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Archive for April, 2015

My hero is amazing.

Here’s a description of this man that I read this morning:

“He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.”

These words from John 1:14 are, of course, describing the Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, the King, the Savior, the Lion.

There are countless descriptions of Jesus Christ offered in the Bible, both in Old Testament prophecies and in historical accounts of His life and teachings. But all of them would be sorely lacking value if not for the characteristics described in the verse above.

We all want friends — best friends — who are full of unfailing love and faithfulness.

We want friends who will never leave us or forsake us.

It is deeply comforting that Jesus’ love for me was so great that He was willing to suffer in advance for the sins that I would commit after entering this world 1,923 years after His crucifixion.

Since Jesus was willing to do this for me, my appreciation should be reflected by my willingness to show unfailing love and faithfulness toward others.

I have some friends who are struggling. You do, too.

Let’s put John 1:14 into practice in how we support them.

After all, isn’t that what Christ does for us?

As always, I love you
Martin

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My hair has a bit more gray than it used to.

But my faith should also have more green than it used to.

You’ve perhaps heard that the best grapes come from the oldest vines.

I like that idea.

So does God.

Check out what Psalm 92:14 says about faithful believers:

Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.”

You know some people at your church who fit this description, volunteering frequently and overflowing with vibrancy in their relationships with other church members and visitors.

They are wonderful role models for us all.

And they are fountains of blessing for God who loves to see their fruitful love for others.

Their gray hair might be chemically colored but their spiritual vibrancy and fruit-bearing is visible for all to see.

I want to be like this.

Even if you don’t yet have gray hair, I pray that you’ll demonstrate a green faith.

You’ll be making the world a better place.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Despite the multiple guards, redundant fences, high walls and electronic/video sensors, some prison inmates still find ways to escape.

We’ve all read articles about such escapes and we’ve shaken our heads in amazement.

There is one prison from which none can escape.

“No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave.” Psalm 89:48

This is such a sobering truth that every human must confront.

Some ignore it until it happens.

Some obsess over it and are nearly paralyzed by angst.

Some think that the grave is nothing more than a start-over stage and they’ll come back to life in a different form or as a different person.

We cannot escape from the grave but we CAN be rescued.

That’s why Jesus came, died, went to the grave and was rescued by the power of God.

Read Romans 6:1-7 and I Thessalonians 4:6 you’ll read more about how you can be rescued from the grave when physical death comes knocking at your door.

I really do hope that someday you’ll join me and countless other rescued people in heaven.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Let’s become more like God.

Here’s why I say this:

“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

What relationship wouldn’t be stronger if we demonstrated these five characteristics more fully?

Be like God today.

Everybody in your home, your workplace, your school and your neighborhood will be glad you did.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Matthew 18:17 is our teacher today.

On second thought, the little kid who loves going to church is our teacher today.

Friendly, unburdened by grudges, enjoying discovery of new things, wanting to share… these are characteristics of so many kids running around church buildings.

Let’s make sure that we have the same characteristics.

After all, this is what God expects from His kids.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Guard rails are not fences.

They’re not there to keep cars off the road but instead to keep cars on it.

Fences are to keep people out.

Guard rails are to keep people in.

Sometimes, we Christians lose sight of this when it comes to our faith.

The Bible and the beliefs it calls us to embrace are for the purpose of keeping us in His family, not for trying to keep people out.

Scripture really is, in effect, a God rail.

Here’s why I say this:

“Godliness guards the path of the blameless” Proverbs 13:6

Godliness is a guard rail.

It keeps us on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

When we reject godliness — and we’ve all had moments or seasons of doing so — the guard rails disappear and we inevitably end up in a ditch — or worse.

Nobody likes running into a guard rail… or a God rail.

We get banged up and we have consequences to sort through, not the least of which is a bruised, convicted conscience.

I’m thankful for the God rails in my life that the Holy Spirit has used to get me back between the lines of godly living.

I pray that you’ll feel the same as you travel the narrow road.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We’ve all faced skeptics who told us we were crazy for considering a bold plan to go for a certain job or a certain team or a certain relationship or a certain address or, yes, a certain act of Christian ministry.

“Get serious!” they told us, adding that we’d be out of our league in pursuing the plan.

Who likes hearing “You’re not smart enough” or “You’re not attractive enough” or “You’re not tall enough” or “You’re not cool enough” or “You’re not spiritual enough” or some other verbal bucket of ice water down the back?

I certainly don’t and I’ve heard all of these and many other variants during my years.

Just as you have.

Sadly, sometimes I listened too closely to small-minded voices and scrapped my plans.

I was wrong to do so and I regret it.

This is not about ignoring godly, Bible-based wisdom from Kingdom-minded people. Such counsel should always be welcomed and given deep consideration.

But much of what we hear from others is rooted in the flesh, not in faith.

And so, when some skeptic says to us “Get serious!” and we pause to reflect, let’s make sure that the voice that carries the most weight is the Lord’s.

I’m so glad that young David didn’t listen to King Skeptic when the teen said he was fed up with Goliath’s foul, blasphemous boasting and was going to do something about it.

Here’s a snippet from I Samuel 17:32-33 —

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

Aren’t you glad that David didn’t listen when King Saul pulled the “Get serious!” thing?

I sure am.

When we’re considering a plan that we know advances God’s will because it helps other people to receive blessings from God and displays our confidence in God’s ability to use us for good, the Devil is not going to like it.

He’ll prompt others to discourage us so that we’ll give up.

That’s when others telling us to “Get serious!” actually creates a testimony opportunity as we explain that we ARE quite serious about serving God and helping people and walking in His power to do what the world thinks we can’t.

As always, I love you
Martin

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