July 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

I’d like you to read 2 Chronicles 20 today because I want to ask you which day you’re living in? I mean you might be in Day 1 – pre-battle stage – you know the fight is coming. Maybe it’s a fight in a relationship, or maybe a battle at work. Maybe the conflict is a health issue or maybe a financial one. Whatever it is, you know it’s coming. So what are you going to do? Sit and twiddle your thumbs? Get anxious or depressed? Ignore it? You know the enemies coming. He only comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) So what are you going to do?

Let me give you some advice. Put everything aside, and I do mean everything, get some of your Christian friends together for one purpose, prayer. Admit to God…
“We are are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:13

Then get ready for day 2. The Bible says, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15

You need to go the battle ground. You need to go where the fighting is heavy, but you won’t need to fight, because God’s got this one. What you need to do is start praising God… thanking God… blessing God that He’s on your side… taking care of business… defeating your enemy… winning your conflict. And when you do, you’re going to watch and witness the awesome power of God dissolving your problem… your dilemma… your situation… winning your campaign.

But wait! Don’t stop there! Many people I know are happy stopping right there, knowing the battle’s over. They never enter into Day 3. Day 3 is where you take back what the enemy has taken from you. You collect all the spoil… everything he left behind. And let me tell you, he has stolen from you more than you can imagine. Take it back. It belongs to you. It’s your reputation… your godly pride… your hope for tomorrow… your peace of mind. It’s all yours – take it back.

Then enter Day 4. Read this… “Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:26)

Day 4 is where you want to be. It’s the day you want to live in. Many of us don’t because we never started in Day 1 seeking the Lord – we’re just waiting for the battle. We’re still in it, trying to fix it ourselves. We’ve never allowed God to fight for us. And very seldom do we ever win, so we still walk away defeated with nothing in our pockets.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today:
Day 1 – Pray – seek the Lord!
Day 2 – Face your strife, but allow God to fight it!
Day 3 – Collect what is rightfully yours
Day 4 – Bless the Lord

I want to live in Day 4. Today I bless Your holy name. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 18th, 2018 — IGNITE

I don’t know who this is for, but I really felt compelled by the Word to share this with you today. “Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Now, in order for you to fully understand what this means, you have to first know that quench means to suppress a feeling completely or (catch this) to put out a fire or light. Simply put, stop putting out the fire of the Holy Spirit and the light of God that is within you.

When you walk in your destiny and when your passion burns from within your soul, everyone can see it. It doesn’t matter where you are, people see the flames, it’s that noticeable. It’s like starting a fire in the middle of the wilderness. Eventually someone will see the flames and/or the smoke and realize something is on fire – YOU!

This is why you have to pursue what God has ordained for your life. It won’t matter that your in a crowd of people when your passion burns deep; they’ll see the flames. When you tap into your destiny and you allow yourself to walk in your purpose, they’ll see the flames.

Stop putting the flames out because you’re afraid of the unknown. Stop shying away from from it because someone is telling you it might be hard. Life is hard, yet you get up every morning and face it. Quit allowing people and fear to talk you out of fanning your flames.

Listen to me: when you seek the Lord and when you allow the Holy Spirit to rest in you even if you try to hold it in – you won’t be able too. You’ll be like Jeremiah saying…“But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name, then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9

I don’t know about you but I pray – “Lord, let me be the sacrifice as long as You provide the fire.” God’s fire burns from within us but it won’t burn us up. However, it will burn up the stuff that needs to be gone. So stop trying to put that fire out and instead add some spiritual fuel to it. Allow the Holy Spirit to burn within you. Pray like you mean every word. Read the Word like it is water for a parched soul. Worship before an audience of One.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know what the fire of God looks like in your life – which way He’s leading you… how He’s calling you… what He has planned for you…, but whatever you do – don’t put the fire out! Tell Him, “I’ll be the sacrifice as long as You provide the fire!” Then burn brightly!

I do not want to quench Your Spirit within me. Provide the fire. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 17th, 2018 — IGNITE

Have you ever been in a hurry? Dumb question, I know, but hurry up and answer it!

