June 29th, 2017 –DEVOTE

I love the account of blind Bartimaeus. You can read it for yourself in Mark 10. I like it because he’s a man of determination. He has one thing on his mind and he’s not going to let anything prohibit him from getting it, unlike me and possibly you, sometimes. Maybe there’s some things you and I can learn from blind Bart. Here’s a few of them…

#1. Sometimes the routine of our life causes us to be in a rut. I’m not saying routines are bad, but let’s face us, there are times our routines leave us stale. Just think how out of whack we get when our routine is changed. It says in Mark 10:46 – “A blind beggar… Bartimaeus was sitting beside the road.” Bartimaeus sat by this roadside for who knows how long. Everyday, he sat there begging for a handout.

#2. Mark 10:47 says “When he heard that it was Jesus…” On this day, hearing that Jesus was in earshot, he made a decision to at least attempt to get out of his rut. Please remember that he was blind, not deaf. He heard the conversations of people and evidently he heard that this Jesus was a healer. When he heard that Jesus was walking in his vicinity he decided to do something.

#3. “He shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” Mark 10:47. I believe we’re one of two people. Either we tell everyone our problems in order to get some sympathy, or we never say anything because we’re stubborn and figure we can handle life on our own. Bartimaeus decided to tell someone his woes, but not just anyone – He told the One who could actually change the circumstances – Jesus. Who are you talking to?

#4. “Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder.” Mark 10:48. Bartimaeus didn’t back down because people didn’t like his noisy life. He persisted. He was relentless. It was now or never. Who knew if he would ever have an encounter with Jesus again. What are you waiting for? And why are you letting everyone else determine your destiny?

#5. He wasn’t afraid to tell Jesus what he wanted more than anything else – “I want to see!” Mark 10:51. He didn’t beat around the bush telling Jesus his whole life story, droning on and on about how unfair life was. When asked by Jesus what he wanted, he got right to the point – put all his cards out on the table. “I want to see.” What do you need Jesus to do for you today?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Even when we’re in the rut we’re pretty content. Once you decide in your own heart that maybe the rut isn’t the place God intended you to be, you too will decide to jump up and head start for Jesus. When you do, tell Him what you need!

Father,
Today, I’m leaving my rut to regain my sight and walk with you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 28th, 2017 – DEVOLTE


Have you noticed how people change their minds so quickly lately? I have and have noticed it for some time now. I’ve noticed how people, young and old alike, make plans, but then when something better comes up, they rearrange their plans – even if it’s last minute. It’s really hard to get a concrete answer from them because they just kind of “flow with the river.” They never really ever come to a definitive answer and just stick with it. It’s almost as if they’re constantly looking for something better which is more expedient or more conducive to their taste.

Maybe I’m just showing my age, but I remember a time when your word was important and you could be trusted to stick to your word, no matter what. If you said you were going to be somewhere – you were there. If you said you were going to do something – it got done. I don’t see a lot of that these days.

So, it makes me wonder about our faith. Does that same present day attitude creep into our faith life as well? Do we take and accept God on our terms and if He’s acceptable in our lives?

That challenging little thought raced through my mind as I was reading Mark 9. In this chapter there’s a dad who brings his son to Jesus. His son has a real problem which has even been diagnosed by the dad – he has demons. These demons are trying to kill him. The dad tells Jesus the demons make him convulse and throw him into the water to try to drown him and throw him into the fire to try to burn him. He took his son to Jesus’ disciples but they couldn’t heal him. So now here he stands before the Son of God and the Son of Man asking for a miracle.

But his conversation with Jesus shows his reluctancy and hesitancy. He wants his son healed but is unsure if it’s just a probability or if it’s a positively. Here’s what he says to Jesus…
“Please have pity and help us if you can!” Mark 9:22 CEV

He wants to commit but he leaves the door open just in case this isn’t going to happen!

But don’t forget Jesus is standing right there. His reply to the dad’s uncommitted faith…
“Why do you say ‘if You can?’ Anything is possible for someone who has faith!” Mark 9:23 CEV

It’s then the dad makes his definitive declaration…
“I do have faith! Please help me to have even more!” Mark 9:24 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Stick to your word and make sure your faith is Rock Solid, because “anything is possible for someone who has faith!”

