August 4th, 2017 — DEVOTE

So, my bride and I walk to get exercise. It’s one of the ways we use to stay active and to control weight gain.

I use an app called “Pacer” which counts my daily steps. My goal each day is to walk 10,000 steps. I’ve found that it’s better for me if I walk for about 45 minutes to an hour to get the majority of those steps if not all of them.

I’ve been using this app since February of  2015 – so 2 ½ years. During that time, I have walked 7,400,408 steps… have burned 297,907 calories… have walked 1,381 hours… and have walked 3,135 miles. Now, please remember, that’s over a period of 2 ½ years, and that doesn’t include the times I didn’t have my phone on me to count steps.

That’s what I thought of today when I read Luke 24 and two men who were walking home. It was a Sunday afternoon. These two men walked rather slowly, I assumed, maybe sauntered, would be a better word. Their hearts were heavy. They had just witnessed the worst day of their life on Friday, when the One they thought to be God’s Messiah, died a wicked and cruel death. Saturday wasn’t that much better. Lots of questions. Broken hearts. Speechless. What just happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? The seven miles back home on Sunday afternoon were some of the longest steps these two men ever made.

But then a stranger got in stride with them. He asked why their long faces? They wondered how anyone, having just been in Jerusalem, couldn’t have known what just happened. They proceeded to tell their new traveling companion what had transpired the last couple of days. How the One they believed to be God’s Chosen was arrested, sentenced and brutally killed. But there were some women and then some men who went to the graveyard to look for Him, but He wasn’t there. They had visions of angels who told them the One they were looking for was alive.

The rest of the seven miles was used by Jesus to tell these two men, what happened, and why it happened. Upon returning home, since the sun was setting, they asked Jesus to stay for the night. He did. They broke bread and then they recognized Him just as He disappeared.

I can guarantee you that the next seven miles back to Jerusalem by these two men, were at a record setting pace. I don’t know if they ran a 4 minute mile, but I’m pretty sure they never stopped until they reached the place where the other disciples were hanging out, to tell them Jesus was alive!

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Know that Jesus is walking with you every step of the way and He will continue to do so until you take that final step here on earth, to walk with Him in eternity.

Walk with me today, In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

August 3rd, 2017

Have you ever been so sure of yourself, but failed? Have you ever stood your ground with such conviction, but then when it was your time, you broke down? I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all suffered from a total meltdown, where instead of sitting down we should have stood up… instead of remaining quiet we should have spoke up… and instead of doing nothing we should have jumped into action… but we didn’t.

As I was reading Luke 22 today, I thought of Peter, that rooster and myself. Jesus told the disciples they were going to be tested by Satan. And this is what He says to Simon Peter…
“But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to Me, help the others.” Luke 22:32 CEV

Talk about putting a guy on the spot. This is a direct, personal challenge, and Peter thought he was up to it. He shoots right back at Jesus how he’s not going to fold and as a matter of fact, he’d even go to jail with Jesus and die with Jesus if he had too.

It’s then Jesus has to inform Peter…
“… before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Luke 22:34 CEV

You can almost feel the tension and the disbelief of Peter. I can almost sense him thinking that that was never going to happen, without verbalizing it. There was no way he would say anything like that. He loved Jesus and was so sure he could withstand the test of time. There was no way this was going to happen. But it did!

After they arrested Jesus and took him to the house of the high priest, Peter followed. He was in the courtyard of this residence with some others who had started a fire to keep warm. From the courtyard, Peter could see what was happening to Jesus. He might not have been able to hear much of anything, but he could see the guards brutality as they mistreated Jesus. That had to weigh heavily on Peter’s mind.

Then, without any warning, some servant girl blurts out something about Peter being with Jesus and his only gut instinct reaction is to flat out deny it. That’s one!

A little while later, and remember Peter is still got his eyes fastened on what’s happening to Jesus, someone else accuses Peter of being with Jesus, and he blurts out, “No, I’m not!” That’s two!

As Peter is watching everything that’s happening, moving around, trying to get a better viewpoint, he’s confronted a third time. Another person identifies him as being connected with Jesus, and Peter spouts out, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” That’s three! And you know the next sound you’re about to hear.

The death blow occurs as we read…
“The Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Luke 22:61 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today. There are many ways to deny Jesus. Not all of them use words. Keep your faith strong and your testimony sure, because Christ is counting on you.

Forgive me for the times I deny You, whether in word or in actions. Holy Spirit, help me keep my faith strong. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

August 2nd, 2017 — DEVOTE

So, on Monday, I shared with you some thoughts on Luke 19:40 where Jesus says…
“If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.”

My encouragement to you was to share your faith and not be outdone by a rock!

I did that because most Christians I know, can talk a blue streak about any number of topics: weather, grandchildren, politics, and many sports: football, basketball, baseball. They know more of the players on these professional sports teams and can spew out their stats, than they do Bible verses, or even the ten commandments.

Well, in Luke 21, Jesus knows He is coming to His end, so He speaks to the disciples and those listening, about key issues they should know. One of them being some of the trouble that lies ahead and especially for those who believe in Him.

He tells them that many false messiahs will come. There will be wars and riots… Nations will go to war against each other… There will be natural disasters, like great earthquakes… many people will be starving to death… Disease will sweep the land.

And then He says this…
“Before all this happens, you will be arrested and punished. You will be tried in your meeting places and put in jail. Because of Me you will be placed on trial before kings and governors.” Luke 21:12 CEV

Whow! All this bad stuff is going to happen in the world (and so you know… is happening now), and before it does, I’m going to get arrested? They’re going to punish me for being a believer? They’re going to lock me in jail and try me in court? Did I know I signed up for this when I became a believer? Should I start looking for a lawyer now?

And the answer to that is, “No!” Because here’s what Jesus says…
“But this will be your chance to tell about your faith.” Luke 21:13 CEV

He even says…
“Don’t worry about what you will say to defend yourselves. I will give you the wisdom to know what to say. None of your enemies will be able to oppose you or to say that you are wrong.” Luke 21:14-15 CEV

Don’t know if you knew this, but, you might be a silent Christian now, but if you’re around before all this happens, that’s all going to change. But instead of looking at it with trepidation, you should look at it as an opportunity to tell people what great things God has done for you. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to wait for all these things to happen, you can start doing it now. Every day is your opportunity to tell about your faith.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Don’t wait for all this to happen. Start sharing with people now what Jesus means to you and how much He loves you.

Open my mouth and I will sing Your praise! In Jesus name, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

August 1st, 2017 – DEVOTE

Sometimes I wished someone would have written a book about “Being the Best Dad.” Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was never written. Neither was that book written for moms. We tried, and failed. Sometimes we helped bring success to our children, but let’s face it, those times were more about the grace and favor of God, than anything we brought to the table. None of us are perfect as parents, though we sure try hard and wish our children understood that.

I thought of that this morning as I was reading 1 Chronicles 22. Even though King David was loved and honored by God, he wasn’t a stellar father. He failed to bring some much needed discipline and correction, especially, to his sons. Absalom is a prime example. David shut Absalom out when he actually should have drawn him closer. Tragic mistake.

But in the 22nd chapter of 1 Chronicles we read, as David’s life was coming to a close, he passed the torch to his son Solomon who would be taking over the throne. David did a wonderful job in advising his son in not only living a good life, but a godly life. Here’s what he said…
“Solomon, my son, I now pray that the LORD your God will be with you and keep His promise to help you build a temple for Him. May He give you wisdom and knowledge, so that you can rule Israel according to His Law. If you obey the laws and teachings that the LORD gave Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and brave and don’t get discouraged or be afraid of anything.” 1 Chronicles 22:11-13 CEV

Most often us parents are better at giving our children “things”, instead of words and attention. David took the time to encourage Solomon in building the temple, but also to share some wisdom with him. Here are 4 things I noticed this dad shared with his son…

  1. He reminded his son of God’s promises. Our God promises to provide for us, protect us, guide us, fill us with joy, and give us so many other good gifts. Most of all, He promises salvation through faith in Jesus.

  2. He stressed the importance of wisdom. There is the world’s way which leads to death. Then there is the way which begins with the fear of the LORD and continues on to life, health, and peace.

  3. He shared the key to success: doing it God’s way. More than any other action, God desires our obedience. More than anything else, this assures us of God’s blessing.

  4. He encouraged him to proceed confidently. Since he could count on God’s promises, and since the LORD will always do what is good, Solomon could act without hesitation to carry out his father’s plan.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Make sure you love your children by telling them what matters most to you. It’s not always the “things” you give them that matter, but what you invest in them that really counts.

Help us to invest in our children the way You in invest in us. In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen