Sunday, February 28, 2021

All Things Are Possible With God

In 2011, fourteen-year old Taylor Hale suffered a brain hemorrhage due to a severe head injury. Doctors fought to save Taylor’s life, but her brain sank part way into her spinal column. Her brain “had turned to mush” and she was declared brain-dead. Doctors told her parents that no one comes back from that. Arrangements were made to take her off life support and discuss organ donation.
 
That afternoon, Jeff Stickel, a chiropractor and friend of Taylor’s parents, visited the hospital and asked if he could pray for her. They agreed. He put his hands on her neck and prayed for God to heal her, then he left. Later that afternoon, doctors turned off the life support that had helped her breathe since the accident.
 
Then something unexpected happened. Taylor struggled to take a breath under her own power. The medical staff reconnected her on life support. As the day went on, Taylor’s brain activity began to increase. She opened her eyes and moved her fingers and toes. The doctors told her parents they had no medical explanation for what was happening to her.
 
Taylor miraculously recovered, learned to walk again, and graduated from high school (see the before and after picture). But she did lose memory of her childhood and doesn’t remember the accident. Nevertheless, her recovery is nothing short of a modern-day miracle.
 
Doctors can’t explain what happened, but what about that prayer by Jeff Stickel right before they turned off the life support? Could that have something to do with it? No doubt about it. Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” (Luke 18:27)

WANT TO READ MORE AMAZING STORIES?  
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)
 
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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, February 21, 2021

Enjoy Life—Even if You've Been Wronged

A man watched a boy skating down the sidewalk on one skate. He said, “Don’t you know that you’re supposed to skate on two skates?” The boy told him, “Someone stole my other skate and that’s why I’m skating on just one skate.”
As the man walked away, the boy yelled, “Hey Mister, did you know that you can still have a lot of fun on just one skate?”
 
When someone wrongs you, it’s natural to get upset at that person. But you can’t be angry and enjoy life at the same time. That’s one reason why Jesus said, “Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either” (Luke 6:29). Your happiness is more valuable than a coat, or a shirt, or a skate. God doesn’t want you to lose your joy just because someone took something away from you.
 
The early Christians kept their joy when their property was seized because they believed God would make it up to them. “You … accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better and lasting possession (Heb. 10:34).
 
Jesus doesn’t want us so attached to “stuff” that it affects our attitude. He said to “lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great” (Luke 6:35). If your neighbor borrowed your shovel but moved away and never returned it, don’t lose your joy over a shovel. Trust what Jesus said and consider it as an investment in your heavenly reward.
 
Remember this the next time someone mistreats you. If you’ll keep a joyful attitude, God will more than make up whatever you lost. And don’t forget to keep having fun on that one skate.
 
PREVIEW Kent’s new book Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals
      
CLICK HERE to read 28 devotionals (January 1-28)


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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, February 14, 2021

Love is Not Stingy

A man told a store clerk, “I’m looking for a Valentine’s card to show my wife how much I love her.” The clerk said, “Here’s a card for $4.99.” The man asked, “Do have any cards for a dollar?” Giving isn’t hard if we love the one we are giving to.
 
Perhaps no one in recent history was stingier than Hetty Green, who lived from 1834-1916. Hetty (seen in picture) is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's greatest miser. In the early 1900s she was the richest woman in America with over $95 million in the bank. That would be equivalent to being a multi-billionaire today.
 
However, she loved her money so much she wouldn’t let go of it. She wore the same dress every day for years and was nicknamed “the witch of Wall Street” because her black dress and hat made her look like a witch. She ate cold oatmeal because she didn't want to pay for the gas to heat it. Her son had to have his leg amputated because she took too long to find a free hospital to treat him. Hetty Green loved her money more than her own son!
 
Being generous to others keeps us from becoming stingy with our money. Psalm 37:21 says, "The righteous (person) is gracious and gives." Stingy people are not gracious and they do not give. Obviously we need to budget our money wisely and save some cash for emergencies, but we also need to use it to help others. Especially for those we love.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE PROPHECY STUDY: The Beast with 7 Heads  and 10 Horns
 
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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
 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Kent's 365-Day Devotional Book is Now Available

Amazing Stories & Daily Devotionals is now available on Amazon.com as a Kindle eBook ($9.95) and paperback ($15.99). 

"For over 40 years I've collected unusual true stories from newspapers and other sources. I've included some of my best stories and biblical insights in this book." --Kent Crockett

    A Few Amazing Stories
·     Several heart-transplant patients began thinking their donor’s thoughts.

·     A swimming coach in Australia used a live crocodile to motivate his students.

·     A woman who couldn’t swim fell overboard on a cruise ship at night—and was rescued alive ten hours later.

·     In two cases of unusual deaths, one man was killed by a fish while another man was shot by a snake.

·     A man in England sneezed every two minutes for 37 years until they found the cause.

·     A man who worked in a sewer found jewels, gold bracelets, and diamond rings that had been flushed down toilets.

