Sunday, July 28, 2019

Crosses Traded Here

According to legend, a Christian who was weary from carrying his cross passed through a small village. He noticed a sign in front of a store that read, "Crosses Traded Here." Thinking his load was unfair and his cross too heavy, he decided to enter the store. He was amazed to discover it was filled wall to wall with crosses. He told the owner, "My cross is really heavy. I’d like to trade it for a different one."

The owner replied, "Very well. You can trade your cross for any one of these crosses carried by the saints throughout the ages. Choose the easiest one."

The man compared the crosses for size and comfort. He picked one up, but it was much heavier than his. The next cross was even heavier. He kept picking up crosses but they were all too heavy. Finally, he came to the last cross and picked it up with ease. "I'll trade my cross for this one," he told the owner. "But sir," the owner replied, "that is the cross you carried in here!" (Slaying Your Giants p.161, $7.99)

Jesus said to take up your cross daily (Luke 9:23). But what does that mean? Some people wrongly believe that carrying your cross are the burdens God adds to your load for following Him. NOT TRUE! Carrying your cross means there are people in this world who will persecute you for following Jesus. The world hated Jesus so much that they nailed Him to a cross, and they will also try to crucify His followers through hate, slander, and persecution (John 15:18). "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you and example to follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

If you think your cross is too heavy, remember that God will give you the grace and love to withstand the hate you are receiving. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Have You Been Conditioned to Respond?


Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? Ivan Pavlov proved that two stimuli repeatedly linked together can produce a conditioned response. He observed that dogs would salivate when they were about to be fed. Pavlov rang a bell each time prior to feeding the dogs so they would associate the bell-ringing with dinner time. This conditioned them to salivate in the anticipation of being fed because bell ringing and eating were linked together.

This explains why you crave popcorn when you go to the movies. You’ve eaten popcorn so many times as you’ve watched movies that popcorn munching and movie watching are connected together. Now you cannot watch a movie without eating popcorn—and you’ll even pay outrageous prices to get it!

Let’s suppose a dog named Fido was frequently beaten by his master. The recurrent blows conditioned him to associate the stick with pain. One day a boy picked up a stick to play fetch with him. When the dog sees him with stick in hand, a bell rings in his mind and he runs away with his tail between his legs.

Now, replace Fido’s name with your name, and replace the stick with hurtful words. After someone has repeatedly mistreated you, you’ve been conditioned to either fight back or run away. Husbands and wives who continually argue and fight have been conditioned to react to each other. They’ll say, “You always (fill in the blanks)” or “You never…”

But God wants you to follow different instructions: “Not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead” (1 Pet. 3:9). Don’t let abusive people condition you to react in the wrong way. Instead of returning the insult, turn it around and condition them to soften their hearts with your blessings. It’s God’s way. www.makinglifecount.net
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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
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Monday, July 1, 2019

Surrender Your Weaknesses To God


When Mordecai Brown was a child, he dreamed of becoming a professional baseball pitcher. His dream was dashed when his hand was mangled in a farm accident that severed his index finger, part of another finger, and broke his other fingers. The bones were not set properly so they healed in a deformed position. Even so, he tried rehabilitating by throwing rocks at knotholes on the barn wall. Over time he not only learned to throw again, but was able to throw an unusual curve ball because of the odd position of his fingers.

Amazingly, Mordecai, also known as “Three Finger,” became a pro baseball pitcher, winning 239 games in the major leagues and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Brown’s handicap enabled him to throw pitches with an unconventional movement that left batters bewildered—the curve ball that Ty Cobb called the most devastating he ever faced.

God loves to use your handicaps and weaknesses to confound those who feel superior.  “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong” (1 Cor. 1:27).

Surrender your weaknesses to God and then watch Him work through you. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Once you see God using you, don’t take credit for it. Give Him all the glory. www.makinglifecount.net
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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
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com