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Archive for the ‘God’s grace’ Category

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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“Thank you, Lord, for a potent reminder of all the reason we need to continually strive to please You.”

This thought resonated in my mind this morning after my devotional time in the Bible. More specifically, the words of Psalm 49:15 jumped off the screen and into my soul.

“But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave.”

I thought of that horrible scene in the movie Ghost when the director’s vision of death angels came to take the soul of the bad guy with them to hell. I am so glad that I don’t have to worry about a kicking and screaming trip to hell.

You see, Christ’s death on the cross has given me the gift of a choice between heaven and hell.

Because Jehovah is my God and Jesus is my Savior, I have chosen heaven.

I have chosen life.

I have not earned it, of course.

But I have received it.

Earlier in Psalm 49 were these frightening words:

“Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” (vv. 8-9)

Believers are blessed people, that’s for sure.

We’re bought and paid for from a divine pocket infinitely deeper than ours.

This provides all the hope and peace we need to keep sharing with others about the hope and peace they need.

Start speaking words of hope and peace into others’ lives today, my friend.

One kind word and one kind action at a time.

We are saved by a higher power. Let’s show others how that higher power can help them.

As always, I love you
Martin

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God does so many things first.

Most importantly, He loves us first.

As in loving us before our action shows that we love Him.

Huh?

Even as Christians, we sin.

We put ourselves first.

Yet the convicting, loving voice of the Holy Spirit talls us to repent and return to the narrow path of walking with God.

He knows that we probably won’t step back toward that lane of love if we aren’t given the divine carrot of forgiveness.

Because He does promise to forgive us when we confess our sins (I John 1:9), we can be made right with Him after we’ve done wrong to Him.

Thank God for Jesus, that’s what I’m sayin’…..

Here is a verse that can deepen your faith as it has done for me:

“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.” Psalm 130:3-4

We can’t survive spiritually without God’s grace.

Let’s seek it.

Let’s share it.

Let’s learn to live as people who respect the One who shows it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I am grateful for the uplifting words of 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

I read them this morning during my devotional time and that was a very good thing.

For you see, I had read earlier in the morning from the book of Jeremiah about the ominous warnings that God had given to rebellious Hebrews listening to the egocentric teachings of the false prophets in the days before the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.

It is disheartening to consider that so many people who should have lived surrendered, Spirit-led lives for God were instead obsessed with doing the exact opposite.

It actually sounds much like what is happening today in our world, including the portion of Jeremiah’s book that spoke of prophets saying what the people wanted to hear rather than calling them to repentance.

Listen, God doesn’t want people to suffer and that’s why He is not only a God who loves, but also a God who warns.

When we listen to His warnings in the Word or from the voice of His Holy Spirit calling us to godly living, life is SO much better for us, for those around us and for His Kingdom.

Never forget that we were created by and are to serve a marvelous Abba Father who loves to show mercy rather than punishment.

The next time you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit because of a poor choice you’re considering — or have already made — please remember the nature of God’s heart as illustrated in this passage:

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Let’s remember all the good that God has done for mankind and for us individually.

Let’s remember the good that God has done through us on occasion.

And then let’s strive to do more good with our actions and words.

Our hearts will be comforted as a result.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When I was a kid, we had for a brief time an inflatable punching doll around the house as a fun activity.

You’d punch Bozo in the nose and he would fall over. Immediately, he’d come right back up for more.

Why? Because the perimeter of the base for the 46″ inflatable doll was weighted with sand and gravity would pull the side of the base back down, lifting the head to the upright position. The photo below illustrates the design. If your email program blocks the picture, click here to see it listed on Amazon.com.

So why talk about Bozo this morning?

Consider this verse from Proverbs 24:16….

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.”

You and I have tripped spiritually far more than seven times. And we’ve been knocked down more times than we want to remember.

Trusting God for strength and wisdom, though, has helped us get back on our feet.

We might have less money afterwards. Or less physical capacity. Perhaps we have fewer friends.

But as long as we have the solid foundation of faith in Christ, we’ll always have help to get back to a spiritually upright position.

Yes, some in this world will treat us like Bozo the Clown.

But, like him, we’ll always be put back on our feet as long as we hold onto God’s hand.

Here is one of my favorite passages that reinforces our confidence in this promise:

“The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)
As always, I love you
Martin

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Embedded within the verses of Ecclesiastes 3 is a potent, little sentence that can sharpen to a razor’s edge our focus of life.

It speaks not about us, however, but instead about God.

“God’s purpose is that people should fear Him.” (verse 14)

This was written by Solomon, deemed by scripture as the wisest man in history other than Jesus.

And this was written after Solomon had forayed into random detours of fleshly foolishness.

The greatest king Israel has ever known concluded that all of God’s efforts in creation, in inspiration, in intercession, in revelation, in correction and in reconciliation were all focused on one objective — the salvation of people through faith in Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 is a wonderful companion verse to John 3:16, a verse you already know.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 is also a great verse to share with 2 Peter 3:9, another well-known verse that teaches us of God’s patient desire for all people to be repent of their sins so that they might gain salvation into eternal life.

You’ve heard that the “whole duty of man” is to fear God and keep His commandments.

This is not in scripture because God is a control freak.

This is in the Bible because God wants us to follow the safe path that gets us where He wants us to be forever — in His presence in heaven.

If it is God’s purpose for people to fear Him in the sense of loving and obedient respect, it is to be our purpose for living, as well.

Let’s show people that we love, obey and respect our heavenly Father so that they’ll see the fruits of a better, more emotionally secure, meaningful life that can be theirs as well.

It really is a Great Commission thing, you know.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I loved the plea that I read this morning.

“Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.”

David’s words in Psalm 143:8 should be our words each morning.

We all want unfailing love.

And we all want to walk the safest, most fulfilling path that brings us closer to enduring joy.

We find both in the Lord.

Read of God’s unfailing love each morning.

Read the Bible devotionally.

The One-Year Bible Online is a great tool for doing so.

It’s what I use.

God’s love.

God’s path.

I find each when I click on this link and select the appropriate month and day to do my daily reading.

You will, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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