·     Two one-armed college football players set records at their schools.

·      A woman mistakenly threw away a mattress containing nearly $1 million inside.

 


Sunday, February 7, 2021

How to Forget God

In the days before cell phones, I read a story about married couple who were on a trip and stopped in Montgomery, Alabama to get gas. She walked into the convenience store as he filled up the car. After he had finished refueling, he climbed into his vehicle and continued driving to their destination.
 
Five hours later, he realized he had left his wife at the gas station! When he pulled into the next town, he asked police to help him get in touch with her, which they did. He embarrassingly admitted he hadn’t noticed her absence. Just imagine how she must have felt when she came out the store and the car was gone!
 
How could the husband forget his wife? Apparently when they were traveling, they didn’t talk to each other. If they had been carrying on a conversation, he would have noticed her absence if he turned to talk to her and saw her empty seat. But since they hadn’t been communicating with each other, it was easy for him to forget her.
 
That’s how we can forget God. If we aren’t regularly talking with God, we can easily forget Him. Deuteronomy 6:12 says “Watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord.” We can forget God by widening the gaps in time that we talk to Him. Some people can go throughout the day and never talk to God or think about Him. One day without God stretches into one week, which extends to one month. Like the man forgetting his wife, we keep traveling down life’s road and we don’t even miss Him.
 
We will not forget the Lord if we’ll read His Word each day, talk to Him throughout the day, and remember to thank Him for every good thing He does.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: “Can a Christian lose his salvation?”
 
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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, January 31, 2021

Some Things Are Hard to Believe

Some things are easy to believe. Other things are hard to believe. I once told a friend, “Would you believe me if I told you I have something in my pocket from the Titanic that sank in 1912?” 

He said, “The Titanic is at the bottom of the Atlantic. It’s impossible for you to have something in your pocket from there. Do you really think I would believe that?”  

I pulled a piece of coal out of my pocket and said, “This actually came from the Titanic and I can prove it.”
 
It was hard to believe, but it was true. I had watched a TV show that explored the Titanic wreckage. At the end of the program they sold chunks of coal they recovered from it. I bought a piece and have a certificate of authenticity to verify it came from the Titanic
 
Just because something is hard to believe doesn’t mean it’s not true. How did God split the Red Sea? How did Jesus open blind eyes? How did He multiply the food to feed 5,000 people? How did He rise from the dead? Faith isn’t based on our ability to understand, but on the truth of God’s Word.
 
Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). Once we accept the fact that God can do what’s humanly impossible, it becomes easy to believe. Jesus performed many miracles, even though we can’t fathom how He did them.
 
I didn’t see them recover the coal but I believe the document telling me it’s authentic. And I wasn’t there to see Jesus do all those miracles, but I believe the document from people who saw them happen. You can believe in miracles too if you’ll trust the certificate of authenticity.
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, January 24, 2021

Five Things That Romans 8:28 Does Not Say

Paul Harvey had a radio show called “The Rest of the Story.” He would talk about someone who overcame obstacles, but he kept the person’s identity a secret until the end when would reveal it and say, “And now you know…the REST of the story.”
 
Romans 8:28 is the Christian’s Rest of the Story: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). It’s important to understand 5 things this verse does not say, which helps us understand what it does say.
 
1. It doesn’t say “We hope” but “We know.” Paul did not say that we hope everything will turn out for good.  Even though Paul didn’t know what his readers were going through, he makes a universal promise to every believer until Jesus returns that we can know God will work everything together for our good.
 
2. It doesn’t say God causes all things to happen, but He causes all things to work together. Some people wrongly believe God causes everything to happen, even evil and tragedy.  While God does not cause all things to happen, He is in control of all things. James 1:13 tells us God does not tempt anyone, but 1 Corinthians 10:13 says God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to handle, but will provide the way of escape. This shows God does not cause temptation but He is in control of the circumstances around it. 
 
3. It doesn’t say all things are good, but that He works all things together for good. If Satan can turn good into evil, why can’t God turn evil into good? People did evil things to Joseph, but God turned those injustices around to promote him as a ruler in Egypt (Gen. 37-41). He can do the same thing for our situations.
 
4. It doesn’t say God does this for everyone, but for those who love Him. God causes all things to work together for good to “those who love God.” This is a promise to His followers, but isn’t a guarantee to everybody.
 
5. It doesn’t say for our happiness, but for His purpose. God may not have the first word in everything that happens but He does have the last word. When bad things happen, God says, “I have the last word and my purposes will be accomplished.” And now you know the REST of the story!
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, January 17, 2021

God's Providential Will

God’s Perfect Will
is what God desires to happen. When we obey what He calls us to do, we are fulfilling God’s perfect will (Rom. 12:2).
 
God’s Permissive Will is when God allows people to disobey what He wants. He gives us a free will, which means we can make decisions against His will (Acts 14:16).
 
