Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Brilliant Shoeshine Lady


She was bent over at waist level with her hands clasped together behind her back, not saying a word to anyone. Her head jerked quickly back and forth, like a chicken scanning the ground trying to find something to eat. I thought, That’s weird. What is she doing?

Then I understood. She was inspecting everyone’s shoes as they passed by. As she bent down and looked closely at their shoes, the people walking by also looked down at their own shoes. I’m sure many passersby asked themselves, “Do my shoes look bad?” Her tactic was brilliant. Instead of calling attention to her shoeshine business, she wanted them to examine their own scuffed-up shoes. She didn’t tell them their shoes needed to be shined, but wanted them to see it for themselves.

Many people spend their time finding faults in other people, but it’s more important to look inside ourselves for faults that need fixing. We are to examine ourselves before we partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11: 28). We are to examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). David asked God to examine him to see if there was any hurtful way in him (Ps. 139:23-24).

Why? Because we are blind to our faults and we cannot make any positive changes until we take a deep, hard look inside. The light bulb must come on inside our heads and we see for ourselves what needs fixing.

Quit blaming others for your problems. Take a look at your own shoes and ask yourself, “What can I do to fix this?  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net  


 
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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

The Pharisees plotted with the Herodians to trick Jesus, asking Him, “Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” (Matt. 22:17). The poll-tax was an annual tribute to the emperor, who required every person to honor him as God. The Herodians were Jews who were devoted to King Herod and favored the tax. The Pharisees opposed the tax and hated the Herodians, but both groups joined together because they hated Jesus even more.

 If Jesus said paying the tribute was lawful, He would be considered a traitor to Israel. If He said it was unlawful, He would be accused of rebelling against Rome. Like playing “heads I win, tails you lose,” it looked like Jesus would lose either way He called it. He said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax. Whose image and inscription is this?” (Matt. 22:18-20).

The image was Tiberius Caesar, who was the current Roman emperor. But Jesus also asked about the inscription which read, “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the Divine Augustus.” Tiberius was claiming to be the Son of God, and that Augustus was God! Jesus didn’t correct their error, but said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” His answer explained that Caesar was not God, and even through Rome was corrupt, it was right to give back to Caesar what belonged to him. It was not a gift, but a debt owed to him for benefits received.

We are citizens of two worlds, earth and heaven (Phil. 3:20) with responsibilities to both Caesar and God. How does this apply to us today? It’s God’s will for us to pay our taxes, not because we agree with how the government spends it, but because Jesus told us to. God owns everything, and when we give our offerings to God, we worship Him as the true God. But if we don’t give back to Him, how can we honestly say that we love Him? www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 

365 Daily Devotionals for 2023


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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Stranded on a Deserted Island

From the deck of a cruise ship, a passenger saw a small island with a bearded man shouting and desperately waving his hands. “Who is that?” the passenger asked the steward. “I’ve no idea. But every year when we pass by, he goes nuts.”

Imagine being stranded on a small island with no way to contact anyone. In 2020, three men who set out to sea in their 23-foot boat sailed off course and then ran out of fuel. Their boat drifted to a beach on an uninhabited Micronesian island in the Pacific, which was 118 miles from where they had set out.

To make matters worse, their tiny island was just one among 2,100 other islands in that region. They had no idea if anyone even knew they were missing, or how long it would take for someone to find them. What could they do? 

Perhaps the men remembered the TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” where the seven stranded castaways, who were shipwrecked on a deserted island, wrote SOS in the sand. SOS is an internationally recognized distress signal that originates from Morse code.

With no way to communicate to anyone who might be searching for them, they wrote a giant SOS sign in the sand. Three days later they were rescued when Australian and U.S. aircraft spotted the SOS signal from the air.

Maybe you’re in a desperate situation and need to be rescued. Some people never call out to God, except when they’re in trouble. Desperation makes us willing to call out to God for help, even if we’ve never prayed before. God says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor Me” (Ps. 50:15).

The Lord wants to intervene in your situation and rescue you. But notice the end of the verse. He says, “And you will honor Me.” Honor Him by giving Him your life.

DEFENDING THE FAITH: Explaining Reincarnation


 

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Mr. Nobody

Years ago, an unconscious man with a broken nose was taken to a Toronto, Canada hospital. The man eventually woke up, but he didn’t know who he was. Since he had no identification in his wallet, he was named, “Mr. Nobody.” The only clue to the man’s identity was that he spoke several European languages with a British accent.

Doctors believed he lost his memory when he received a violent blow to his head during a mugging. Mr. Nobody was given a temporary name, Philip Staufen. He applied for Canadian citizenship so he could get a passport and travel overseas in an attempt to figure out who he was. His lawyer said, “He is a non-person. You have got to imagine what it must be like not to be able to open a bank account because you don’t exist.”

I’m sure Mr. Nobody asked, “Can somebody tell me who I am?” Jesus asked His disciples a similar question, “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27). He didn’t ask that question because He doubted His identity, but to get His disciples to understand who He really was.

One disciple said, “Some say Elijah.” Think how Christ could have responded if He hadn’t known who He was. Oh, that’s good. They think I’m a prophet. Elijah did a lot of miracles. Not a bad identity.

“Some say one of the prophets risen from the dead” (Luke 9:19). That’s even better. They already believe I’ve risen from the dead—and I haven’t even died yet. Just wait until I actually do it.

Jesus didn’t get His identity from others’ opinions, but from what His Father told Him, “You are My beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). Are you trying to figure out who you are? You might think you’re a “Nobody” if you believe what others say about you. Instead, ask yourself, “Who does God say that I am?” If you’ve been born again, God says, “You’re My child” (1 John 3:2). Believe what He says, and don’t doubt it.

CREATION VS. EVOLUTION: Soft Tissue in Fossils Disproves “Millions of Years” Age Dating


 
 

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Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Speck Inspectors

A man and his wife pulled into a full-service gas station to refuel their car. As the tank was being refilled, the station attendant washed the windshield. When he finished, the driver said, “The windshield is still dirty. Wash it again.” The attendant scrubbed the windshield a second time, looking closely for any bugs or dirt he might have missed.

When he finished, the driver yelled, “It’s still dirty! Don’t you know how to wash a windshield? Now do it again.” The attendant cleaned the windshield a third time, carefully looking for any place he might have missed, but could find no messy spots anywhere.

 By now, the driver was fuming. “This windshield is still filthy!” he screamed. “I’m going to report you to your boss. You are the lousiest windshield washer I have ever seen!”

Just then, his wife reached over and removed his glasses. She wiped them clean with a tissue, then put them back on his face. The driver embarrassingly slumped down in his seat as he observed a spotless windshield.

A person with a critical spirit is a speck inspector. Jesus said, "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own?" (Matt. 7:2) Critical people view others through their own dirty glasses. The dirt on their hearts causes them to see everything through an unclean, critical lens.

God wants us to remove the mean-spirited attitude that picks others apart. But how? By increasing our love for others. When our compassion decreases, our criticisms increase. But the reverse is also true. When our compassion increases, our criticisms decrease.

 So the next time you think about criticizing someone, make sure that you clean your dirty glasses.

 ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS: What is the Q Document?


 

 


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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Believing Things That Aren't True

In the days before television, families often gathered around the radio to listen to the news. Exactly 84 years ago, on October 30, 1938, a live radio broadcast sent the country into a frenzy when the listeners believed the world was being invaded by Martians.

The one-hour radio program began with Orson Welles reading a modified version of the opening of H. G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds. The broadcast was presented as a typical radio program that was interrupted by a series of news bulletins. The first few news flashes described a series of explosions on Mars, followed by a report of a cylinder object falling on a farm in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

Another “live report” came from Grover’s Mill, where a panicked reporter described Martians emerging from the UFO and attacking people using a heat-ray. The reporter’s audio suddenly goes dead. More alarming news updates reveal alien invasions are taking place all over the country with the military unable to stop them. Another live report claims the Martians are releasing clouds of poisonous smoke across New York City. A panicked reporter describes New Yorkers fleeing and “dropping like flies.”

The War of the Worlds broadcast tricked listeners into believing that a Martian invasion was actually taking place. People fled from their homes and convinced neighbors the world was being invaded by Martians. Mobs formed in the streets. Police departments were flooded with phone calls, all because people were deceived by a radio broadcast.

Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24). If we believe things that aren’t true, we will react in the wrong way. Today it’s hard to believe almost anything we hear on news reports because the media is so biased. Always use discernment, especially when media reports present their opinions as facts and anything contrary is “disinformation.” God’s Word always guides us in truth and will never lead us astray. 


 

 

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Sunday, October 23, 2022

How Do You Know If You've Released Your Burdens?

The following comes from Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals.

Fred threw a duffel bag of dirty clothes over his shoulder and headed for the Laundromat. On the way he met his friend Bob.

“Bob what’s wrong? You look like something is bothering you.”

“Yeah, I’m dealing with a lot of problems that are wearing me out.”

“Why don’t you release your burdens to the Lord instead of carrying them yourself?”

“Well, I thought I gave them to the Lord, but I still feel bothered. How will I know if I have released them?”

Fred let go of the laundry bag, which fell off his back to the ground. “How do I know I dropped the sack? I haven’t looked around to see if it’s off my back.”

“You know because it’s not weighing you down anymore.”

“And that’s how you’ll know if you’ve given your burdens to the Lord. They won’t weigh you down anymore.”

You’ll feel lighter when a physical weight is removed from your body, and you can also sense when a spiritual burden is released from your soul. You can transfer your problems to God by casting them to Him. “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).

When you cast a ball to someone, you have to let go of it. When you cast your burdens to the Lord, you let go of your problem and throw it into God’s hands. Now it’s no longer in your hands, but in His hands. You know it’s gone when it’s not weighing you down anymore. 


 

 

 

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