Feed on
Posts
Comments

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

  • Share/Bookmark

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

  • Share/Bookmark

For years, I’d join with others in singing the lyrics of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” as a closing song for Sunday worship services.

It was a weekly reminder that life would be better in the following week if I kept my focus on the One who saved me and promised to guide me.

For those weeks that I kept that focus, life was good. When I didn’t, it wasn’t.

Most of you have experienced the same in life.

We’re always better off when we keep our eyes on Jesus, even during the storms of life.

Matthew 14 tells the story of the apostles in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the night and the middle of a huge storm.

The apostles feared that they were going to drown. And then they saw what they thought was a ghost.

Hebrew customs believed that a ghost was actually a death angel and they thought they were going to die.

But it was Jesus, not a ghost.

When Jesus identified Himself, Peter stopped thinking of fear and started thinking of faith.

“Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.

“Save me, Lord!” he shouted. (vv. 28-30)

Jesus, of course, did rescue Peter and Peter’s faith was strengthened by the event.

It’s a cycle, isn’t?

Fear. Then faith. Then fear. Then faith.

When the Holy Spirit stirs you to step out of the boat, don’t let the strong winds and cold waves of opposition rip your eyes off of Jesus.

But if they do, know for certain that Jesus, our gracious Redeemer, will still reach out to grab your fearful-again hand.

As always, I love you
Martin

  • Share/Bookmark

For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Jesus calls those who are likely to pick up the phone.

Huh?

That’s what Matthew 9:13 seems to say, doesn’t it?

People who deemed themselves righteous and not in need of forgiveness from God were not the focus of Jesus’ ministry.

The verse above said He didn’t come to call them into a relationship with God.

Instead, Jesus directed His Words, His actions and His passion toward those who recognized their fallen state and inability to be holy in the eyes of the Holy God in heaven.

The Gospels confirm this pattern. Time after time, Jesus sought out those who were realizing that their inner emptiness could not be filled by things of this world.

Time after time, He sought out those who were rejected as sinners by the “high and mighty” crowd of spiritual elitists.

The fornicating, six-time-divorced woman at the well. A Samaritan at that.

The prostitutes.

The crippled.

The greedy tax collectors.

The demon-possessed.

The list goes on.

These people and many others like them had realized in their hearts that they’d been dialing the wrong number for their entire lives in search of inner peace yet they had just kept dialing and dialing via failed effort after failed effort.

Then they encountered Jesus.

Then they connected with the God whom they realized loved them and wanted the best for them.

Then they embraced the remedy for their emptiness — a heart filled with the presence of the Messiah who left heaven in order to forever be in fellowship with them.

So how do these facts relate to you and to me?

We all have many people in our lives who aren’t in a saved relationship with Jesus. The Christian view is to want them all to find salvation. The biblical view, however, is that most people want nothing to do with Jesus (remember the broad path vs. the narrow path).

That being the case, let’s pray for God’s leading with our evangelistic efforts.

Let’s ask God to lead us in discerning who is aware of their heart-troubling fallen state yet unsure of how to find true peace. Our outreach efforts will be more efficient and effective that way.

Jesus invited “all who are thirsty” to come to Him.

There are thirsty people in your life and mine who simply don’t know where to drink.

Join me in praying for wisdom in recognizing who is thirsty and best showing them that we’ve found the well and want to share it with them.

As always, I love you
Martin

  • Share/Bookmark

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

  • Share/Bookmark

Older Posts »