God’s Providential Will is when God overrules the permissive will. Eph. 1:11 says, “We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” God’s Providential Will means He can guide us, protect us, and provide for us in spite of the schemes of evil people who attempt to destroy us.  
 
We can understand God’s “Permissive Will” and “Providential Will” by seeing it as a chess game God is playing. He allows an evil person to move a chess piece (permissive will) and then He makes a counter-move (providential will).
 
PERMISSIVE WILL: He allowed Israel to choose Saul as king, who tried to kill David.
PROVIDENTIAL WILL: God protected David from Saul’s attacks and eventually promoted him to be king.
 
PERMISSIVE WILL: God allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery, falsely accused, and thrown into jail.
PROVIDENTIAL WILL: God overruled those actions, promoted him to be a ruler in Egypt, and saved Israel during a famine. Years later, when Joseph was reunited with his brothers, he told them, "As for you, you meant evil against me (PERMISSIVE), but God meant it for good" (PROVIDENTIAL) (Gen. 50:20). Their “little hands” and God’s "big hand" were both working at the same time, and God used them as pawns to accomplish His purposes.
 
PERMISSIVE WILL: God allows His followers to be persecuted.
Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorned your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man..." (Luke 6:22).
PROVIDENTIAL WILL: God rewards His followers for being persecuted.
"...Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven" (Luke 6:23). 
Did you see God’s Permissive and Providential Wills in this verse? When people persecute you (permissive will), at the same moment God is giving you a great heavenly reward which will last for all eternity! (providential will).
 
So when evil people seem to be winning, remember to keep a positive attitude, focus on God’s “big hand” at work, trust Him, and leap for joy!
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, January 10, 2021

God's Permissive Will

Contrary to popular belief,
not everything that happens is God’s will. Otherwise, why does Jesus tell us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10)? There are three aspects to God’s will.

God’s Perfect Will is what God desires to happen. When we obey what He calls us to do, we are fulfilling God’s perfect will. Romans 12:2 says “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
 
God’s Permissive Will is when God allows people to disobey what He wants. He gives us a free will, which means we can make decisions against His will. Acts 14:16 says, “He permitted all the nations to go their own ways.”
 
God’s Permissive Will went into effect when Israel chose Saul to be their king. It wasn’t what God wanted, but He allowed them to do it. The people of Israel told the prophet Samuel to appoint them a king so they would be like the other nations. God told Samuel, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).
 
When Samuel presented Saul to Israel, he said, “Here is the king whom you have chosen” (1 Sam. 12:13). King Saul deliberately disobeyed God, so Samuel informed Saul that the Lord had rejected him as king (1 Sam. 15:26). Not long after this, Samuel anointed David as God’s choice to be king (1 Sam. 16:13) but it would be years before David actually took the throne.
 
Saul continued being Israel’s king, even though God had rejected him. On two occasions Saul threw spears at David, trying to kill the future king of Israel. Unfortunately for David, he had to suffer the consequences of Israel’s foolish choice of Saul. He spent years running from Saul, who was continually trying to kill him. Even though God’s Permissive Will was still in effect, God was able to lead David and protect him from Saul’s attacks. Keep in mind that God is still able to lead and protect His people, even when an evil king like Saul is on the throne.
 
Fortunately, God has a Providential Will, where God can overrule the Permissive will. We will examine that next week.
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, January 3, 2021

Can God Answer Prayers Instantly?

When my daughter Hannah was in grade school, she wanted to join the Girl Scouts. I said, “Hannah, if you’re supposed to be in Girl Scouts, God will provide a uniform for you. Why don’t you pray and ask Him for one?” She went into her bedroom and prayed for God to provide a Girl Scout uniform.
 
Two minutes later the phone rang. The woman on the other end of the phone said, “You don’t know me, but I have a Girl Scout uniform that I would like to give away. Do you have a daughter who needs one?” I was so stunned I did not even know what to say. I thought, Is this really happening? Just two minutes ago Hannah prayed for a uniform. This is impossible!
 
I snapped out of it and answered, “Yes, we do have a daughter who needs a uniform. You’ll probably find this hard to believe, but she just prayed two minutes ago for a Girl Scout uniform and then you called. Your phone call is an answer to a child’s prayer.” What are the odds that a woman who didn’t know us would call with the answer just after Hannah prayed?
 
You might be asking yourself why God would answer a prayer for a uniform while millions of suffering people are not getting their prayers answered. To be honest, I cannot tell you why some prayers aren’t answered. I just know that God did answer this little girl’s prayer.
 
Perhaps the Lord responded to her childlike faith and wanted my daughter to know He could answer her prayers.
Maybe God wanted to prove to the woman who called that He really exists.
Maybe He answered because He knew I would write about it so that thousands of readers would be inspired to pray about everything.
Maybe He did it to show that not every prayer has a long delay before the answer comes.
 
God is the one who decides when He will bring the answer to our prayers. Sometimes He does it quickly. Other times He requires us to wait. But always remember God’s timing is perfect.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY:  “The Five Purposes of Prayer”
 
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