Sunday, October 24, 2021

God can guide you by repeating the same message in your mind

When I was in college, a friend of mine went to Glorieta Baptist Conference Center in New Mexico to work on their summer staff. After he came home, I called him to ask about his summer. During our conversation he told me, “Kent, you need to go work on staff at Glorieta next summer.”

I had never been to that place and had no interest in going there. But when I returned to college, the words kept coming to my mind, You need to go work on staff at Glorieta next summer. I could not get those words out of my head. I wondered, why do I keep thinking about working on staff at a Baptist conference center in New Mexico? At the time I was a Christian, but wasn’t a Baptist.
 
About the tenth time the thought came to my mind, I finally called the place and asked for an application. The person taking my call told me, “I’ll be glad to send you a form. However, you must realize that we receive about three thousand applications for our summer staff positions and we can only choose three hundred.” I assumed they wouldn’t choose me since I wasn’t a Baptist, but I figured I had nothing to lose by mailing them my application. To my surprise, I received a letter saying they wanted me to work on their staff.
 
The following summer, I traveled nine hundred miles to the camp I had never seen before. I was pleased to find out that half of the staff workers were college-aged females—including one who became my future wife! We dated that summer and married two years later. The thought that kept repeating in my mind was actually God telling me what to do. 
 
Sometimes God reveals His will to me by speaking the same message to my mind again and again until I finally “get it.” God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will advise you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8). 

SIDE NOTE: A seminary professor speaking at the conference center helped me get enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary so I could prepare for ministry, which was another reason why God led me to work at the Baptist Conference Center. www.makinglifecount.net
 
BIBLE STUDY:  Why did Jesus talk about Himself in third person?
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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, October 17, 2021

Revenge Isn't Sweet When You're Bitter

Would you pay $300,000 to get revenge? Last week, a woman from Indonesia did. She kept telling her husband to clean out their aquarium in their house, but he never got around to doing it so she took matters into her own hands.
 
The creature inside the aquarium was an Asian arowana, commonly called a dragon fish. It’s the most expensive fish on the planet, worth as much as $300,000. The farms where they are raised are compared to high-security prisons, being protected with concrete walls, guard dogs, and barbed wire.
 
The wife wanted to teach her husband a lesson so he’d never again forget to clean the aquarium. She decided to cook her husband’s $300,000 pet fish and serve it to him for supper! She even made a video of her scaling and deep-frying the fish, and then posted it on social media. The video was viewed 7.1 million times in just one week. The final shot showed the golden-brown, extremely valuable cooked fish on a plate.
 
Revenge doesn’t just get even; it always pays back more than even. Was cleaning out an aquarium really worth sacrificing a $300,000 fish (that they both owned) to teach him a lesson? Her prank made her look like a fool to 7.1 million people. Revenge is never sweet when you’re bitter.
 
Romans 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Revenge is God’s right alone because He’s the only one who can correctly execute justice. God promises to deal with the person who hurt you. Whenever you retaliate, it shows you don’t trust the Lord to bring justice. Instead of being resentful, God says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
 
As the saying goes, “Revenge is sweet,” but it’s never sweet when you’re bitter. The revengeful woman didn’t say how the fish tasted, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t sweet. www.makinglifecount.net
 
UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION:  More Proof Evolution Isn’t True
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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, October 10, 2021

How to Hear God Speak More Clearly

The old preacher, who sat across the room, quietly spoke words of wisdom, but the young man couldn’t hear what he said. “What did you say?” he asked.

The preacher softly repeated himself, but it was still hard to hear. The young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher’s chair. “I’m sorry, but I still didn’t hear you.” 

With their heads nearly touching, the old preacher repeated his statement. “God sometimes whispers so we will move closer to hear Him.” When we are going through troubling times, God wants us to draw closer to Him so we can hear His voice.

The prophet Elijah was troubled and afraid of Jezebel, who had threatened to kill him. Instead of trusting God to protect him, he ran away and hid in a cave. Then the Lord asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9) God hadn’t told him to hide in a cave, so why was he there?

God then manifested His supernatural power by sending a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire. Sometimes we think God must do something loud and unusual to make His will clear to us. But God didn’t speak to him through those things. He followed those loud demonstrations by speaking to Elijah in a still, small voice, which was a low whisper (19:12).

God’s voice will become clearer as we draw closer to Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). Draw close to Him, quiet your spirit, and listen carefully. Then you will hear Him whisper to your spirit. www.makinglifecount.net

BIBLE STUDY  Does God Speak to People Today?****************************************************************************************************

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

Sunday, October 3, 2021

How Can Salt Lose Its Saltiness?

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matt. 5:13). In those days, salt was used to preserve food. The only way salt can lose its saltiness is to dissolve it. 

 The salt at that time was not refined like the pure granular salt we buy today at the store, but was poor-quality rock salt. Salt in Israel came from the rock salt found by the Dead Sea. When people gathered up chunks of salt, dirt and gravel were collected with it into a bag. Later, if the salt got wet and dissolved, the insoluble bits of rock would remain. It didn’t take much moisture to dilute the salt and leave behind a bag of useless tiny stones.
 
Once most of the salt content was lost, it was no longer useful. However, it couldn’t be tossed in a garden or a field because the remaining salt would ruin the soil. The best place to dispose of it was in the street, where it was “trampled underfoot” by pedestrians.
 
Since Jesus’ followers are the salt of the earth, that means faith is what makes a believer salty. Salt loses its saltiness when it is diluted, and a believer loses his saltiness when he waters down the gospel and compromises his faith. His faith is diluted by worldly ideas and immoral living, which makes it useless.
 
Don’t lose your saltiness. Let your faith influence the world. www.makinglifecount.net
 
BIBLE STUDY  What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
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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

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Three Harbor Lights

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will advise you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8). God will lead you like a ship being guided through a channel. 

A certain harbor in Italy can be reached only by sailing up a narrow channel between dangerous rocks. Over the years, many ships have wrecked because of the hazardous navigation.

 

To guide the ships safely into port, three lights have been mounted on three huge poles in the harbor. When the three lights are perfectly lined up and seen as one, the ship can safely proceed up the narrow channel. If the pilot sees two or three lights, he knows he’s off course and in danger of shipwreck.
 
God has provided three beacons to guide us, which are similar to the rules of navigation in the harbor. Three lights must be lined up as one before it’s safe for us to proceed. The three lights of guidance are: 

1.     The Word of God (John 17:17). He gives wisdom through the Bible and His guidance will never contradict the written Word of God.
2.     The Holy Spirit (John 16:13). He guides us by putting desires and peace in our hearts to proceed. A lack of peace could mean it’s not God’s will, the timing isn’t right, or we need to have some questions answered.
3.     Circumstances (Rev. 3:7). God will open doors for us to proceed, or He will keep doors closed to stop us or divert us in a new direction.
God is willing to guide our starts, our steps, and our stops. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23 NKJV). Just make sure the three lights are lined up. www.makinglifecount.net

BIBLE STUDY  Was John the Baptist a reincarnation of Elijah?

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

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Are You Willing to Leave the Prison?

In the early 1900s, the escape artist Harry Houdini claimed he could set himself free from any jail cell in the country. Wherever he went, he issued a challenge to be locked up in the city’s jail. He always came through as promised, except for one occasion when something went wrong.
 
Houdini entered the jail in his street clothes and the heavy metal door clanged shut behind him. He took from his belt a piece of wire and got to work trying to pick the lock. He had easily picked the locks in other jail cells, but something was unusual about this lock.
 
For thirty minutes he tried picking the lock but made no progress. An hour passed and he still couldn’t unlock the door. After two hours, he leaned on the door in frustration, and to his surprise, it swung open. Houdini didn’t know it, but the door had been unlocked the entire time. (Mature Years, 1993, p.81).
 
Jesus began His ministry by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives…” (Luke 4:18). Jesus wasn’t talking about letting criminals out of prisons, but freeing those in spiritual prisons being held captive by Satan (2 Tim. 2:26).
 
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He unlocked the prison doors and calls us to come out of the jail cell into freedom (Gal. 5:13). Many people stay imprisoned because they aren’t willing to leave. When God miraculously released Peter from prison, he willing left it (Acts 12:5-10). If we aren’t willing to walk out, we will stay incarcerated, just like the unlocked door kept Houdini inside.
 
Are you willing to leave whatever is keeping you in bondage? “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Walk out of that prison. www.makinglifecount.net
BIBLE STUDY  Is the doctrine of “Original Sin” in Scripture?
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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, September 12, 2021

The Frozen Crew

On October 11, 1775, the whaler ship Herald stumbled upon the apparently vacant schooner Octavius drifting among the icebergs west of Greenland. The crew of Herald boarded Octavius and discovered the crew of 28 sailors below deck, all frozen. The frozen captain appeared to be making his last entry in the logbook, just before he died. 

The last date recorded in the book was November 11, 1762, which meant that the ship and frozen crew had been drifting in the Artic waters for thirteen years.

Jesus said, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14). Someone jokingly “translated” this verse to say, “Many are cold, and a few are frozen.” I’d rather be with the chosen few than with the frozen crew.
 
Unfortunately, many churches today are like the crew on Octavius—cold and frozen. They go through religious rituals, but they don’t preach the gospel and are void of spiritual life. “They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly” (2 Tim. 3:5 NLT).
 
Compare the frozen church with the early church that was on fire for God, filled with zeal, “and everyone kept feeling a sense of awe” (Acts 2:43). Is it possible that “the sense of awe” can return to the church today? Absolutely. We have the same Holy Spirit as the early church. We just need to allow Him to take control of our lives and obey what He calls us to do.
 
If you are a member in a cold, frozen church, you will be better off to get involved in a church that’s preaching God’s Word and is full of spiritual life. Life is too short spend another thirteen years drifting around with a frozen crew.
BIBLE STUDY  What does it mean to repent?
RECOMMENDED READING Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals (365 devotionals for every day of the year—paperback or eBook)
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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