Father,
Help me not to sway in my faith, but wholeheartedly trust You and live for You. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausenl

June 27th, 2017 – DEVOTE

I’ve told you before, but want to tell you again. When I read the Bible, I hear the sounds, see the sights, smell the aroma, can taste the food and feel the movement. In other words, all of my senses go into action and the Word of God comes alive for me. When that happens there are certain little nuances that stand out to me and make me ponder their deepness. Here’s one of them.

As I’m reading Mark 8, I come to verse 22 and am told that Jesus and His disciples were walking into a certain town and as they are some people place a blind man in front of Jesus and started begging Him to touch his eyes.

Here are a couple of assumptions.

#1. These people were the caretakers of this blind man, which meant that every day they needed to drop him off at his begging spot and then pick him up at the end of the day. He was blind. He didn’t know where to go.

#2. These people had heard something or seen something concerning Jesus’ ability to heal.

#3. They’re begging Jesus to do a healing. But my question is, Why? Is it so their friend can see? Or, is it because they no longer want to take care of him?

I think that way because we’re told Jesus took the man by the hand and lead him outside the village where the two of them are alone. Why couldn’t Jesus just heal him inside the village? Why did He take the man away from these people?

Once away from everyone, Jesus spit into the man’s eyes – ya, just saying, I’m not sure how I would have received that! – and then placed His hand on his eyes. He asked the man if he could see anything. The man’s response was…
“I see people, but they look like trees walking around.” Mark 8:24 CEV

So Jesus placed His hands on his eyes again and this time his eyes were totally healed and the Bible tells us…
“… he saw everything clearly.” Mark 8:25 CEV

But here’s where it gets really good because Jesus tells him…
“You may return home now, but don’t go into the village.” Mark 8:26 CEV

Does that strike you as interesting? It does me! Think about it. “Return home…” In case you forgot, this man was blind. He saw nothing. How does he know where his home is? Which direction is home? Which house is his? Which street is it on?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You might not always know which way you’re going, but Jesus does. He’ll point you in the right direction and all you need to do is start walking in faith. Don’t worry, He’ll help you see everything clearly.

Father,
My vision isn’t always as clear as it should be, so thank You for healing me and giving me my sight. Help me to return home. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 26th, 2017 – DEVOTE


We live in a world of unopened eyes. There is more around us that we never see and maybe don’t ever want to see. We’re the ones who say, “Our perception is our reality.”

The Bible talks about the darkness in this world, and the rulers, principalities and powers that be, but I don’t know if we can really see them. I mean, we see and experience bad people, bad situations, and bad ordeals, but I don’t think we ever chalk it up to anything other than being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. We have what one might call, “selective seeing.” We only see what we want to see and what we see is then processed through our filter and registered as information. But not too often do we see what we’re supposed to see.

That was the case for the prophet Elisha’s servant. He woke up one day to discover that the enemies army had surrounded the town that he and his master were in. His question to Elisha…
“Sir, what are we going to do?” 2 Kings 6:15 CEV

Pretty sure that would be the question of most of us. Probably is a question we ask more than we’d like to admit, “What are we going to do now?” When we’re faced with the dilemma, the unknown, the uncertainty of life, we see only what we see and most likely have unopened eyes – we don’t see what we’re really supposed to see.

We need to hear Elisha’s response to his servants question. He said…
“‘Don’t be afraid. There are more troops on our side than on theirs.’ Then he prayed, ‘LORD, please help him to see.’ And the LORD let the servant see that the hill was covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:16-17 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: The next time life throws you a curve, first of all, don’t panic – don’t be afraid. For most that’s the first response. We might say and think it’s natural to have fear, but since the Bible tells us over and over again not to be afraid, I think it’s a learned behavior. We respond that way because it’s what we’ve always done. It’s first gear – it’s where we start. Don’t be afraid!

Second, hear the truth. “If God is for us… who can be against us.” Romans 8:31

Third, ask God to open your eyes to see what you’re supposed to see, what He sees. Life isn’t always what we think it is and truth be known, God is still sitting on His throne, in control of everything. He’s not sitting there, wringing His hands, wondering how your life got so messed up. He does have a plan. Ask Him to open your eyes to see what He wants you to see.

Father,
Help me to see the world through Your eyes from now on. In Jesus precious name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 23rd, 2017 – DEVOTE


Ok, so if you don’t want to hear the truth today, you might not want to read this. This is straight from the Bible and might make you feel uncomfortable. Ready?

In Mark 4, Jesus tells a parable about a farmer who plants seeds – some seeds fall on the road, some on rocky ground, some among thorns and some in good soil.

