Sunday, December 12, 2021

What was the Bethlehem Star?

We all know the Christmas story about the wise men who followed the star to Bethlehem and asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matt. 2:2) 

But this was no ordinary star because it guided them to a house. “The star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found . . . and after they came into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother (Matt. 2:9,11).

How could a star move ahead of them and then stop over a house? Bible scholars believe “His star” was a supernatural phenomenon, shining brightly like a star, but so low in the heavens that it could stand above a house and pinpoint the correct location. God created what looked like a star to lead them to the Messiah. This could have been the Shekinah glory of God, the same glory that led the children of Israel through the wilderness as a pillar of fire (Ex. 13:21). For lack of a better term, they called it a star.

The star may also have been a brilliant angel that led them to the house. Angels are called “stars” in Scripture (Rev. 1:20, 9:1). Since a host of angels appeared to the Jewish shepherds to announce where the child would be found (Luke 2:11-12), God may have used an angel to lead these Gentiles from a foreign country to find the Messiah.

Whichever you interpretation you prefer, everyone agrees God supernaturally led them to the Christ child. The Lord still wants to guide people today to find Christ. “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him” (2 Chron. 15:2). 
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

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BIBLE STUDY: The Virgin Birth

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

Sunday, November 21, 2021

You Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone

After my father received radiation treatments for throat cancer, his taste buds were damaged, which made him unable to taste food. His inability to enjoy a meal made eating a dreaded duty. The doctors told him his taste might return later, but they couldn’t promise it.

Every meal became a forced feeding to keep him alive. After eating flavorless food for over a year, he sat down for dinner one evening. He reluctantly forced the fork into his mouth and discovered that his taste had returned! My father relished each bite as never before because he experienced what it was like to eat without tasting it. His reference point for thankfulness was eating tasteless food.

 Sometimes we don’t truly appreciate what we have until we lose it. If your house loses electricity for a week, you’ll quickly realize how important it was. As one song says, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Why is that?

It’s because we’ve lost our appreciation for God’s blessings. After seeing them day after day, we quit noticing them, and then we stop appreciating them. But after we lose them, our eyes are opened to what we once had.  

In Jesus’ parable of the lost coin, a woman had ten silver coins and lost one of them. She carefully searched through her house until she finally found it. Then she called her friends and neighbors together saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost!” (Luke 15:8-9). She gained a new appreciation for that lost coin because she had to diligently search for it.

The key to thankfulness is to be grateful for what you already have before you lose it. Think about what it would be like without it, and it will give you a new appreciation for it. Then rejoice and thank God for having it.

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SERMON ON THANKFULNESS “Did You Forget Something?”
 
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett
  

 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Things That Get On Your Nerves

What drives you crazy? My wife doesn’t like hearing my metal spoon clicking the bowl when I eat cereal or ice cream. I’m not sure why it bugs her because it doesn’t bother me at all. But TV commercials with goofy songs—now that drives me nuts. 

When the annoying commercial comes on five times every night, I grab the remote and change channels—but it’s on the other station too! I’ve tried calling the advertising companies to please stop them, but their websites don’t have any way to contact them. And that’s ANOTHER thing that gets on my nerves!

It can even happen in church. Years ago, I visited a large church in Fort Worth, Texas. During the sermon, a woman seated behind me pulled out her fingernail clippers and started clipping her nails. She didn’t seem to notice she was getting on the nerves of the entire congregation with each agonizing click. I think the pastor’s eye twitched whenever he heard a snip.

When Jesus and His disciples showed up at Martha’s house, she welcomed them in. As she prepared their meal, her sister Mary wasn’t helping. Martha was perturbed that her sister Mary was casually sitting at Jesus’ feet while she was working herself to death in the kitchen. Jesus told Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things” (Luke 10:41). Martha was stressed-out about “so many things.” She let little things bother her. People got on her nerves. Sound familiar?

How can you stop annoying people and their quirky habits from getting on your nerves?
First, submit yourself to God. The Holy Spirit wants to develop patience in you so that irritating people and peculiar oddities don’t bother you anymore. He can actually settle your nerves through His supernatural peace.
Second, make some adjustments. Instead of getting frustrated, I just hit the mute button whenever those obnoxious commercial jingles came on. And because my spoon clicking got on my wife’s nerves, I started eating with a plastic spoon. Problem solved.
See? It’s not that hard to figure out how to calm your nerves. Just ask God and He will show you what to do.
 www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY How Did We Get the Bible?
 
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Thou Shall Not Fear!

When my friend Max was a boy, he visited his great aunt Ruth to spend the night. He was always afraid to sleep there because she lived in an old, spooky three-story house, where the floors creaked like a haunted house in the movies. 

