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Posts Tagged ‘worship’

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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Morning Devotion: Sing!

God has given us every reason in the world to sing.

And every day should be an occasion to sing of His glory and gracious provision.

“Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.”

Psalm 59:16 sums it up, doesn’t it? A love that never abandons us is more than enough reason for singing to the Lord today.

So sing to Him, even if the only Christian song you can remember is “Jesus Loves Me.”

God will love it.

And so will you.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s almost August and a good time to hold ourselves accountable.

Do we make clear and repeated efforts to say and do encouraging things to each of our family members?

Are we known within our congregation as a person who seeks to encourage everybody? Or just a certain few that are our “peeps?”

If I go through our church directory and cannot recall a time when I encouraged each person who attends, then I’ve got work to do.

I need to look for opportunities to encourage each person in my life, even if I’ve never received encouragement from that person.

The Apostle Paul clearly had the gift of encouragement and it overflowed once again in chapter 14 of his letter to the church at Rome:

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (NLT).

If I’m not encouraging all the people in my church circle, I’m falling short of what God expects from me and what others need from me.

I’ve got work to do.

Perhaps you do, too, in your circle of influence at home and at church.

Let’s aim carefully.

Let’s let our love for God overflow into the lives of others as we thank them for the good things they do, the kind words they say, the helpful gifts they provide, the disciplined commitment to attend worship and read the Bible and for their God-honoring choices to vigilantly resist Satan’s temptations.

It’s what faith family members are supposed to do.

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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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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So you hear a knock on the door and it turns out to be a winged angel with a message.

“Jesus is coming to your house for dinner in a couple of hours,” he says and then he flies away.

A check of your refrigerator and pantry show that a quick trip to the grocery is in order since you don’t want to serve leftovers to your Savior.

It’s a rush but two hours later, you’re sitting down to a delicious meal with the best, freshest ingredients and you have the peace of knowing you’ve given your best for the One who gave His all for you.

None of us would serve leftovers to Jesus in this scenario.

But do we have the same determination when it comes to everyday life?

When we refuse to forgive somebody who offended us or stole from us in some way, do we hold onto our grudge while at the same time defending our faithfulness because we’ve already forgiven that person a couple of times for earlier offenses?

“I forgave them when they didn’t deserve it. Doesn’t that count for something?” is our tempting defense.

That plate of spiritual leftovers is not going to satisfy Jesus’ hunger of our humility and grace toward others.

And what about our giving to ministry? Are our tithes and offerings the first item on our weekly budget?

Or is it the last?

Do we put God first as the Bible commands? Or do we satisfy our cost-of-living tummies first and then consider what might be put in the offering plate?

Think about how many additional blessings we’re probably missing out on from the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

If we gave more, God would give more.

That’s the promise of scripture.

That’s the pattern of blessing observable in the lives of abundant givers.

So here’s the reason for this devotion today:

“Be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you.” (Numbers 18:29)

God first.

The first day of the week should show Him clearly that He’s first in your life.

The first moments in the day should show Him that His Word and His will are your desires during the day.

He is to be the first One to consider when making decisions about life, love and learning.

The first One to praise when things go well.

The first One to consult when things aren’t going well.

The first One on the financial priority list.

Whatever you’re given, please make sure that God sees how willing you are to give back to Him.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Here’s a thought that can help you and me to do the godly thing more often:

“All glory to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us.” (Revelation 1:5)

Jesus loves us and freed us from the sentence of eternal, spiritual death when He went to the cross for us.

We can never thank Him enough but we can show our appreciation by giving Him all the worship and service we can.

Even if we praised and served Him with every waking breath and action, we still couldn’t match what He’s done for us by rescuing us from an unimaginably horrible forever.

Give Him glory in every part of your life, my friend.

Speak as He spoke.

Serve as He served.

Resist temptation as He resisted temptation.

Love all sorts of people as He loved all sorts of people.

Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all for the glory of God, we’re told in Colossians 3:17.

He did SO much for us.

Let’s do more for Him at work, at home, at church, in the neighborhood or wherever.

As always, I love you
Martin

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