactly as they say. The disciples told Jesus the Pharisees were offended by His teaching. Jesus instructed His disciples to “Leave them alone” (Matt. 15:14). In other words, “Don’t let them manipulate you with their domineering attitudes but keep following Me and what I tell you to do.”

“Letting go” doesn’t mean that you stop caring but that you want freedom more than bondage. How to LET GO: Keith Miller said, “Imagine putting the person in your cupped hands, then coming before the Lord, who also has His hands cupped. You place your hands inside His hands and gently take your hands apart, leaving the person in God’s hands.” Once you let go, let the Lord deal with that person and stop letting him or her live inside your mind.
To read more about letting go read SlayingYour Giants. ($5.99)
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lessons from Ten Lepers

After Jesus healed ten lepers, only one returned to thank Him (Luke 17:12-19). What was the difference between the one leper and the other nine? How do we know when we’re truly grateful?  

1. The one leper took some extra steps that the other nine didn’t.  Luke 17:15 says, “Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back…” This leper was walking in one direction to show himself to the priests, but he turned around and took extra steps to thank Jesus. Thankfulness is willing to take some extra steps to show its appreciation.  

2. The one leper expressed his appreciation in a tangible way while the other nine didn’t.  One way to express appreciation is with words.  Luke 17:15 says he was “glorifying God with a loud voice.” One little boy came how from school all excited.  “Dad, today I learned how to say please and thank you in Spanish.” His father said, “When are you going to learn how to say it in English?” Some people never say “thank you” in any language. 

Thankfulness can also be expressed with gifts. Jesus once healed a leper and told him, “But go show yourself to the priest and make an offering…” (Luke 5:14). Offerings are an expression of our thanks to God. Psalm 50:23 says “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.” 

3. The one leper voluntarily thanked Jesus while the other nine didn’t. Thankfulness cannot be forced. Luke 17:16 says, “He fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.” God never forces anyone to be thankful because then it wouldn’t be sincere. If you have to ask someone to thank you, it isn’t genuine.

When God blesses us He expects to be thanked. Jesus asked the one leper, “Were not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they?”(Luke 17:17)  In a similar way, we’re like those lepers because God has done so much for us. But are we like the one leper—or the other nine?
To read the entire PRINTED SERMON on this click here:Did You Forget Something?

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Start a Chain Reaction

Paul and Silas had been beaten with rods and thrown into prison for preaching about Jesus (Acts 16:22-26). Even though they were hurting and bleeding, they ignored their own pain and sang praises to God. In response to their praise, God sent an earthquake that opened the prison doors and unfastened everyone's chains. It's amazing what praising can do!

Their praise started a chain reaction. When we start praising God, our chains will react by falling off. Do you think God would have sent that supernatural earthquake to unlock their chains if they had been complaining about their situation? I don’t think so. But when the Lord heard them praise Him in the midst of their desperate situation, it moved Him to do something about it. It takes faith to praise God when you are going through the worst situation you’ve ever experienced.

Just as God was able to deliver them from their physical chains, He can set people free from their spiritual chains.

If the chains of self-hatred make you feel unloved, start praising God and your chains will fall off as you stop focusing on yourself and you experience His love.

If the chains of depression make you think life has no purpose, start praising God and that dark cloud will scatter as He shines His light into your soul.

If the chains of worry are robbing your joy, start praising God and your worry will vanish because it can't stand being around praise.

Praising God is a powerful force that can break the spiritual chains that bind you. Just like Paul and Silas, your praise can start a chain reaction and set you free. To read the entire PRINTED SERMON click here:When God Intervenes
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Wife's Lost Diamond

My wife Cindy was crying as she called me from the bank where she worked.  In a panicking voice she said, "The diamond has fallen out of my wedding ring and I don't know where it is!" Finding that diamond would be like finding a needle in a haystack. She could have lost it in our house, or in the restaurant where she had lunch, or somewhere in the bank. 

I prayed, "Lord, you know where Cindy lost her diamond. Please show me where it is." Immediately I felt prompted to go to the bank parking lot. The first place I looked was inside our minivan. It wasn’t there. When I scanned the parking lot, I saw what looked like a piece of glass laying in a crack in the pavement. It was Cindy’s diamond! 

I snatched it up and ran into the bank yelling, "I found the diamond!"  Bank customers turned around, wondering why I was shouting. Cindy burst into tears and came running out from behind her teller window. As we embraced in the lobby, it looked like the ending of a romantic movie.

We called our friends and told them how I found the diamond against all odds. Then I finally understood the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-9). The woman who had lost a silver coin called her friends with joy after she found it. Sometimes we don’t realize something’s value until we lose it—and then recover it.  

The diamond hadn’t increased in value, but our perception of its worth had changed dramatically. I learned the secret of thankfulness: the value of something isn't determined by how much it appreciates, but by how much it is appreciated.

If you want to enjoy life, you will need to reexamine the value of what you have. You may have lost the appreciation for the things you once desperately wanted!
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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