That night he went to his bedroom on the third floor and climbed into bed. The room was dark, but enough light was coming through the window that he could see a man standing in the corner of the bedroom!
 
Max was absolutely terrified. He knew that if he tried to make a run for the door, the man could easily catch him. He figured the only thing to do was to lay still and pretend to be asleep. All night long he worried about the man. He lay in bed with one eye open, ready to run if the man made a move.
 
He kept still for hours until the sun came up, and as it got brighter in the room, he could see that the man in the corner was. . . just a coat rack with a hat on it! He spent a night in torment because he believed something that wasn’t true.

Although some fears are based on reality, most fear and worry are usually nothing more than our imaginations out of control. Ninety-two percent of the things we worry about will never happen. You’re probably thinking, “But what about the other 8%? That's what makes me worry.” The other 8% of things we worry about won’t be as bad as we think, or God will give us the grace to get through them. That takes care of 100% our worries.
 
You cannot worry and trust God at the same time. One forces out the other. Putting your complete trust in God is the only cure for worry. David wrote, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You . . . In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid” (Psalm 56:3-4). Are you worrying, or are you trusting God?
 www.makinglifecount.net
 
BIBLE STUDY:  Don’t Be Afraid!
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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 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 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 5, 2021

Tearing Down Idols

Years ago, evangelist James Robison's ministry was in desperate need of financial help. In what appeared to be an answer to prayer, someone donated over a million dollars’ worth of ancient artifacts that could be sold to meet the ministry’s financial obligations.
 
On the day the collectors were to purchase the relics, God spoke to James’ heart that the artifacts were idols that needed to be destroyed. Although the items would bring top dollar with those interested in fine art, they had been used in pagan worship in foreign countries.
 
What would you have done? You have a large ministry in need of help. Surely it would be for the good of the kingdom to take this gift and pay off the bills. But James refused to trust in the idols to provide for his ministry. In what appeared to be insane from man’s point of view, James and the donor broke them into pieces and threw them into a lake.
 
Even though James was in a financial crisis, he knew God couldn’t bless his ministry if he trusted idols to meet his needs. His stand for uncompromising integrity also set an unforgettable example of not bowing down to idols. Today James' ministry, LIFE Outreach International, is blessing the world with both food and the gospel. This would not be the case if he had placed his faith in an idol.
 
The apostle John wrote, “Little children, guard yourself from idols.” An idol is anything that is more important to you than God. Could a career be an idol? Maybe. How about a hobby? It’s quite possible. You have to check your own heart to see if there are any idols in there (Ezek. 14:3-7).
BIBLE STUDY  “Is it possible to resist God’s grace?”
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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, August 29, 2021

The Power of Unbelief

Although Jesus wanted to heal many people in His hometown, He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matt. 13:58). Years ago when I lived in Kansas, I knew a man named Tom. When Tom walked, it was as if he were stepping on stickers. I asked him if he had injured his feet. 

“No,” he explained. “I was born with a problem with the nerves in my feet. Doctors told me that surgery could not correct the problem and I would have to learn to live with it. I’ve had constant pain in my feet every day of my life.”
 
I asked if I could pray for God to heal him. “Yeah, I guess so,” he replied, as if he knew it wouldn’t do any good. And so I asked God to heal his feet and take away his pain. I didn’t feel like anything had happened when I prayed. He didn’t tell me that his feet tingled as I prayed, which would have been a nice confirmation of being healed. He slowly hobbled away, just like he had walked before.
 
Two days later, I saw him walking down the street and he wasn’t limping! I ran over to him. “Tom, you’re walking normally. What happened?”  “Well, the day after you prayed I woke up and the pain was gone. I haven’t had pain since then.”
“That’s amazing!” I exclaimed. “God did a miracle and healed your feet!” But I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t excited. He wasn’t even smiling. He said, “The pain is gone but I don’t believe it.”
 
“What? You don’t believe it? How can you not believe it? The pain that you’ve had every day is gone!” Again he said, “I just don’t believe it. It’s just too hard to believe. The doctors said I would always have pain in my feet.” As he walked away, I was dumbfounded.
 
A week later I saw him hobbling as he had before. When he saw me, he said, “Well, the pain came back, just like I thought it would. I knew it was too good to be true.”
 