Then He explains it to the disciples later. The explanation of the parable seems simple enough and or course, when most christians read it, they automatically assume they are the good guys and have most everything right. We’re never one of the pharisees, nor the bad person in Jesus’ other parables.

So when Jesus explains this parable, we automatically believe we are the seed in the good soil, because we believe in Him. But the parable is not as much about salvation as it is about living a salvation life. The bottom line question is: How are you living your faith? Is your faith in Jesus just a now and then kind of faith or it is a lifestyle? And what are you producing in your life? Are you producing anything? Because I’m about to show you that if you’re not producing anything, you might not be a seed in the good soil. There’s still time to quit reading, if you want! Here’s we go…

In Jesus explanation of this parable He tells us, some seed fell on the road. As the sower was walking out to the field, seed fell from his apron along the path. The birds came and ate it. These are people who hear the Word of God, but Satan steals it right away. That’s not you or me, right?

Next is the seed that fell on the rocky ground. The soil is very thin there, so when the sun comes out, it’s roots aren’t deep enough and it dries up. These are people, who when life gets hard, they give up. Don’t know if you’ve ever lost sight of your faith, but I have. I’ve wondered where God was sometimes.

Third is the seed that grows among the thorn bushes. They grow up alright, but they start worrying about the things of this life more than their destiny, so their faith gets choked out. Sound familiar?

Lastly, is the seed that falls on good soil. It sprouts… it grows.. it produces fruit. As a matter of fact, it produces a lot of fruit – 30, 60, a 100 times more than the original seed. Don’t know if you know this, but one kernel of wheat will produce up to 50 kernels.

So the question is: What are you producing? AND… if you’re not producing anything, you might not be what you thought you were! Ouch, right?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: The seed is planted in you otherwise you wouldn’t have read this. Because of your faith in the all atoning work of Jesus on the cross, your sins are forgiving and heaven is your home. But what you do with that blessed hope is still yet to be seen. By the power of the Holy Spirit in you, go produce some fruit!

Father,

Thank You for Your Word that makes me do a spot check about my life and gets my attention. Where changes need to be made in my life, Holy Spirit help me to make them. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 22nd, 2017 – DEVOTE

Can I asked you why you hang out with Jesus? I’m not so much asking if you believe in Jesus or why you believe in Jesus as much as why do you keep Jesus in your life? I think it’s a pertinent question to ask, especially after I read Mark chapter 3 today.

In the first six verses of this chapter, Jesus heals a man in the temple who had a crippled hand. However, there was a group of people who were constantly in Jesus’ life that had only one objective…
“They kept watching to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath.” Mark 3:2 CEV

The only reason these religious people hung around Jesus was to catch him doing something wrong (which by-the-way was never going to happen!)

Then there was another group in verses 7-12. All this group wanted was to experiment with Jesus. They wanted something from Him. These were the crowds. The Bible tells us…
“All of these crowds came because they had heard what Jesus was going… After Jesus healed many people, the other sick people begged Him to let them touch Him.” Mark 3:9-10 CEV

And third, there were those who He hand picked to mentor, train, coach.
“He chose twelve of them… so that they could be with Him. He also wanted to send them out to preach and to force out demons.” Mark 3:14-15 CEV

So which group would you consider yourself a part of? Of course, we all want to say the third group – that’s the christian answer to the question. But there are times in life, when we need to allow the Holy Spirit to check us out and help us do an analysis of ourselves. Today is as good as any other day to do that, so let me ask you…

#1. The first group just wanted to be negative about Jesus. They saw Him, they heard Him, but His words and works didn’t move them. As a matter of fact, He irritated them because He told them the truth. Could it be that you’re part of this crowd because you’re not sure you like hearing the truth? Just asking!

#2.The second group just wanted to be around Jesus because He had something they wanted. Their needs were legitimate, but they were consumers – take the goods and run, kind of mentality. We don’t like to admit it, but there are times, especially when we’re really needy, that we just hang around Jesus because of what He might be able to do for us. Is that true of you?

#3. The third group were those He picked to change the world. They weren’t the brightest or the best, but they were the ones He chose to equip to win over the world.

So, which group do you find yourself in?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I just want to let you know today that Jesus picked you – you didn’t pick Him. And He picked you to be a world-changer and a history-maker. And if you’re not in group #3, know that you should be!

