Sunday, April 5, 2020

God Will Show You The Next Step


Worry always concerns things that might happen in the future. You don’t need to know everything about your future. You only need to know where and when to take the next step.

I hated being in second grade, so I asked my father why I had to go to school. He explained, “So you can get to third grade, and then fourth grade, and then later to high school, then college, and then you’ll get a job to support your family.” 
That was NOT what I needed to hear! I was just trying to get through the next day at school, and now my dad was adding even more burdens on me for years to come. It was too much information for me to handle.

That’s why Jesus told His disciples, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). To make life easier, He would reveal things to them a little bit at a time—as they needed to know it. God leads us one step at a time. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God gives enough light to your feet to take the next step. The light keeps moving with you as you take each step, which lights the path to your destination.

After the prophet Elijah stopped the rain in Israel, God led him to the brook Cherith. After the brook dried up, God told him to take the next step—go to Zarephath (1 Kings 17:1-9). The Lord didn’t speak to him about taking the next step until Elijah needed to know it.

When Joshua was leading the people into the Promised Land, they wondered how they could cross the Jordan River. God told Joshua to tell the priests, who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, when to take the next step. When the priests arrived at the Jordan and took the next step into the river, the waters parted for them to cross over (Joshua 3:8-4:18).

God isn’t going to reveal everything that will happen in your future, but if you will seek Him, He will tell you when to take the next step. It’s called walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid. For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear and worry, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Jesus Slept Through the Storm to Make a Point


The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when a violent storm hit. The waves were breaking over the sides and the boat was filling up with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion (Mark 4:38). Did you know this is the only time the Bible says Jesus was asleep? That’s no accident. He was sleeping during the storm to make a point.

Jesus was sleeping the stern, which was the lowest place in the boat. The boat was filling up with water, and the disciples couldn’t bail it out fast enough. As waves crashed into the boat, the water rushed down to the stern. Picture Jesus sleeping as water is filling up the stern. He’s soaking wet, the boat is being tossed from one side to the other, yet He doesn’t wake up! It’s nearly impossible to sleep under those conditions, unless God calms you so much that you can. He might have slept through the entire storm if the disciples hadn’t awakened Him.

When we encounter a storm, we don’t know how dangerous it will get. Some storms have little waves, while others have big waves. This was an intense storm too big for them to handle. It looked like God wasn’t in control. The disciples woke Jesus up and screamed, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:38 NLT) Jesus commanded the winds to be still and the sea became perfectly calm, which proved He was in control of the storm. He demonstrated that He was in charge of their circumstances, whether He was sleeping or awake. 

The disciples were amazed that He could calm the storm simply by speaking words. And He can calm your fears as well by speaking words to your heart. Listen carefully, and you will hear Him whispering those words to your heart, “Peace, be still. Do not be troubled. Do not be afraid.”

Are you trusting God through the storm? You’ll never be able to sleep through the storm like Jesus did until you first rest in the fact that God is in control, even when your boat is filling up with water. God is still with you, even if He appears to be sleeping and unconcerned. It’s just a test. If the Lord doesn’t calm the storm you are going through, He will keep you calm through the storm. Either way removes fear. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid. For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear and worry, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"See That You Are Not Frightened"


Are you worried about the corona virus and what will happen next? When Jesus told His disciples about future events happening at the end of the world, He said, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened” (Matt. 24:6). Jesus picked a worst-case scenario that could be terribly frightening, where He’s talking about wars happening all over the world, and specifically told His followers to KEEP CALM and to not be frightened

Jesus knew His words would be recorded in the Bible so people living in the future, like you, could read them. But do you believe what Jesus said? He wouldn’t tell us to not be frightened in desperate situations unless two things were true.
1. He has control over earthly events. Obviously, He has to be in control of future events or He couldn’t predict them. If He can predict the future, it means He must have control over it.
2. He is watching over each one of us, even when scary things are happening. Again, He couldn’t tell you to not be afraid unless He was present to protect and provide for you.

Jesus also said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28). Did I hear that right? Did Jesus just say not to be afraid—even when someone wants to kill you? Again Jesus instructed His followers to not be afraid.

You cannot worry and trust God at the same time. Faith forces out fear, and trust forces out worry. David said, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). If you don’t trust God to guide you and provide for you, you will live in a constant state of fear, and self-preservation will become your highest priority.

Here is a list of scriptures telling you to not be afraid.  For more information about why God can be trusted and how to be set free from fear, read The Sure Cure for Worry

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

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Will You Cheat to Get What You Want?


