Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Last Chapter

A former editor at a publishing company told a story about an author who had written a mystery novel. When she submitted the final draft, she accidentally left out the last chapter. No one caught the mistake and it sold thousands of copies, even though the last chapter was missing. Six months went by before someone contacted the publisher and asked, “Where’s the last chapter?”

The publishing team said they learned two valuable lessons through this incident. The first is to never publish a mystery novel that’s missing the last chapter. But they also learned that while many people started reading a book, few people actually finish it. The editor commented, “While many of us are good starters, few are good finishers.” 

Paul wrote to Archippus, “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.” (Col. 4:17 NIV). The Lord assigned Archippus a particular task and Paul felt it was necessary to tell him to finish what he started. Perhaps he had gotten sidetracked and lost sight of his goal. Maybe he wrote a book and forgot to include the last chapter.

God made King Solomon the wisest person on earth, as well as the richest (1 Kings 4:34, 10:23-24). He wrote 3,000 proverbs, 1,005 songs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Proverbs. However, the final chapter of his life was appalling. When he was old, his wives turned his heart away from the Lord to other gods (1 Kings 11). A very sad ending.

Everyone is writing a book about their lives, and each day is one page in your life’s journal. You can’t go back in time and rewrite the past, but you can start now writing new chapters and make a great ending. You get to choose how you want it to end. Make it a good one.


BIBLE STUDY: The Pre-Existence of Jesus

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

Sunday, December 19, 2021

105-Year-Old Sets World Record

In 2009, Usain Bolt set the world record in running the 100-meters at a blazing time of 9.58 seconds. It’s a record that probably won’t be broken anytime soon. But in September 2021, another athlete set a world record in the 100-meters that will probably never be broken. Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins made sports history by setting a new world record in the 100-meters at age 105.

She didn’t beat Bolt’s 9.58-secord record time, but she did run a blistering 102.95 seconds, which earned her the title of the fastest woman in the world for 105-year-olds. Hawkins didn’t break the world record for her age group because she’s the only person to ever run at that age. It’s unlikely her record will be broken because most people won’t live to 105, and even fewer who want to run races.

“I love to run, and I love being an inspiration to others,” she told media after her record-setting performance. “I want to keep running as long as I can.”

 Julia Hawkins inspires us to keep running the race of life. The apostle Paul compares the Christian life to a race and tells us, “Run in such a way that you win” (1 Cor. 9:24). Hebrews 12:1 reminds us, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

To “lay aside every weight” means to let go of whatever hinders us from running.

The “race that is set before us” means to follow the plan God has laid out before us.

To “run with endurance” means to keep running, even when you feel discouraged and feel like quitting. Don’t give up. Live faithfully for the Lord until you cross the finish line, and an eternal reward will be waiting for you on the other side.


BIBLE STUDY: The Definition of “the Only Begotten Son”

Making Life Count Ministries

P.O. Box 680174

Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett 

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).


BIBLE STUDY: The Virgin Birth

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

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Brainwashed or Brains Washed?

Webster's dictionary defines brainwashed as "to indoctrinate so intensely and thoroughly as to effect a radical transformation of beliefs and mental attitudes." 

When we hear the word "brainwashed," we usually think about Adolf Hitler or people trapped in cults. They blindly follow the orders of their domineering leader whose chief aim is to control them.

But what about the not-so-obvious forms of brainwashing? Is it possible the news media and some TV programs try to brainwash their viewers by spinning the facts and attacking those who disagree with their agenda? When a girl in high school is pressured by her peers to compromise her beliefs to be in the popular crowd, isn't that also a form of brainwashing? The common denominator in all brainwashing is pressuring you to conform, and then condemning you if you don't.

Jesus never brainwashed His followers, but He did promise to wash their brains. Only Christ can wash our dirty minds and cleanse our guilty consciences. "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience…to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:4). He also promised to put His thoughts in our minds. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

Do you need your brain washed? Get honest with God and admit your sins to Him. He is able to cleanse your mind and change the way you think.
BIBLE STUDY: Did Satan enter into Judas once or twice?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Being at the Wrong Place

One of the weirdest incidents in the history of baseball occurred on March 24, 2001. Arizona Diamondback pitcher Randy Johnson threw a fastball to San Francisco batter Calvin Murray. 

Then it happened. A dove, flying at 55 mph, flew in the direct path of the 100-mph ball, which was followed by an explosion of feathers. The baseball won. Our feathered friend suffered the consequences of being at the wrong place.