Father,
Thank You for picking me. Prepare me for what You have for me to do. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

JUNE 21st, 2017 – DEVOTE

You may have heard this challenging question before, but let me challenge you with it again. Here goes…
If Christianity were a crime, would there be enough of it in you to convict you?

Let me follow that up with… convict you for how long? Six months… 3 years… life? Hopefully, that little question challenges you as much as it once again challenges me. I thought of that question today as I was reading Mark 2.

In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus and His new found disciples are on their way to a town called Capernaum. After the people of the area hear that Jesus is in town they start coming to Him in droves. As a matter of fact, there are so many people, that the house where Jesus was staying was jam packed – there was standing room only. The picture I get is, people were standing outside the door, listening intently to catch a word of whatever Jesus was teaching them.

While there, five guys show up. One of them is crippled. The other four are carrying him on a mat, something like a stretcher. But when they get to the house, they realize very quickly that there’s no way they’re going to get their friend inside to Jesus.

Now I would assume that most people would be quickly discouraged and turn around and leave. Ours might stand outside waiting to possibly catch a moment. If you’re a Minnesotan, you would probably stand there and hope that people would notice your dilemma, have some sympathy, and let you through and then when that doesn’t happen you get mad at everyone and just leave.

Well, it didn’t take these four men long to figure out a plan. They weren’t going to waste time. It was now or never! So they did the only natural thing – they went up on top of the roof. Have you ever stopped to think of what a interesting plan of attack that was? Why would you think it would be easier to carry your friend, strapped to a mat, up to the roof, instead of, let’s say, just asking everybody to step aside so you could go in the house to see Jesus? But they’re not looking for the easy way… They’re looking for The Way, and The Truth, and The Life – they’re looking for Jesus.

So, they cut a hole in some guy’s roof (which I’m sure they made restitution for later), and lowered their friend down by ropes, right in front of Jesus.

Now here’s what stands out to me. As Jesus is standing in front of the crowd teaching, He must have noticed pieces of roofing falling down around Him, and then this crippled guy being lowered down. I can almost hear the stillness of the crowd, “wondering what in the world is going on.” And then the Bible says…
“When Jesus saw how much faith they had…” Mark 2:5 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Ask yourself… can Jesus see that much faith in me? If Christianity were a crime, would there be enough of it in me to convict me? What do others see in me?

Father,
Let my faith rise up so others can see You in me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 20th, 2017 – DEVOTE

As I read my Bible this morning, it dawned on me that many people, maybe even you, are dissatisfied with life, because we’re doing the wrong things in life.

I mean, we have a job, but the reason we have a job is to be able to pay our bills. Many people don’t even like their jobs, but they do them anyway, because it puts food on the table and allows them to go on vacations and enjoy some pleasures in life.

But, I’m wondering if all of that is stinkin thinkin? What if we put our heads and hearts and hands in motion to do that which we were gifted at and were called to do to walk out this life, instead of what the world says we should be doing. Here’s why I say that?

In Mark 1 we read of the beginning of Jesus ministry. As He’s walking along, he sees two brothers in the their boat, casting their nets into the water, fishing. I get the impression they weren’t very good fisherman. Maybe they were really poor net casters, or their nets were always empty, which we know happened later. Never-the-less, Jesus tells them to leave their nets and to come follow Him, because…
“I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” Mark 1:17 CEV

Then, as He continues to walk along, He sees two more brothers, who are fishermen, but they as well are not very good fishermen because instead of fishing, they were…
“Mending their nets.” Mark 1:19 CEV

Now at first, that might not seem like a big deal because it would have been common for the nets to catch on sharp rocks and tear. But them mending their nets was something they should have handled at a different time rather than when they had the opportunity to fish.

Jesus asked them to come with Him, and they left everything – even their father still standing in the boat. I really believe they were looking for a way out of fishing, they just didn’t know what they should do with their life. All four of these men would never be the same once they started following Jesus.

Jesus, on the other hand, knew exactly what He was supposed to be doing and even though had many opportunities to get world fame, prestige, recognition, he turned it all down. This is what He did…
“… Jesus got up and went to a place where He could be alone and pray.” Mark 1:35 CEV

Jesus knew what He was supposed to be doing! He then told these four men that He wanted to go to the nearby towns and tell everyone the Good News of salvation and He said…
“This is why I have come.” Mark 1:38 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Maybe today you’re dissatisfied with life. If you are… First, get alone with God and pray. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these other things will be given to you. Then when He tells you what to do – do it. Get out of your boat!

