Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Lord Make His Face Shine on You

Archaeologists in Israel discovered two small silver scrolls in 1979 that recorded a priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.” God spoke this to Moses approximately 1500 BC and the scrolls were dated to the 7th century B.C., which means the blessing was still being honored 800 years later

Why was this Scripture so important and what did it mean? Since God told Aaron and the priests to say this blessing over future generations (Numbers 6:22-23), it must have an important purpose. This blessing is an appeal to God to look favorably on His people and to grant His presence, blessing, guidance, and grace.

1. The Lord bless you asks God to extend His favor and bless what we do.

2. And keep you requests God’s protection from evil and harm.

3. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you suggests that God does NOT shine on everyone or give His grace. He causes His face to shine on those who seek His face and want to know Him. These verses ask God to not hide His face from them (Job 13:24, Psalm 27:9, 44:24, 69:17, 88:14, 102:2, 143:7). Today we’d say, “Please don’t turn your back on me.”

Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:10). Jesus informed us that the angels watch over children and at the same time are looking at God’s shining face in heaven. Sometimes we forget God in heaven is that close.

4. The Lord lift His countenance on you is a picture of a father smiling and taking pleasure in his child. When the Lord lifts His countenance upon us, it shows that He is looking on us for our good.

5. And give you peace. Peace calms your soul and keeps your soul from being tormented. Only God can give peace to your soul.

God wants to bless us. He wants to protect us. He wants to smile on us, be gracious to us, and give us peace. But it doesn't come automatically. It happens when we seek to know and please Him. 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, October 15, 2017

Learning to Hear God's Voice

I enjoyed watching Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor talk to his neighbor Wilson in the TV comedy Home Improvement. The show played a gag on the viewing audience because they never showed us Wilson's face. We never saw his lips move. His face was always partially covered up by the fence between the yards, as seen in this picture. If Wilson was in Tim's house, we couldn't see his whole face because a lamp or some other object always blocked our view.

Although we couldn't see his face, we got to know Wilson through his voice. Whenever Tim didn't know what to do and needed advice, Wilson was always there to offer him words of wisdom.

In some ways, that's how we hear from God. Although we can't see His face, we can get to know Him through His voice. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me" (John 10:17). He also said, "But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come" (John 16:13).

God normally doesn’t speak in an audible voice. He doesn’t need a human voice to speak to us. He speaks through thoughts in our minds and impressions in our hearts, always offering words of wisdom (James 1:5). He is more than willing to show you what to do and guide you down the right path. The only prerequisite is that you must be willing to obey and follow whatever He says. 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, October 8, 2017

Paul's Unplucked Thorn

When my daughter was five years old she came to me crying. “Daddy, I’ve got a sticker in my finger and I want you to pull it out.” I grabbed some tweezers and held her finger as I attempted minor surgery. She pulled her hand back and said, “I’ve changed my mind. I want you to leave it in!”
     Apostle Paul was tormented by a “thorn in the flesh” and asked God to use heavenly tweezers to remove it. Paul described it as a “messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Cor. 12:7). God decided to leave it in.

What was the thorn? It was a “messenger” from Satan. The Greek word is angelos and is also translated angel. It was a fallen angel--a demon assigned by Satan, which caused all Paul’s persecutions and troubles mentioned in 2 Cor. 11:23-26. Because Paul had received many great revelations from God, including a glimpse of heaven, the demon was allowed to “buffet” him to keep him humble. The Lord used hate and rejection by others to keep him from exalting himself. Paul needed to stay humble so God could continue to use him.

Paul’s response to the thorn. Paul doesn’t say when the thorn was given to him, but it may have been shortly after his visit to heaven since he seems to connect them (12:2-7). His first reaction was to get rid of it. After he cried for help three times, Paul had to be wondering if the Lord had heard his request. Then the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (12:9). God’s power is connected to our dependence on HimWhat can we learn from this?

1. God is more interested in your character than your comfort. He will use difficult circumstances and evil people to drive out pride and keep us from exalting ourselves.

2. God may answer your prayers differently than you ask. God did answer Paul’s prayer but not in the way he had asked. The Lord didn’t remove the thorn but gave him the grace to endure it. If Paul hadn’t learned to hear God speak to him, he never would have understood why the Lord allowed it.

3. God will give you the grace to endure what you're going through. If God doesn’t deliver you from your problem, He will give you the grace to get through it. Paul learned to embrace His grace to endure his difficulty. God’s grace is like a spiritual shock absorber that softens the full impact of the negative forces trying to crush us. If your car hits a hole on the highway, your shock absorber cushions the impact and gives you a smoother ride. God’s grace cushions us from the full pain of spiritual attacks and empowers us to live through difficulties. 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