Saturday, September 30, 2017

Things That Get On Your Nerves

What drives you crazy? My wife doesn’t like hearing my metal spoon clicking the bowl when I eat ice cream. I’m not sure why it bugs her because it doesn’t bother me at all. But TV commercials with goofy songs—now that drives me nuts. Like this one advertising FreeCreditReport.com. When the annoying commercial comes on five times every night, I grab the remote and change channels—but it’s on the other station too! I’ve tried to call the companies to please stop them, but their websites don’t have any way to contact their advertising department. And that’s ANOTHER thing that gets on my nerves!

If someone does something that irritates you:
1. You might need more patience. God tells us to “be patient with everyone” (1 Thess. 5:14). Yes, even offensive people. “Bearing with one another” (Col. 3:13) means to put up with those who get on your nerves. God often uses quirky individuals to develop godly qualities in us. After all, how can we gain patience if we don’t go through any trials?

2. You might need to avoid them. The Bible does tell us to avoid certain people (See Prov. 20:19, 1 Cor. 5:11, 2 Tim. 3:5). You can be friendly to everyone, but you don’t have to be friends with everyone. You don’t have to be best friends with someone who aggravates you. It makes more sense to spend time with those who encourage you.  

3. You might need to change something. If you’re married just say, “Honey, did you know when you [fill in the blank] it gets on my nerves?” That’s what my wife said about my spoon clicking. The solution was simple.
The apostle Paul said, “If food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again” (1 Cor. 8:13). I didn’t quit eating ice cream, but I did start eating it with a plastic spoon, which makes my wife happy. See? It’s not that hard to figure out how to calm your nerves. 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, September 24, 2017

The Invisible Fence

My friend installed an invisible fence around his property to make sure his dog wouldn't run into the street and get hit by a car. He buried an electrical wire around the perimeter of his property. A small box sent out a signal to a receiver in the dog's collar. If the dog walked near the boundary line the collar vibrated, which warned him to back away. If he ignored the warning and kept going, he received a small electrical shock, which turned him back. The invisible fence taught his dog where he couldn't go.

God uses two types of invisible fences.
First, He puts a conscience inside everyone. “The Gentiles (unbelievers)…show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness [to right and wrong], and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Rom. 2:14-15). Adam and Eve crossed the invisible fence to look at the forbidden fruit. When people continue to override their consciences nothing will bother them anymore—even torturing and killing others. They’ve become “seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Tim. 4:2) and are heading for the shock of their lives.

Second, the Holy Spirit who lives inside every believer convicts us of right and wrong. He speaks to our hearts to guide us on the right path and warn us when we’re going the wrong way. But He also empowers us to live for Him. His warnings are not just trying to keep us from getting run over, but to keep us living in the area of joy and freedom. “For you were called to freedom, only do not turn your opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13).

When you walk in the Spirit, you won’t keep trying to sneak across the invisible line. You’ll enjoy living in the land of freedom so much that you won’t want to leave it.  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, September 17, 2017

When You Don't Understand

Have you ever watched a magician levitating a person? You know it must be a trick, but you can’t figure out how he does it. You think, “That’s impossible. He’s defying the law of gravity! How is it possible for him to do that?” You’re baffled because you don’t understand how he does it. But suppose the magician were to tell you the secret to his trick. After he explained how he did it, you’d say, “Oh—NOW I understand!” 

We usually start doubting God when we have questions that don’t seem to have an answer. Something bad happens and we don’t understand why God would allow it. It’s an unanswered question. And so we’re left wondering what’s going on and why He won’t let us in on the secret.

God doesn’t always let us in on what He’s doing. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us.” The secret things are the perplexing mysteries that we’ll never understand in this life. Although the Lord may not answer every question during our lifetime, He promises to answer them after we get to heaven.

First Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now (in this life) we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face (when we stand before Him). Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” In the next life He’ll explain every secret thing to us and then we’ll say, “Oh—NOW I understand!” 

Until that day comes, God wants us to place our complete trust in Him. He knows the answers to every question that baffles us. He doesn’t do magic tricks but promises to turn the bad things that happen around for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). But remember--with our limited knowledge we won’t be able to figure out how He does it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Having a problem trusting God? Read The Sure Cure for Worry. It gives reasons why we can trust God even when we don’t understand.

Many Bible study groups and churches are studying Slaying Your Giants. A separate Study Guide provides Q&A for small group discussion (up to 20 Lessons).
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What is a Living Sacrifice?

In the Old Testament they offered dead animal sacrifices to God. In the New Testament, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Paul wrote to Christians in Rome, “I urge you…to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). Notice 4 things:

1. This offering is voluntary not mandatory. Paul does not say, “I command you” but “I urge you.” He writes to those who are already Christians and saved by grace. We offer ourselves as a living sacrifice—not to get saved but because we are saved.

2. Dedicate your body to God. Only you can surrender your body. Jesus had to live in a body to accomplish God’s will on earth, so we yield our bodies to Him so He can live through us and do His will. We choose to live for Him each day and not for ourselves. If the living sacrifice crawls off the altar, get back on.  

3. Your sacrifice is both living and holy. Holy means set apart and devoted to God. This means we abstain from sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18). “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…and you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Holy sacrifices are well-pleasing and “acceptable to God.”

4. Living for Him is how we worship Him. He says, “which is your spiritual service of worship.” Worship and service are tied together. Whatever we worship we also serve. “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Matt. 4:10)

PRAYER: “Lord, you gave your life for me, so today I choose to live for you. I present my body to you to honor you and to do your will. What would you like for me to do 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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Rest of the Story (Romans 8:28)

Paul Harvey had a radio show called “The Rest of the Story.” He'd talk about someone who overcame obstacles, but he kept the person’s identity a secret until the end when would reveal it and say, “And now you know…the REST of the story.” Once you heard the ending, you then understood how all the pieces came together.

Romans 8:28 is the Christian’s “Rest of the Story.” God promises to turn the bad things that happen to His followers around for good. It says, “For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse doesn’t say 4 things, which helps us understand what it does say.

1. It doesn’t say “We hope” but “We know.” A boy always read the end of the book first. When his mother asked why, he said, “It’s better that way. No matter how much trouble the hero gets into, I don’t have to worry because I know it’s going to end well.”
Paul did not say, “I’m writing this letter to lots of people so I can’t say for sure how your situation will turn out. Good luck!” Even though Paul didn’t know what his readers were going through he says we can know for sure God will work all things together for our good.

2. It doesn’t say all things are good, but that He works all things together for good. Bad things happen to everyone because we live in a broken world.  If Satan can turn good into evil, why can’t God turn evil into good? Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly thrown into prison. If you didn't know the ending you would think God had abandoned him. Instead, God used those injustices to get him to the right place and promote him to a ruler in Egypt (Gen. 37-41).

3. It doesn’t say God does this for everyone, but for those who love Him. Rom 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” This is a promise to His followers but isn’t a guarantee to everybody.

4. It doesn’t say for our happiness, but for His purpose. “…to those who are called according to His purpose.” The Lord wants to accomplish His purpose in our lives. God may not have the first word in everything that happens but He does have the last word. Although bad things happen, God says, “I have the last word and my purposes will be accomplished.”
And now you know…the REST of the story! 
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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