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?
****************************************************************************************************
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)
****************************************************************************************************
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?”
****************************************************************************************************
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?”
****************************************************************************************************
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.
****************************************************************************************************
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.
****************************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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

Sunday, June 27, 2021

How to Recognize a Fool

A South African farmer was killed by his seven-year-old pet hippopotamus named Humphrey, which he raised from the age of five months. Marius Els, 41, boasted, “Humphrey's like a son to me, he's just like a human,” he said at the time. There's a relationship between me and Humphrey and that's what some people don't understand. They think you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats and domestic animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.”
 
Mr. Els kept twenty different species of exotic animals on his farm, including giraffe and rhino, but he developed a special fondness for Humphrey. Els often rode on his back like a horse, but realized that Humphrey sometimes didn’t like it. “If he decides to get me off his back, then he throws me over like a horse,” Els told an interviewer before his death.
 
Els ignored the fact that hippos are one of the world’s most dangerous animals and kill more than 300 people each year. They will attack people without being provoked and can easily outrun humans. He apparently thought, “Hippos might kill other people, but it won’t happen to me because I’ve tamed this hippo.”
 
Els’s mutilated body was found in a river on his farm, which showed he had been repeatedly bitten and gouged in a vicious attack by the hippopotamus. So, was he a wise man who knew how to tame a hippo, or a fool who didn’t recognize that hippos by their nature will attack people? Proverbs 14:16 says, “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.”
 
You probably won’t befriend a hippo, but are you friends with people who drag you down? “The one who walks with wise people will become wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20). Choose wisely. www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
****************************************************************************************************
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.
 
READ ARTICLES ON Evolution vs Creation
 
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, June 20, 2021

An Inspiring Father's Day Story

In 1991, a Cuban pilot named Orestes Perez defected to the United States in a Soviet-made MiG jet. He told his wife, “Remember, even if it takes years, I will come back for you and my children.” He went to the news media, the United Nations, President Bush, and even Mikhail Gorbachev for help to bring his family to U.S., but got no support.
 
Finally, he took matters into his own hands in December 1992. Perez borrowed a twin-engine Cessna 310 and flew out of a Miami airport to Cuba. He knew he could get shot down by flying into Cuban airspace, so he flew low to avoid radar.
 
He landed the plane in Cuba on a two-lane highway in the middle of traffic where his family was waiting for him. A lady had traveled to Cuba with a hand-written note of instructions for his family to be walking down the road in orange shirts. When he landed his wife and two small sons ran to the plane, jumped inside, and flew back to Miami.
 
Fidel Castro branded Perez as a traitor and condemned him to death. But Perez said, “It was one chance in a million to sneak into Cuba and land on a busy road between cars. The possibility of being captured or gunned down was a high risk. But I was dying every day without my family.”
 
What an amazing display of a father’s love for his family! I pray that you will ask God, “Lord, what can I do to show your love to my family?”
www.makinglifecount.net  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
****************************************************************************************************
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, 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
*************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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
****************************************************************************************************
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