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Archive for the ‘God's supremacy’ Category

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

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At one time or another, we’ve all felt like David did when people we counted on had let us down.

Fortunately, our lives haven’t been stuck in such sentiments.

When they have occurred for you, though, I pray that you’ve had the confidence to go to the One person who could help you through the darkness.

“You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.” (Psalm 142:5)

David knew that the only relationship he really needed was with God.

People are important to us. Some human relationships have huge roles in our lives and can bring incredible satisfaction to our hearts.

But people are not our Creator. They are not our Redeemer. They are not our Provider.

People cannot do what God does.

He can comfort and heal in ways nobody else can.

He can lift us to heaven when humans can only point us in that direction.

God is to be all we really want in life.

Because with Him, we have all we really need for eternity.

Please see God as your refuge in the storms, in the droughts, in your weakness, in your loneliness, in your poverty and in your remorseful failures.

After all, He really wants you to spend eternity with Him and sent Jesus to the cross in order to prove it to you.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s always better when the only thing we worship isn’t a thing at all but instead the God of creation.

Our lives will be far more likely to avoid the minefields of sin.

I want to be a parent who worships God, not stuff.

I want to be a husband who embraces my wife with spiritual and emotional integrity.

I want to be a pastor who never sends mixed signals to my flock regarding my priorities.

I want to be child who honors my father and who encourages my siblings in wholesome ways.

As I live out Christ’s words in Matthew 6:33, I will be more successful in all of the above.

For as I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, I will follow the path that more frequently intersects with the blessings from above.

It’s a terrible shame that many leaders in Jerusalem didn’t have this same philosophy in the years before that city’s 586 B.C. destruction. It wasn’t from the lack of warning, that’s for sure.

Many prophets were sent over many years to guide the people back to the path of faith.

But the national leaders didn’t want to hear it.

So they didn’t listen.

Here is a diagnosis given by God to the prophet Ezekial before Jerusalem’s destruction:

Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin.” (Ezekial 14:3)

Our call as believers is to keep our hearts free of idols. I’m not talking about the stone figurines or metal castings or crystal pyramids.

Instead, I’m talking about anything that gets in the way of our church attendance, of our generosity to someone in need, of our dedication to DAILY devotions, of our tithing, of our being willing to forgive those who offend us, etc..

The list could go on, of course, but you get the point.

When the Holy Spirit is stirring us to act of speak in a way that serves God, yet we increasingly choose to invest time or money into something else, aren’t we trying to slide an idol onto the throne of our hearts?

God wants us to fall at His feet in worship, not fall on our faces in sin.

Let’s make sure that the throne of our hearts only has room for God.

We’ll be better off in all of our relationships that way.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Four words in Acts 15:8 provide a powerful reminder of why being godly is such a good idea.

“God knows people’s hearts.”

These four words give us a serious dose of accountability for our thoughts and attitudes.

The Apostle Paul called us in Romans 12:1-2 to seek the renewing of our minds and the above snippet from the Bible reminds us of why a faith-focused mind is so important.

We’re not slipping anything past God.

The four words not only can help us to stay on the straight and narrow path, but they can also direct us away from seeking “payback” against those who hassle or harm us.

If we know that God knows the motives of our antagonist, we’ll be more likely to resist obsessing about getting even, choosing instead to let the Supreme Being of the universe take care of responding to our being treated unjustly.

What does God know about your heart today?

Is He smiling? Or frowning?

Does He see that He is adored? Or ignored?

Fill your heart with a passion for praise, prayer and purposeful living.

We know that God will be pleased with those things.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Just about everybody would want the words of Psalm 118:25 to come true in their lives.

“Please, Lord, please save us.

“Please, Lord, please give us success.”

Salvation into heaven.

Success on the earth.

Both are highly desirable.

But praying the words above will accomplish nothing if the core ingredient is missing from our lives.

Huh?

Notice the repetition in each sentence of “please.”

These are emphatic appeals.