Several years ago, a high school basketball coach in Kansas cheated in a game by making an illegal substitution. One of his players was injured in the first half. At halftime, the coach made the switch. He asked the injured player's identical twin, who was not listed in the official score book, to put on his brother's uniform and pretend to be him. The twins looked so much alike that no one could tell the difference. The twin wore his brother's number and led the team to victory.

But the thrill of victory quickly turned into the agony of deceit. The coach couldn't live with his guilty conscience. "After the game, my conscience bothered me," he said. "What I did wasn't right. I voluntarily turned myself in to the state."

Proverbs 11:1 says, "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight (honesty) is His delight." The false balance refers to when dishonest merchants used two different stone weights to balance their scales. Lighter stones were placed on the scales when selling, so it would give the buyer less product for the price. They switched to heavier stones when buying, so they would receive more for the same price.

Dishonest people believe they'll be better off if they cheat. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on income taxes. Philanderers cheat on their spouses. They don’t realize God is watching and won't let them enjoy what they get. "Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." (Prov. 20:17).

Instead of cheating, try a different approach. Why not do what is honest and trust God with the outcome your situation? It might mean giving up the immediate profit, but don’t forget the end of the story. God has ways of making up the difference for you, both here and in eternity. 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, March 8, 2020

The Worst Trip Ever or The Best Trip Ever?


When my wife Cindy and I went our 25th anniversary cruise, the crew waited on us like we were royalty. We ate gourmet food and watched entertaining shows every night. It was by far the best trip we ever took. 

One day the passengers had to gather at a certain place on the ship to disembark at our next stop. Everyone was waiting in line to go ashore but something caused a delay. After waiting thirty minutes, people started complaining. A grumpy man yelled, “This is the worst cruise I’ve ever been on! The service is terrible.” Then an elderly woman chimed in, “You can say that again. I’ve been on cruises much better than this!”

I whispered to Cindy, “Are we on the same boat as them? This is a trip of a lifetime, visiting tropical islands, away from work, eating the finest food, enjoying fantastic service and great entertainment, and all they can do is complain!” 

The problem wasn’t the food, service, or entertainment, but their ungrateful hearts. As they were complaining about their luxury cruise, God was looking at all the starving people in the world who would love to swap places with them and eat their gourmet food.

The Lord isn’t against going on a cruise, but He does want us to be thankful and to “do everything without grumbling and arguing” (Phil. 2:14 HCSB). Your attitude will make the difference between being on the worst trip ever or the best trip ever.  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, March 1, 2020

Life's a Cinch by the Inch, But Hard by the Yard


Are you stressed out by life’s responsibilities? Jesus said, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matt. 6:34 TLB). He lived one day at a time, and managed His stress on an hourly basis.

Many times He said His “hour had not come” (John 2:4, 7:30, 8:20). He didn’t become distressed until He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when the time arrived for Him to be betrayed. “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood” (Luke 22:4). Luke describes a condition called hematidrosis, where sweat and blood are mingled in extreme cases of stress.

He knew from the beginning He would die for the sins of the world, but you don’t see Him sweating blood every day His life. That’s because He handled His stress on an hourly basis. He dealt with each issue as it came, and not before then.

Stress comes from handling too many responsibilities at once. Let’s say 365 toothpicks represent your responsibilities for every day in a year. If you bundle 365 toothpicks together, you won’t be able to break the bundle in half. If you bundle 30 toothpicks together to represent one month’s responsibilities, you won’t be able to break them in half either.

But if you unbundle the 365 toothpicks and deal with each toothpick one at a time, you’ll be able to break all 365 toothpicks. That’s how God wants us to live—one day at a time. One hour at a time. One toothpick at a time. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: 46 Quotes on Prayer

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

Sunday, February 23, 2020

How to Make Doubts Disappear


After John the Baptist was thrown in prison, he began to wonder if Jesus really was the Messiah. So John sent a message to Jesus asking, “Are You the Expected One or shall we look for someone else?”(Matt. 11:3)

Dear Jesus,
I am writing to inform you that I have been thrown into prison by Herod. I’ve been thinking about all of those things that I had preached about you, even before you began your ministry.
Remember how I told everyone that your winnowing fork was in your hand, and you would thoroughly clean your threshing floor? And remember how I said you would burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire? To me that meant that you would put an end to all injustice. I was counting on you to correct all wrongs.
To be honest, Jesus, I never thought I’d have to write this letter. I was sure you would have straightened things up around here by now. Rumors have it that Herodias wants my head. If you are wondering when to get out your winnowing fork to start cleaning up, now would be a good time. That is, if you are the one we are expecting. 
Respectfully yours,
John the Baptist
P.S. If we are to look for someone else, please let us know.

A few days later, the mailman delivered a letter to John’s jail cell. He anxiously opened it, hoping to receive news that Jesus was arranging for his quick release. Instead, John read:
Dear John the Baptist,
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Agape,
Jesus
P.S. Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.

Jesus wanted him to recall the facts he knew to be true. “John, you know I’ve opened blind eyes. That’s a miracle no one else has ever done. The prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah would do this (Isa. 29:18, 35:5, 42:7). You know I’ve healed paralyzed people and cleansed lepers. I’ve made the deaf to hear and even raised the dead. Who else can do these things except the Messiah? If you will concentrate on these things you know to be true, your doubts will disappear.” (Slaying Your Giants p.38)

Focus your faith on what you know to be true. Not on what you don’t know. That's how you make doubts disappear. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Resolving Conflicts

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

Sunday, February 16, 2020

When The Brook Dries Up, It's Time to Move On


After the prophet Elijah stopped the rain in Israel, God told him to go to the Brook Cherith where ravens would bring him bread and meat. After a while the brook dried up. Then God told him, “Go to Zarephath …I have commanded a widow there to provide for you" (1 Kings 17:1-9).
The Lord didn’t speak to him about moving to another place until after the brook quit flowing. God let it dry up so Elijah would know it was time to move on. Staying there was no longer an option. The dry creek was a closed door that sent him to a new place.

What does a dry brook look like today? It might be losing your job, a source of provision that stops, or closed doors that won’t open. It becomes obvious that what you need will be found somewhere else.

Elijah obeyed and went to Zarephath. Previously God commanded ravens to bring him food, but now He commanded a poor widow to provide for him. Even though she didn’t seem aware that God commanded her to feed him, she gave Elijah her last meal. This proves God can command people to do things for you, even when they aren’t aware of obeying Him.

If your brook has dried up, you probably need to move on. But don’t take one step until you ask God where that next place is. God says, “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). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Unbaptized Arm


Ivan the Great, the tsar of Russia during the fifteen century, converted to Greek Orthodox to marry the daughter of the king of Greece. Ivan said, “If I’m going to convert, so will my soldiers.” The Greeks sent tutors to teach Ivan and 500 elite soldiers about being Greek Orthodox, and assigned 500 priests to immerse the soldiers in one mass baptism.

Thousands of people gathered to watch hundreds of soldiers in full armor, along with hundreds of priests dressed in black robes and tall hats, all standing in the Mediterranean Sea.

But there was a problem. The church prohibited soldiers from becoming church members unless they gave up their commitment to shed blood in battle. They came up with a solution where they could become church members and keep their military commitment. 

Just before the priests baptized the soldiers, each man reached to his side, withdrew his sword, and lifted it high overhead. Each soldier was totally immersed underwater—except for his fighting arm and sword. The soldiers became church members but could still fight in wars because they all had “unbaptized arms.”

Compromising is when we ignore God’s standards to get something we want. We see it all the time, especially when it comes to sexual purity. Paul writes, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3). Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). When Jesus becomes the Lord of your life, you’ll do what He says. Is any part of you unbaptized? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Insights Into God's Guidance


God told Samuel, “I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons” (1 Sam. 16:1). When Jesse’s sons came before him, Samuel looked at Eliab and assumed he was the chosen one. Samuel could have made a big mistake here because apparently Eliab looked like a king. God told Samuel Eliab wasn’t the one. After Samuel saw all seven, he said, “The Lord has not chosen these” (16:10).

Samuel couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Since none of the seven were the king, it must mean another son was somewhere else. It’s interesting that God didn’t tell Samuel this. He had to figure it out himself. Samuel asked, “Are these all your children?” Jesse told him the youngest was tending sheep. When David was brought to him the Lord said, “Anoint him, for this is he” (v.12).

What can we learn from this? The Lord gave Samuel instructions, but He didn’t tell him everything. God could have told Samuel at the beginning to anoint the youngest son, David. But Samuel had to go through the process of elimination. It’s like dating seven people and eliminating them before you find the right spouse. Some people choose to marry someone because they “look good,” just like Samuel almost chose Eliab for this reason. We find out later that Eliab was afraid to fight Goliath (17:28). But David wasn’t afraid, which is why God chose him as king.

Many times God will tell you to do something, such as accept a job in a different city. But He won’t tell you everything about the situation. He will give you further instructions after you’ve obeyed what He has already told you to do. God will lead you to Point A, and after you’ve done that, He will take you to Point B.

Are you obeying what He has already told you? If God has spoken to you, it will come to pass, but it may not happen until later. Even though Samuel anointed David as king, it wasn’t until years later that David actually became the king of Israel (1 Chron. 11:9). 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

Sunday, January 26, 2020

If Your Bush Burns Out, God Isn't In It


Moses led his flock into the wilderness when he saw something weird—a burning bush that wasn’t consumed. The bush didn’t burn out because God was in it.

A voice called out from the bush saying, “Moses, Moses . . . remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. . . I am the God of your father.” (Ex. 3:4-6). Remember, this happened before the tabernacle and temple were built to worship God. Moses was only standing on dirt, but it was holy ground because he was in the presence of a holy God.

The Lord spoke through a burning bush to prove to Moses three things:
First, He knew exactly where Moses was, even in the back side of a desert.
Second, He called Moses by name, proving He knew all about him.
Third, the bush didn’t burn out, showing He had endless energy. 

Then God gave him an assignment. “I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt (3:10). Moses started making excuses, saying that he wasn’t capable of doing it. The Lord assured him, “Certainly I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12). When God calls you to do something, He goes with you and gives you the ability to accomplish it.

People burn out because they’re doing tasks that God never called them to do, or they’re doing them in their own strength. Moses’ bush never burned out. And your bush won’t burn out either, if God is in it.   www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What Are the People Like in Your Town?


A man pulled up to a gas station and told the attendant, “I’m thinking about moving here. What are the people like in this town?” The attendant said, “What are the people like in the town you came from?” 

“I can’t stand living in that town,” the driver snapped. “All the people are unfriendly. No one cares about me. I can’t wait to move away from there.”
Attendant replied, “I think you’ll find the people in this town are like that too.”
“That’s what I thought!” he said in disgust as he drove off.

A few minutes later another man pulled into the gas station. “I’m thinking about moving here,” he said. "What are the people like in this town?” The attendant said, “What are the people like in the town you came from?” 

“I love living in that town but I have to relocate due to my job. I’m going to miss everything about that town. They are the friendliest people I’ve ever known.”
Attendant replied, “I think you’ll find the people in this town are like that too.”
The man smiled and said, “That’s what I thought!”

The people in the town you move to will be just like the people in the town you left. Why? Because the way you choose to see the world creates the world you see. Perspective isn’t what you see, but how you see it. Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Eph. 1:18). Yes, your heart can see. Your eyes and heart work together to form your perspective. We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.

So if you can’t stand the people in your town (or your job), it’s because you choose to look for the worst in everyone. But if you’ll let God enlighten your heart, your eyes will be opened to see the best in your situation and in others. What are the people like in your town? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, January 12, 2020

How to Not Be Worried and Bothered


When Jesus and His disciples show up at Martha’s house, she welcomes them in. Jesus goes into the other room and starts teaching, but Martha rushes into the kitchen and starts preparing a meal for the crew. It bothers her that her sister Mary hasn’t lifted one finger to help. Instead, Mary followed Jesus to the other room to listen to Him. 

God in a human body is sitting in her home, revealing truths about how to live stress-free life. Mary is listening and taking notes, but Martha is too busy to listen. It wouldn't surprise me if His sermon was on "How to Not Be Worried and Bothered." 

Martha stomps into the room and interrupts the Bible study. With hands on her hips, she commands Jesus to do something about lazy Mary. “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me” (Luke 10:40).

Martha expects to hear Him reply, “Do you guys remember my teachings on serving others? Take a look at my servant, Martha. So humble. So dedicated. Mary, you could learn a few things from her. Now get up and go help her with dinner!”

Instead Jesus says, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part" (Luke 10:41-42). Martha was stressed-out about “so many things.” She worried about every bad thing that might happen. She was continually bothered by little things, and people on her nerves. As a result, she wasn't enjoying life.

Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the good part.” What did she choose? She chose to hear Jesus speak to her heart. Jesus said, “Learn from me …and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28). Listen to what Jesus tells you and learn from Him. It’s the one thing that’s necessary. 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