Sunday, July 30, 2017

Humbling Yourself Under God's Hand

Don’t skip first base. A relationship with God begins with humbling ourselves before Him. Humility is the key that unlocks God’s grace and mercy in our lives. “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:5–6). Notice 4 things:

1. God opposes proud people but gives grace to the humble. How would you like God to oppose everything that you do? Proud people see themselves as self-sufficient and don’t need God. When we humble ourselves it opens the door to receive God’s grace and mercy, which brings His blessing on our lives.

2. The only one who can “humble yourself” is yourself. No one can do this for you. Only you can do humble yourself. Humility means to yield right of way. A “yield” street sign means to let the other person go before you. We view others as more important than ourselves. “With humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself” (Phil. 2:3).  

3. Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand. We realize God’s hand is powerful and that He is ruler over the entire world (1 Chron. 29:11-12). Humbling ourselves means we yield completely to Him and let Him have His way in our lives.

4. God exalts humble people at the proper time. The proper time means in eternity after this life is over. Humbling yourself in this life means you will be exalted in the next life. Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Have you humbled yourself under God’s mighty hand? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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DO YOU KNOW WHAT MORMONS BELIEVE
WATCH MUSIC VIDEO: "The Power of Your Love" by Rebecca St James

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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Catching the Fish with a Coin in its Mouth

The tax collectors came to Capernaum and asked Peter if he and Jesus were going to pay the temple tax (Ex. 30:13). When Peter went into the house to inform Him, Jesus spoke about the tax before Peter could say anything. He told Peter to throw a hook into the Sea of Galilee and the first fish he caught would have a coin in its mouth, which was the amount to pay the temple tax (Matt. 17:24-27).

If you’re single and wonder how you’ll find the right person to marry, or if you’re unemployed and need a job, Matthew 17 shows how God can make a divine appointment to meet your need. If God can lead a fish to a man, He can lead a woman to a man, or a man to a woman.

1. Jesus knew about the need before Peter told Him. Matthew 17:25 says Jesus spoke to Him first about the tax. Even though Jesus wasn't outside to hear the conversation, He wanted Peter to know He supernaturally knew of the need before he asked. He also knows about your need and how to answer your prayer (Matt. 6:8).

2. Jesus told him to throw out a hook, not a net. Jesus didn’t tell him to throw out a net and sort through all the fish one by one. He told Peter to throw out a line to catch only one. Many times when God wants to provide He asks us to throw out a line. He may ask you to fill out a job application, make a phone call, or move to a new location.

3. Peter’s responsibility was to obey Jesus and trust God to make it happen. Peter had no control over which fish would bite on his hook. All he could do was throw out a line and hold the fishing pole. After you obey what God says, you may need to patiently wait for Him to make the divine connection. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7)

4. God made sure the right fish would bite on his hook. Out of the thousands of fish in the sea, only one had a coin in its mouth. Peter threw his line and after a few seconds, his cork began to bob and disappeared under water. He pulled back on his pole, lifting the fish out of the sea. When he opened its mouth he found a stater inside, the exact amount to pay the tax for Jesus and Peter. 

The only way it could have been more miraculous was if he had taken the coin out of the fish's mouth, and the fish had said, "TA-DA!" The right fish was at the right place at the right time with the right amount. God 's divine appointments never disappoint.
FOR MORE ABOUT HOW GOD MAKES DIVINE APPOINTMENTS read The Sure Cure for Worry.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Do You Trust the Kicker?

Suppose you’re at a football game and your team is on the other team’s 20-yard line with the clock stopped. One second is left in the game and you’re losing by 2 points. The kicker runs on the field and if he kicks the field goal your team wins the game.

Only one problem. The kicker is terrible! He’s missed most kicks all year. Nervous fans are squirming and afraid to watch. A fan yells, “He'll miss this one, too!” Why are they worried? They don’t trust the kicker.

Consider another scenario. A different kicker comes in for the final play. This player has never missed a field goal all season. The fans give each other high-5's because they're confident he will make the kick. Why aren’t they worried? They trust the kicker.

Here’s the real kicker. Worry is a trust issue. We worry because we don’t trust that God is in control and will fail us in our time of need. Worry never trusts—and trust never worries. You can’t worry and trust God at the same time. Since trust forces out worry, your worry will leave by placing your complete trust in God. Here's how.

1. Trust begins with having a relationship. I can’t trust someone that I don’t know, so trusting God begins with having a relationship with Him (Rom. 10:13) and trusting His heart.