I believe God miraculously healed him, but his unbelief prevented his healing from being permanent. He refused to acknowledge the miracle or thank God for healing him. His reaction reminded me of the Scripture: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks…and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
 
Unbelief refuses to acknowledge God can do what He says. I believe if Tom had given thanks to God and used it as a testimony, his feet would have remained healed. God wants us to live with expectant faith, and He wants to hear us sincerely thank Him from our hearts when He does answer our prayers.  
BIBLE STUDY  “Who were the Sadducees?”
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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, August 22, 2021

A Modern-Day Cornelius Story

God gave Pharaoh two dreams about the future and then gave Joseph the interpretation. Joseph told him “God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do” (Gen. 41:25). The dreams told him how to prepare for a coming famine. 

Sometimes the Lord will give a dream about something that will happen in the future so the recipient will respond to the information. Jim Green, Executive Director of The Jesus Film Project, wrote in his monthly report:

A Jesus Film team was driving to a film showing site in a Muslim nation. The team prayed that God would go before them and open doors of opportunity and give them safety. Just before they arrived at the village, a policeman flagged down their car, saying that an Islamic teacher needed a ride. The officer made the introductions and asked if they could help. Feeling it was a necessary risk, they agreed and offered him  a ride, and continued towards the town.

You can imagine the anxiety the team when the teacher asked, “Tell me, are you the ones planning to tell people about God?” They answered, “Yes, we are.” Apprehension turned to astonishment as the teacher told the team about a dream he had. “I was told [in the dream] to come to this spot in the road, at this time, and that I would encounter someone who would tell me about God. It must be you.” (Jesus Film newsletter, July 8, 2005).

The team gave him some literature and invited him to see the film that night, which he did. It was similar to Cornelius seeing a vision telling him to send men to Joppa to meet Peter, who was staying at Simon the tanner’s house by the sea (Acts 10:1-35). God loves everyone and knows how to speak to those who desire to know Him. The Lord led the film team to him to explain the good news of Jesus, and I’m sure the man will never forget the car pulling up to the exact spot in the road at the right time, just like he saw in the dream.
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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, August 15, 2021

Fence Laws

When I was a small boy, my mother worried about me running into the street, so my parents put up a fence around our yard. The day after it was installed, my mom looked out the window and saw me climbing over the fence! The fence, which was meant to keep me in the yard, only increased my desire to get out.

In Jesus’ day, the religious Pharisees thought the best way to keep people from breaking God’s Law was to build a fence around that Law, even though the Lord never told them to do this. They invented 1,500 additional man-made restrictions called “fence laws” to keep people from sinning.

God said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8) and told them to not work on that day. The Pharisees felt it necessary to define “work,” so they created 39 categories of prohibited work to prevent people from breaking the Sabbath. Here are just four of the fence laws:

   You could not spit on the Sabbath because it would disturb the dust on the ground, making you guilty of plowing. Jesus purposely violated this fence law by spitting on the ground and making mud to put on the blind man’s eyes (John 9:6) 
   You could not swat a fly because you would be guilty of hunting.
    A woman could not look at her reflection because she might see a gray hair and pluck it out, which would be doing work.
    You couldn’t carry “a burden.” They defined a burden as anything you couldn’t carry on your little finger. Jesus healed a lame man on the Sabbath and told him to take up his pallet, violating this fence law (John 5:8-10). He told the Pharisees, “You weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:46).

The people became so burdened down trying to keep these 1,500 regulations that they dreaded the Sabbath day. God intended it to be a day of rest, but it became a day of misery. If you are burdened down in your spiritual life and not enjoying your relationship with God, it may be because you’re following legalist rules rather than following God’s Spirit.

The Christian life is not about fences, but about Christ. And just to make sure you don’t get burdened down, He said, “My burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).
CLICK HERE to learn more about the stupid rules of the Pharisees.
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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, August 8, 2021

Would You Have Passed the Test?

When Crawford Hill was a boy, he applied for a job at a local store. Mr. Peters, the storeowner, told him to go into the attic. “You will find a long, deep box up there,” he said. “Sort through all the junk in the box and separate the things that need to be saved from the things we need to throw away."

Crawford went up the stairs into the hot attic and began sorting through the box. For the next few hours, he separated bent nails from the good ones, and kept everything that was worth salvaging. When he got to the bottom of the box, he noticed a $20 bill laying on the bottom.
 
He scooped it up and ran downstairs, holding it in the air and shouting, "Mr. Peters! Look what I found in the box!" Then he handed it to the store owner. Mr. Peters smiled because he knew he had found a boy to work in his store.
 
The old junk box was just a test. He had filled the box with nails, screws, and other items to test his faithfulness—to see if he would work in the hot attic without complaining, even though he didn't understand the purpose for the job. He planted the $20 bill at the bottom of the box to test his honesty. If he didn't report finding the money, he knew he couldn't be trusted with the cash register. Crawford passed the test. Years later Mr. Peters retired and turned his business over to Crawford to manage. (Making Today Count for Eternity, p.45-46)
 
Did you know that you are sorting through a junk box at your job? You are sorting through the box whenever you’re faced with a difficulty. God is watching to see if you'll be faithful and honest, especially when you don't understand why you are going through it. Remember, it's a test. It's only a test.
 
