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Posts Tagged ‘Christ's glory’

The patience of God is amazing.

With Adam and Eve.

With Noah and his family.

With Abram who was renamed to Abraham.

With Isaac, with Jacob, with his sons, with Joshua and the Exodus Hebrews…

The list goes on and on.

That list includes you and me, of course.

If God were not patient with us, we would have no hope for eternal life.

For we certainly don’t have enough spiritual merit to qualify for heaven.

But God IS patient. And that’s because God is purposeful.

You see, God has a plan for you and for me and has had such since before Creation.

Ephesians 1:4 tells us so.

His patience is rooted in His desire for us to spend forever with Him, according 2 Peter 3:9.

His patience is able to endure His disappointment with our decisions along the way toward the repentance and submission to the Gospel that He desires for every soul.

Why is He so patient? Check out this passage from Isaiah 43 and you’ll get a clearer picture of why:

I have made Israel for myself,
 and they will someday honor me before the whole world.” (Isaiah 43:21)

God knew that Israel was a work in progress, that all of the Hebrews should have been wearing T-shirts that said “He’s still working on me.”

God had the supernatural ability to see people for what they could be, not simply for what they were.

His hope was for their surrendering to His will for His glory and their eternal good.

Someday.

Wow.

We are given physical life so that we might give God our spiritual lives that are committed to honoring God in the eyes of the world.

Let’s do all we can to make “someday” start happening today.

It’s the least we can do for the Father who did the most He could do for us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The greatest hope I have for the future is the blessing of seeing the faces in heaven of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and telling them how much I appreciate the Father’s gracious choice to allow me into their presence.

The second greatest hope is being delivered from the grave into the throneroom in order experience my first-order blessing.

It is SO good to know that my earthly body — in whatever condition it is post-mortem — will be transformed in some as-yet unrevealed way and it will rise up to join heaven’s choir.

I’m not talking about what Paul promised in I Thessalonians 4:16. Instead, I’m talking about the prophet Isaiah’s words more than 700 years earlier in chapter 26 of his book:

But those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!” (verse 19)

I’m looking forward to that day when I’m flying high…. even though I have no idea of when it will happen.

The fact that it WILL is good enough for me to keep my life airworthy in a spiritual sense.

I pray that you’ll do the same.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There is a verse in today’s Bible reading with which we all struggle on occasion.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (Romans 8:35)

We love the idea of unending love.

We don’t love the idea of trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, danger and threats of death.

If we have one idea, does that mean we won’t have the other?

Paul’s life and the lives of millions today proves that both can exist at the same time in the same life.

Christ’s love carries us through the trials, not simply to the trials.

As a child, when I was injured or emotionally wounded, did that mean my parents didn’t love me? Of course not.

In fact, they were often the ones helping me to find comfort and healing and understanding.

Faith is not a matter of living in a cocoon.

Instead, it is a matter of living in fellowship with the Father. It is a matter of living with an empowered, instructed, encouraged state of purpose that keeps putting one foot in front of another until one’s arrival in glory.

God’s love for us abides.

Let’s keep moving forward in serving Him with an abiding determination to build His kingdom until we move to the place with no more trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, danger and threats of death.

A place where only love abides forever.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“In the groove” was a common phrase a generation or two ago.

It’s roots traced to the 1930s adoption of the phrase by jazz musicians who described their moments of mistake-free playing in terms of a phonograph needle sliding without error through a record groove.

Of course, with no scratches or bumps or warped surfaces to encounter, the needle produced signals that were smooth and true to the original intent of the record producers.

It’s all about flawlessly, calmly experiencing the best in a particular situation.

We like it when we’re in the groove on a date, or at our jobs or when playing a sport or when enjoying a hobby or when volunteering at church.

We like it when we’re in the groove while talking with our family members.

And, of course, God loves it when we’re in the groove while worshiping Him.

The fact is that when we join heaven’s choir, we’ll be in the groove forever.

Until then, let’s enjoy the “groove” for His sake in this life.

“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
 celebrate His lovely name with music.”

Practice Psalm 135:3 sometime today.

Play a Christian CD. Turn on a Christian radio station.

Buy tickets to a Christian concert.

Sing a Christian chorus to yourself.

Or at lease hum it.

And sing your heart out next Sunday at church.

It’s the groovy thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Imagine the brief horror of life without breath.

What terror there would be until the darkness of death came.

If you’ve ever had the wind knocked out of you, you recall what that fear is like — even if only temporarily.

But God gives us the ability to breathe so that we can experience the light of day.

The breath we have is a gift from Him.

Should we not use that breath to provide gifts to Him?

When we make it our purpose to redeem our breaths by infusing them with His purposes — whether we’re speaking or quietly serving — He is praised and we are blessed.

It’s what we were created to do.

“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.” (Psalm 34:1)

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6)

Let’s become more active in testifying to God’s goodness. When something good happens to us or another at work, let’s audibly or in writing thank God for the blessing, whether the beneficiary is a Christian or not.

When someone makes it through a difficult health situation at church or within our extended family, let’s clearly thank God for His grace and power in a way that others hear or read it.

When we avoid a potentially deadly accident on the highway, let’s make sure to say a prayer of thanks and testify to others at our destination that God obviously isn’t done with us yet.

In the store checkout line, thank the clerk for the blessing of a kind smile.

In the doctor’s office, thank the doctor for using his or her God-given abilities to help people.

In the neighbor’s yard, discuss the beauty of the landscape plants and flowers the neighbor has and then praise the Lord for His creative genius in making such visual blessings.

You get the idea.

Let’s constantly speak His praises.

After all, He’s constantly loving and helping and blessing us, one breath at a time.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Now here’s a glorious passage from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible:

“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!

“Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!

“Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

“Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise”

If the things of nature can thrive in praise of our glorious Creator in the way described in Psalm 96:11-12, shouldn’t we as humans be able to shower Him with even more adoration?

Be glad today, my friend, because God is on the throne.

Rejoice that He is sovereign over the earth.

Shout His praise at every opportunity.

Burst with joy that overflows into others’ lives.

Rustle with praise as the winds of God’s Holy Spirit massage, compel and guide your heart, soul and mind.

Yes, we were created for the praise of His glory.

So let’s get at it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The general thinking is that intimacy with another person, be it a spouse or other close friend, is the fruit of emotion, a common nature and a shared set of experiences.

It is typically understood as something that develops apart from a specific strategy of intent. For if such were the case, the thinking goes, many people could have intimacy with certain people whose hearts they have long desired.

We know that human intimacy is not an equation to be manipulated, however.

Just because we want it does not mean it is going to happen.

Spiritual intimacy with God is another matter, though.

If we want it, and we do things in certain ways for certain reasons, we can have it with God.

Guaranteed.

Here’s the reason for my comment above:

And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.” (II Chronicles 28:9-10)

Hmmmm…….

King David’s statement inspired by the Holy Spirit makes clear that intimacy is learned, not just found. It is a fruit of servant-hearted emotions, efforts and thoughts.

If we seek Him, we will find Him.

So how do I seek intimacy with God?

Worship Him with all of my heart.

Serve Him with all of my heart.

Utilize my mind as a computer to plan ways to honor God, serve His people and reject the schemes of Satan.

Understand that the God of my spiritual ancestors is the same God who desires a relationship with me.

Strive to have as good — or better — of a relationship with God as did they.

Take every thought captive so that it might be a servant of the Lord.

As God sees our minds guiding our steps and our hearts guarding our steps, the intimacy we share with Him will grow.

Why? Because of the growing trust we have toward Him and Him toward us.

It is that trust that provides the foundation for intimacy.

The wrap-up? Let’s learn to do the things that build trust and we’ll be learning the things that build intimacy.

With God. And with each other.

As always, I love you
Martin

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