Sunday, June 24, 2018

How to Catch a Monkey


How do you catch a monkey? Monkeys can move quickly through trees, so to catch one you have to trap it. Here’s how. Hunters will cut a small hole in a gourd, just big enough for the monkey to fit its hand through. They’ll put candy or food inside the gourd and fasten it to a stake in the ground.

When the monkey smells the food, it sticks its hand through the hole and grabs the food. The hole is small enough to put an empty hand through but not big enough to pull a fist out. If it would simply let go, it could easily get its hand out and get away. But the monkey refuses to let go because it wants the candy more than freedom. The hunter comes up behind and captures it.

Many people today grab the bait in Satan’s trap. Although the bait varies, one of his favorite baits is called “offense.” The Greek word for offense is scandalon, where we get the word “scandal.” Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” (Luke 17:1). Some people are wounded by someone’s comments or actions and refuse to let go of their hurt. They’ll keep mulling the offense over in their mind until the wound turns into bitterness. Because they refuse to let go of the situation that hurt them, they give up their joy and freedom.

Are you someone’s monkey? Are you holding on to hurts that keep you in bondage? The only way to be set free is to LET GO of it. But it’s not just offenses. It might be an addiction. If you’ll let go and release it into God’s hands, He will give you something much better. 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, June 17, 2018

Parable of the Apple Orchard


A farmer went into town to get a haircut. He brought an apple with him from his orchard to give to the barber. The barber took a bite and said, “This is the most delicious apple that I've ever eaten. Where did you get it?” The farmer replied, “I grew it in my orchard. You can come out and pick as many apples as want. Just call me first and I'll take you out there.”

A couple of weeks later, the barber was driving by the farmer's orchard and remembered his offer to let him pick apples. He got out of his car and picked an apple. He took a bite and it was the most bitter apple he had ever tasted. He went to another tree, grabbed an apple and it too was sour. He tried one more tree and it was no different.

When the farmer came back to get a haircut, the barber said, “I stopped by your orchard and picked some apples, but they were all bitter and not sweet like the one you brought me.”
The farmer said, “Remember, I told you to call me first? I planted bitter apple trees along to road because people kept stopping and stealing my apples. Once they taste my bitter apples, they never come back. The sweet apples are planted further away from the road.”

Satan uses this tactic to keep people away from God. He plants bitter, hypocritical church-goers along the road to keep people from discovering the goodness of God. The hypocrites might not even be saved. Unbelievers are turned off by their hypocrisy saying, “If that's what God is like, I don't want any part of Him!” The unbelievers never go deep enough in their search for God to find out what He is really like.

David said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). I can't taste something for you. You must do it for yourself. Just make sure that you’re sampling the Lord and not a bitter apple that's pretending to be sweet. Once you’ve tasted the true God, you’ll know in your heart that He really is good! 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, June 10, 2018

Staying in the Light


Did you know that a goldfish will lose its color if it doesn’t stay near light? If it stays in darkness for too long or if the light isn’t bright enough, the color of the goldfish begins to fade. Staying in the light is a lesson for us as well.

When Moses was on Mt. Sinai in the Lord’s presence, his face radiated with the glory of the God even after he came down from the mountain (Ex. 33:18-23, 34:29-35). Moses didn’t try to manufacture the brightness with his own ability. The light radiating from his face was a result of being in God’s presence. 

God “has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Unfortunately many believers want to spend time with both light and darkness. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12) So how do we walk in the light? The only way we can reflect the glory of God is to spend time in His presence.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We draw near to Him in our hearts by talking with Him in prayer throughout the day. We regularly read His Word and let Him speak to our hearts. We love Him and worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24) If we don’t actively seek the Lord (in the light), we’ll drift away from Him (into darkness). “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). Drifting away doesn’t mean losing your salvation, but slipping back into our old ways. Then we lose our “color”—our joy, enthusiasm, and strength.

I pray you’ll decide today to stay in the light of God’s presence. He loves you, wants to speak to you, and will guide through this life.  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, June 3, 2018

When a Person's Conscience Stops Working


Have you noticed that many people’s consciences aren’t working? Nearly every week a psychopath shoots up a school, concert, or mall. Violent people are bullying and attacking others on social media using the most hateful and filthy words. Sexual immorality is rampant, even with those who claim to be Christians. Don’t people have consciences anymore? Perhaps the following story explains what has happened.

Years ago I rented an apartment located next to some railroad tracks. I was soundly asleep on the first night when a train came roaring past my room, blaring its horn. Immediately I jumped out of bed with my heart pounding, as I covered my ears to block the noise. After the train passed, it took me a while to get back to sleep.

The next evening, the same thing happened. I covered my head with a pillow and went back to sleep. Each night after that, I briefly woke up and then quickly went to sleep. As I kept ignoring the train horn, I eventually learned to sleep through the night without waking up.

This explains what has happened to many people’s consciences. God has put a conscience inside everyone where people instinctively know the difference between right and wrong. “Their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Rom. 2:15).

When their conscience convicts them they’re doing something wrong, they keep ignoring the warning (like me ignoring the blaring train horn) and they eventually learn to not hear it anymore. Their consciences stop working. The Bible calls this a “seared conscience” (1 Tim. 4:2, Eph. 4:18-19), meaning their conscience loses sensitivity and fails to respond.

We’re seeing an increasing number of people in the world with seared consciences. That’s why they commit mass murders in schools and restaurants. This is why so many people “call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). The only remedy is that they will turn to God and come to repentance. 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