Like the bird at the baseball game, David got into trouble by going to the wrong place. After he killed Goliath, Saul became jealous and hunted him down to kill him. David knew he would be recognized anywhere he went in Israel, so he made a foolish decision. He fled to Gath, the city of Goliath, hoping to live inconspicuously among the Philistines because he knew Saul would never look there.

It didn’t take long for the people to recognize him as the one who killed Goliath, and reported him to Achish, the king of Gath. David was in deep trouble, and he needed God to show him immediately how to get out of there. Suddenly he got an idea. He pretended to be insane and acted like a madman, scribbling on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. The king thought, “Surely this can’t be the same man who killed Goliath,” so he dismissed him as just a crazy person (1 Sam. 21:10-15).

Acting insane was David’s way of escape. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but . . . will provide the way of escape” (1 Cor. 10:13). David later wrote about this experience in Psalms 34 and 56, and gave God the credit: “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (34:6) and “You have delivered my soul from death” (56:13). 

If you have made the decision to go to the wrong place, God will make a way of escape to get you out of it. Look for it, and take it.

BIBLE STUDY:  Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

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

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.

SERMON ON THANKFULNESS “Did You Forget Something?”
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  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.
BIBLE STUDY How Did We Get the Bible?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Great Impostors

Ferdinand Waldo Demara spent most of his life pretending to be someone that he wasn’t. Demara convincedly imitated a great variety of occupations and fooled so many people that the movie The Great Impostor was based on his life of deception. He had an extraordinarily high IQ and was able to memorize terminologies and techniques by reading textbooks.

Demara posed as a surgeon-lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy by forging his credentials. He did dental work on the ship’s captain and performed surgery in a Korean hospital. He also posed as a civil engineer, a lawyer, a deputy sheriff, a Doctor of Psychology, a college Dean of the School of Philosophy, a prison warden, a hospital orderly, a child-care expert, a Benedictine monk, a Trappist monk, an editor, a cancer researcher, and a teacher at a junior college. The great majority of people never suspected he was an impostor.

 Paul rebuked the Corinthians for trusting in impostors: “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, this you tolerate very well” (2 Cor. 11:4).

False teachers and cults preach “another Jesus,” an impostor Jesus who isn’t the Jesus of the Bible, and “a different gospel,” an impostor gospel that isn’t the true gospel. If you don’t use discernment, you can easily accept the fake Jesus as the truth.

Cults preach an impostor Jesus and pervert the Bible. Mormons teach Jesus was a created spirit and the spirit-brother of Satan, and add to the Bible with their Book of Mormon. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of Jesus and His bodily resurrection, and intentionally mistranslate words in their New World Translation. Don’t be fooled by impostors. Click on link for more information. 
BIBLE STUDY: What cults believe and how to answer them
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  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?
BIBLE STUDY:  Don’t Be Afraid!
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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.
BIBLE STUDY:  Why did Jesus talk about Himself in third person?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Revenge Isn't Sweet When You're Bitter

Would you pay $300,000 to get revenge? Last week, a woman from Indonesia did. She kept telling her husband to clean out their aquarium in their house, but he never got around to doing it so she took matters into her own hands.
The creature inside the aquarium was an Asian arowana, commonly called a dragon fish. It’s the most expensive fish on the planet, worth as much as $300,000. The farms where they are raised are compared to high-security prisons, being protected with concrete walls, guard dogs, and barbed wire.
The wife wanted to teach her husband a lesson so he’d never again forget to clean the aquarium. She decided to cook her husband’s $300,000 pet fish and serve it to him for supper! She even made a video of her scaling and deep-frying the fish, and then posted it on social media. The video was viewed 7.1 million times in just one week. The final shot showed the golden-brown, extremely valuable cooked fish on a plate.
Revenge doesn’t just get even; it always pays back more than even. Was cleaning out an aquarium really worth sacrificing a $300,000 fish (that they both owned) to teach him a lesson? Her prank made her look like a fool to 7.1 million people. Revenge is never sweet when you’re bitter.
Romans 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Revenge is God’s right alone because He’s the only one who can correctly execute justice. God promises to deal with the person who hurt you. Whenever you retaliate, it shows you don’t trust the Lord to bring justice. Instead of being resentful, God says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
As the saying goes, “Revenge is sweet,” but it’s never sweet when you’re bitter. The revengeful woman didn’t say how the fish tasted, but it’s safe to say it wasn’t sweet.
UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION:  More Proof Evolution Isn’t True
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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.

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

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

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.
BIBLE STUDY  What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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.

BIBLE STUDY  Was John the Baptist a reincarnation of Elijah?


Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  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.
BIBLE STUDY  Is the doctrine of “Original Sin” in Scripture?
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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  Twitter: @KentCrockett

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  Twitter: @KentCrockett