Sunday, June 26, 2022

Connecting the Dots

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Understanding God’s sovereignty is like playing the connect the dots game. At the beginning, the paper looks like random dots scattered on the page. But one dot leads to another dot, then to another dot, then to another. Every time there’s a change in your life, the pencil moves to the next dot. After you’ve connected all the dots, you can look back and see how God caused them to all fit together.

A pastor of a large church told a story about one of his church members when she was a senior in college. A friend of hers was in her math class, and God spoke to her about inviting him to her church. She didn’t do it. Several weeks passed, and every time she saw him God said, “Invite him to church.” During the last week of school, she finally invited him. They both graduated and went their separate ways. She never saw him at church, but at least she obeyed God.

Two years later, she met a man at church, which led to them marrying. One day as they were leaving church, she saw the man from her college class wearing an usher badge at the back of the auditorium. She went up to him and said, “I can’t believe accepted my invitation and you’re an usher!” Then her husband gave him a hug and asked, “How are you doing?” She was puzzled because they talked with each other like they were old friends.

She asked her husband, “How do you know him?” 
He replied, “He’s the guy who invited me to this church.” 

Inviting her classmate to the church also connected the dot to meet her future husband! God sees the big picture of your life and knows how to make all the dots connect together. Ephesians 1:11 says “God works all things after the counsel of His will.”

When you hear God speak to your heart, don’t dismiss it. You never know what that dot will lead you to. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 

BIBLE STUDY:  Should the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels be included in the Bible?

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

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Thrown Into Hell for Wearing the Wrong Clothes?

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When I was a boy, my friends and I were playing outside of a Catholic church where they just had a wedding. Someone at the reception asked us if we wanted some wedding cake and invited us in. We walked into the church, dirty and barefooted, and ate the wedding cake that was meant to honor a married couple we didn’t even know.

Jesus told a parable about a king who gave a wedding feast to honor his son. In those days, the king would send out two invitations. The first was to inform the guests they were invited to the feast. The second was to let the invited guests know the feast was ready and it was time to come. Even though they were all invited, some were unwilling, while others simply ignored the invitation (Matt. 22:1-4).

Because they refused, the king decided to invite everyone to come. The slaves went out and invited, “both good and evil,” and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests (22:9-10). This was unheard of—that a king would invite strangers and evil people to such a special event.

The king provided a wedding garment for each invited guest to honor his son. All they had to do was wear it. The king looked over the dinner guests and saw a man who was not dressed in wedding clothes. When asked why he didn’t put on the wedding garment, the man was speechless. Then the king told the slaves to “throw him into outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (22:11-13). The wedding garment represents the robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10), but this man refused to wear it.

My friends and I ate the wedding cake, but we didn’t care about honoring the people who got married. This man wanted to eat the food at the banquet, but didn’t care about honoring the king’s son. The point? No one gets into heaven without putting on God's gift of His righteousness.

God is inviting you to spend eternity with Him, but you must accept the invitation and receive the robe of righteousness.  Honoring Jesus comes first, and then we’ll enjoy the wedding feast in heaven. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 

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

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Humility Month

I’m declaring this “Humility Month” in honor of the God who gives grace to all those who humble themselves. “Clothe yourselves with humility, for God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). 
As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

Pride can slither into our lives without our knowing about it, making us think we are somehow superior to others. We might gloat about our personal appearance, high IQ, or a university degree. Maybe a job makes us feel more important than others.

What about fame? That can be a fertilizer that makes an ego grow. How about abilities? You’re an elite athlete who wows the crowd. Your voice? Your singing brings standing ovations. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Of course, outstanding abilities and achievements can be a very good thing. The problem arises when we take credit for something God gave us. Paul wrote the arrogant Corinthians and asked, “Who says you are better than others? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7).

Do you understand that every good thing you have has been given to you by God? (James 1:17) “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven” (John 3:27).

High IQ? You got it from God. 

Beautiful face? The Lord made you.

Perfect voice? God created your vocal cords. We have no right to brag about anything.

When we exalt ourselves, we can’t help but think we’re better than others. Only by looking through God’s eyes will we understand that everyone is valuable, but no one is more valuable than anyone else. The homeless person who lives in a cardboard box is just as valuable in God’s eyes as the most admired movie star living in a mansion.

So how do we get rid of pride in our lives? First Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” First realize God’s hand is bigger and more powerful than ours. And then realize the only one who can humble yourself is “yourself.” www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 

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

Sunday, June 5, 2022

No One Told Him the War Was Over

Onoda Hiroo was a Japanese intelligence officer who fought in World War II. He was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines and was ordered under no circumstances was he to surrender or take his own life. 

Less than a year later, Japan officially surrendered to the Allies on September 2, 1945, which ended World War II. However, since no one informed Hiroo the war had ended, he spent the next 29 years hiding in the jungles and believing the world was still at war.  

Planes dropped leaflets on the island announcing the war had ended, but Hiroo believed the papers were propaganda trying to fool him into surrendering. He would continue to fulfill his mission unless he received orders from a superior officer relieving him of his duty. 

Years later, upon learning Hiroo was still in the jungles, the Japanese government located Onoda's former commanding officer, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi, who had been working as a bookseller. They asked him to go to the Philippines, find Hiroo, and inform him the war had ended. Taniguchi travelled from Japan to the island in 1974 and formally relieved Hiroo from duty by order of Emperor Showa. 

Jesus has commissioned His followers to go into all the world and let them know He died for their sins and rose from the dead. Now anyone can be on the winning side for all eternity, if they will surrender their lives to Him. But how will they ever know if no one tells them?

Paul wrote: “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them (Romans 10:13-14 NCV).

Don’t assume everyone knows how to get to heaven. They won’t know unless you tell them.   www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com 

 BIBLE STUDY: Answering the supposed mistakes in the Bible

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