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