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Like you, I’m saddened by the erosion of Bible-based morality in our communities that is even seeping into some congregations.

But I’m far from discouraged by it.

You see, this just serves as a reminder of the opportunities we Christians have to shine as lighthouses toward a darkened ocean.

Do I like that increasing numbers of people don’t care what scripture says about godly marriage and gender-appropriate conduct? Am I glad that so many have decided that congregational involvement is not needed in their lives?

Certainly not.

But the clear and repeated story of the Bible is that society ebbs and flows in the spiritual realm.

Based on my reading of scripture, we’ve got quite a ways to go before the downward slope of our national relationship with God hits bottom.

We can pray that national revival occurs long before that.

And we can pray for wisdom to love and serve people in such a way that our faith will shine like a lighthouse to those who feel like ships tossed in a dark, storm sea.

As long as there is even one neighbor or co-worker or struggling relative to whom we can show the love of Christ, we should be encouraged.

The power of grace abides and as long as we have hope to share, it’s vital that we remain faithful to the end of our days.

Perhaps “the end of days” Jesus described in Matthew 24:12-13 will happen before the end of our days physically.

In any event, let’s both be vigilant in looking for ways to guide others into the safe harbor of God’s gracious love.

As always, I love you
Martin

This is too cute not to share.

Our daughter Jessica melted our hearts a couple of days ago when she shared with us a precious moment that occurred with our granddaughter Mae.

Mae just turned 2 but, in some respects, is advanced beyond her two years.

What occurred points to the value of parents who allow their love for the Lord to overflow in visible fashion.

Here’s what Jessica wrote in her mommy-daughter journal that she’s keeping as Mae grows up:

 

“Today I was desperately trying to get you to take a nap so I laid down with you and asked if you wanted to sing a song. You started saying “Missing geese! Missing geese!”

I couldn’t figure out what song you were referring to so I asked you how it went and you started singing “Missing geese” to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”

“It was incredibly precious.”

Wow.

Mae has heard her parents sing Amazing Grace and even though she didn’t have the lyrics down pat, she gave it her best shot.

And what a shot it was.

For her to choose “Missing geese” as what she wanted to sing is very inspiring.

Actually, it’s amazing.

When somebody we love is drained and needing a boost, perhaps we should start singing “Missing geese” to them in the adult form of Amazing Grace.

Thanks, Jessica and Dave for being such visibly godly parents and wonderful ambassadors of the parenting truths found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Let’s all look for opportunities to guide children toward the amazing grace of our Lord.

As always, I love you

Martin

It’s the season of giving.

Please live in a way that shows a year-round attitude of blessing.

It’s what Christ did and it ‘s what we should do.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters” (I John 3:16).

Please consider giving up some time today in order to help a hurting friend or a frustrated family member or church volunteer needing a hand.

Please consider giving up some money in order to treat a discouraged neighbor to lunch.

Please consider laying aside that inner desire for payback for how that co-worker insulted you.

It’s all about giving in order to help others just as we would like others to give in order to help us.

The Golden Rule really is a great idea.

As always, I love you
Martin

James 1:27 gives us a good assessment tool for measuring if our faith is doing any good for God and for others.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Active, sacrificial compassion and consistent rejection of Satan’s temptations.

Can you do better than you have in this regard?

I can.

Let’s each pray for the Holy Spirit to convict and guide us into becoming more like Jesus.

This will bring more glory to God and more good to people in difficult circumstances.

As always, I love you
Martin

I love a phrase I read this morning in Hebrews 7:16.

“Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.”

I am deeply humbled when I think of how God is transforming me into a priest of the God Most High, not because I’m becoming more worthy but instead because of His power, His purpose, His promise and my desire to serve as a minister for His sake.

To think that Satan cannot destroy my life and my faith against my will — just as he couldn’t destroy Jesus’ life– is such an encouragement.

I was reminded by this verse of the passage in I Peter 2:9 of the mission of our salvation:

“…you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.”

The power that cannot be destroyed — that which flows from the throne of God — is poured into surrendered Christians who are priests by means of the confession that Jesus is Lord.

Let’s live confidently and compassionately and biblically so that others see power compelling us that is greater than our own, keeping us going down the straight and narrow when others would have given up.

As always, I love you
Martin

“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”

Titus 2:14 pretty much sums it up.

Let’s do good deeds today.

It’s what the committed do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Before the world was, God is.

Huh?

That’s right.

Before there was even the concept of time, God exists.

There is no “before” or “after” with God’s identity.

It’s hard to grasp but understanding 2 Timothy 1:9 requires us to stretch our minds.

It’s worth it to do so, however.

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”

Before the first “Let there be…” was a plan and a promise established so that we not-yet-created humans might spend a timeless forever with God.

Everything involved in creation is somehow tied to God’s pre-creation desire for the salvation of your soul and the godliness of your life.

Can I explain to you how an inanimate galaxy spinning around gazillions of miles away from earth can relate to your choice to seek Jesus as Lord?

No.

We’ll have to add that to our list of questions for God when we’re in His presence.

But God wastes no effort and there’s a reason for that galaxy out there and the untold numbers of other galaxies just like it.

Let’s not waste time pondering things that consume brain time better spent on trying to serve the Lord.

Before we were conceived, God had already made the way for us to receive salvation even though we wouldn’t deserve it.

That’s reason enough to live a holy life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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