I hope you'll hear your Master say, "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master." (Matt. 25:21)
www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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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, July 25, 2021

How Do You Know God is Good?

My friend Doug went to a restaurant in England. When the waitress came to his table, Doug asked, “What would you order if you were me?” She listed off several items, along with something called “black pudding.” Then she added, “Yanks [Americans] don’t usually like black pudding.”
 
“I’m an adventurous kind of diner,” Doug replied. “Bring it on.”
She brought back a black, mushy item that had a slight reddish tint to it. When he put it in his mouth, it tasted so bad he wanted to spit it out. It was horrible!
 
When the waitress returned, she asked, “How did you like it?” Doug said, “I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I should have asked before I tasted it, but what exactly is black pudding?”
“Oh, you didn’t know? It’s cooked blood.”
 
Doug tasted and discovered it wasn’t good. Many people, in a spirit of adventure, will experiment with many foolish things thinking they will have good experiences, but are left with a bitter taste in their mouths.
 
David wrote, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV). Why do we taste something? It’s to decide whether or not we want to continue eating it. It may good, or not so good. Tasting has to be a personal experience. I can’t accurately describe how something tastes because my words can’t adequately explain it. The only way you will know what something tastes like is for you to taste it.
 
You must first TASTE of the Lord, and then you will SEE He is good. Your eyes will be opened to the goodness of God. Once you will experience God’s goodness, you will put your trust in Him: “Blessed is the man who TRUSTS in Him.” 

It doesn’t say God blesses those who taste or those who see, but those who trust in Him. And you really can’t trust the Lord until you believe He is good. Have your eyes been opened to the goodness of God? 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.
 
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, July 18, 2021

Digging Up 41-Year-Old Hot Dogs

Ever wonder what happened to those hot dogs you threw out in 1979? Landfill archeologist William Rathje says he may have found them. Hot dogs are the most common food he finds when digging through dump yards.
“Those preservatives really work,” he said, claiming to have found 41-year-old hot dogs in his excavation of the recent past.
 
Rathje is a University of Arizona archaeologist and author of the book, Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage. Archaeologists can reconstruct past civilizations by examining the rubbish they left behind, and Rathje claims to do the same with present-day rubbish. He says landfills are laid with distinct layers or garbage that are filled with newspapers having readable dates.
 
Many of us are also garbage archaeologists. We dig through the garbage of the past and excavate 41-year-old hurts that are just as fresh as if they were buried yesterday. We keep adding preservatives to them through continually recalling the painful memories. Do you have any hot dogs you need to dispose of?
 
The only way to be set free from the garbage of the past is to forgive, let go, and trust God to make something good of it. Paul said it this way, “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).

In other words, God has better plans for your life than digging up 41-year-old hot dogs. But first you’ve got to let go of that shovel.  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.
 
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, July 11, 2021

When God Does Not Heal

 
The following comes from Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals Day 35
 
Randy Frieouf was a member of our church who suffered with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. As the months passed, his health continued to worsen. He was confined to a wheel chair, and finally to a bed. Many people were praying for him during this time.
 
One day my thirteen-year-old daughter Hannah said, “Dad, I had a dream last night that Mr. Frieouf was walking.” I told her, “Let’s keep praying for him. All things are possible with God.”
 
The next week Hannah told me, “Dad, last night I had another dream that Mr. Frieouf was walking!” Again, I encouraged her to keep praying for him. 
 
Not long after this, we received the phone call that Randy had passed away. When Hannah heard the news, she got upset and hurried into the bedroom. A few minutes later, she came out of the room and said, “Dad, I asked God why Mr. Frieouf died after I had those dreams. God just spoke to me.”
 
“He did? What did He say?”
He told me to read Psalm 1:1, but just the first part. Dad, I didn’t know what that verse said, so I looked it up. God told me to read just the first part of the verse.”
 
She held out an open Bible and read from it. “The first part of Psalm 1:1 says, How blessed is the man who does not walk.’ Dad, the man who does not walk is Mr. Frieouf! Do you think He told me this to let me know he is happy in heaven?”
“Yes, that’s exactly why He told you that,” I said. “He wants you to know that he’s healed and blessed in heaven.”
 
It’s a reminder to us that Christians who are not healed on earth will receive complete wholeness in heaven.  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.
 
NEW BIBLE STUDY:  Do the gospels contradict each other when they describe events differently?
 
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