2. Trust grows as we believe what He has promised. Trust increases as you deepen your fellowship with God. Although you won’t see God until after you die, you can see what He has promisedin His Word, the Bible. God has given us proof the Bible is true through fulfilled prophecies about the future. It’s impossible for Him to lie (Heb. 6:18) and He stands behind His promises (2 Cor. 1:20).

3. To quit worrying we must choose to put our trust in God. Psalm 56:3-4 says “When I am afraid, I will PUT my trust in You…in God I have PUT my trust. I shall not be afraid.” To “put” means to transfer from one place to another. You put gasoline into your car by transferring it from the gas pump to the tank. So when you put your trust in the Lord, you transfer it from yourself to HimFor much more about trusting God for provision and the future read The Sure Cure for Worry.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Catching a Connecting Flight

My wife and I were on a flight from California to Florida when the pilot was forced to land in Texas due to severe weather. We stayed that evening in Houston and the next morning caught a connecting flight to Jacksonville. Even though our original travel plan was interrupted and diverted, we still ended up at the right destination.

As we seek to follow God and His plan, sometimes we’re diverted to another path. That doesn’t mean we can never get back to the right place. God’s sovereignty works like catching a connecting flight. He takes you where you are right now and redirects you to the correct destination.

1. We can be diverted to another path by others’ rejection. Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him as a slave to some Midianite traders. Joseph caught a “connecting ride” to Egypt where God promoted him to be a ruler (Gen 37, 41). If you lost your job or went through a divorce, remember that God still has a plan you.

2. We can be diverted to another path by our own rebellion. God told Jonah to go preach to the people in Nineveh. Instead of obeying Him, Jonah caught a ship going in the opposite direction. The sailors threw him overboard and a “connecting whale” swallowed him and took him back to Israel. No matter how far you’ve strayed from God, He will still provide a way back to Him.

3. We can be diverted to another path through adverse circumstances. These are unforeseen situations that sidetrack us, like the severe weather that forced our plane to land in Houston. The apostle Paul was sailing to Rome when a terrible storm wrecked the ship on the island Malta. After God used Paul to heal many people on the island, he caught a “connecting ship” (an Alexandrian boat) and still ended up in Rome (Acts 27-28).

Trust God to lead you in your current situation and show you the steps to take. Prayer: “Lord, please forgive me for choosing the wrong way. I surrender to you and ask you to lead me in the right path.” www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: What does it mean to repent?

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

Sunday, July 2, 2017

How to Forgive Your Enemy

Jesus told a parable about a king that forgave a slave who owed him $50 million in today's dollars. It would take him 4,500 lifetimes to pay it off, yet the merciful king dismissed him from the entire debt! You’d think the slave would be so grateful for being forgiven that he would forgive everyone who owed him as well. Not so with this guy. When he found a fellow-slave who owed him $15, he started choking him, saying, “Pay back what you owe me!” (Matt. 18:28).

Are you choking someone who has hurt you? You aren't physically strangling your enemy, but what about in your mind? The $50 million debt represents the debt we owe to God. When we ask God's forgiveness, the merciful King dismisses the debt. Since we’ve now received His mercy, He wants us to extend mercy to our enemies and dismiss their debt as well.

How can you forgive those who have hurt you?
1. Focus on what God did FOR you, not what that person did TO you.
I can’t give away something that I haven't first received. I can't give you $15 if I haven't first received $15. And I can't give forgiveness to others until I’ve first received it from God. But since the Lord has forgiven my $50 million debt, it’s no problem for me to forgive $15.

2. Change the way you view the person who hurt you. You won’t forgive as long as you’re angry at your enemy, so you’ll need to change how you view him. The king was angry at first but then "felt compassion" for the slave, which moved him to forgive him (Matt. 18:27). When his emotions changed from anger to pity, forgiveness followed. Find a way to feel pity and compassion for your enemy. Perhaps the person is lost, is mentally ill, or was abused as a child—see them in that way. (I’ve shared real examples of this in my book Slaying Your Giants pp.59-70.)

3. Let go by taking your hands off your enemy’s neck. People owe different kinds of debts. Some people owe money. Others might owe you an apology. Perhaps you’re upset because someone hasn’t thanked you. Keep in mind that hateful people never apologize, and ungrateful people don’t say thank you. Quit expecting your enemy to make things right with you. Instead of choking him (or her), trying to force him to repay, take your hands off his neck. Take the loss and let it go, just as the king let go of the $50 million debt that was owed to him.

Prayer: “Lord, thank you for forgiving my $50 million debt. I choose to forgive (name the person) for (describe the offense). I’m letting go of (person) and I’ve changed the way I view him/her.”
When you forgive your enemy you’ll stop being tormented inside. And that's worth a whole lot more than the $15 debt you forgave. 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
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett