Sunday, June 13, 2021

You Cannot Hide Real Joy

A man walked by a table in a hotel in Las Vegas and noticed three men and a dog playing cards. Amazingly, the dog appeared to be winning. 
    The observer said, “That must be a very smart dog.”
    One of the players replied, “Nah, he ain’t so smart. Every time he gets a good hand, he wags his tail!”
 
If you were a dog, would your tail be wagging? If you’re happy on the inside, it will be manifested on the outside. With a dog it’s a wagging tail. With people, it’s a joyful face. Proverbs 15:13 says, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.” A joyFUL heart is a heart that’s FULL of joy (John 15:13). That joy must first fill your heart before it shows up on your face.
 
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit who lives inside you produces the joy (Gal. 5:22). Rejoicing is releasing the joy within you by an act of your will. You can rejoice all the time, no matter how difficult your circumstances. After the apostles were flogged for preaching about Jesus, they responded by “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
 
Paul tell us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). He needed to say it twice to reinforce the importance of rejoicing. You can actually overcome depression and discouragement if you will simply obey what God tells you to do and rejoice at all times. Remember that God’s joy is within you, and by an act of your will you can send it to your face.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com   www.makinglifecount.net
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  Feedburner has announced it will stop sending out emails in July, which means if you receive this devotional by email it will cease at that time. However, you can still visit www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com each week until I find another service to deliver the weekly devotionals by email.

PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals  CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)

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, June 6, 2021

Pruning the Wrong Way

Can you believe that these two pictures are both crape myrtles? The ugly tree on the left was pruned incorrectly, while the beautiful one on the right was pruned correctly. The purpose of pruning is to cut off diseased, damaged or unproductive branches to make the tree more fruitful and beautiful. The goal is to make it look like the tree on the right.
 
Why would anyone butcher a beautiful tree and make it look like the ugly, knotty stump on the left? It’s because the people pruning it didn’t know what they were doing. They watched their neighbors cut off the tops of their crape myrtles and copied them, without researching how to correctly prune the tree. Mis-pruning is a common problem that horticulturalists call “crape murder.”
 
No one would ever prune an oak tree by cutting the trunk off horizontally, but crape murderers will keep cutting off the multiple trunks horizontally each year (which creates the big knots) and never let the tree grow up vertically like the beautiful tree.
 
Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). God wants to prune away the harmful habits like gossip, negative talk, and toxic relationships, which keep us from being the beautiful, fruitful person that He intends us to be.
 
But some people, like the ugly stump, prune off the wrong branches. They stop reading God’s Word, praying, and fellowshipping with other believers. They’re cutting off the things that are necessary to promote healthy growth and spiritual fruit. You can decide which one you will end up looking like. It all depends on what you prune away.
www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  Feedburner has announced it will stop sending out emails in July, which means if you receive this devotional by email it will cease at that time. However, you can still visit www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com each week until I find another service to deliver the weekly devotionals by email.
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

By Perseverance the Snails Reached the Ark

 (This devotional is from Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals, Day 342: PERSISTENCE)
  God told Noah that He would bring the animals to the ark. “You shall bring two of every kind into the ark … they shall be male and female … two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive” (Gen. 6:19-20).
 
Obviously, the animals would need to arrive at different times. The cheetahs, the world’s fastest animals, were probably the first to reach the ark. And since the snails traveled at a snail’s pace, they were probably the last couple to arrive. Charles Spurgeon wisely stated, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
 
Snails weren’t created with legs to run fast, or with wings to fly over obstacles. They carried a house on their backs and propelled themselves along slowly, a few millimeters at a time. They no doubt arrived later than the turtles, and just after the tree sloughs took their own sweet time to mosey up the ramp.
 
Being the last ones to board the ship, the two snails avoided being stepped on and crushed by an elephant or a rhinoceros. God called them to the ark and by their persistence they reached their destination.
 
Perhaps you feel inferior, like a snail. You don’t have the memory of an elephant, the eyes of an eagle, or the speed of a cheetah. But just as God made snails to be snails and not cheetahs, He created you to be you, and not someone else.
 
Everyone can learn a lesson from those little snails. By your persistence you’ll reach the destination where God has called you. Just keep slugging away.
www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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NEW BIBLE STUDY:  Since Jonah’s 40-day prophecy did not come to pass, does that make him a false prophet?
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Tribute to Peter Lord (Nov. 19, 1929 - March 4, 2021)

My mentor, pastor and Bible teacher Peter Lord, went to be with Jesus on March 4, 2021. I first heard Peter preach when I attended seminary and learned much from him over the years.  If you never heard Peter preach, I’ve attached a video of one of his messages, "Hearing God and Closing Gaps."

Sunday, May 23, 2021

What are the Odds of This Happening?

God says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). It’s not too hard for God to provide proof to a skeptic that He’s real.
 
William Mackay was born in Scotland in 1839. When he left for college, his mother gave him a Bible, writing his name on the front page. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, he enrolled in medical school. During this time, he rejected the Christian faith and sold the Bible his mother had given him.
 
Mackay later became a physician in a hospital and was elected president of an atheist’s society.
One day a critically injured man was placed under Dr. Mackay’s care. When his condition worsened, the patient asked for his landlady to bring him “the book.” An elderly woman arrived with the man’s Bible and the patient passed away shortly thereafter.
 
The man’s last request for his Bible made Mackay curious. He opened the Bible and was shocked to see his name written by his mother on the front page! Against all odds, the Bible he sold years before made it back into his own hands, as if it was a personal message from God. Mackay prayed for God to forgive him for his unbelief. Here are Mackay’s own words:
“Could I trust my eyes? It was my own Bible! …. my name was still in it, written in my mother’s hand …The regained possession of my Bible was the cause of my conversion.”
This divine appointment marked a turning point in Mackay’s life. He changed careers, became a Presbyterian minister and wrote seventeen hymns, including “Revive Us Again.”
If you have drifted away from God, you can still come back Him. He loves you so much and wants to use you for His purposes. www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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BIBLE STUDY:  Calvinism vs Arminianism vs Evangelicalism
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Do You Need to Make Restitution?

A Manhattan, Kansas cable company received $300 in cash in the mail, along with an unsigned letter from a man apologizing for his actions and asking forgiveness. The letter-writer said when he was a sophomore at Kansas State University, he had pirated cable TV from an upstairs apartment.
 
He wrote, “I didn’t fully consider at the time how we were cheating your cable company out of revenues” and that he wanted to commit himself to the teachings of the Bible. The $300 was restitution for the cable TV signals he had taken without paying.
 
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector in Israel and became rich by swindling people out of their money (Luke 19:1-10). One day he heard Jesus was coming to Jericho, so he climbed a tree to see over the crowd. Jesus looked up, called him by name and said He wanted to stay at his house. Zacchaeus told Jesus, “Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much” (Luke 19:8). Notice that Jesus did not tell him to do this. Zacchaeus decided on his own to make things right.
 
Restitution is God’s way of paying back to the rightful owner what was lost, stolen, or damagedThe restitution amount wasn’t equal to the crime, but often much more than the amount taken. The book of Exodus speaks about making restitution for a variety of situations. If a thief stole an ox and killed it, he had to pay back five times as much. If he stole a sheep, he had to pay back four times as much (Exodus 22:1).
 
If you’ve stolen something or damaged someone’s property, God will show you how much to pay. It will relieve your guilt, heal a relationship, and will be pleasing to the Lord.
www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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BIBLE STUDY:  Answers to Theological Questions
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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

Sunday, May 9, 2021

"He Died the Same Way He Lived"

Dawson Trotman founded the Navigators discipleship ministry in 1933. His ministry focused on following up on new believers and mentoring them through one-on-one relationships to help them grow in their faith. One day, Dawson told his understudy, Loren Sanny, “What if I died and the Lord took me to heaven. Would you be ready to take over this ministry?” Two weeks later, Dawson was dead at age 50. Here’s how it happened:
 
On June 18, 1956, Dawson was the main speaker at the Word of Life Christian camp at Schroon Lake, New York. That afternoon, his friend Jack Wyrtzen invited Dawson and two girl campers to join him for a boat ride around the lake. One of the girls, Allene Beck, didn’t know how to swim, but accepted the invitation anyway.
 
As they sped around the lake, the boat hit a wave, throwing Dawson and Allene out of the boat. Allene panicked because she couldn’t swim. Dawson tried to save her, but she frantically fought with him. He then swam underneath her and lifted her up so that her head was above the water. When the boat returned, they pulled her out to the water, but Dawson never came back up. He had drowned while saving the girl’s life.
 
Billy Graham spoke at Dawson’s funeral saying, “Dawson died the same way he lived, by holding others up.” I’m sure Dawson must have thought about leaving behind his wife and five children when he made the decision to sacrifice his own life so the girl could live. Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 HCSB).
 
Loren Sanny took over as leader of the Navigators. Today the Navigators ministry serves in 50 countries and on many college campuses. When I was in college, a member of the Navigators came to our dormitory to teach a Bible study. God touched my heart during that Bible study, which was part of the reason I entered into ministry. I am another life held up by Dawson Trotman.  www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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BIBLE STUDY:  If God loves everyone, why did He hate Esau?
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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