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
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  Feedburner has announced it will stop sending out emails in July, which means if you receive this devotional by email it will cease at that time. However, you can still visit www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com each week until I find another service to deliver the weekly devotionals by email.

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

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
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT  Feedburner has announced it will stop sending out emails in July, which means if you receive this devotional by email it will cease at that time. However, you can still visit www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com each week until I find another service to deliver the weekly devotionals by email.
 
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