We’ve all been in a hurry. We’ve been in a hurry to get to work on time, but the traffic is slowing us down. We’ve been in a hurry to get a project done, but our coworker is slacking on their end. We’ve been in a hurry to get to the Post Office before it closes, but pull up just a minute short. We’ve been in a hurry to use the restroom. :-0

I looked up the definition to the word hurry. It goes something like this: to move, proceed, or act with haste. That got me thinking. Why is it we, as children of the Heavenly Father, don’t hurry to Him. Why aren’t we in hastening mode to go to His throne. Why don’t we petition Him more or why don’t we hurry to ask of Him what we need?

Here’s what the Bible says…
“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

I mean, if hurry means to do move, proceed or act with haste, why aren’t we moving towards God’s throne? I know it’s easier to mumble and complain… it’s easier to have a pool pity party… it’s easier to stay in the boat, but why won’t we venture to our Father’s throne where real help lies?

The Bible says that because of Jesus…
“… we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” Ephesians 3:12

Why don’t we hurry? We say we need rest but Jesus says…
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

We say God isn’t answering our prayers but have you asked why lately? Jesus tells us…
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

We say we believe… we say we have faith… but then we get scared to step out when we see the enemy hiding around the corner, but Jesus said…
“… I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” Luke 10:19

Why aren’t we in a hurry to go to our Father’s throne? Why aren’t we in a hurry to ask God for what we need when He has it all? Where is our faith?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Hurry Up! Today make a change. Before you get overwhelmed by everything bombarding you, hurry up and go to the throne. Before you get overcome by the rising waters, hurry up and go the throne. Before you feel the sting of death, hurry up and go to the throne. He’s waiting! He’s invited you. Since He’s not constricted by time, He’s not in a hurry.

Thank You for waiting patiently for me. Help me react and refocus on You first. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 16, 2017 — IGNITE

I know all of you have experienced this before – at least those of you from the United States. You’re driving somewhere, anywhere, whether to work, shopping or just going to visit someone, and all of a sudden you find yourself stuck in traffic. It’s barely moving – just a snails crawl. Then you realize it’s not because there’s so much traffic, but there’s an accident upahead and everybody has to slow down because they have to see what’s happening. Traffic isn’t bottled up because of anything other than people being nosey. And because they were nosey, I and everybody else on the road have to suffer because of it. I wasn’t stuck in traffic because I did something wrong but because someone else had the mind to gawk at what happened to someone else.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I had to get in trouble for being late to something, I’d want it to be because of my doing and not somebody else’s. I mean, if I have to suffer for anything, let it be for me being Godly and not a gossiper. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be for being notable and not nosey. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be for being merciful and kind not a meddler. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be because I have and am a testimony and not a troublemaker. If I have to suffer for anything, let it be my doing.

You see, I’ve learned in my years of spiritual growth that in order to avoid suffering for somebody else’s sake, I’ve got to mind my own business. See, it’s a sad day when you can’t grow because you’ve been stunted by somebody else’s mistake.

But the only reason their mistake became your mistake was because you stuck your nose in where you shouldn’t have and when you should have minded your own business. Through experience, you should know you can’t get a bloody nose unless you jump into the fight… you can’t be burned unless you get too close to the fire… your name won’t get muddled if you don’t get in the mess.

Now, this just isn’t good advice for ole Pastor Mark. No, this is straight from the Bible. Here’s what it says…
“… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Stop commenting on everybody’s stuff… stop putting yourself in squabbles that don’t affect you… stop trying to find out what’s going on with others… stop giving your unasked for advice. It’s none of your business.

The Bible says…
“Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.” Proverbs 26:17

And we all know what might happen if you pull the dog’s ear, right?

Thank You for the direction of Your Word today. Help me live it like You wrote it. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 13th, 2018 — IGNITE

So, I’m was reading the Word this morning and bam – a commercial came to mind. It was a battery commercial – don’t know which one – don’t care which one, but the words jolted me – “I’ve got the power!” Remember?

Well this isn’t a devotion about batteries, but about power. This isn’t a devotion for the faint and weary, but for those who want to stand up and fight back. This isn’t a devotion for the timid, but for those who’ve had enough – enough to start making some noise.

I’ve been seeing to many lives being lost senselessly. I’ve witnessed family and friends burying their loved ones too early. I’ve heard too many relationships dissolving because it’s easier to walk away than working them out. I’ve watched too many people wander and flounder through life aimlessly and purposeless.

We’re living in a time when evil is more widespread and it’s even more bold. Evil is now staring Christians eye-to-eye and we’re the ones tucking tail and running. Evil is showing up on our jobs and we won’t say anything out of fear of who might hear us. Evil is showing up at our schools and we’re scared of calling the name of Jesus because it goes against the rules. Evil is show up at our places of worship and we’ve become comfortable enough to fellowship with it. Evil is bold enough to sit at the dinner table with us and take over our conversation. We no longer allow evil to ride because we’ve allowed it to drive. We’ve gotten complacent and it’s showing in our prayers and our worship. We’ve gotten comfortable, let our guard down and now we no longer have the power to cast out things that don’t belong. But the Word says, “I’ve got the power!”

I may not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but sometimes I flicker a little bit, so listen to what the Holy Spirit laid on my heart. It’s time to stop with our soft, wimpy prayers… our feel good sermons… and our self-pleasuring worship. It’s time to stop playing with the enemy thinking we can handle it and we won’t get hurt. It’s time to stop tapping into the enemies benefits thinking he won’t come back to collect his due.

He has no power over us. We have total protection from him. He can’t hurt us. We’re covered and shielded by the blood of the Lamb. We’re children of God and everything that is His, is ours! Don’t believe me? Read this…
“I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:19-20

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: We have the power! Don’t be overcome… because you’re an overcomer. You’re not the tail… because you’re the head! You’re not a loser… because you are victorious through Jesus Christ.

Thank You for the Power. Jesus, You are my power source. It’s in Your name I pray. Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 12th, 2018 — IGNITE

Imagine you’re driving in your car. Only instead of driving look forward through the windshield, you’re trying to get to your destination by looking through your rearview mirror. (This is one of those times that you and I need to hear that TV voice say: “Please don’t try this at home!”) Can you imagine what would happen if you tried driving somewhere, anywhere, by only looking in your rearview mirror?

Now don’t get me wrong. I look in my rearview mirror a lot, especially in busy traffic. I want to make sure the person behind me is paying attention to the flow of traffic, like I am, and that he’s not going to read end me – though I don’t know why that helps me, seeing that I can’t stop him – I’m only going to watch the inevitable happen.

I do look in my rearview mirror and my side mirrors when I want to change lanes. I want to make sure my life change isn’t going to crash into somebody already in that lane.

But I know that if I want to get to where I need or want to be, I’ve got to keep my eyes focused through the windshield. And let’s just be honest, the windshield to rearview mirror ratio is like 100:1. I can see 100 times more looking forward through my windshield than the little mirror hanging from it.

So why do I spend so much of my time looking backward? Why am I so intent on seeing where I’ve been rather than where I’m going?

Let me put it another way, maybe a little closer to home. Why do I focus on the hurts… the failures… the let downs of the past (rearview mirror looking) control where I’m going today and tomorrow (windshield looking)? I guess I need to ask myself, if I’ve actually gone anyway in life or am I stuck in park. Have I moved on? Am I looking forward or am I still gazing at where I once was?

Jesus said this…
“No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Paul said it another way…
“I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I know we need to look in our rear view mirror once in a while, but starting today let’s look out of our windshield a whole lot more. God has given us a great big world. You can’t drive forward looking out your rear view mirror, so you can’t live for today or tomorrow looking at your past. Look forward!

Help me to see where I’m going and stop me from not moving anywhere by only looking back. Jesus in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 11th, 2018 — IGNITE

As I was reading Psalm 136, my mind was drawn back to an old coffee commercial whose tagline was: “Good to the last drop.” I started thinking about that, though I myself don’t drink coffee. If it was good to the last drop… what happened after the last drop was gone? It seems to me that it may have been very good to the last drop, but there wasn’t anymore after that last drop. Are you following me? What then?

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced anything like this, but I have. I remember feeling like God just dropped me off at the street corner and drove away. I remember feeling like God was no longer taking my calls. Sometimes in my life, it felt like God’s love had failed, when disappointment, failure, sickness, death came showing up. On days like those, it looked a lot like God’s love had walked out on me and the people I loved.

But I’m not the only one who ever felt like this. The writer of the Psalm 136 recalls numerous people and situations in their lives where nothing looked good… everything was wrong… anything was better than what they had.

But then he draws our attention back to one truth that overrides all those feelings and thoughts…
“For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

And he doesn’t tell us that just once. No, he tells us that 26 times. 26 times his redundancy is meant to drive home a truth we need to hear no matter what’s happening or not happening in our lives: HIS LOVE NEVER ENDS! (tweet that!)

Over and over again, with every passing thought… every incident in life… good, bad, or indifferent the writer beckons us to say it out loud… with meaning… with hope… “HIS LOVE NEVER ENDS!”

The Bible tells me to offer God my thanks when the diagnosis comes back and it looks bad. The Bible tells me to give praise to my God when the job fell through and I’m still looking. The Bible tells me with all sincerity of heart to worship my God because HIS LOVE NEVER ENDS!

I believe this Psalm is reminding us that when the storms rage… when our world is crumbling… when our footing is slipping… when our knees are knocking… when our head is spinning… what we need to do is remember: HIS LOVE NEVER ENDS! There is no last drop of His love because it is an ever flowing stream, that will never be tapped out, or run dry.

The more I read this Psalm, the more I understanding that amongst all the noise in this world, God is still whispering the same message to my heart: “MY LOVE NEVER ENDS.”

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: God not only loves you… He likes you… And He’s proud of you! HIS LOVE NEVER ENDS!

Thank You for Your love. Help me always remember: YOUR LOVE NEVER ENDS! Jesus, it’s in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev.Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 2nd, 2018 — IGNITE

I love my thesaurus. It opens up an entirely different world for me when I write. It takes my bland little vocabulary and makes it blossom with picturesque beauty. And you thought I just came up with these words! 🙂

As I was reading the Word today, specifically Colossians 1, the heading before verse 13 said, “The Incomparable Christ.” I was intrigued. I wanted to read on. Here’s what I read…
“For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… by Him all things were created… all things have been created by Him and for Him… He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together… He Himself might come to have first place in everything.” Colossians 13-14, 16-18 selected

As I read those words I couldn’t help but think of how there is something that is built into us that loves the idea of a hero. I remember when my daughters were just little girls and they would play with their dolls and the handsome prince would come rescue the damsel in distress. I love watching my grandchildren, especially when they’re enamored by the latest superhero. They want to imitate them… dress like them… be them.

The top blockbuster movies all have a plot line that somehow involves a hero who comes to the rescue. We love the story of a hero. It doesn’t make any difference if we see it through the eyes of a little boy… a little girl… a man… or a woman.

Well, can I just tell you that you are actually a part of the greatest story ever told with a  hero? That’s right! God is the ultimate Hero and His heroics far outweigh any heroics of some little hero in a movie or a book. God is not only incomparable, He is… unmatched… unparalleled… unequalled… unrivaled… unsurpassable… second to none!

One of the many reasons is because He saved us from the worst thing possible, the real deal breaker – death, due to our sins. Someone can save you from losing your house or rescue you from drowning or get you out of your car or step in front of a bad guy, but they can’t save you from your sins.

Just like heroes coming back from war getting parades and thanks, so should we constantly be giving this to the ultimate Hero, God.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Remind yourself today as you watch life, read books, take in a movie, that you have been saved by the greatest Hero there will ever be. Let that sink into your very being – you needed a Hero and you have One. His name is Jesus!

Thank You for sending Your Son into my life and transferring me from the domain of darkness into Your kingdom. Jesus, I give You all my thanks and praise.  You are my Hero! It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 6th, 2018 IGNITE

Let me retell a story for you that really happened in the life of Jesus. You can read all about it in Luke 7:36-50.

One day this guy asked Jesus over for lunch. This guy was a religious leader, who thought he had his life all in order. He was good with God and God was good with him, although that wasn’t true. I don’t get the impression he really wanted to hear from Jesus, but wanted to parade his righteous attitude in front of Jesus. I think he wanted to make a statement to Jesus about his religious appearance.

As they were sitting in this guys house, a lady, a lady with a bad reputation, walked into the house and was so overcome to be in the presence of the Savior. To be welcomed by Him instead of shunned like she was by everyone else. She knew that they knew who she was and what she was like. She weep so hard, her tears washed Jesus feet. She dried his feet with her hair and she anointed Him with her expensive perfume.

While all that was happening in one section of the living room, the guy who invited Jesus over was taking this all in with disgust on the other side of the living room. He even said to himself,
“If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39

Jesus heard that thought. He addressed that thought by telling a story about a man who was owed some money. One man owed him a ton of bucks and the other guy owed him chump change. But instead of demanding what was owed him, he forgave their debts. Then Jesus asked…
“Which of them therefore will love him more?” Luke 7:42

Of course, the only answer was the guy who owed a huge debt. Why? Because he couldn’t repay it. He didn’t have the means to forgive his debt. He was encumbered by this deficit. The weight of the world was removed from his shoulders when the note was pardoned. For sure he would be overwhelmingly happy.

Jesus even tells this religious guy,
“… her sins, which are many have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47

Can you even begin to imagine how this lady walked away from this house after hearing Jesus say to her…
“Your sins have been forgiven.” Luke 7:48
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

For once, she was received. For once, she was accepted. For once she knew her past was really past… her sins really forgiven… her hope and joy restored. This was a new beginning!

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Which one are you? The one who can do it all by yourself? Or the one who couldn’t do anything… needing everything… receiving it all, simply because of the love and grace of Jesus.

Help me walk today as one who has been forgiven much and help me love much. Jesus in your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

July 10th, 2018 — IGNITE

Ever have “one of those days”? You know which one I’m talking about, don’t you? “One of those days!” You’re busy… you’re in a hurry… you’ve got an appointment to make. You running late, so you skip breakfast and just grab a cup of coffee. You head out the door… oops, you forgot your satchel. You go back in the house… grab it and head back out the door. Then you realize you don’t have any car keys. You head back into the house… time is fleeting. You grab your keys, satchel in hand, heading back out to the car. You jump in the car… put the key in the ignition… turn it… nothing! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You go back in the house to get the other car keys… now really lagging behind in time… jump in the other car wondering what else can go wrong, start it and head out your driveway. As you’re heading down the road, a couple of blocks from home, it hits you like a ton of bricks… you left your satchel in the other car. You immediately turn around… head back home… jump out of one car into the other… grab your satchel… jump back into the car that’s running… once again to get on the road to your already late appointment.

Ok, so maybe that’s extreme. Maybe it wasn’t the car. Maybe it was the clogged drain right before company came over. Or maybe it was more serious, like an unexpected illness… an accident… or someone dying.

Many times, when these things happen, it so very hard to keep our head on straight and keep the right perspective and focus. Generally, (and I’ll only talk for myself because I wouldn’t want to implicate any of you) I am so focused on the problem that it doesn’t register in my mind that God is present and everything is going to be OK. I don’t have to get all stressed out and bent out of shape. I don’t have to lose my cool and cheerful attitude. I don’t have to become anxious and doubtful. Why? Here’s why…
“For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” Psalm 135:5-6

Those are some powerful words. Those are words you and I would be wise to hold on to, keep handy, even memorize for those moments when difficulty arrives.

What does that mean for you and me? Well, if our God is great and He’s not going to let anything happen in our lives that He can’t control, then you and I can survive whatever comes our way. I don’t have to deal with them – I can just give it over to Him.

Now that doesn’t mean I can just sit back and do nothing and expect Him to do all the work… nor does it give me the permission to have a bad attitude… stay angry… live in my hurt and pain… and treat people unkindly.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: The next time life starts unraveling, remember this little verse… “For I know the LORD is great!” Dwell on that!

Thank You for taking care of the details of my life. Help me to find Your joy today. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen