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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

Everything God does has a reason behind it.

And that includes His choice to send a blessing into your life.

The reason is that you’ll multiply that blessing into the lives of others.

We’re vessels, my friend.

Mark 4 describes us a soil.

The challenge is to be the soil that produces a harvest from the seeds of God’s blessings.

Here’s how Jesus put it in Mark 4:20.

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

This passage is typically understood within an evangelistic context with conversions. But it is also relevent to how we respond to blessings sent our way.

And that’s what I want to encourage you to ponder and pursue today.

When God sends the seed of a much-needed encouraging word from a relative or co-worker, please make it a point to speak some word of encouragement — no matter how brief — into the lives of every person you meet.

Whether a store clerk or an online tech support person or another parent waiting to pick up a child at school or wherever, ask God to lead you in finding something encouraging to say to him or her.

Will you encounter 30, 60 or 100 people today? Probably not.

But you just might do that during the course of a week.

Will God be honored by your intentional encouragement of so many?

Yes.

Will those encouraged be blessed?

Yes.

Will you and I be a better stewards of God’s blessing if we do this?

Of course.

God is SO good to us.

Let’s say more good things to others in order to bring God a harvest for the blessing He sent our way.

As always, I love you

Martin

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Like you, I’m saddened by the erosion of Bible-based morality in our communities that is even seeping into some congregations.

But I’m far from discouraged by it.

You see, this just serves as a reminder of the opportunities we Christians have to shine as lighthouses toward a darkened ocean.

Do I like that increasing numbers of people don’t care what scripture says about godly marriage and gender-appropriate conduct? Am I glad that so many have decided that congregational involvement is not needed in their lives?

Certainly not.

But the clear and repeated story of the Bible is that society ebbs and flows in the spiritual realm.

Based on my reading of scripture, we’ve got quite a ways to go before the downward slope of our national relationship with God hits bottom.

We can pray that national revival occurs long before that.

And we can pray for wisdom to love and serve people in such a way that our faith will shine like a lighthouse to those who feel like ships tossed in a dark, storm sea.

As long as there is even one neighbor or co-worker or struggling relative to whom we can show the love of Christ, we should be encouraged.

The power of grace abides and as long as we have hope to share, it’s vital that we remain faithful to the end of our days.

Perhaps “the end of days” Jesus described in Matthew 24:12-13 will happen before the end of our days physically.

In any event, let’s both be vigilant in looking for ways to guide others into the safe harbor of God’s gracious love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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This is too cute not to share.

Our daughter Jessica melted our hearts a couple of days ago when she shared with us a precious moment that occurred with our granddaughter Mae.

Mae just turned 2 but, in some respects, is advanced beyond her two years.

What occurred points to the value of parents who allow their love for the Lord to overflow in visible fashion.

Here’s what Jessica wrote in her mommy-daughter journal that she’s keeping as Mae grows up:

 

“Today I was desperately trying to get you to take a nap so I laid down with you and asked if you wanted to sing a song. You started saying “Missing geese! Missing geese!”

I couldn’t figure out what song you were referring to so I asked you how it went and you started singing “Missing geese” to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”

“It was incredibly precious.”

Wow.

Mae has heard her parents sing Amazing Grace and even though she didn’t have the lyrics down pat, she gave it her best shot.

And what a shot it was.

For her to choose “Missing geese” as what she wanted to sing is very inspiring.

Actually, it’s amazing.

When somebody we love is drained and needing a boost, perhaps we should start singing “Missing geese” to them in the adult form of Amazing Grace.

Thanks, Jessica and Dave for being such visibly godly parents and wonderful ambassadors of the parenting truths found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Let’s all look for opportunities to guide children toward the amazing grace of our Lord.

As always, I love you

Martin

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It’s the season of giving.

Please live in a way that shows a year-round attitude of blessing.

It’s what Christ did and it ‘s what we should do.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters” (I John 3:16).

Please consider giving up some time today in order to help a hurting friend or a frustrated family member or church volunteer needing a hand.

Please consider giving up some money in order to treat a discouraged neighbor to lunch.

Please consider laying aside that inner desire for payback for how that co-worker insulted you.

It’s all about giving in order to help others just as we would like others to give in order to help us.

The Golden Rule really is a great idea.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”

Titus 2:14 pretty much sums it up.

Let’s do good deeds today.

It’s what the committed do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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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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I want to be more like God.

I will never be God, something my imperfections remind me of quite frequently.

But I can certainly strive to imitate His nature.

Only good things will result from my demonstrating these characteristics so aptly described by the psalmist:

“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)

Do those around me want to see me display compassion and mercy and slowness to anger and unfailing love and faithfulness?

Of course.

People in your life want to see the same from you.

How much more influence would we have at work or home or school if people thought, “Yeah, that __________, he/she is so compassionate, so gracious, so cool-tempered, so loving and so godly.”

Let’s be like God, my friends.

God will love it.

And so will those whom God has placed into our lives.

As always, I love you
Martin

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