Sunday, December 29, 2019

Preparing for the Future

In Matthew 25:1-10, Jesus told a parable about ten young women at a wedding. Jewish weddings usually happened at night, and the guests had to bring their own lamps and oil. Jesus said five of the young women were wise because they brought oil for their lamps, but the other five women were foolish because they didn’t bring oil, which meant they couldn’t light their lamps. 

The foolish five turned to the wise five said, “Give us some of your oil.” They answered, “No, because there won’t be enough for us and you too.” When the five foolish women left to go buy oil, the bridegroom came and they missed the wedding procession and feast. Jesus called them foolish because they didn’t prepare.

Preparation means we do something now to get ready for the future. “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household” (Heb. 11:7). Noah believed what God told him and spent years building the ark. He didn’t wait till the last minute when the clouds grew dark to start construction.

Joseph stored grain for seven years in times of plenty before the famine hit (Gen. 41:48). He didn’t wait until the famine came to start preparing. Ants are considered wise because prepare their food in the summer to get ready for winter and gather provision in the harvest (Prov. 6:9).

God doesn’t always tell us what will occur in the future or when it will happen. It’s wise to save ahead for unforeseen expenses, and it’s extremely wise to make peace with God before the coming judgment. Have you wisely prepared for the future? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, December 22, 2019

What Does Only-Begotten Son Mean?


John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Many people don’t understand what the term “Only-Begotten Son” means. They think God had only one Son in heaven and sent Him to earth. WRONG.

The Greek word for “only begotten” is monogenes and meansuniquely bornor one-of-a-kind birth.” The conception and birth of Jesus was unique—nothing like it had ever happened before and will never happen again in the future. He was conceived in the womb of a virgin by the Holy Spirit and is the only one born with two natures—divine and human. Jesus was all God and all man.

1. Jesus existed as “the Word” in eternity past. 
Jesus always existed as God in eternity past. Micah 5:2 says His days are from eternity. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word (this was His name before “Jesus”) and the Word was with God (the Father), and the Word was God.”  Jesus pre-existed as God and left His throne in heaven to come to earth and become man.

2. When Jesus left heaven to take on a human body, “the Word” became “the Son.”
Cults teach that a father is older than a son, so Jesus must have come into existence at a point in time.  The Bible does not teach this. Jesus has always existed as God in eternity past, and the term “Son” refers to His humanity which began at His Incarnation. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive in you womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest.” (Luke 1:31-32)

Dr. Walter Martin, author of The Kingdom of the Cults, writes:
"There is no such thing as 'the eternal Son of God.' Before Jesus took upon Himself a human form, He already existed with the Father. Hebrews 1:5-6 says that when He brings the first-begotten into the world, He says, 'I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me. This is a reference to the Incarnation. It is a change of relationship when the Word takes on flesh—the Word becomes the Son.”

The terms "Father" and "Son" describe the first two Persons of the Trinity, God and Jesus, after Christ came to earth. This proves that the terms “begotten” and “sonship” refer to His humanity and not His divinity. As God, He had no beginning, was not begotten, and was not a Son. As man, He was begotten in the flesh and became the Son. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY The Pre-Existence of Jesus

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Angels Appeared to the Shepherds, Not the Pharisees


The shepherds were near Bethlehem, watching over their sheep at night. Some people think they were raising sheep that would be sacrificed in the temple. Perhaps they sat around the campfire, discussing the Scriptures concerning the Messiah being the ultimate sacrificial Lamb who would die for the sins of the world.

Suddenly an angel appeared to announce the most significant event to ever happen on earth—the birth of a baby who was God in the fleshYou’d think the angels would appear to the religious leaders in Israel. Instead, God chose shepherds to be the first to receive the good news because He knew the Pharisees and Sadducees would be the ones who would oppose Him.

Suppose you’re alone in your house when an angel instantly appeared in your living room. You would be terrified! When the angel appeared to the shepherds, they were “greatly afraid” (Luke 2:9). The angel told them to not be afraid because he was bringing great news of joy. “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…You will find the baby wrapped in cloths, and laying in a manger” (Luke 2:8-14).

The Lord sent only one angel to make the announcement. After they calmed down, He sent a multitude of angels to confirm the message. Imagine what that must have looked like as the sky was lit up with thousands of angels praising God! This was an unmistakable sign to them that this newborn was the Savior of the world.

Although the angel didn’t give the shepherds specific instructions as to where to find the baby, God made sure they found the Christ child. And if you are willing to search for Christ, He will make sure that you’ll find Him as well.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, December 8, 2019

An Unusual Answer to Prayer


While crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner years ago, Bible teacher F. B. Meyer was asked to give a speech to the passengers about how God answers prayer. An agnostic who listened to Meyer’s message said, “I don’t believe a word of it.” 

Later that same day, the agnostic went to hear Meyer speak to another group of passengers. Before he went to the meeting, he put a couple of oranges in his pocket. On his way, he passed an elderly woman who was asleep in her deck chair. Her arms were outstretched with her hands open, so as a joke he put an orange in each hand.

After the meeting, he saw the elderly woman eating the fruit. “You seem to be enjoying those oranges,” he remarked with a smirk on his face. “Yes, my Father is very good to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve been sick for days, so I prayed that God would somehow send me an orange. I fell asleep when I was praying. When I awoke, I found not only one, but two oranges in my hands!”

The agnostic was stunned because he had just heard Meyer talk about how the Lord answers prayer, and God chose him to provide the oranges she had requested. Because of this, he put his trust in Christ. (Our Daily Bread, April 5, 2000).

Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Just let Him decide how He will do it. He just might surprise you. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, December 1, 2019

God Uses Broken Vessels


I’ve often heard the saying “God uses broken vessels.” It’s based on Psalm 51:17 which says, "A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." For years whenever I read that verse I pictured in my mind a pot broken into little pieces. It didn't make sense to me. Then it dawned on me that a cracked pot wasn't the right idea at all. Instead, brokenness is like a cowboy breaking a horse.

When a horse isn't broken, it tries to throw the rider off. But when it reaches the place of brokenness, the horse surrenders to the cowboy and quits fighting against him. Only then can the horse be guided wherever the rider wishes to lead it.

Saul was on the road to Damascus when he saw a light brighter than the sun and was struck blind. God said to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14). A goad was a sharp stick that was used to prod oxen to most faster. When the oxen felt the prod, they would wound themselves if they kicked back. They learned it was easier to obey than kick back.

When we quit fighting against God and surrender to Him, we can be guided wherever the Lord wants to lead us. Being a vessel that's willing to be led by God makes a lot more sense than being a cracked pot. Do you want to be led by God? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thankful All the Time


Thanksgiving is a day we set aside to give thanks and eat turkey. A kindergarten class at a school in Kentucky was asked how to cook a turkey. This is their instructions:
Go to the grocery store. Buy a turkey for $7. If the store doesn’t have any, go to the farm.
Catch & kill a turkey with an arrow. If you miss, shoot it with a gun. Take it home.
Cut out the bones. Take out the brains. Cut off the head, feet, eyes, nose, neck, face, feathers, and skin. Wash it in the bathtub. Put it in a pot. Let it dry off.
Put squishy brown stuff all over it. Cook it in the oven. Get it real hot--10 degrees. Cook it for 35 minutes. Take it out of the oven. Let it cool down. Slice it in long pieces. Eat it! It will be real good!

Hopefully you won’t follow those instructions, but that you will follow God’s instructions for being thankful. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18). The Lord wants us to always be thankful, even when we are going through unpleasant situations. Some people complain all the time. God wants us to be thankful all the time. He is more interested in His children keeping a positive attitude through difficulties than always keeping us comfortable.

How is it possible to always be thankful? Every situation contains both good and bad, and you can choose what you want to focus on. Complaining comes from focusing on the negative in your situation. Thankfulness comes from choosing to see the positive in your situation and voicing your appreciation to God for it. But thankfulness isn’t genuine unless it comes from our hearts. David wrote, “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart” (Psalm 9:1).

When God tells us to give thanks in everything, it must mean it’s really important to Him. He wants to hear it from us—all the time. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to start. Begin today. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Everyone Needs a Point of Reference


Admiral Byrd, the famous explorer, once found himself about a hundred yards away from his South Pole hut when a sudden blizzard hit. The snow was blinding and he had no landmarks where he could get his bearings. He knew if you couldn’t find his hut within a matter of minutes he would die.

He realized if he went searching for his hut without a point of reference, he would probably get lost. He refused to panic and had to think quickly. Here’s what he did. He stuck his ten-foot pole in the ground and tied his red scarf on the pole. Then he began looking for his hut, always keeping the red scarf in view. He went off in one direction looking for his hut, couldn’t find it, but came back to his pole. Then he went in another direction looking, but came back again. Three times he came back to his point of reference. Finally on his fourth try he found his hut.

God's Word is our reference point that gives us direction in life. Without a reference point that we keep going back to, we will wander aimlessly through life. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). 

Many people have a Bible but never read it because they don't know where to start. I encourage you to start in the New Testament book of Mark and read 5 minutes a day. For example, read Mark 1:1-20 (half a chapter). The next day read Mark 1:21-45. You can read more than 5 minutes, but mark where you stop reading and then start there the next day.

Some people have a hard time understanding the King James Version because of the ancient language. I recommend an easy-to-understand yet accurate version like the NEW King James Version (which changes the ancient words like "thee" to modern words like "you") or the New American Standard Bible

After you finish the book of Mark, choose another New Testament book such as Acts or Philippians. Before you know it, you will have read the entire New Testament. Then you can do the same with the Old Testament. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net 
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Sunday, November 10, 2019

God Promises to Reward Us In Eternity


Baron de Rothschild was one of the richest men in the world. One day Rothschild decided it would be humorous to dress up like a beggar and have his portrait painted by an artist named Ary Scheffer. The Baron put on rags, struck a pose, and held out a tin cup. While he was posing, a friend of the artist entered into the room. Thinking he was a real beggar, the friend dropped a coin into Rothschild’s tin cup.

Ten years later, the man who gave the money to Rothschild received a letter containing a bank order for 10,000 francs. The note said, “Years ago you gave some money to a beggar in the studio of Ary Scheffer. Today he sends you the returns on your investment. Signed, Baron de Rothschild.” 

God promises to reward His children for helping those less fortunate. Jesus said, “When you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:13–14).  (Making Today Count for Eternity p.89)

Let’s think about this reception. When the crippled, lame, and blind arrive at the dinner, you will need to assist them in getting around. Then you’ll help feed them because they probably won’t be able to feed themselves. And since they can’t repay you, you’ll have to wait for God to reimburse you. It will be after you die and are resurrected.

At the time we receive our resurrection bodies, we will also receive our eternal rewards and assignments for the next life. And the formerly crippled, lame, and blind whom you served at the dinner will rejoice with you in their perfected resurrection bodies. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Would you please consider giving a year-end gift to Making Life Count Ministries? All gifts are tax deductible. You can give by check or CLICK HERE to give by credit card.
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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

In the 1963 Canadian Football League championship game, QB Joe Kapp got into a fight with Angelo Mosca, who was a defensive lineman on the opposing team. The referee stepped in and broke up the fight. After the game was over, they continued to dislike each other.

Forty-eight years later in 2011, the two former pro football players were invited to appear at a luncheon for the Canadian Football League. Joe Kapp was 73 years old and Angelo Mosca was 74 years old. When the two players were introduced, the luncheon's host give Kapp an olive branch to give to Mosca as a peace offering. Everyone thought it would be a light-hearted moment about their feud and would bring a laugh from the audience.

Instead of handing it to him, Kapp pushed it into Mosca’s face and then punched him. Mosca retaliated by hitting him with his cane. Like the referee did 48 years before, the host stepped in and broke up the fight. Both men were still angry over an incident that happened in 1963. If time could heal wounds, 48 years should be enough time.

God put a time limit on how long to be angry. It’s not 48 years, but less than 24 hours. “Be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day” (Eph. 4:26 NCV). If you don’t throw water on the fire before the sun goes down, your anger will keep flaring up—even 48 years later.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Forgiveness does. Whatever was done to you, it’s time to let it go. Forgive and release the wrongdoing into God’s hands. It’s the only way to have peace of mind. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY “Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation?” CLICK HERE

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Do You Want to Take Revenge?


A woman in Massachusetts started a revenge business called “Enough is Enough.” Her clients are spurned lovers, terrorized employees, vindictive neighbors, and anyone else who wants to “get even.” She has carried out revenge by delivering a dead, smelly fish to a philandering husband, thirteen dead roses in a black box to ex-girlfriend, and a stuffed shirt to a pompous boss.

She got the idea for her business after driving a florist delivery truck for a boss she described as “the grumpiest, most unpleasant person ever born.” She quit her job of delivering beautiful flowers to loved ones and made a business of delivering vengeance to hated ones.

Revenge is wishing evil to come on a person as payback for causing harm. However, God says revenge is His right alone. “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). If you invoke wrath on someone as payback, you’re stealing a right that’s reserved for God. It’s going to backfire on you and make your situation worse.

Instead of punishing your enemies, let God deal with them in His timing. Your job is to not let evil overcome you, but to overcome evil by doing good. (Rom 12:21) www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY on “666 and the Mark of the Beast” CLICK HERE

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Where God Guides, God Provides


In the early 1900s, God called Rees Howells and his wife to go to Africa as missionaries. They lived in Wales and didn’t have the funds to get to Africa. The Howells first needed to get to London to begin their faith journey.

They didn’t have enough money to buy train tickets all the way to London, but they did have enough to buy tickets to Llanelly station in Wales. From there they would have to catch another train to London, but they couldn’t buy tickets there because they had spent all their money to get to Llanelly.  

The train to London would arrive in two hours. As they sat in Llanelly station, they prayed for God to provide the ticket money before the train arrived. God told Rees to get in the ticket line. He took a step of faith and got in line behind a dozen people. As the line kept getting shorter, Rees continued to stay in line even though he was broke.

With only two people ahead of him, a man turned around and said he had changed his mind. Then the stranger put thirty shillings in his hand and walked away. It was the amount needed to buy their tickets to London! The miraculous provision was like the ram caught in the thicket at the last moment for Abraham (Gen. 22:13).

Rees and his wife served as missionaries and became a channel of revival in Africa. And it all started with trusting God for train tickets. Are you obeying what God is telling you to do?  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY on “The Antichrist” CLICK HERE

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Follow the Air Bubbles


When a scuba diver is deep underwater it's difficult to tell which way is up because the water diffuses the light and he can't feel the pull of gravity. He can easily become disoriented and lose his sense of direction. His mind will start playing tricks on him, telling him that up is down and down is up. If the diver panics, he will place his life in danger if he swims in the wrong direction.

The diver can get out of his predicament if he'll remember one simple rule--to follow his air bubbles. Scuba divers are taught that no matter which way he thinks is the right direction, the bubbles are always correct. They never go sideways. They never go down. They always go up. The diver must ignore his own sense of direction and trust his air bubbles to guide him.

It’s easy to get confused in today’s world when so many voices are shouting at us that right is wrong—and wrong is right. Don’t be fooled by the pressure to conform. When you aren’t sure what to believe, remember one simple rule--follow what the Lord says.

Just as the air bubbles are never wrong, the Bible is always correct and will point you in the right direction, even when people may say otherwise. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (Prov. 3:5-6).

So don’t follow the way that seems right, but isn’t. Trust your air bubbles, God's Word, and you won’t go wrong. .  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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How do you explain Reincarnation—people who claim to remember past lives? CLICK HERE for the answer.

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