No matter how emphatically made, though, divine intercession won’t happen without the pivotal ingredient.

What ingredient is that?

Truly meaning “Lord” when we appeal for help, that’s what.

Just about every person wants to go to heaven and to find financial, social and emotional success.

But most people don’t want God to truly be Lord of their lives.

For that involves submission of our will and desires and agendas and superceding loyalty to His will, His Word, His purposes and His leading.

It’s totally appropriate to ask for God’s help in rescuing us from hassle-filled, sometimes hazardous-to-health circumstances if we sincerely worship and serve God as our Lord.

The same applies to yearning for His help in gaining success in relationships, in a career, in crafting a meaningful legacy.

If we ask for God’s help, let’s make sure that He has our hearts placed into His hands.

Remember, He’s an Abba Daddy, not a sugar daddy.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I am encouraged this morning by the words of a young man who lived more than 3,000 years ago.

His determination to do something bold to help his fellow Hebrews was impressive.

More than that, though, it was expressive of his faith in God.

We should all seek the same confidence in the Lord as displayed by Jonathan, the son of King Saul.

“Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

These words of I Samuel 14:6 remove the flawed presumption of so many in ministry that you’ve got to have a large core group of dedicated church volunteers before you can impact the community where you live.

It’s all about the size of your heart and the size of your faith rather than the size of your team.

Yes, there’s no mistaking that having dozens or even hundreds of faithful servants can make it easier to make a big splash that douses large numbers of people with Living Water.

But the empowerment that really determines the influence of the splash — and not just the size — is from the Lord’s hand.

My friends, we are in a battle against spiritual darkness, against spiritual apathy of those in the churches, against spiritual despair in the hearts of people at our jobs, our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our churches and even in our own homes.

Without the promise of God’s help, we’re outgunned at every turn.

With God’s help, though, our Bible-guided efforts and Spirit-guided attitudes can combine to influence lives in direction and scale beyond what we otherwise would believe is possible.

Because of Jonathan’s faith, a massive army dedicated to destroying God’s people was itself decimated.

And as you read the story found at this link — “Never outgunned” — you’ll see how it was made possible because of God’s intervention.

I need to remember this story when discouragement seeks to move into my heart because of the challenges of ministry. Particularly when once-active volunteers become entangled in worldly pursuits and their pursuit of Kingdom growth is displaced at the top by pursuit of earthly endeavors.

We have battles to win, my friend. We have the Lord.

Rejoice for whatever team of warriors you have and press forward toward victory for God’s sake!

As always, I love you
Martin

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Why are serving the Lord and anticipating eternal joy in heaven such good ideas for Christians?

It’s because our sovereign Jehovah has never failed — even before time was created.

You know, I really take comfort in the fact that if I jump off the side of a boat to cool off in the ocean, I am never failed by the law of gravity.

I ALWAYS descend into the water.

It would be really bad if gravity was random and I headed toward the stratosphere.

Gravity never fails.

And neither does the Creator of gravity.

I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that God never says, “Oops!”

I sure wish I could make the same claim but I am far from being in that position.

Listen, when it comes to that upon which we base our hopes, our sense of well-being, our sense of being loved and our sense of identity, we’re far better off standing on the Rock that will not be moved.

I’m talking about Jesus Christ who was the earthly ambassador of the Father’s flawless love and Word.

Why should we strive to live surrendered, gracious, generous, Bible-compliant lives?

Because God has never let us down.

Because God has never let Himself down.

God is in the business of keeping promises.

Here’s a reminder from a guy who embraced this truth in a passionate way more than 3,300 years ago.

“Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!”
(Joshua 23:14)

Joshua, the leader of the Israelites during the years of conquest in the Promised Land, knew he would soon die and called the people to remain faithful after he died. It was the fact of God’s integrity that should inspire believers to trust the Father with an obedient life.

That’s true for us, as well.

Let’s do our best to keep our commitments to God and to others. It’s the least we can do for the God who has never failed in His promises to us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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