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

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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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