Father,
Help me trust me You at all times and for everything. In Jesus name, Amen.  

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 19th, 2017 – DEVOTE

The 18th and 19th chapters of 1 Kings, are among some of my favorite chapters.

In chapter 18, we witness this nail-biting encounter with the prophet Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. Remember the account? All the people of Israel, the 450 prophets of Baal and Elijah are on top of Mount Carmel. There Elijah challenges the prophets to a showdown of whose God (god) is really real. The quest: get their perspective God (god) to bring fire to consume their sacrifice.

The prophets of Baal work all morning to get their “non-god” to do something, but nothing happens. All afternoon they continue their futile attempt to get their sacrifice to burn. Elijah hasn’t even started getting ready. As a matter of fact, he’s trash-talking these prophets. Read this…
“Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s daydreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.” 1 Kings 18:27 CEV

It wasn’t until evening when Elijah slaughtered his bull, built his altar, and then with extreme faith told the people to douse his altar with water –  enough to soak it and fill the ditch he had dug around it.

Then he prayed and immediately God sent fire, consuming the sacrifice, the wooden altar and even the stones (1 Kings 18:38 CEV

Then because it hadn’t rained in 3 three years (and by the way – Elijah was the one who said it wouldn’t rain until he said so – 1 Kings 17:1), the rains started.

But here’s what really strikes me today. Here’s the man of great faith.. doing powerful things for God, but then gets a death threat from King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel. She sent a message to Elijah to inform him, she was going to hunt him down and kill him on the spot.

And instead of faith rising up, Elijah became afraid and he ran as far away as he possibly could from her. Elijah cried out to God and said…
“I’ve had enough. Just let me die! I’m no better off than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4 CEV

It was on Mount Sinai he had an encounter with God. The wind shook the mountain and shattered the rocks… there was an earthquake… there was fire – but God wasn’t in any of those. And then God showed His power by being in a gentle breeze.

Twice God asked Elijah, “Why are you here?” I don’t believe God was asking Elijah why he was on the top of Mount Sinai, as much as He was asking why he was so doubtful and afraid. He was so bold standing against the prophets of Baal and then one woman threatened him and he wants to die?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Make no doubt about it, Elijah was a great prophet for God, but he let one negative person determine his outlook on life, and it wasn’t God. Because of this event, Elijah was replaced by Elisha.

Hold on to your faith. Trust God. Walk bold and confident in who you are and Whose you are and do what God’s called you to do!

Father,
Lead me and I will follow! In Jesus name, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

June 16th, 2017 – DEVOTE

1 Corinthians 13 is a powerful chapter in the Bible. I’m sure you’ve probably read it numerous times. You probably have heard it most when you’ve attended a Christian wedding because it’s a favorite scripture to be read for that occasion.

If you recall, the Apostle Paul tries to define for us what love is really like. So let me ask you – if you were asked to write this chapter, how would you define love? And as you think about it, if you’re like me, you find it somewhat difficult to really give a definition that has some grit to it. I mean, how do you explain to others what love is like?

When Paul writes about it, you’ll notice he doesn’t give a dictionary definition but instead he gives a concept definition – a description of love displayed. The love Paul is talking about shows it’s value. Read this…

“Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails!” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a CEV

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. But here’s my problem with it – it’s not me. If that’s how my love is measured and graded – I fail miserably. Out of the 15 descriptions of love, I’m bad at all of them. Oh, sure I might have a good day now and then and actually achieve one or two of these. But on the whole… not so good. If I inserted my name in place of the word “love”, not one line would be true.

However, if I insert the name of Jesus – we’ve got a totally different ballgame. Read this…

“Jesus is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Jesus isn’t selfish or quick tempered. Jesus doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Jesus rejoices in the truth, but not evil. Jesus is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Jesus never fails!”

Just in case you’re wondering, Jesus is still the answer to every question in life. He’s our hope and our foundation. He’s our security and joy. He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end. He’s the bright morning star, the way, the truth and the life. If you’re looking for love, you’ll always find it in Him.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Like me, you might find it hard to achieve the love standard in 1 Corinthians 13. But just so you know, it’s already been achieved. There’s only One who has done it perfectly, and that’s Jesus. And that same love that describes Him – is the same love He has for you.

Father,

Thank You for loving me with such a perfect love. Help me to find Your love everywhere I go and in everything I do. Help me to love like You. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen