February 27, 2018 — IGNITE

Don’t know if you’ve ever asked this question during trying times, but I have – “God, where are you?” Remember that moment in your desperation. You were pinned against the wall… time was running out… you had invested your last ounce of energy and had nothing left. And you thought God was on the other side of the world, right? You thought He’d forgotten all about you, or didn’t have time for you. You thought He stopped caring and left you to manage your own affairs. You thought your situation was so unique, but evidently it got past God and He was totally unaware of your hardship.

Friend, can I just tell you… God is still sitting on His throne. He is totally cognizant of everything, and I mean everything that is happening in your life. He’s not wringing His hands wondering what He’s going to do about your issue. He knows exactly what He’s doing and why it’s happening.

You might think you’re the last one in line, but I can guarantee you there is someone who is coming up behind you. You might think you’re at rock bottom, but just reach down because you’re lying on top on someone who has fallen further than you. You might think you’re the only one who’s broke, with no money for food, but just open your eyes and see those folks living under the overpasses, digging in the dumpsters and begging at the stop lights.  

God hasn’t left His throne and He never will. The Bible tells us…
“God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.” Psalm 47:8

That should get a whoop and a holler from someone! Somebody has forgotten that our God still rules and reigns and nothing about our life has gone unnoticed by Him. Yes, life could be worse. But can I tell you – life could be better! Like me, you woke up this morning with a fresh anointing from God. He put breath in your body… He allowed your eyes to open and see color… He allowed your ears to hear the sound of a new day… He allowed your arms to throw the covers back… He allowed your legs to dangle over the side of the bed and the ability to stand upright… He allowed your mind to kick in to know where you were… He allowed you strength to get up and start your day… And He allowed you to have things to do and the ability to do them.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Get up! Get going! Get with it! Get it on! God is still ruling from His throne and your life is on His radar. It always has been and it always will be. He knows exactly what He’s doing and why things are the way they are in your life. So give Him some praise today!

Thank You for my life. Thank You for ruling from Your holy throne! Jesus in Your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

Copyright © Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen *All rights reserved.

February 26, 2018 — IGNITE

As I was reading the Word today, my memory was jolted to a time when our children were small and certain tasks needed to be done at home. Two come to mind immediately: pulling teeth and taking out slivers. Somehow, and for some reason, those two items fell into the “dad’s task” category.

Pulling teeth wasn’t a big deal, unless, of course, you had a child who was so terrified of having their tooth pulled out that they wouldn’t open their mouth. They knew they wanted that loose tooth out, and would get a reward for having it out, but they had convinced themselves, it was going to hurt and therefore they became tight lipped as it were, preventing me from getting my stubby little, fat fingers in their mouth to yank that little fellow out.

Slivers were even worse. The pain was excruciating. I’m not talking about the pain my child experienced from the sliver, but my pain in having to take a pin and trying to extract it. I hated causing my child pain, but I also knew the only way to stop their discomfort was to get that sliver out. It meant I had to poke and dig a little bit with that pin, but I knew no other way.

Through those experiences I came to understand that two of the most difficult words to speak to a child in those cases are, “Be still.” It’s hard to be still when things hurt, or are difficult, or frightening. Everything in us wants to stay in motion physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

But not only are those two words difficult for a child, they’re also challenging for us as adults – especially when we’re in the middle of the immediate and urgent details of our life. Being still is hardly ever the reaction we do first. We jump… we respond… we take action.  

Those two little words, “Be Still!” literally mean to let drop, to release, to relax. Sounds easy to do, but we all know just how hard that really is when we want to do just opposite. When we’re in the thick of a crisis, we’re not the people to drop it, release it, or just relax.

Here’s what the precious Word of God says…
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Another way of saying it would be, “Cease striving…” or “Let go, relax and know that I am God.”

So let me ask you…
When was the last time you released the pressing issue in your life to God?
When was the last time you relaxed in the presence of God?
When was the last time you were quiet enough to hear the whisper of God?
What do you think might happen if you actually were “still” for one hour?
What about 30 minutes?
What about 5 minutes?

You might say to me right now… with what’s going on in my life, I don’t even know if I could be still for 5 minutes with God. And friend, that’s exactly why you need to do it.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Take 5 minutes to drop the immediate and the urgent. Take 5 minutes to release and relax. Take 5 minutes to be still and to be quiet. Take 5 minutes to focus on the greatness of God.

Help me release and relax today and know you are my God. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 23ed, 2018 — IGNITE

So, remember yesterday’s devotion? I talked to you about making bad decisions and how when we make a bad decision we have this tendency to keep making more bad decisions, because we don’t want to change the course of our first bad decision. I was using Acts 27 and a cruise the Apostle Paul was on and how it went from bad to worse. When we left these sailors and travelers on this ship, they had experienced all kinds of emotions, much like you and I, on our uncharted voyages.

So let’s pick the story back up and unpack it to the end. When we left them, Paul had just given them a message from God to take courage even though what they were seeing and experiencing was very real and possibly fatal.

Two weeks later (Acts 27:27) we find them all still drifting on the sea, being driven every which way, but the direction they wanted to go. Sounds like us, right? We make a bad decision or a chorus of bad decisions and it takes time for us to get out of what we got ourselves into. Two weeks seem like forever and for some of you it has been forever. Two weeks is nothing. For some of you it’s been more like 2 months. Some of you 2 years. For some, 20 years. You’re wondering when you can get off this ship? When are things going to turn around in your life? When are you going to see the light of day? When are the waves of your world going to stop tossing and rocking you around?

Like these sailors, what we do next is anchor down. We’re going to try our best to stop the madness because we can’t take it anymore. These sailors threw four anchors out to try to secure them to the seas bottom. They thought if they could just prevent anymore of the lunacy and hysteria then maybe they had a chance to survive. That’s not much different than what we do. We shut people out of our lives… we get off Facebook for awhile and disconnect… We hunker down in the attempt to quiet the storm… we disengage from others and even God to try to solve our dilemma. Somehow we got on a merry-go-round we never intended to get on, and now we find the only way off is to jump or jam the brakes.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Here’s what Paul told them…
“… not a hair from the head of any of you shall perish.” Acts 27:34

In other words, we’re all going to make it to land safely and verse 44 tells us that’s true. Friend, you may have made some bad decisions during your lifetime, and you’re living them out right now. But I’m here to tell you, soon, and very soon, you’re going to see land and you’re going to make it safely to shore. Cry out to God. Trust Him. He’ll get you there!

Calm the wind and the waves of my bad decisions and bring me safely to shore. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 22nd, 2018 — IGNITE

Have you ever made a bad decision? Just like me, I’m sure you have. The problem is not the bad decision, it’s when we keep making the same bad decision and never change course.

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible can be found in Acts 27. This guy, Paul, is being taken to the city of Rome, by ship, to be put on trial before the known ruler of the world, Caesar. But this journey just isn’t right. It’s starts off all wrong. The Bible tell us right away that they had to re-route their trip “because the winds were contrary.” Acts 27:4

Just like us in our bad decision, we probably should have stopped even before we got started because we just weren’t going in the direction we wanted it to, and we knew it, but we pushed on anway, right?

Then we read,
“… when we had sailed slowly for a good many days, and with difficulty… since the wind did not permit us to go farther…” Acts 27:7

Clue number two would have stopped most people, but not us. Didn’t matter how difficult things got, we were going to press forward. And because we did, that’s when things really started to go nuts. We’re told about Paul’s excursion, “… the voyage was now dangerous…” Acts 27:9

We don’t know how it happened… we don’t know how it got so out of control… we thought we could navigate our way through the mess… but it only got worse. It actually started affecting other people and putting them in danger.

Then Paul shares a word from a message he got from God, but the leader was more persuaded by others, so they kept going. They even took a vote and the majority wanted to test the waters. Clue number three and four… listen to the voice of God instead of those who think they know what they’re talking about. And just so you know, the majority might win the vote but that still doesn’t mean they’re right.

You know why we keep going, right? Because we feel a little lull in the storm… a little breather… the pressure lets up for a moment and so we keep going. That’s what happened in Acts 27:13

But then things really go mad. That little downtime was enough for us to regroup and like a madman, make a few more stupid decision, like just keep going. That’s exactly what happened in Acts 27. The storm then got worse. They were afraid of running their ship aground (27:17). They started throwing their cargo overboard (27:18). The next thing you know, they’re throwing their equipment overboard (27:19). Then they lost all hope of being saved (27:20)

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: When you know it’s a bad decision, stop and let God start you over. Let Him put you on the course you need to be on. You’ll make it there faster and safer. Just turn around!

Help me get out from this bad decision. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 21,2018 — IGNITE

Let's start with a verse from the Bible today and see where it takes us…
"With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

So go ahead and tell me today… What's impossible? What could possibly be so impossible in your life that God can't handle it?

Yea, I know you may think your situation is unique, and is the absolute worst, and no one in the history of mankind has ever gone through the things you have. But can I tell you… you're wrong!

Yea, you're going through a storm right now… you may have more bills than money… your spouse is acting stranger than usual… your kids are acting like you haven't been the one raising them… people at work have lost their minds and it feels like everybody is getting on the nerves you had on reserve, but your circumstance isn't impossible!

Oh, I know, you've got pain and sickness in your body and it seems like you'll never get well. You're not much different than the lady who had a blood issue for 12 years. She spent all her money on doctors, but they couldn't cure her. She spent her time and energy, trying to find the help she needed, but it wasn't available. But one day, as she reached out in faith, she heard the most breathtaking words that set her free…
"Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." Matthew 9:22

I know, I know, you've got this relationship that's been strained or stretched and it seems like it won't be repaired because there are no words between the two of you and time has not stood still and you've been too afraid to face it. But listen to me…
"Love is patient, love is kind, and it is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…" 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I know, I know, you've been praying and it feels like God has turned a deaf ear to you. But I want you to remember a Sarah, a Hannah, a Rachel, an Elizabeth, all who couldn't have children and God allowed them to grow a baby in their womb. I want you to think of a grieving sister (Mary), who just lost her brother (Lazarus) and Jesus raised him back to life. I want you to think of some blind guys who got their sight back. I want to you think of some people who were controlled by demons who got their life back.

Here's my word of encouragement for you today: There isn't anything impossible with the God we serve. However, you need to believe this! The things you're praying for aren't impossible to God because when you see the impossible, God see the infinite possibilities. When you see the impossible, God sees your inheritance with your name on it. When you see the impossible, God will show you His magnificence!

There is nothing impossible with You. I believe this. In Jesus name I pray this, Amen.

Copyright © Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen *All rights reserved.

February 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

In the past you may have heard me say, "If you have no hope, you have no future. And if you have no future, you have no hope." I don't remember where that came from… I don't know if that's a quote I read from some brilliant person… I don't know if I heard some speaker utter those words… I don't know if I made that up… but this I do know… I've felt that way before and maybe you have to. Maybe you're there right now or know somebody who is there right now.

When you don't have any hope, there is no future. You can't see that far ahead. Everything is darkened and dismal. And when you don't have any future, when you can't see any sunshine in your days to come, any deliverance from your overcast life, you sort of shrivel up and dry out.

But here's what the Bible says…
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 42:11

The word hope is a funny word. When you look it up, the dictionary will say something about it being a desire for something… a yearning… a wish… and a feeling of expectancy. If you look at an old dictionary or the usage of the word in older, more archaic writings however, it's used in place of the words, "confidence" and "trust."

You know from your own experience what it feels like when your soul is downcast. You may not want to admit it out loud, but you know that sluggish, drawn out feeling. The storms buffeting your life seem unending and so intense. Everything is magnified. Everything seems to go wrong all at the same time. You may have lost your job. Then when you needed your friends, they turned on you. You lost a loved one. You lost your home. You misplaced that needed file. Your failed the test. Crashed your car. Everything was compounded. Anything and everything that could go wrong – went wrong. Mr. Murphy and his stupid law were having a grand ole time at your expense.

Here's my word of encouragement for you today: I know you've experienced such a storm as that, just as you know I have. Maybe right now, you're celebrating that the storm has past and the sun is starting to shine. Maybe you're still in it. Whatever time of life you're in right now, remember this- our hope, which is our complete confidence, trust and faith, is founded not on the moment, but upon the Living God.

The old hymn says…
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus Name
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand!

You are our hope today and everyday. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 19th, 2018 — IGNITE

There's not too many weeks that go by that somebody doesn't call me, text me, message me, or email me, asking for prayer. Most times the request are for me to pray for them to get a job… a car… some guidance… strength to forgive… to see God's plan… or a host of other things. Now, these are specific request that I can pray for without having to ask for any details.

However, I've got to tell you, that sometimes, someone asks for prayer and I have no other recourse but to ask in return, "What is it you are asking me to pray for?" Sometimes I have to ask that question just because the request is so vague. Other times, I ask the question because I don't want to be praying against what you, yourself, are praying. You and I need to be praying the same thing.

I can't be praying for your marriage to be healed, when you're praying for God to show you a way out. Sorry, but that's a waste of my time. Nor can I pray for God to help you find a husband/wife when that's not what you really want. I can't pray for you to answer God with a yes, when in your heart you really saying no. I don't want to pray for your rent when your throwing money away on lottery tickets.

When you and I come together in prayer, we need to be on the same page, asking for the same thing because the Bible says..
"… if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 18:19

Simply put… We need to agree!

Oh, but I need to take this one step further. Not only do we need to be in agreement, but I also need to know you are actually praying yourself. Listen to me! If I can't prove that your knuckles are bloody from knocking on heaven's doors with your own request, what makes you think my prayers are going to help you get what you're seeking?

I don't mean to be so blunt, but you've got to know that when I need somebody to pray for me, it's because I've been before the throne of grace and mercy and need someone to stand with me, not for me. When I ask you to pray for me, I need someone who has the ability to cry out loud and strong instead of just throwing up a half-hearted request.

And the same is true for me, because when you trust me enough to ask for prayer, I should be trustworthy enough to pray. This is why I don't play with God and why prayer is so important to me. I know what prayer can do!

There are too many people hurting… Too many people dying… Too many people on the edge of the cliff… Too many who are losing. If you ask me, and I tell you, I'm praying for you, I am because obviously you need it or you wouldn't have asked me.

Here's my word or encouragement for you today: Prayer works. It's one of your greatest tools. AND sometimes you need someone to stand with you in agreement. Never be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for prayer. just be sure you're not asking them to do it for you. Be in agreement!

Hear our prayers. In Jesus names we ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 16th, 2018 — IGNITE

Not many people I know like reading the book of Leviticus. I mean, it’s chucked full of rules and regulations and the duties of the Levites. Over and over again it describes the different sacrifices that are to be performed, as God will accept an innocent, third party substitute for the death of the sinner. This book contains material which delineates between civil, sanitary, ceremonial, moral, and religious laws from God. If you’re anything like me, you probably find your mind wandering as you read it (Sorry, I’m just being honest).

But, if you are reading it, let me encourage you to keep your mind fastened on Jesus, because He is the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world. Therefore all these sacrifices in Leviticus, are a picture for us of what Jesus fulfilled. When you’re reading Leviticus, see the answer in Jesus.  

And, if you are reading Leviticus, keep your eyes open for those little nuggets of hope and peace, and truth. For example, today my mind was captured when I read this…
“Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.” Leviticus 2:13

Now at first, that might not mean anything to you and you might think God likes a little seasoning on His offerings. But it’s much more than that. If you were to go back to Exodus 24:1-8, you would read of how Moses offered up a sacrifice to seal the Israelites promise to obey the commandments of God. He did that with salt. Every time they added salt to a sacrifice they would remember how God spoke to Moses on the mountain and what they had agreed to.

Salt was used for purification. Salt was used to make a meal tasty. Salt was used to stop decay.

Now, jettison forward hundreds of years, and read what Jesus said about salt…
“You are the salt of the earth…” Matthew 5:13

Stop and think of what that means in light of what we just read in Leviticus. You and I, as followers of Jesus Christ as to serve as preservatives, seasoning the world, remembering the covenant made through the blood of the Lamb, stopping the moral decay of our sin infected world. If we live as the true salt of the earth, we can impact generations for Jesus as we minister His Truth to the world.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: As I look around the world today, I believe one of the things that is missing most, is a little flavor, a little seasoning. And that my friend, comes from you. You are the salt this world needs. Because the blood of the Lamb was your substitute and delivered you from sin, death and hell, you have flavor and a story to tell.

Help me salt the world today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 15th, 2018 — IGNITE

Sometimes we like to blame the devil for all of our bumps and bruises. But I’m just wondering if we’ve ever considered, there are times, God is clearing out the mess in our lives in order for us to hear His message so we can take that same message to others, so they can have their mess all cleared out? (I know that was a long sentence, deep in thought, so you might want to read it again.)

See, sometimes when we lose the job, we think we must be being punished by God, but the truth is, He’s just clearing a way for the next job He has for us to do. You couldn’t see it then because of all the hours you were spending at the last one, instead of waiting on the Lord.

I know your heart’s still heavy from losing that loved one. But can I just tell you – the dead don’t have any worries anymore, so why are you stressing over their passing when you need to be getting yourself all together for the grand reunion that’s going to happen, when you see them again?

The way I see it, the Church isn’t any different. I’m watching all the changes that have been taken place as of recent, from the outside, and I see a lot of people getting whacked out about a lot of stuff and the Church smelling more like man than God, and then I remember Jesus said…
“…  I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18

We need to stop playing church and start being the church.

So, when it seems like one moment you’re walking on top of the world and the next the world is on top of you, just know, it’s time for a change. Don’t believe me? Then you need to read Ecclesiastes 3:1 which says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…”

I know that seems like a simple answer, but it’s true. Just get up and start walking in faith. It doesn’t matter if you get knocked down, just get back up. Losing isn’t falling down. Losing is falling down and staying down. The Bible tells us…
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD; and He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

If you do happen to fall, read this…
“They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” Psalm 20:8

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: God didn’t say you wouldn’t have moments of stumbling and falling. But don’t allow the moments to determine your destiny. When you start to fall, know He’s right there holding your hand, to help you back up! Hold on!

Hold my hand today as I walk with You. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

February 14th, 2018 — IGNITE

Psalm 37:4-4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit you way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him. If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the longings of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new BMW? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His desires and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.”

Many people in our world today delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they’re never satisfied. They never truly get what they want, that’s the reason they’re always wanting more. Our society not only wants more, but is constantly demanding more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure: “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is true treasure indeed: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

1 John 2:15–17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

We’ll never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He’ll meet all of our needs. He’ll even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand new BMW, but eternal treasures in Christ.

Here my word of encouragement for you today: This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Today I’m going to delight myself in You… I’m going to commit my life to You… I’m going to trust You, because I know You have a plan and purpose for my life. In Jesus name I pray this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen