Sunday, August 27, 2017

Don't Bow Down to Idols

Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar made a huge golden image and ordered everyone to bow down and worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were believers in the true God, refused to bow down, even under the threat of being executed (Daniel 3).

Today in our society, people order us to bow down to the idols of political correctness, fake news, the lie of evolution, and sexual immorality. Unfortunately, many people who claim to be Christians are bowing their knees to these idols. Are you bowing down? Three things are needed to stand up for the truth and to not bow down:

#1 We must be absolutely convinced the Bible is true. If you aren’t convinced the Bible is God’s Word, you will sooner or later bow down to idols. Did you know that every archeological excavation in Israel has confirmed the truth of the Bible? Did you know the Bible proves itself as true through fulfilled prophecies that have come to pass? God spoke to the Old Testament prophets about what would happen in the future. They recorded hundreds of predictions—and they all came to pass.

#2 Faith inside your heart must be greater than outward pressure. The pressure to bow to man-made idols is becoming greater every day. If you squeeze a cracker in your hand it will crumble because the outward pressure is greater than the inward strength. But you if squeeze a baseball, nothing will happen because the inside is greater than the outside.

#3 We must love the Lord more than this world. When we love the Lord we commit our lives to Him. Your life on earth will soon be over but you will exist forever either in heaven or hell. “Love not the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…and the world is passing away, and also its desires, but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15,17).

One day every person who has ever lived will bow down to Jesus and confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11). This doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually be saved. Those who did not worship Him while on earth will not spend eternity with Him in heaven.  
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Lessons From Mary and Martha

When Jesus and His disciples arrived in Bethany, Martha invited them into her home. Jesus goes into the other room and starts teaching, but Martha rushes into the kitchen and starts preparing a meal for the crew. She’s running around the kitchen gathering ingredients, and it really bothers her that her sister Mary hasn’t lifted one finger to help. Mary had followed Jesus to the other room to listen to Him.

Think about it. God is in a human body sitting in her living room, revealing truths hidden from the beginning of time, but Martha is too busy to listen. Meanwhile, Mary is taking in every word. Finally, Martha stomps into the room and interrupts the Bible study. With hands on her hips, she commands Jesus to do something. “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me." (Luke 10:40)

Martha expects Jesus to say, “Martha, you’re so right!  Doesn’t anyone here remember my teachings on being a servant?  Take a look at my servant, Martha. Mary, you could learn a few things from her. Now go help Martha fix my favorite meal!” Instead He says, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part.” (Luke 10:41-42). 

Mary and Martha represent two different ways to live:
#1 We can serve God—but do it with a bad attitude. Martha was serving, but she wasn’t serving cheerfully. It drove her crazy that Mary wasn’t helping. Being bothered means everyone and everything gets on your nerves. What annoys you and gets on your nerves?  The problem really isn’t with other people, but our attitude inside our hearts.

#2 Being worried and bothered means our focus is wrong. Martha was “worried and bothered” because she focused on “many things.” Mary was focused on “one thing.” Martha was constantly stressed-out about everything. She continually worried about the future. Little things always bothered her. She wasn't enjoying life because she focused on events rather than God.

#3 God wants us to choose to spend time with Him. I’m not sure what Jesus was teaching that day, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was, “How to Not Be Worried and Bothered.” Jesus told Martha, “Only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part.” What did she choose?  She chose to hear Jesus speak to her heart.

How do we spend time with God? I’ve made it a practice to read God’s Word every day. I’ll pick a book of the Bible, start in chapter 1, read a portion, and ask God to speak to my heart. I’ll jot down in a journal or on my computer what I’ve learned. The next day I start where I ended the day before. After I’ve read the entire book, I’ll choose another book of the Bible. If you’re not spending daily time with God, I hope you’ll start today. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, August 13, 2017

God Will Reward Your Faithfulness

When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord, God saves you by His grace alone. But many people don’t realize that their rewards in heaven will be determined by their faithfulness in serving Him after they’ve been saved. The few brief moments you live on earth will determine what you’ll be doing in heaven forever.

God is evaluating your faithfulness in this life because He wants to reward you with something much greater in the next life (Matt. 25:21, Luke 19:17). Life on earth is a test. He wants us to be faithful where you are right now, with what you have right now. Faithfulness means:

1. Faithfulness means excellence. Excellence doesn't mean doing more things, but doing things better. It’s doing your very best in every situation because you believe the Lord is watching and you want to please Him (Eph. 5:10).

2. Faithfulness means integrity. Integrity means being above reproach morally, even when no one is watching. A store owner interviewed a young man for a job and asked, "If I hire you to work for me, will you be honest and truthful?" He answered, "I'll be honest and truthful whether you hire me or not."

3. Faithfulness means dependability. Dependable people can be relied upon to fulfill their commitments. When a job is assigned to a dependable worker, the boss never has to worry if the job will get done on time. Your faithfulness is determined by the commitment in your heart and not by outside pressure.

4. Faithfulness means sacrifice. Sacrifice means giving up something now to get something better later. When you cheerfully give your offerings to Him, you’re laying up for yourself treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20).

5. Faithfulness means perseverance. Jesus said, "Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Faithfulness means you keep running until you cross the finish line. The race you're running won't be over until you die. Be faithful until death. He promises you a great eternal reward if you will.

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, KNOWING that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). For more about God rewarding our faithfulness read Making Today Count for Eternity.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Imaginary Movies in Your Mind

When was the last time you watched a movie? Not at the mall, but the imaginary movies in your mind. Satan has produced a number of films he wants you to watch. He projects imaginary movies on the screen of your mind, trying to stir up ungodly emotions so you’ll react in the wrong way.
A seat is reserved for you. Admission is free. The popcorn is ready and the show is about to begin. All Satan asks is for you to believe what you see even though none of it has yet happened.

The Worry movie plays in your mind and you see every tragedy happening to you or someone you love. The Angry movie stars foolish people who keep doing things you don’t like, trying to steal your joy. You are the star of the dark Depression movie where you seemingly have lost all hope. The Temptation movie shows you doing something wrong without any consequences. Killers watch the Murder movie before they do the crime. You’ve probably seen the Jealousy movie, Envy movie, and Rejection movie. Have you ever noticed how the movies in your mind never have a happy ending?

This is why 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Notice we must carry out a two-step process—stop and replace.

STOP THE MOVIE!Casting down imaginations.” You don’t have to keep watching it. You can turn off the movie by commanding the thoughts to leave in Jesus’ name. You realize Satan has made the movies and you’re determined to shut down his operation. When you take a stand against him, he’ll leave and take his movie projection with him. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7)

REPLACE IT. “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” It’s not enough to cast down the imaginations. We also need to replace it with right thinking. Don’t leave the lot vacant but build a godly house there. If we’ll dwell on godly thoughts (Phil. 4:8) we’ll be happy both now and in the future.
FOR MORE about the movies in your mind read Slaying Your Giants.
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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