Sunday, October 21, 2018

Everyone is Placing a Bet


The lottery just reached $1 billion and millions of people are betting they’ll win. And everyone on the planet is placing a bet as to whether or not the Bible is true. You’re not betting with money but with your eternal soul. Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:36). You will either be right or wrong. Before you place your bet, you’d be wise to carefully examine some evidence you weren’t taught in school.

The evidence the Bible is true is found in the many predictions about the future that it makes, which have come to pass. Hundreds of Bible prophecies that have been fulfilled is irrefutable proof the Bible is true. Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies. The probability of one man fulfilling just 48 prophecies is one in 10 to the 157th power. That’s enough proof to place your bet.

But what about evolution? You’re betting that life arose from non-life and that all life on earth arose from a molecule from a “primordial soup.” You’re betting that every elephant and every ant, every fish and every bird, every person and every gnat, every tree and every blade of grass in the entire world came from this one molecule. Scientists have purposely tried to create life in a laboratory to prove that life arose accidentally with no intelligence involved! They’ve never done it.

Consider the complexity of the human body. For example, how can evolution produce an eye? The body has 206 bones, 600 muscles, respiratory system, and circulatory system, which are all coordinated to work together. Each part is useless without being coordinated with the other parts. Take away the brain and it doesn’t work. Take away the heart or the lungs and it doesn’t work. All the parts of the human body had to come together at the same time. Evolution can’t explain this.

The complex design of the human body had to come from an Intelligent Designer. Your computer has many complex parts that work together as a unit, and you know an intelligent person designed and coordinated each part so that it can function. The same can be said for the human body.

This isn’t hard to figure out. Which makes more sense? I’m betting my soul that the Bible and everything Jesus taught about the afterlife is true. I hope you’ll make the right choice. www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY  Was Judas a believer?

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, October 14, 2018

You Can't Change Your Past, But...


Wouldn’t you like to have a time machine so you could travel back in time to change some things in your past? You may have done some things that you'd like to undo. But the past doesn't exist anymore except in your memory. You can’t change your past but here are three things that can change.

1. You can’t change what you did in your past…but you can be cleansed of what you did. Jesus died for all your sins, not just some of them. If you’ll receive Jesus as your Lord and ask His forgiveness, He says, "I will remember their sins no more" (Heb. 8:12). If He doesn’t remember them anymore, then neither should you.

2. You can’t change the consequences of your past…but you can trust God to use your past as His testimony. God “works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). Paul persecuted and murdered Christians before he was converted (Acts 8:1,3, 26:10) but God used his tainted past as a testimony of His mercy. People said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy” (Gal. 1:23).

3. You cannot change anything in your past…but you can change everything about your future. Your life is a book that you’re writing. The past is gone so you can’t go back in time to rewrite it. But the future hasn’t happened yet and you can choose the ending of the book. You might have had a bad start but you can write a good ending. Your book isn’t finished. Start writing that great ending right now. www.makinglifecount.net 
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Don't Look Back


In the 1992 Olympics, Janet Evans won the silver medal in the 400 meter free-style swim. She had the lead right up to the finish but her hand touched the wall 4/10 of a second too late for first place. She lost the lead because she looked back, which slowed her enough to be passed. Looking back cost her the gold medal. Every time we look back it costs us something.

Jesus told us to not look back when He said, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). She is remembered for only one thing. As she was leaving Sodom when God was destroying the city, she looked back after being warned not to (Gen. 19:26). She did it because her heart wasn’t totally in her decision to leave. Even as she left, a part of her heart was still in Sodom.

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they talked about going back to Egypt when things got rough. They looked back rather than moving forward. A part of their heart was still in Egypt calling them back.

Jesus said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). When we make a decision to follow Jesus, we must do it with our entire heart. We can’t plow in one direction if we keep looking in the opposite direction. And we can’t follow Jesus if we keep looking back to what we left behind.

If you have received Jesus as your Lord, you’ve been totally forgiven so don’t look back on your past sins. If God leads you to make a decision, don’t keep wondering if you did the right thing. Close the back door of your mind and look forward to the good things God has planned for you. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Getting Out of the Rut


The picture on your left show ruts formed by wagons in the 1800s on the Oregon Trail. When the rut first started it was shallow. But the more it was traveled on, the deeper the ruts became—and the harder it was to get out of it. It has been said that years ago a sign on the road said, “Avoid this rut or you will be in it for the next 25 miles.” Even so, it was possible to get out of the rut if they were determined to do it.

