Sunday, December 27, 2020

Whatever Unites Also Divides

Did you know that whatever unites also divides? If I asked everyone in a crowded room with blue eyes to stand up, it would unite the blue-eyed people, but it would also divide them from everyone else.
 
Some people think unity should be our primary goal, but that’s incorrect. Believing the truth is more important than unity. Adrian Rogers said, “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie.”
 
Jesus caused division wherever He went. “So there arose a division in the multitude because of Him” (John 7:43). He said, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three” (Luke 12:51-52). When people united with Him, it divided them from family members who didn’t believe in Him.
 
Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30). The division continued as the apostles preached the gospel. “The people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles” (Acts 14:4).
 
You can choose which side you’re on. You can stand with Jesus, or you can side with those who hate Him because you’re afraid of their peer pressure. One day all God’s people will be united in heaven—and it’s because we followed the truth.
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
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Jesus Came to Feel Your Pain

A farmer made a sign advertising puppies for sale. A little boy read it and said, "Mister, I want to buy one of your puppies." The farmer said, "These puppies cost a lot of money, probably more than you can afford." 
The little boy said, "I've got 39 cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," the farmer said. He whistled and called, "Come here, Dolly."
 
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp came Dolly, followed by four little puppies. A few seconds later, a fifth dog came out, slipping down the ramp and lagging behind. It hobbled because it had two badly deformed legs. The little boy pointed to the frail dog and said, "I'll take that one!" The farmer knelt down and explained, "Son, you don't want that one. He'll never be able to run and play like the other dogs."
 
The boy reached down and rolled up the leg of his pants, revealing his artificial leg. He said, "Mister, I'll never be able to run and play like the other boys either, so that little puppy is going to need someone who understands."
 
God became a man 2,000 years ago to experience all the pain we go through as humans. Jesus felt the sting of rejection, the pull of temptation, the pressure of stress, the ache of loneliness, and the pains of going hungry. Hebrews 2:17-18 says, "He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest." Hebrews 4:15 adds, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses." This means Jesus feels your pain as you are experiencing it and knows how you feel.
 
Are you going through a difficult time? One reason Jesus came to earth was because He knew you would need someone who feels your pain. Everything that you're going through, He's already been through in some way. And that’s why He’s a merciful Savior.
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
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Jesus Came to Explain God

Author Max Lucado was a missionary to Brazil before he became a writer. In his book Just Like Jesus, Max said he sometimes served as a translator for an English speaker. When the guest speaker stood before the audience, Max stood right next to him. His job was to convey to the Brazilians what the speaker was saying. When the speaker gestured, Max made the same gesture. When the speaker raised his voice, Max also raised his voice. When the speaker got quiet, Max got quiet.
 
One reason Jesus left heaven and came to earth was to “translate” God to us. Jesus didn’t do anything unless He saw His Father doing it (John 5:19). When the Father got louder, Jesus got louder. When the Father gestured, Jesus also gestured. This is why Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
 
Jesus demonstrated how to act like God in every circumstance. When people hated Him, He loved them. When they falsely accused Him, He didn’t try defend himself but was silent. He showed us how to forgive by actually forgiving the ones killing Him. The disciples could understand whatever He taught because they watched Him do what He was teaching them.
 
Do you remember those “What Would Jesus Do” bracelets? Not too many people are wearing them now, but the saying still holds true. Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do in my situation?” And then let Him translate though you.
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
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Where God Guides, God Provides

After I graduated from seminary, God led my wife and me to plant a church in Kansas. For a number of years we searched for property to build a church, all to no avail. One day I prayed, “Lord, Walmart had no problem acquiring land for their building. Where is the land for your church? Please show us where it is.”
Immediately “Eighth Street” popped into my mind. I went to a realtor in our church and asked him to find out if any property was for sale on Eighth Street.
 
A few days later, a member of our church told me, “Pastor, I dreamed last night that our new church was built on the south end of Eighth Street, on the west side.” I was shocked to hear him say “Eighth Street” because no one in the church other than the realtor knew we were looking there.
 
The next day, the realtor told me, “I found 25 acres of land on Eighth Street that just became available this week. People have been trying to buy this property for years but it hasn’t been for sale until now. It’s on the south end of Eighth Street on the west side.”
 
The property was the Eighth Street location the man had seen in his dream! He had no way of knowing we were looking on Eighth Street or that this property had just been put up for sale. God made it clear this was His will through three confirmations: 1) God spoke Eighth Street as the location 2) The open door—the property was put up for sale that week 3) the man’s dream confirmed the exact spot. The picture on the left is Cornerstone Church as it looks today.
 
During all the years we searched for land to build on, this property wasn’t for sale. But the day it went on the market, the Lord immediately told us where it was. We purchased the property at a bargain price and were able to construct the Cornerstone Church building debt-free. "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass" (1 Thess. 5:24) . 
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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NEW BIBLE STUDY “How did the coin get in the fish’s mouth?
 
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