Saturday, December 24, 2016

Light Came Into a Dark World

Darkness is the absence of light. This world was in darkness, so God decided to send a Light into the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Did you catch that? He’s the only person who brought the light of God’s revelation to the entire world. We celebrate the birth of Jesus because He is the Light of the world.

Darkness is also the absence of life. People are in darkness because they are excluded from the life of God. “Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them” (Eph. 4:18). “In (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4) Jesus came to earth to bring light (revelation of God’s truth) and (spiritual) life.

Why do some people reject the Light and want to remain in darkness? Three reasons.
1. They don’t understand who Jesus is. “And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). Most people have heard of Jesus, but they don’t understand that He was God in a human body and He came to earth to save them for their sins so they can spend eternity with Him. This is why we need to share about Him to others.

2. Their minds are made up and are unwilling to change. Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). When the Pharisees saw Jesus performing miracles, they were unwilling to believe and follow Him because their hearts were hard (Mark 3:5-6).

3. They love darkness because their deeds are evil. Light drives out darkness. “The Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). When you follow Jesus, you choose to walk away from darkness (evil behavior) and your life will change. “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).    
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Old Testament Christmas Story

The Christmas story was written in the Old Testament 700 years before Jesus' birth. God’s prophets looked into the future and wrote down how to identify the coming Messiah (Savior). I believe God in the flesh walked on this planet and that's why I live to please Him. Consider these prophecies:

He will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:12, Matt. 2:1) Out of all the cities in world, the prophet Micah pinpointed His birthplace.

He will be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23) Isaiah recorded 38 things the Messiah would do. The prophet predicted His mother would become pregnant without a father.

He will be called out of Egypt. (Hosea 11:1, Matt. 2:13-15). Joseph and Mary were told by God to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath until he died. The Lord then told them to return, fulfilling Hosea's prophecy: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

He will rule over an eternal kingdom. (Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1:32-33). Jesus existed in heaven before He came to earth. He died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven where He rules over His eternal kingdom. You can be saved by receiving Him into your heart.

To read more prophecies about the Messiah click here
Watch this music video "A Christmas Hallelujah" (click 0040)
 www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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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
CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Joseph's Side of the Story

You’ve heard the Christmas story a hundred times. Everyone hears about baby Jesus, Mary, the angels, the shepherds, and the wise men. But what about Joseph? He’s often overlooked, but is a great role model for us:

1. Joseph loved grace more than justice. Put yourself in his shoes. He finds out his bride-to-be was pregnant and the only natural explanation was she had cheated on him. I’m sure Mary explained that the angel Gabriel informed her that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and she would give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35). But that was a hard pill to swallow.

If he had exposed her publicly, the Law commanded that she be stoned to death (Dt. 22:23-24). Joseph was “a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly” (Matt. 1:19). Joseph decided to send her away secretly because he loved grace more than judgment.

2. Joseph trusted the Lord more than his own logic. His plan was interrupted when an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained that she really was conceived on the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20-23). Joseph believed the divine message even though it made no sense. A virgin conceiving had never happened before. There will be times when you will also need to trust the Lord more than your own logic (Prov. 3:5-6).  

3. Joseph accepted his supporting role in life. Some people have leading roles in life while others have supporting roles. Both roles are equally as important. Joseph accepted his role as her husband. By taking her to be his wife, it appeared to others that he had gotten her pregnant. How would it sound to say, “An angel told me that no human got her pregnant.” No one would believe that story. Sometimes you have to do what is right even if only God knows the truth!

Joseph ignored the gossip being said about him and Mary because pleasing the Lord was more important to him than his own reputation.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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Would you please consider a year-end gift to Making Life Count Ministries? Checks can be sent to the mailing address below or you can give online here.

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
CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Approval Ratings

Pontius Pilate conducted an opinion poll about what to do with Jesus. His approval ratings were down, so he asked the crowd whether to release Jesus or the murderer Barabbas. The chief priests stirred up the crowd and pressured him to release Barabbas. “And wishing to satisfy the multitude, Pilate released Barabbas” (Mark 15:15). Pilate wanted to be popular more than he wanted to be right. And many people today are more interested in being popular than standing up for the truth. Here’s how to overcome peer pressure.

1. Be more concerned about what God thinks of you than what people think.
It’s not poplar to follow Jesus and you’ll be ridiculed for standing up for what you believe. To have courage, you must be convinced that the Bible is true and everything Jesus taught is the truth. Jesus never took an opinion poll. We never see Jesus asking, “How am I doing? What is my approval rating?” He was only interested in pleasing His Father.

2. Your inner strength must be greater than the outward pressure to conform.
If I squeeze a cracker it will crumble because the outward pressure is greater than the cracker’s strength. But if I squeeze a baseball it won’t crumble because it’s stronger than the pressure being applied. Pilate thought Jesus was innocent, but he didn’t believe it enough to overcome the pressure applied by the angry crowd. He crumbled because he wasn’t strong in his convictions.

3. Realize that everyone will be held accountable to God. You and everyone else will one day stand face-to-face with the living God. “They are surprised that you do no run with them…and they malign you, but they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:4-5). Keep an eternal perspective and don’t cave in to them. God’s approval is the only approval rating that matters. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: The Dual Prophecy of the Virgin Birth(Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled at two different times)

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