When we keep doing the same things over and over, we start developing a rut. There’s nothing wrong with doing the same daily routine if we’re faithfully doing God’s will. But the problem comes when God calls us to make a major change and do something entirely different. It might be changing your career, getting married, moving to another city or making a life-changing decision.

Sometimes God places His blessing outside of your comfort zone and then asks you to come get it. To get something that you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before. You’ll probably make a number of major changes in your life, but don’t do it without considering these things:

1. Make sure God is leading you. Don’t make a major change unless you’ve prayed about it and have God’s peace in your heart. God promises to lead you on the right path. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

2. Count the cost before you do it. Jesus said, “For which of you, when he wants to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has enough to finish it?” (Luke 14:28) Every decision is an exchange—you’re giving up one thing to get something else. When you get married, you give up single life for married life. If you don’t count the cost before making the decision, you won’t stick with it.

3. Trust God to give you the power to make the change.  A wagon can only get out of the rut by being jolted out of it. You can’t do it in your own power, but you can get out of any rut through the power of the Holy Spirit. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). 

Once you've done these things, then move forward and don't look back. Looking back will only make you doubt your decision. www.makinglifecount.net   
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Little Things Are Actually Big Things


Jesus told us little things are actually big things. He said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). Sometimes God will give us something small as a test to see how trustworthy we’ll be in handling it.

Martha Berry founded a school for needy children in 1902. She once asked Henry Ford (owner of the Ford Motor Company) for a million dollars to help her school. He didn’t donate the huge amount she requested, but gave her a dime. Instead of being insulted, she accepted the dime and bought peanuts for her school children to plant.

They harvested the peanuts and used it to plant a larger field. Eventually they harvested enough peanuts to buy a piano for their music students. Martha wrote a letter to Mr. Ford telling him how they had used his dime to grow enough peanuts to buy a piano. Ford was so impressed by her faithfulness with the dime that he gave her school a million dollars! (Making Today Count for Eternity, p.149).

Don’t gripe about your insignificant job or the small amount of money you handle. God's watching to see what you’ll do with it. “For who has despised the day of small things…they are the eyes of the Lord which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth” (Zech. 4:10).

Martha died in 1942 and never saw the future of her little school, which is now Berry College in Georgia. You may never see on earth what your faithfulness will produce in the future. But if you’ll faithfully manage your little things on earth, the Lord promises to give you something really big in heaven. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, September 15, 2018

God Always Has Perfect Timing


Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, was a newly licensed pilot and was flying from Vero Beach, Florida to Longview, Texas. He met with bad weather over Mobile, Alabama and air traffic controllers told him to fly north toward Jackson, Mississippi in order to avoid the approaching storm.

As he rose above the clouds, the instrument panel lights flickered. A minute later the radio and instruments went dead; then all the lights went out. Franklin realized he was in a desperate situation so he prayed for God to intervene.

He dropped below the clouds hoping to see the ground. When he spotted the distant lights of Jackson, he headed for the airport's rotating beacon. He circled the control tower and since he didn't have any electrical power, lowered the landing gear manually. At that moment, the runway's emergency landing lights came on and he landed.

As soon as he was on the ground, the lights went off. “That's odd,” he thought, “at least they could have waited until I taxied to the ramp.” After he got out of the plane, a man from the tower asked, "Who gave you permission to land?" No one in the tower had seen the small plane circling overhead. 

Why would the lights be turned on if they hadn't seen him? They “just happened” to be turned on by an air traffic controller who was explaining to his visiting pastor what he would do in case a plane ever attempted to land without radio communications! At the exact moment when Franklin needed the lights, the controller turned them on without knowing the plane was there. (Franklin Graham, "When the Lights Went On,” Dimensions for Living, 1992).

God’s timing is always perfect. The ram was caught in the thicket at the exact moment Abraham was about to offer up Isaac (Gen. 22). The fish with a coin in its mouth bit on Peter’s hook at the right time so he could pay the temple tax (Matt. 17). Mary arrived in Bethlehem at the right time to give birth to Jesus and fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2.

Maybe you’ve been praying for something for a long time and nothing has happened—yet. God knows the exact time when He will answer. Since His timing probably isn’t the same as yours, remove the deadline you’ve placed on Him. Be patient and keep trusting God even though you don’t know when it will happen. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, September 9, 2018

What Are the Odds of This Happening?


Shortly after Dallas Theological Seminary was founded in 1924, it almost had to shut down. The creditors were going to foreclose at noon on a certain day. President Lewis Chafer met with his faculty in the office, praying that God would do a miracle. One of the men, Dr. Harry Ironside, prayed, "Lord, we know that you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of them and send us the money."

Meanwhile, a Texas businessman stepped into the seminary's business office and said, "I just sold two carloads of cattle in Ft. Worth and I feel compelled to give the money to the seminary. I don't care if you need it or not, but here's the check."

The secretary took the check and knocked on the door of the prayer meeting. Dr. Chafer took it out of her hand and discovered it was for the exact amount of the debt! He turned to Dr. Ironside and said, "Harry, God sold the cattle!" (Slaying Your Giants, p.5)

The answer came from an unknown source to the right place at the right time with the right amount. What are the odds of that happening? Without God, one in a billion. But with God, the odds change to one in one. God knows what we need before we ask (Matt. 6:8). So If God knows what I need, why should I pray? Prayer is the vehicle He uses to bring things to pass on earth. Some things won’t happen unless we pray.

Stop trying to figure out how He will bring the answer to your problem. Just continue to pray and trust Him. The faculty at Dallas Seminary had no idea how God would provide their need. And you probably won’t either. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Football's Strangest Play in 1929


One of the strangest plays in college football occurred in the 1929 Rose Bowl. Roy Riegels, a University of California football player, picked up a fumble by Georgia Tech and started running toward the end zone. He raced 65 yards down the field until he was finally tackled on the 1-yard line—by his own teammate!

Why did a player on his own team tackle him? Riegels got confused after picking up the fumble and ran in the wrong direction. He was the only one in the stadium who didn’t know he was running to the wrong goal. He heard the cheers of the crowd but didn’t realize they were coming from the fans of the other team. CLICK HERE to see a video of the play.

Riegels ran in a way that seemed right to him. Imagine his embarrassment when he realized he ran to the wrong goal. But Roy’s mistake is a teachable moment for us. Everyone is running toward a goal, whether it’s right or wrong.
Many people are going to be embarrassed on Judgment Day when they realize they ran to the wrong goal. They spent their life living for themselves instead of God. "There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12).

The goal of life is to love God will all our hearts and to please Him in all we do. "We have as our ambition ... to be pleasing to Him" (2 Cor. 5:9). So if you've been running in the wrong direction, don't get upset if someone on your own team tackles you. They're just trying to keep you from making a big mistake. www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Going the Second Mile


Jesus said, "Whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two" (Matt. 5:41). He was referring to the law where a Roman soldier could compel any Jew to carry his backpack for one mile. The pack weighed 66 pounds and if you refused to carry it you would be flogged.

Imagine being on your way to your destination when a Roman soldier orders you to carry his 66-pound pack. It would be hard to carry it for one mile but now Jesus tells you to carry it an extra mile. So now you must carry it two miles and then walk two miles back to your original starting point, which now makes four miles. (Remember, you're not driving a car.)

After carrying it for a mile the soldier says, "You can put it down now." You reply, "I’d like to carry it for another mile." The soldier says, "Why would you want to do that?" You answer, "Jesus told me to do this for you." Now you have an opportunity to share your faith with this Roman soldier as you walk that extra mile. By going above and beyond your expected duty, his heart opens to what you have to say. There's no telling how many Roman soldiers became Christians during that second mile.

We don't carry packs for soldiers anymore, so what does the second mile look like today? It’s doing more than what’s expected at your job, at home, and everything you do. When husbands and wives argue and fight, their hearts can become closed toward each other. But when they go out of their way to bless their spouse, their hearts open up to each other. Going the extra mile at your job might get you a promotion, but your motivation for doing extra is not to get credit. It's to please God.

Remember, it’s not the first mile where miracles occur. It’s the second mile.

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Faith That Moves God


God is looking for a certain kind of faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6). Here are three components in faith that please God.

#1 PERSISTENCE  Four men carried a paralyzed man on a pallet for Jesus to heal. Jesus was teaching in a home but the men couldn’t get near to door because of the crowd. Most people would have turned around and said, “I guess it wasn’t God’s will to heal him.” Instead, they climbed on the house, tore a hole in the roof and lowered the man down in front of Jesus. 

Luke 5:20 says, “Jesus saw their faith…” Their faith was manifested by their persistence. Jesus forgave the man’s sins and healed him.

#2 INSIGHT  A Roman centurion had a servant who was sick to the point of death. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” The soldier said, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” He knew that Jesus could simply say “be healed” and it would happen. Jesus replied, “I have not found such great faith in all of Israel” (Luke 7:9). He had insight into God’s ability and power that others in Israel didn’t have. His servant was healed at the same time Jesus spoke.

#3 EXPECTANCY  Peter and John went to the temple to pray. A man who had been lame from birth was begging by the temple gate and was “expecting to receive something from them” (Acts 3:5). The man was healed because of his expectancy.

So let’s put these things together.
God wants us to keep persisting in spite of obstacles. “Pray at all times and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1)
God wants us to understand His power to do the impossible. “With God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37)
God wants us to expect Him to answer our prayers.  “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)

And then you’ll have faith that pleases God and moves Him to respond.
READ THE SERMON HERE Jesus Heals the Paralyzed Man

www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Finding Significance in a Chair?


It's interesting what Jesus notices. He noticed how people gave their offerings in the Temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44). Jesus noticed how the invited guests at a wedding feast were picking out the places of honor for themselves (Luke 14:7-11). They were scrambling to get to the most prestigious seats.

At these feasts, the guests sat on a couch that had 3 seats around a table called a triclinium. Nine people could be seated at a time. The most important seat was in the middle and the 2nd and 3rd most important seats were to his right and left. Seats 4-6 were to the right side and seats 7-9 were on the left. If you looked at the triclinium you could instantly see who was the most important and who was the least.

People rushed to the seats of honor because they wanted to look more important than the other people there. Their self-esteem and significance was determined by their chairs!

We don't find significance in chairs today. Or do we? Yes, people still pick out their chairs today, although they look different from the ones in Jesus’ day. When we’re young, popularity is the chair that brings significance. As we grow older, the chairs change to our job title, financial success, or a nice home in a gated community. Although these things aren't wrong in themselves, God doesn’t want any of these things to determine our significance.

Then Jesus said, "But when you are invited, go and sit in the last seat" (Luke 14:10). Why did He say to take the least important seat? Because He doesn't want our significance determined by a chair. If we will humble ourselves in this life, we will be promoted in eternity. “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). So humble yourself and take the least important seat. Yes, Jesus will notice it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT Who were the Sadducees?

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Don't Quit!


Persistence means refusing to quit. You’re determined to overcome the obstacle that stands in your way. But after you’ve battled a while without a breakthrough, it’s easy to get tired and discouraged. Persistence means to keep going until you cross the finish line. The turtle beat the hare because it kept plodding along. Here are four things that will keep you from giving up:

1. Don’t let discouragement enter your heart. Discouragement will kill your motivation. Once you quit in your heart, you’ll then quit in your actions. God says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9).

2. Keep moving forward a little bit at a time. I read about a woman who planted over 50,000 daffodil bulbs in her backyard, one at a time—for over 50 years. If you’ll keep doing a little bit over a long time, you’ll accomplish a lot. When Israel entered the Promised Land, they had to cut down an entire forest with axes—one tree at a time (Joshua 17:15-18).

3. Don’t let rejections deter you. Andy Andrews wrote The Traveler’s Gift, which was rejected by 53 publishers. The 54th publisher accepted it and the book made The New York Times bestseller list. Obviously, 53 publishers were wrong in their evaluation. What if Andy had quit submitting his manuscript after the 53rd rejection? He would not be a bestselling author.

4. Keep praying until the answer comes. “Jesus was telling them…at all times they should pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Jesus is the one who answers prayers and He specifically told us to not stop praying. Sometimes it takes a long time before the answer comes, so keep being persistent. According to Jesus, the answer is on its way. Don't quit until you cross the finish line. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY Are There Degrees of Sin?

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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Moses' Big Mistake


When Israel was in the wilderness they had no water to drink. They came to a mountain and the Lord told Moses, “Assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes that it might yield its water” (Numbers 20:8). Moses was probably thinking, “What? You want me to talk to this rock? That’s not going to work. I have a better idea, I’ll hit it a couple of times with my rod.” (Jesus said with faith it’s possible to speak to a mountain and cast it into the sea). Moses struck the rock twice with his rod. Because he disobeyed, he wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land.

It seemed like an innocent mistake. At an earlier time Moses used his rod to hit a rock to bring forth water (Ex. 17:6) but this time God changed the method. Now instead of hitting it, God wanted him to simply speak to the rock to get water. He wanted Moses to obey Him and not depend on the method he used the last time. Just because it worked that way before doesn’t mean God wants us to keep doing it that way.

The amazing thing is—even though he disobeyed God and hit the rock, the water still gushed out. What’s the lesson here? People can produce impressive results without having God’s blessing. Filthy movies can be blockbusters, but it’s not because God is in it. Drug dealers make lots of money even though God opposes what they’re doing. Obeying God is more important than looking successful in other people’s eyes. 

Moses died in the wilderness because he didn’t obey what God told him to do. Don’t make the same mistake. Do what the Lord says, even if it’s something as silly as talking to a rock. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett