Sunday, July 5, 2020

Getting Along with the Skunk in Your Life


The grizzly bear is the most feared animal in the forest. It can terminate the life of any other creature with one swipe of its paw. But there’s one animal the grizzly bear will not attack. He has even allowed this animal to eat with him, although it is his adversary.

The animal I am talking about is the skunk. The grizzly bear doesn’t like the skunk, but he has decided it’s better to coexist with him than to create a stink. Sometimes it’s better to learn how to get along with the difficult person in your life than fight him and make your situation even worse.

If your problem is a co-worker or your boss, it’s better to get along with that person than to quit your job. Many people get irritated by the nuisance they work with, and in a moment of frustration quit their jobs. They end up only hurting themselves. It’s better to tolerate the situation than to be unemployed with no income. 

God has a purpose for the skunk in your life. That’s why He assigned you a seat next to him. He’s teaching you how to love skunks. “You yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thess. 4:9). It’s easy to love the lovely, but what about the skunk in your life? God will show you how to do it. Just don’t create a stink with him.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, June 28, 2020

God Appointed You to Live on Earth at This Time


In 1864 during the Civil War, Henry was a student at Virginia Military Institute. When the Union army attempted to destroy a railroad that brought supplies to them, the VMI cadets were called up by the Confederate army to engage them at the Battle of New Market.
     During the battle, Henry was struck in the stomach by a Minni ball, but instead of penetrating his skin, the bullet miraculously bounced off. If the bullet had entered his body, he would have died in battle due to lack of medical aid. If he had died, you wouldn’t be reading this. Henry Stuart Crockett was my great grandfather. If he had died, I wouldn’t be here today.

If you climb up your family tree, you’ll find someone who barely escaped death. If that person had died, you would not exist. You are not here by accident. God determined when you would live on earth and where you would live. “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). Out of all the centuries you could have been born, God appointed you to live at this time.

The Lord also created you with a purpose to fulfill. King David “served the purpose of God in his own generation” (Acts 13:36). Just as David accomplished God’s will during his time on earth, the Lord has a purpose for you to fulfill. If you will seek Him, He will show you your purpose in life. It’s not too late for you to get started.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Two Ways to Serve God and Others


Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Sometimes we’re so busy serving the Lord, and maybe even doing an excellent job, but we don’t do it with a joyful attitude. The Sunday School Times told of an elderly Christian mother who was a shut-in, and had two daughters clean her house.

She said, “My two daughters take turns cleaning my small home. Jean comes and makes everything shine. Yet she leaves the impression that I’m an awful burden. But when Mary comes, no matter how dull the day or how low my spirit, she’s so cheery that my heart is tuned to singing. Above all, she makes me feel that she loves me. They’re both Christians, but what a difference in their attitudes! Mary has the extra touch of grace and does everything with a loving heart.”

One daughter served joyfully, while the other served because she felt obligated. The daughter serving grudgingly made her mother feel worthless, but the one serving joyfully made her feel valued.
Does it bother God when we don’t serve Him joyfully? Moses told Israel, "Because you didn't serve the Lord your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything, your will serve your enemies the Lord will send against you" (Deut. 28:47-48). Looks like our attitude does make a difference to Him.

Do you have a servant’s heart? Elisabeth Elliot said, “The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.” I might add, "and if you’re serving joyfully so you can please the Lord."
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Words Can Wound or Heal

It’s like a page taken from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Traci, who was a member of our church, sat by the side of our city’s swimming pool watching her son swim. Suddenly, her leg started bleeding profusely! Blood quickly covered her leg for no apparent reason. No knives or glass were anywhere nearby. She hadn’t even moved, so she couldn’t have caused this bleeding herself.

She was taken to the hospital where doctors discovered the reason for her mysterious stigma. They pulled a bullet out of her leg! Someone had shot a bullet into the air, apparently thinking that bullets only go up and never come down. But this bullet did come down—into her leg.

Many people shoot bullets from their mouths, never realizing the wounds they’re causing to others. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). We have the power in our mouths to bless or destroy. Show me a marriage or a church that’s being torn apart, and I’ll show you a marriage or a church that’s speaking destructive words to fight one another. 

A wife told her husband, “When you talk to me that way, it’s like you’re sticking a knife in my heart.” Destructive words will damage relationships like a sword can cut, but encouraging words will heal relationships. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18).

Do your words wound others, or do they heal? Think before you speak.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
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Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Brilliant Plan to Win the War


One of the cleverest secret plans during WWII was Operation Mincemeat. In 1943, Great Britain planned to invade Sicily, but they had to convince the Germans and Italians the attack would happen elsewhere. They dressed a corpse in a Royal Marines uniform and named him Major William Martin. Planted on him was a cryptic letter detailing an impending invasion of Greece and Sardinia. The fake military document was supposedly intended for the British commander-in-chief in North Africa.

The corpse was transported by submarine and released off the coast of Spain near the shore. As expected, the body washed up on a beach, which the Spanish government believed was a secret courier. They turned the letter over to German military intelligence, which convinced them Sicily wasn’t going to be invaded. The Nazis reacted to the ruse and moved their troops to Greece and Sardinia.

The plan worked. British troops landed in Sicily, helping to end the war in Europe and paving the way for the June 6 D-Day invasion. Major William Martin, a man who never existed, played a significant role in winning WWII.

As brilliant as that plan was, God’s plan to win the war for your soul, Operation Save the World, was even more ingenious. “This Man (Jesus) delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross…to put Him to death, and God raised Him up” (Acts 2:23-24). Satan thought if he could stir up people to kill Jesus, that would be end of Him, and the devil would rule the world forever.

But God outsmarted him. He allowed Jesus to be crucified, so that He became the sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 1:29). Then God resurrected Him from the dead to win the war for souls, and now He lives forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Only one thing is left to complete the plan of salvation for you. You must receive Jesus as your Lord, and then you will be on the winning side for all eternity.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
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Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Way That Seems Right



Years ago before GPS, my wife and I were traveling in our car to a retreat in North Carolina. She had been to the retreat center a year before, but I hadn’t been there. On the way she said, “This road doesn’t seem right. I don’t remember going this way last year.” I told her, “The road map says we’re on the right highway.”

Later we came to an intersection. Cindy said, “It seems like we need to be turning left.” Again I looked at the map. “The map says we’re supposed to turn right here.” Trying to keep from laughing, I asked, “Do you think we should follow the map, or what seems right?” She giggled. We followed the map’s directions and arrived at our destination, just like it said.  

It reminded me of the verse, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:29). Many people travel through life guided solely by what seems right to them. They’re only thinking about having fun, doing whatever they want, and never thinking about where the road is leading them. It won’t end well for them.

God provided the Bible as our road map to guide us through life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It teaches us about relationships, decision-making, marriage, salvation, and how to live. And it’s always right, even when our feelings try to pull us in the wrong direction.

So when you need guidance, ask yourself, “What does the Bible say about this?” God will show you the right way to go. Just follow His directions. 
www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 
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Last week we looked at the Sadducees and what they believed.
This week’s BIBLE STUDY: Who Were the Pharisees?  

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Deceived Person Doesn't Know He's Deceived


The Humane Society in Battle Creek, Michigan, received a phone call about two ducks that were trapped by the ice on a frozen pond. Manager Mike Pearson rushed to pond, inched his way out on the ice and rescued the ducks. Both wooden decoys are expected to survive.

Not everything that looks real is real. A deceived person believes things that aren’t true. Herod heard about Jesus doing miracles and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has risen from the dead and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him” (Matt. 14:2).

Herod had John’s head cut off while he was in prison (14:10). The king knew John was dead, but now he believed that John rose from the dead and put his head back on! Herod believed John rose from the dead, which wasn’t true. But when Jesus actually did rise from the dead, he didn’t believe in His resurrection, which was true.

God used Paul and Barnabas to heal a man who had never walked. The people said, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us” (Acts 14:11). They wrongly believed Paul and Barnabas were the pagan Greek gods, Hermes and Zeus, and worshipped them. But then some agitators from Antioch and Iconium deceived them in a different way, and convinced them to stone Paul (14:19). Deception not only leads people to the wrong conclusions, but also to the wrong actions.

Is it possible that you believe things that aren’t true? It’s always wise to pray, “Lord, if I am deceived about something, please show me the truth.” Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Rickety Old Bridge


A man and wife were traveling to see some old friends. The last time they went to see them they had to drive over an old, rickety bridge. The wife said, “What are we going to do when we get to the bridge? We can’t drive over it. It’s unsafe.”

The husband said, “But there’s no other way to get across the river. What if it collapses? What if we drown? Who will raise our kids?” 

For the next hour they worried about how they would cross the bridge. When they arrived at the river, the old bridge had been torn down and replaced with a new one! They had needlessly tormented themselves about a problem that had already been solved.

When Mary and the other women were walking to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, they worried about how they could move the stone. Like the couple fretting about the rickety bridge, they asked themselves, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:3). When they got there, the stone had already been rolled away. All their worrying was in vain because God had already taken care of the problem.

Worry comes from meditating on your problems instead of God’s Word. God knows where you’re going and when you’ll arrive. If you’ve surrendered your life to the Lord, your future is in His hands. The same God who moved the stone for the women will also take care of the future situations that worry you. Instead of fretting, keep trusting God, and cross that bridge when you come to it. www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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NEW BIBLE PROPHECY STUDY: The Last Trumpet vs The 7th Trumpet

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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, May 10, 2020

How Is It Possible to Love Your Enemy?


Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner in a German concentration camp during WWII. Years later, while speaking in a church in Munich, she spotted in the congregation a former SS soldier who stood guard at the shower room door at Ravensbruck. When the church was dismissed, the former Nazi guard came up to her and said, “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein. To think that Jesus has washed my sins away!” He reached out to shake her hand.

Corrie kept her hand by her side as vengeful thoughts boiled within her. Here she stood, face to face with the evil soldier who had been so cruel to her. She prayed, “Lord Jesus, forgive me for hating him and help me to forgive him.” She struggled to raise her hand, but couldn’t. Again she prayed, “Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.”

As she slowly lifted her hand and grabbed his, an incredible thing happened. She said, “Into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our own forgiveness that the world’s healing hinges. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.” (Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place, p. 238)

How is it possible to love your enemy? God can and will do it through you. “For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another” (1 Thess. 4:9). Jesus will give you love for your enemy, just as He did with Corrie. All it takes is being willing to do it. www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, May 3, 2020

If the Holy Spirit Was Withdrawn from the Church


A.J. Gordon, a preacher from the late 1800s, told about being at the World’s Fair and seeing a man at a distance vigorously pumping water. A. J. watched him for quite a while and was amazed at the man’s energy. He never got tired but just kept pumping and pumping, and the water kept flowing.

As he got closer, he finally realized that it wasn’t as he had thought. What he assumed was a real person was just a mechanical man, and he wasn’t actually pumping the water. The water came from an artesian well springing up out the ground. The force of the water turned a gear which made the mechanical man go up and down, making it look like he was pumping the water. So it wasn’t the man pumping the water. It was the water pumping the man.

Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” and “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’”(John 4:14, 7:38). But are we actually depending on His power?

A.W. Tozer said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the early church, 95% of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

Many people haven’t really tapped in the power of the Holy Spirit, so they try to generate activity in their own power. They’re using their own strength and that’s why they’re exhausted. But Jesus said the flow of living water will spring up within us, giving us life. The Holy Spirit’s power will energize you, and without wearing you out. Yield to Him and let Him empower you.  www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, April 26, 2020

God's Guidance is like a Scroll, not a Blueprint


Everyone wants to know what will happen in the future. When will the corona virus pandemic end? What is going to happen with our economy? How am I going to provide for my family?

Suppose you had a friend who was a super-genius—the smartest person in the world. He knew the answer to any question, but he wouldn’t tell you anything unless you asked him. Even then, he wouldn’t tell you everything, but only what you needed to know.

That friend is God. He’s real, even though He is invisible to you at this time. He’s the only one who knows the answer to every question and everything that will happen in the future. God “knows all things” (1 John 3:20). God knows “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10). He says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33:3)

God is not only all-knowing, but is also all-powerful. “Nothing is too difficult” for God (Jer. 32:17). And that’s why those who are wise will seek Him for guidance. God says, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go.” (Psalm 32:8).

But here’s one thing to remember. God’s guidance isn’t like a blueprint where you see the completed picture all at once. Instead, it’s like a scroll that’s unrolled a little bit at a time. In His wisdom, God won’t tell you everything that will happen in the future. Jesus told His disciples, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). He will reveal what you need to know today. Sometimes He will tell you more, if you need to know it.

As long as you put your trust in Him, you will be confident in facing the future because He is the "I AM" and exists there too. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times.” Even during uncertain times. www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Five Commonly Believed Myths


Years ago, a wise person told me, “Read the Bible for what it actually says, not what you think it says.” That bit of advice is a good tool to use in correctly interpreting the Bible. Here are five myths that many people believe, but are not mentioned in the Bible.

Myth #1: Three Wise Men came to Jesus. The magi, or wise men, came to Jerusalem to find the King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1-2). People assume there were three magi because they presented Jesus with three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh (2:11). However, the Bible doesn’t tell us how many there were.

Myth #2: Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was bad eyesight. Some people teach Paul’s thorn in the flesh was bad eyesight, based on Galatians 4:15 which says the Galatians would have given him their eyes. It’s likely Paul’s vision worsened as he grew older, and they didn’t have glasses in those days. Paul tells us the thorn in the flesh was an angel of Satan to keep him humble. Click here to read more…

Myth #3:  The “eye of needle” that a camel must pass through was a small city gate.
Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:24). “Camelgate” is the theological scandal that changes the eye of a needle to a small city gate. Someone came up with this idea to make the impossible example possible to believe. Luke, who was a physician, uses the Greek word of a surgeon’s needle, thus blowing the doors off Camelgate. Click here to read more…

Myth #4:  Jesus was beaten with 39 lashes. None of the gospels say this. It was Paul who was beaten with 39 lashes on five separate occasions (2 Cor. 11:24). We know Jesus received “stripes” from being flogged (Isa 53:5, Matt. 27:26), but the Bible doesn’t tell us how many He received.

Myth #5: The forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was an apple. God told Adam and Eve they could eat any fruit yielding seed (Gen. 1:29). Apples have seeds, so the forbidden fruit was not an apple.
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Sunday, April 12, 2020

The One Thing That Could Stop Salvation


When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for the sins of the world. But the apostle Paul makes a stunning statement in 1 Cor. 15:17, If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless. You are still in your sins.” I’ve often wondered WHY that was true.

The answer is found in our being united with Him. Every believer is “IN Christ” (Eph. 1:7, 13) and Christ is IN every believer (Rom. 8:9-11). When Jesus died, we died with Him (Rom 6:8). “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, (He) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5-6)

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but though Me” (John 14:6). If He was still in the grave, we could not go with Him to the Father in heaven. We would still be in the grave with Him. That’s why Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised…you are still in your sins.” If there is no resurrection, there is also no redemption, no reconciliation with God, no justification, no salvation.

But then Paul continues, “But now Christ HAS been raised for the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20). Paul had seen Jesus in His resurrected body (15:8) and spent his entire life trying to convince others of that fact. “If you confess with mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9). www.makinglifecount.net www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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Making Life Count Ministries
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