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Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

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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No matter how difficult life gets for the believer, the reward for enduring faithfulness is greater than the pain of suffering.

Here’s what Job said in the midst of overwhelming loss and physical pain and criticism by those he had considered friends:

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself.

“Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27)

Never forget the best is yet to come.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There’s something different — something richer — about a relationship where the only reason somebody spends time with you is because they want to, not because they’re required to.

That’s why aging parents love it when their adult children break away from their busy lives to spend a few days with Mom and Dad.

Not in order to pick up a check but in order to make cherished memories.

We love such times.

God is a Daddy and He loves such times, too.

It’s very meaningful to Him when we break away from our busy lives and — by our own desire to show Him our love — we set aside time to fellowship with Him, to pray to Him, to worship Him and to be guided or even transformed by Him.

We aren’t to attend worship or place our tithes and other offerings in the plate because we think God needs it to survive.

He doesn’t. He already has countless angels and souls loving and exalting Him in heaven.

Instead, we worship and serve and give in order that WE might survive spiritually and thrive emotionally.

Here’s a verse from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible that reminded me of how God is SO much greater than we and how blessed we are to have a God that cares BY CHOICE.

“… human hands can’t serve His needs — for He has no needs.” (Acts 17:25)

Wow.

No needs.

Only wants.

And one of those “wants” is the love and loyalty of your heart.

This being the case, please link your need for salvation and fellowship with God and His want for fellowship with you.

It’s the desire of His heart.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There’s much value in asking a mature believer to accompany you when it comes to talking with people about Jesus.

Barnabas was a wonderful, caring, godly man who wanted to see people get saved in a city called Antioch. And he was having some success for the gospel, according to Acts 11.

That was good. But it could be so much better, he and other church leaders realized, and that’s why Barnabas made the trip to another city to recruit the Apostle Paul to help him reach more souls for Christ in Antioch.

“When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.

“Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)” (Acts 11:22-26)

As you pray for wisdom in how best to build bridges of godly influence — and ultimately share the message of salvation — please remember the example of Barnabas. Consider asking a mature believer to join you in the faith-sharing effort with an unsaved person.

Perhaps that mature believer might have something in common with the unsaved person such as a hobby or birthplace or type of job.

It’s always good to connect believers with unbelievers on a friendship basis. It’s even better when that connection has the potential for connecting a soul with Christ.

If we’re not having the measure of evangelistic influence that is needed — and few of us are — only good can come from teaming up with another believer who also loves the Lord and wants to see people turn from darkness to light (Acts 26:17-18).

As always, I love you
Martin

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We all agree that simple is good.

I enjoyed the reminder of this truth that I read this morning during my devotional time.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior”

These simple words of 2 Samuel 22:1 instantly encouraged me.

I found comfort in knowing just how solid my life can be because of my faith in God.

He is my rock, assuring me that as long as I stand on His Word and do not depart from His presence, I will not fall and I will not be shaken.

For who is able to shake the ground under God’s feet?

No one, of course.

He is my fortress, assuring me that as long as I stay within the boundaries of His will, I will find His protection during the inevitable attacks of life.

Foes will send arrows and will batter the walls and pronounce all sorts of accusations. But they will not defeat the walls of God’s authority and promised safe haven for the souls of those who remain in Him.

And He is my Savior.

I really like this declaration of King David.

It’s great to have a solid place to stand and a fortress to protect us.

But what about eternity?

Do we really want to be in a situation forever where enemies can attack?

Of course not.

We look forward to the day in glory when enemies are no more and we won’t be standing on the rock but instead on streets of gold.

I am so glad that I have a Savior to deliver me to heaven.

Our rock. Our fortress. Our Savior.

It’s really a good thing that David saw God for who He is.

I pray that you see God the same way.

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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Every Gospel-minded believer looks for opportunities to build bridges of influence with non-Christians.

Bridges are essential if seeds of the Good News are to be carried over and planted into the lives of those apart from Christ.

The Apostle Paul excelled at exhibiting his passion for Christ in ways that connected him with lost people.

“I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” I Corinthians 9:22

It doesn’t take very long in reading of Paul’s ministry life to see how fervent he was for evangelism. In jail or in the marketplace or in a synagogue, Paul’s fervor for an infectious faith was the same.

One thing you don’t see in his life, though, is spiritual compromise in order to build bridges with an unsaved person.

Paul didn’t need to go to “happy hour” or other world-centric activities in order to build a connection with hurting hearts. He looked for other opportunities within in their lives.

He understood that embracing spiritual compromise as an evangelistic approach is like asking a dieting person if he or she would meet you at the ice cream shop to talk about weight-loss strategies.

Let’s be careful that the common ground that we’re called to seek with others is common ground that Jesus would stand on.

Let’s pray more fervently that the Holy Spirit lead us in our connection efforts with those needing Christ. Such efforts clearly don’t have to be “churchy,” but they do have to be Christ-friendly, whether in the stands of a kids’ baseball game or at the wine-available wedding reception or at the workplace Christmas party.

Let’s remember Paul’s warning in I Corinthians 10:12 against thinking that we can handle any temptation circumstances within which we place ourselves —

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”

Let’s stand where we know Jesus will stand with us. It’s better for us, better for those we’re trying to convert and certainly better for the Kingdom.

As always, I love you
Martin

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