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There are thousands of astoundingly beautiful natural wonders in this world.

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

The Swiss Alps.

The waterfalls of the Amazon River.

The rugged, tropical north coast of Kauai in Hawaii.

The Big Sur coastline of California.

The hummingbirds of the United States’ deep South.

The butterflies of Central America.

The list goes on an on.

But are these defined as God’s greatest creative works?

No.

Is it a flawless, huge diamond perhaps yet to be found?

No.

Is it a species of a rainbow-hued tropical bird with iridescent feathers yet to be found?

No.

So what is God’s greatest work on earth?

What is His masterpiece?

You are.

Huh?

That’s right. If you’re a Christian, you are God’s masterpiece.

For your life of surrendered obedience and service to the Lord is what God had in His mind before you were conceived.

You see, an artist always has a vision in mind before the creative work actually starts.

And so it was with God regarding your physical life and salvation into spiritual life.

Check out this message from Ephesians 2:10 and you’ll see what I mean:

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”

You are an awesome creation and re-creation of God. You are really something special.

You are a masterpiece.

Let’s join together with the certainty of God’s calling so that we can do good things today for others, just like God had in mind long ago when He conceived of our role in this world before He ordained our conception in our mothers’ wombs.

For the efforts we make for Him by serving others will be beautiful things in His sight.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There are so many ways that our Christian faith can be displayed to the world around us.

Sometimes, though, we Christians mess up and seemingly beat people over the head with the fact of their sins, missing the opportunity to graciously point them toward a better way.

It’s not about ignoring the reality of unrighteous behavior and telling lost souls that they’re saved apart from conversion.

It IS, however, about showing and teaching grace to others with the recognition that it was our awareness of God’s gracious love that prompted us to repent of sins and surrender our hearts to Christ.

It’s all about love, really.

God’s love for us.

God’s love for others.

God’s love that should compel us to love others.

And God’s love flowing through us toward others as a sign of our faith.

The Apostle Paul said as much in Galatians 5:

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (verse 6)

Yes, we should understand the “why” and “what” and “how” of various volunteer roles at church. We should understand the pattern for worship in our particular congregation. We should understand how to use Bible study tools and the need to be faithful in our tithing toward ministry activities and we should understand the various practices and responsibilities for involvement in a congregation.

But if we don’t get the Galatians 5:6 thing right, we’re failing God and failing others.

Express your faith today in a tangible, merciful way that really counts.

Love people in ways that help to point their hearts toward the Lord.

After all, isn’t our love for them rooted in His love for us?

As always, I love you
Martin

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The Lord convicted my heart this morning.

He did so through this passage from Isaiah:

Does a farmer always plow and never sow?
 Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?” (Isaiah 28:24)

Countless Christian congregations — and the believers who comprise them — have learned over the years to plow and plow and plow in the fields of unsaved people at work or school or in the neighborhood.

We’ve learned to cultivate the soil by removing stumbling blocks from our lives and pulling weeds and watering our lives with the Living Water of scripture.

We’ve learned well the art of “being” Christian. We’ve learned well how to have clean-cut congregations that are organized and have big, beautiful barns.

But have we “done” Christianity’s primary task? Have we made disciples?

Such won’t happen if we plow and cultivate, plow and cultivate but we never sow and never plant.

I recognize that I need to do more of this.

A farmer sitting on his porch in the evening and looking at his neatly plowed, weedless field would not be content with knowing that no seeds have been placed into the soil.

That would be crazy.

The seeds aren’t going to march on their own from the grain sack into the field and into the ground in the proper way.

Somebody has to plant the seed.

You and I are that somebody.

The reality is that you and I already know that we are that somebody and have known that for a long time.

Our challenge is to start planting more seeds rather than sitting on the porch and admiring our neatly plowed, weedless fields and beautiful barns.

That’s why we need to press into the Lord more than ever with prayer for wisdom.

Wisdom with how to approach hard soil, rocky soil, weed-corrupted soil and also the fertile soil.

God will give us wisdom for planting if we’ll seek it.

He’ll give us eyes to see opportunities that we didn’t see before — if we’ll pray that He does.

He’ll give us boldness to seize opportunities that we didn’t seize before — if we’ll pray that He does.

“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher,
 and He gives the farmer great wisdom.” (Isaiah 28:29)

I want to be a more faithful farmer. And so I need more of God’s great wisdom.

Please join me in praying today to become a better farmer so that Lord can have a bigger harvest.

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 parent loves it when his or her child does well with a song or public reading during a school assembly.

And Christian parents are thrilled when they watch their kids quote a Bible verse or recite a Christian poem during a worship service.

We love it when our kids succeed with what they say.

God is the same way.

How do I know this?

Because of what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:16, that’s how.

You see, Solomon’s words are a reflection of God’s heart.

Remember, Solomon was the wisest human who ever lived, other than Jesus.

Check out this statement:

Everything in me will celebrate
 when you speak what is right.”

Whether we enjoy moments of joy because of our child’s words or of a nephew’s/niece’s words or even an adult friend’s words, the internal blessing is the same.

Potential is being realized at the moment and when it’s for the sake of glorifying God and building His Kingdom, the moment is particularly sweet.

Let’s give God a reason to celebrate today.

Let’s strive to use kind and patient words today with others.

Let’s strive to only speak words the are in the center of truth rather than words that teeter on the white line between pavement and ditch.

Let’s verbally forgive. Or, if necessary, apologize for a bad choice.

God will love it.

As always, I love you
Martin

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