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. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

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BIBLE STUDY: The Pre-Existence of Jesus

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  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.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

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

Making Life Count Ministries

P.O. Box 680174

Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

www.makinglifecount.net  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). 
www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net

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BIBLE STUDY: The Virgin Birth

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

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.
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BIBLE STUDY: Did Satan enter into Judas once or twice?
 
Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett