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Posts Tagged ‘God’s power’

We’ve all done it.

We shouldn’t have.

But we did.

Thank God for His gracious decision to give us another chance.

I’m talking about not following through on commitments we made to volunteer at church or to tithe weekly or to keep forgiving that irritating co-worker or to maintain a daily devotional life.

The list of commitments that you’ve made to God over the years is far more comprehensive than the above, I’m sure.

It certainly is with me.

Let’s do our best to abide by Jesus’ command to always have the transmission of our lives in drive rather than reverse.

It’s about living for Him and doing what He wants and not putting our faith gear into reverse, slipping back into our old ways and old reasons for living.

“Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Spring is a busy time in the church calendar. Let’s look for ways to volunteer and to give and to be vigilant to reject the temptations to skip out on our commitments.

We are profoundly grateful that Jesus didn’t pull His hands off the plow when He was working the field that was white unto harvest for Him. We’d have no eternal hope if He had not followed through.

There are people in our lives who need us to follow through with planting and watering of gospel seeds if they are to learn about the eternal hope we’ve already found.

Plow on, my friend. Break up the fallow soil of your worker or neighbor or relative as you love and plant and shine.

After all, our King died for His subjects.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Let’s do what Joseph of Arimathea did on Good Friday.

Let’s leave our comfort zone for God’s sake.

Let’s take a glorified risk.

Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” (Mark 15:43)

Joseph understood what was at stake socially, financially and spiritually when he decided to place godly faith ahead of earthly status.

His heart was convicted to do the right thing, the worshipful thing, without regard to how his peers might squawk.

I’m so glad he did.

I need to have the same determination to do the right thing to honor Christ.

In whatever circumstance I find myself.

It’s all about honoring the One who died for me.

Take a risk today.

Do something that shows everybody that Jesus is first in your life no matter what hassles you might face.

Say “yes” to godliness when the world says “no.”

Say “no” to ungodliness the world answers “yes.”

Forgive when the world would vindictively punish.

Love when the world would hate.

Living like Jesus — and for Jesus — is risky.

But, man, the rewards are sky high….

As always, I love you
Martin

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The father’s efforts hadn’t solved the problem.

The local physician’s efforts failed.

The town rabbi’s efforts didn’t succeed.

Perhaps even a temple priest living in the area had tried but his efforts produced no result.

And then these apostles of Jesus Christ stepped to the plate and took a swing at it.

Nothing.

What a string of failures.

Then Jesus showed up.

The boy possessed by a demon was soon set free from that terrible tormenter by the divine Deliverer.

“Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.” (Mark 9:27)

Frustrated by their inability to heal the boy, the apostles asked why couldn’t they do the miracle. Here’s what Jesus told them:

This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

We all face obstacles for which our efforts and others’ efforts to help have not succeeded.

Some of you are greatly struggling financially. Others of you are hurting much in your relationship lives. Perhaps you’re among those whose bodies are not responding to medical treatment in the desired way and you’re discouraged.

I am facing some tough challenges in ministry and some personal business matters. And I would be foolish to rely only on myself in dealing with these.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not smart enough or strong enough or wealthy enough or tough enough or spiritual enough to slay these foes on my own.

I need to pray.

More.

For apart from prayer, apart from God, I can do nothing.

The father in Mark 9 was 0 for 5 in getting help, that is until he pleaded for Jesus’ help.

Let’s let His experience give us the needed reminder that prayer is the key to unlocking the intercessory power of God.

Whatever your tough challenge is, PRAY.

And please share this advice with others.

It’s the only path to resolution.

As always, I love you
Martin

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My computer just ate my original Morning Devotion effort for the day and I don’t have another 45 minutes to spend trying to re-create it just now. That’s why I want to share a Morning Devotion that I wrote nearly 10 years ago, one that appropriately describes the important of persistence when things aren’t going the way we’d like.


We all need the reminder from time to time of the truths contained in 2 Peter 1:5-8.

God is the One who provides the increase.

When the time is right, if we are patient, He will.

I heard of a missionary and his family who served in a place for nine years and saw one baptism. They didn’t give up, though, and more than 100 people were baptized the next year.

I’m reminded of the orange tree.

An orange tree really doesn’t start bearing productively for at least seven to eight years.

What if the tree were cut down at year 5 because it had just a few fruit in season?

All that might have been borne was instead burned because of impatience.

This is what missionaries must remember.

This is what missionary-supporting churches and individuals must remember.

Never forget that God uses changed lives as His tools for changing people.

He never relies on changed methodologies.

Change can be good, yes, but only as it allows changed lives to become more evident.

Want your church to grow? Let the characteristics of 2 Peter 1:5-8 grow within you.

Then people will be drawn to the power of God shining from your life rather than the power of well-intentioned, though imperfect human effort.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the perseverance part.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I was very much encouraged this morning by Proverbs 9:6.

“Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”

What this verse tells me is that I can always improve my decision-making ability.

Like you, I make a lot of decisions each day and I want to become the best decision-maker possible.

What Solomon tells me in the verse is that I can learn to make better decisions.

Many of us suffer in some ways because we sometimes don’t make the best decisions when at the intersections of life choices.

We look in the rear view mirror and realize that we should have taken another path.

We can’t escape the regret but we can learn to be wiser when we approach the next intersection.

And that’s why reading the Bible daily is such a good idea. It is a book of decisions.

Many recorded there were good. Some were not.

We can learn from all of them.

Particularly those made by Jesus Christ.

He never made a bad decision.

That should prompt us to examine closely His decisions and learn from them.

We’ll be known for our good judgment as we do so.

While we’re in this season of learning called life, let’s also learn from mature believers who are known for making good decisions.

Let’s begin to live the life God intends for us.

As always, I love you

Martin

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There’s a treasure map in millions of homes across our nation.

In fact, there are billions of the maps lying here and there around the globe.

If only the people with access to the maps would use them, their lives would be infinitely richer.

Why don’t you pick up today and start studying the treasure map in your possession?

It’s the map that starts with Genesis and ends with Revelation.

If you’re a disciple of honesty, you’ll tap into riches untold.

“He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.”

These words from Proverbs 2:7 offer me great encouragement.

I’ve lived long enough to know that a treasure of common sense is far more valuable to my soul and well-being than are treasures of things.

A thing in my yard or in my garage or in my wallet cannot give a friend the wisdom to cope with a tough situation.

But common sense gleaned from scripture can rescue the hurting or confused soul.

Please, seek the treasure of common sense.

Be honest in all you say and do.

God has a huge outpouring of life-giving common sense that He wants to pour into your life.

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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