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Posts Tagged ‘God’s power’

What is the most important thing in life?

Being ready for the next life.

Here is King David’s view of priorities:

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

On what — or on whom — is the strength of your heart based?

What gets you out of bed and motivated to pursue goals during the day?

Let’s make sure that serving God is our primary purpose in this life.

Even when our flesh and emotions are really struggling.

This way, we’ll be sure to serve and be blessed by Him forever in the next life.

Hmmm…. it really is a marvelous promise that God wants to fill our hearts and bless our souls forever.

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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Sometimes we struggle to see how our situation can improve.

Troubles of one sort or another are threatening us or perhaps even attacking us.

We’ve seen other people suffer or perhaps give up on a marriage or on a career or a church life or avoiding bankruptcy when faced with these troubles.

Will we do the same?

Have we done the same?

The Bible is filled with stories of people who faced difficult times and yet they did not cower or compromise.

Instead, they followed their convictions and remained committed to Almighty God as their Deliverer, their rescuer from on high.

We can experience the same if we’ll just have 20-20 vision.

I’m talking about II Chronicles 20:20.

This is a passage within a larger story about a massive pagan army coming against the children of God who were being led at the time by King Jehoshaphat. The king had done the math and knew that his volunteer army of laymen was no match for the bloodthirsty masses of soldiers marching toward the Hebrews.

The Israelites’ only hope was the intercession of God and the king knew that.

I encourage you to read the chapter by clicking this link so you can see how wonderful our God is to those who love and trust Him.

A key verse in the chapter is the verse mentioned above:

“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.

The rest of the chapter shows that is just what happened. The Hebrews poured out that belief by having an awesome worship service once they had marched out to confront the enemies. Even though the Hebrews knew they couldn’t defeat the enemy militarily, they positioned themselves in the face of the enemy in order to watch the work of the God who is sovereign over the universe.

Please read the chapter in order to gain a new appreciation for how awesome our God really is.

And try to remember Jehoshaphat’s counsel the next time you face a serious challenge.

God is our fortress and we need not fear.

The Bible given us by inspired writers is our manual for life that always produces success when followed.

Never shaken. Always succeeding.

That sure sounds good to me.

Let’s live with 20-20 vision.

Others just might see this as the best way for them, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Once again, I’m humbled by my lack of perceptiveness.

Here was my prayer just now:

“Thank you, God, for reminding me of why I must continue re-reading the Bible year after year. I have SO much to learn.”

I have read the book of Acts countless times and yet I never paid close enough attention to the first verse of Chapter 3.

I did today, however, and I am convicted of a change I need to make in how I approach prayer.

Here’s what I read there:

“Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service.”

The two apostles were used to praying at a designated time during the day. It was part of their spiritual discipline.

And when you read the rest of Acts 3, you’ll see how their devotion to prayer opened a huge door for ministry.

I like that sequence.

I want to experience the same depth of opportunity.

I believe as I become more structured in my prayer life, God will open more doors for ministry.

I’ve never designated a non-meal time during the day when I would stop for prayer other than my morning devotional time.

I need to make this change.

Perhaps you’ll do the same.

I need to have set-aside time with God.

Pray that I will find the discipline to get this change done. I have set my phone alarm for 3 p.m. daily in order to remind me.

I believe that more ministry opportunity — and power for ministry — will result.

I will pray the same for you.

Wouldn’t it be great if you and I could pledge to hold each other accountable for doing this?

If you’d like to join me in this, please let me know.

As always, I love you
Martin

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A day rarely goes by that I don’t see a homeless person begging for money.

It’s usually at a busy intersection of a frontage road and a six-lane road near the church building.

I’ve noticed that 99 percent of drivers ignore the one begging.

I’ve also noticed that when a driver does hand something to the begger, it is usually some coins.

I’ve resisted giving cash because of how so many homeless people end up buying what harms the body, not helps it.

When I’ve thought ahead, though, I’ve prepared bags of food and water to give the homeless person.

It’s much better to provide a hearty meal than it is some cash that can be used for drugs or booze.

I’ve been convicted lately by my lack of preparedness for meeting the hunger need of homeless people.

I’ve handed out dozens of “Blessing Bags” in the past but have not been diligent lately to have some on-hand in my car.

After a shopping trip this week, my church office now has enough “Blessing Bag” provisions to make up 20 food-for-a-day bags.

I’ll be asking a volunteer to assemble the bags so that I and others can start helping homeless people to have some food.

Ultimately, this is an act of worship toward God.

Here’s what I mean:

“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors Him.” (Proverbs 14:31)

When we help the poor, we’re serving as God’s hands of kindness.

And we’re showing God that we’re not living just to please ourselves.

Listen, sharing with the needy is a great form of worship.

Let’s all do so more often.

It’s the honorable thing to do.

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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If you see somebody troubled by worry, you can help them transform from “worrier” to “warrior.”

I’m not talking about martial arts training or paying off their debts or resolving their health issues.

I’m talking instead about helping them to know that they’re not alone.

Encouragement is everything when it comes to having victory over worry.

Here’s King Solomon’s view on the matter:

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” (Proverbs 12:25)

Notice the directional element to Solomon’s sentence — worry => down…. encouraging => up.

Look around your workplace or home and lift somebody today with your words. Help them toward becoming a warrior of faith and away from a worrier in fear.

There are battles against the Enemy that need won and warriors are much better suited for the conflict than are worriers.

Everybody likes to win. Let’s share with them our confidence that the battle of eternity has already been won by Him who conquered the cross.

As always, I love you
Martin

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