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Archive for September, 2015

If you’ve accepted Christ, you are a divine masterpiece.

Your status is not based on your physical appearance or your ancestral line.

And it’s not based on your personal flawlessness.

Instead, it’s based on the loving grace of God the Father and the flawless blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 in the New Living Translation says that one united with Christ is God’s “masterpiece.”

I am so grateful that God considers me as His masterpiece, His ultimate expression of redeemed love.

And I’m so grateful that He considers you as the same.

Dictionary.com defines “masterpiece” in this way — “a person’s greatest piece of work.”

Walk in confidence today, my friend.

God thinks very highly of you.

So much so that He gave His only begotten Son for you.

That makes you even more valuable.

Let’s bring greater value to God by allowing His Word and His Spirit to refine us even more with each passing day.

For until we leave this life, our responsibility is to grow more valuable every day.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Morning Devotion: For the best

Waiting is usually no fun.

But life is better when we learn how to wait with the right attitude.

When we don’t have the right perspective on waiting, we sometimes make bad decisions.

Or at least we wait with griping.

And then we have to wait even longer to have the outcomes we really want.

Let’s keep this verse in mind and we’ll be better off in all sorts of ways.

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:1)

I always need to remember and practice this display of trust in the Lord.

I encourage you to do the same.

We’ll have better lives and fewer headaches as we do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Morning Devotion: Some glad morning

I love the old hymn “I’ll Fly Away.”

It’s so good to know that my body’s death will put my soul on a first-class flight to heaven.

I was reminded of this again during my devotional reading this morning.

“…those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again!” (Isaiah 26:19)

Please make sure to have your boarding pass of a soul washed by the blood of Jesus. For John 14:6 tells us that only with that pass will we rise again.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Morning Devotion: Grunting?

“Do you love me with all your heart and soul?” a wife asked her husband one morning as he read the newspaper.

“Mmm hmm,” he grunted as he turned the page.

“And do you think I’m the most beautiful woman on the planet?” she asked.

“Mmm hmm.”

“And do you think my lips are as delicate as rose petals?”

“Mmm hmm.”

“Oh honey,” gushed the wife, “You say the most beautiful things!”

I’m so glad that I don’t have to embellish the grunts of others in order to feel loved.

We all enjoy hearing family members or close friends say they loves us.

It’ even better, though, when we read in scripture and experience through blessings just how much God loves us.

Haven’t we all drawn great encouragement and emotional strengthening by the words of John 3:16? Or Romans 5:8? Or I Peter 5:7? Or I John 1:9?

I am SO glad that God’s love isn’t shown to us with a grunt.

Our God shows His love for us with the cross, with the gift of His Holy Spirit to guide us and with the opportunity to become part of a caring congregation.

Because He so clearly communicates His love for us, let’s make sure that the overflow of that love is clearly communicated to the people in our lives.

Yes, we all have to do “grunt work” sometimes in life.

Let’s make sure that how we communicate love to others is displayed with grace and devotion, not with a grunt.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Morning Devotion: Sing!

God has given us every reason in the world to sing.

And every day should be an occasion to sing of His glory and gracious provision.

“Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.”

Psalm 59:16 sums it up, doesn’t it? A love that never abandons us is more than enough reason for singing to the Lord today.

So sing to Him, even if the only Christian song you can remember is “Jesus Loves Me.”

God will love it.

And so will you.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Traumatic events such as the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 almost always produce feelings of loss and weakness.

But they also give us the opportunity to rebuild new hopes and gain new strength.

It’s true in the natural world and in the spiritual world.

Most every believer has experienced an extreme loss somewhere along the way in life, a loss that left him or her in a painful fog with little emotional strength to put one foot in front of another.

It’s at such times, though, that the value and power of faith in Christ can be clearly seen and received.

In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, there was a sense of unity in this country that was special and that has long since dissipated.

I pray that our current atmosphere of chaotic finger-pointing and animosity toward Bible believers will somehow be reversed.

But if it doesn’t, we still have available all the help and hope we need.

Even when all else fails.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,” Christ said to the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Paul was suffering as a result of God’s desire to strengthen and humble him.

Paul didn’t like it, of course, but over time realized that this hardship was for his best.

And for the best of God’s kingdom.

Because Paul suffered and learned, we’ve been able to learn from suffering.

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me,” Paul wrote in verse 9.

People will be more interested in learning about our faith if they see it actually help us through a tough time.

So please don’t gripe about hard times.

Instead, rejoice in God’s grace during hard times.

It’s how Christ’s grace and power becomes more visible to us and to others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you see somebody today who really needs a friend — even if just for a moment — please be to him or her what Solomon wrote everybody needs.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

It stinks to be doing the work of two when you’re by yourself.

It’s even worse when you face the attacks or hassles of a group and you have nobody to stand with you.

We’ve all been in these situations and we know our challenge would have been easier met if someone had helped us.

Please look today for somebody who needs a helping hand or even a defending commitment to help them against mistreatment.

This is so much better than being guilty of a sin of omission because we saw a need for help and chose to ignore it.

And make sure to pray for wisdom and strength in your efforts so that that all-powerful third cord of God’s intercession can make the difference Solomon promises.

As always, I love you
Martin

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