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Pastor Joe and MaryHelen Martinez

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Friday, October 31 2014
Friday, October 31, 2014  
       I’ve had some very unusual experiences in my life, sometimes even bizarre, so I was not totally shocked with one I had recently, for I have had similar encounters before. I was about to conduct a small family ceremony at our church and about 15 minutes before we started, a middle-aged lady walked in asking to speak to the pastor. Since she seemed to be dressed up for that occasion, I thought she was going to ask a question about the ceremony. I was wrong. Her main topic of conversation was about one of it’s participants, who also happens to be a member of our church. She started off by saying that she knew about the things of God and that she once used to be a Christian herself. Although I said nothing, hearing that immediately raised a red flag in my mind. To make a long story short, she proceeded to accuse said member of some very wicked and immoral things, and ended by saying she just wanted me to know what kind of people we have in our church. I thanked her for enlightening me as she quickly exited the building.
       Although on a few occasions I have asked the accused about it, I seldom pay much attention to charges made against people I know, and in this case I didn’t even mention it to the person who was accused. By the scriptures and by personal experience, I’ve come to understand that the Lord does not need the help of the spiritual police or the FBI to reveal things about us or others. The thing that stuck in my mind the most about the lady’s story that day, however, was her apparent belief that one can be a Christian one day and then not be one later on. That is an impossibility! That is as absurd as me saying I used to be Mexican American but now I am Norwegian. If one is a genuine Christian, it means he or she has been born again. The truth is that no one will ever see Heaven unless he or she has been “born again.” Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “Except a man be born again,he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) John also declared that to all those who receive Christ, God gives them the right to become His children and adds that these are they “Which were born , not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (See John 1:12-13)
       What we were born as the first time, that is what we are today. If your parents were Italian, you’ll always be Italian. By the same token, if you were one day born again in Christ, from that day forward you became, and will always be, a child of God; nothing or no one can ever change that. I wish I would have had more time to converse with the accusing lady in our story on that day. It was pretty obvious that, although she may have been a member in some church once, she had never been a Christian. And I’m not basing my opinion on the premise that genuine Christians can’t accuse, gossip, or slander, but rather on the fact that a true believer knows, without a doubt, that he or she will always be, a child of God. If you've never been born again, and want to be, Just ask Jesus to come into your heart. That's all it takes.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 12:2) “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, fervent in prayer.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 30 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014  
       To some it may be simple irony but one of the saddest verses in the Bible is John 6:66 which reads: “From that time many of his disciples went back , and walked no more with him.” Reading the rest of the chapter, it is clear to see that these who had followed Him previously had done so primarily for their own benefit. Jesus pointed out to them, even before they defected, that they had followed Him only because He had often fed them, just like He had miraculously fed a multitude the day before. On this occasion there would be no more physical bread but instead they would hear Him say that He was the spiritual Bread of Life. When they left Him, their excuse was that they did not understand what He was talking about. 
       This is also true with life in general and is prevalent in marriage and in friendships, even in church. Except for those in mega-churches, most pastors are familiar with the pain and grief that arises when some members of their flock leave to go to “greener pastures.” When someone who has been with you for some time finds a reason to leave and go somewhere else, that’s when you know that they did not really love you in the first place. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t get it: If someone you love has left you, it is proof that they did not really love you in return, so in essence they have done you a big favor. John, in his first epistle to the church, basically pointed out the same truth. Referring to those who walked away from their fellowship with other believers, he wrote: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us.” That is the premise behind the phrase in the marriage vows, “till death do us part.” When you truly love somebody, you stay with him or her until the very end.
       Jesus, since He knows the hearts of men, knew from the beginning those who truly loved Him from those who did not. However, this is one thing He did not do: He did not plead with the deserters not to leave Him. That should remind us also that if people in our lives want to leave us, it is best not to try to stop them. In 1 Corinthians7:15 Paul advised married couples that if one or the other has made the decision to depart, they should not try to stop it. Christ will never stop anyone who chooses to leave Him, neither should we. In fact, on the day when the deserters left Him, He turned to His Disciples and asked, “Will you also go away?” By this, he implied that if they also wanted to leave, He would not stand in their way. One thing those who left Jesus that day did not consider was that they were leaving the One who truly loved them to go to someone who could never love them as much. Sadly, that happens so often in life as well. I trust you will never walk away from those who truly love you.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 12:2) “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, fervent in prayer.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 29 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From time to time, I have brought to the attention of certain people in my life, a bad habit they have and don't always see or are willing to admit. I am referring to the practice of making excuses for others, especially those who are near and dear to us. Some of you who are reading this blog today are like that, but before you get huffy with me let me remind you that I have been accused of doing it too. And while we have to be very careful how we bring faults to the attention of our friends and loved ones, to not do it at all is to harm them even more. Yes, I know, trying to be a good Christian is not always easy.
I was thinking of this recently as I reread Galatians 6:1 which says: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." I used the King James Version here because I feel it is the one which describes the situation more correctly. The first thing we notice is that Paul was not speaking about willful sins but of the wrongs that Christians commit without realizing the seriousness involved. I will try to be more specific.
Here are but a few random things we can bring to the attention of others: How they treat others, their faithfulness and loyalty to God and to their duties and responsibilities, and their obligations to others at home, work, or church, and believe it or not, how faithful they are in their giving. If we know any that are lacking in these three, or a few other areas, and say nothing, we may be depriving them of the blessings, joy, and victories they may have had otherwise. We can play a part in their being restored. Whatever the fault may be, if it is hurting their testimony and minimizing their effectiveness for God and if they are offending or harming others by doing so, and assuming we have prayed about it beforehand, it is time to take action. If we do it the right way, it will have positive results. And if for some strange reason, we're the ones who are corrected, the Lord will help us to receive it like mature Christians, and it will be helpful to us in the end.

Memory verse for the week: (Romans 12:2) "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 28 2014
A Two-Way Street

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Have you ever found yourself going the wrong way on a one-way street? It can be pretty embarrassing, right? I'm sure you've all heard the classic jokes about drivers, especially those who are drunk, that are stopped by the police because they were going the opposite direction on a one-way street. One tells the cop, "Oh, I just thought I was late and everybody else was coming back" or the one who heard the policeman ask him "Didn't you see the arrows?" and replies, "I didn't even see the Indians." Nevertheless, going the wrong way in traffic is more dangerous than it is funny. Think of the many times we see or hear in the news of the horrific accidents caused by motorists going the wrong way in the streets and freeways. Knowing our way around town is necessary and it behooves us to know which streets are one-way and which ones are not.
Strangely, this thought reminded me of forgiveness, which I also see as a two-way street. You see, the Lord not only commands His children to forgive, He also teaches us to go seek forgiveness from those we know we have wronged or offended. Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount said this: "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." (Matthew 5:23-24) Quite obviously, Christ taught that God cannot accept anything we do for Him as a clean and unblemished sacrifice if we are not right with others first.
Earlier this month, the Jewish people celebrated their holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the day in which they seek God's forgiveness for their national, as well as their personal sins. Did you know that the day before, known as Erev Yom Kippur, represents the very last opportunity they have to seek forgiveness from those they have offended ? They understand that if they do not take care of this matter, God will not accept their prayer the following day.
How about you? Could it be that the Lord has not answered your prayers because you have wronged someone and have not asked to be forgiven? If that is you, I hope you treat it as if it was your last opportunity as well and make things right as quickly as you can. C'mon the Lord will help you. Remember that forgiveness is a two-way street. If the Lord has helped you to forgive others, He will also help you when you ask others to forgive you.

Memory verse for the week: (Romans 12:2) "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 27 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
        In yesterday's Spanish service, I spoke about a question Jesus' Disciples asked him two thousand years ago. Many Christians today still ask Him that same basic question. There is a story in the gospels about the day a man brought his demon-tormented son to the Disciples with the hope that they would cure his boy. This man most likely had heard that Jesus, and His disciples too, had freed people from evil spirits time and time again, but on the day and hour that he came seeking help, Jesus was not there, only nine of His Disciples. Christ had given them power to heal and drive out demons beforehand, but on this occasion these nine could not expel the fierce demon living inside the lad. Jesus came back from the mountain along with Peter, James, and John just in time to help them and eventually heal the boy. Later, when they were alone with their Master, the nine asked Him their question: "Why could we not drive out the boy's demon?" Jesus made it clear to them that there are demons which are stronger and more stubborn than others and that the type they encountered requires much prayer and fasting, implying that they had been lacking in this essential requirement.
        Two thousand years later, many of God's children find themselves in a situation where their faith and spiritual strength fail them from time to time. Like the Disciples, they want to know why it has happened. It is very possible that Jesus' Disciples had become so busy and focused on their ministerial duties that they had forgotten that their spiritual batteries had always been recharged during their quiet times in prayer to God. It is no different for us today. In order for us to be prepared to meet even the most difficult of trials, we must remember that our faith and strength in Christ is recharged when we make it a practice to spend quiet and personal times of communion with Him.
        It is sad to say, but many Christians today get sidetracked by paying more time and attention on the things of this life than on the things of God such as church attendance, bible reading, and prayer, just to cite a few. That is why the Bible tells us: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13) The Bible assumes that the day of evil will come to all of us sooner or later, but if we stay in close contact and communion with Christ, we will have all the protection and strength necessary to stand and be victorious when that day comes. If you sense you have lost some faith, joy, and spiritual strength in your Christian life, I pray you will get back on track right away.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 12:2) "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 24 2014
Not By Sight
Friday, October 24, 2014

Have you ever caught a glimpse of something and upon closer inspection what you thought you saw at the beginning was something altogether different? That happened to my wife and I one day many years ago as we were driving in our car. At the time, our favorite drive-thru burger joint, and one we would frequent often, was a place called "Whopper Burger." I'm not even sure if they are still around today but at the time there were two or three of them in San Antonio. Well, that one day we spotted out in the distance an orange and white sign for a new establishment that was being built fairly close to our house which at first we thought said "Whoppers To Go." Naturally, we got excited at the thought but upon a closer look we saw that the sign said "Wallpapers To Go." What a letdown that was.  The incident reminded me of the story about a lady who spotted an elderly couple one day sharing a burger and fries at a local McDonalds. She saw the gentleman cut the burger in half and hand it to his wife. He sat by her side as she ate the burger and just waited by her side as she was eating. As the observer thought within herself, "What a cute sight that is, that a man would be happy just to watch his wife eat", she saw something she wasn't expecting. When the lady finished the first half of her burger, she took out her dentures and handed them to her husband. He then put them on and ate the other half of the burger. Well, at least they were sharing. Another such incident happened when a pastor made a visit to an elderly church member's home. As he chatted with her he noticed there was a closed dish filled with almonds at the coffee table in front of him. When he told her he loved almonds, she said "Help yourself."
After a while, when he noticed he had eaten more than half of them, he apologized for eating most of her almonds. To that, she replied, "Oh that's okay; I'm already through with them. I just buy them to suck out the chocolate."  Life is like that; we can't always go by what we see, especially at first thought or glance. Nevertheless, because we are human, we are fooled time and time again. Satan, being the liar that he is, will whisper in our ears trying to convince us that the trials we are facing are simply too great for us to be able to survive them.  The Lord tells us otherwise because He is the Voice of Truth. That is why David could write in Psalm 91:7, "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you." That is also why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that "we walk by faith, not by sight." If you see an ominous storm coming up on your horizon, don't despair, because whether you see Him or not, The Lord will be there to either drive it away or to be by your side, should He want you to go through it. One thing is for sure: You will not be alone! 

Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 51:6 NLT) “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:07 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 23 2014
A Fruitful Idea
Thursday,  October 23, 2014
Jesus told His Disciples, "This is to my Father's glory, thay you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
I think it is pretty obvious to conclude, then, that the Lord wants to see results. This fact was typified in Jesus' Parable of the Talents in the gospels of Matthew and Luke where the master wanted to see a good return from the investment he made in his servants.Whether we are speaking about our calling, ministry, home, business, hobby, or our personal life, we are no different. We would all like to see positive results in all our endeavors.
       We saw that same mind-set in John the Baptist and later in the Apostle Paul. John was baptizing people that were willing to repent and be prepared for the Kingdom of God that had come to them. When he saw some religious Pharisees and Saducees in the crowd, he said to them, "O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Bring forth fruits meet for repentance." (Matthew 3:7-8) Simply put, he was telling them to show some proof that they were indeed willing to repent. Paul, in the 2nd chapter of his letter to the Philippians let it be known that one of his fears was the possibility that his labor among them may have been in vain. (fruitless) He knew, by faith and by experience, that it wasn't
       It is through Paul also that God wants His children not to grow weary in doing well, for in due season they will reap, if the faint not. (Galatians 6:9) He also reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 not to waver but to be steadfast, always abounding in our service to God, remembering that what we do for Him is what we do for others. Some of us are spoiled or just plain happy recipients of God's mercy because we do see fruit in our calling. In fact, many of you provide that for me by way of your thoughtful and kind words of encouragement concerning this blog. I realize, however, that some of you keep on doing good things and hardly ever get recognized and seldom get a word of thanks or a pat on the back. Nevertheless, here's a promise from God to you: Nothing that you are doing or have ever done because you love the Lord, will ever be in vain. Keep on going; don't give up! Others may never tell you, but I definitely appreciate you. I hope you'll join the ranks of those who have been blessed to see some good results for their efforts, and get the added blessing of hearing it from people's lips, but if you don't, remember that the Lord is seeing all you are doing and one day you will hear Him say: "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Meanwhile, why not find someone today who may need a word of thanks or encouragement, or maybe just a simple "I love you."
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 51:6 NLT) “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 22 2014
October 22, 2014
Contrary to what many believe, Satan is not responsible for every one of our troubles. However, he will whisper in our ears during our trials trying to make us believe that we are going through them because God has forsaken us. I spoke recently to someone who has just gone through a very trying time and when I inquired how things were going, I was given a reply similar to this: "I'm doing okay now; I'm not going to let the devil rob me of my peace and joy." I replied, "good for you."
I get happy when I see people overcoming Satan's subtle attacks, those who have a good understanding of the Christian life, who do not get discouraged every time they go through a trial. Neither do they get angry with God like those I wrote about in yesterday's topic. They never forget Jesus' words in John 10:10 concerning the devil's primary functions against his sheep (followers): "The thief cometh not, but for to steal , and to kill , and to destroy : I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Some are as savvy about Satan as the Apostle Paul who wrote that strong believers are aware of all the devil's devices and do not permit him to take advantage of them. (See 2 Corinthians 2:9-11) I failed to include it yesterday, but those who get angry with God have probably swallowed the lies Satan whispered in their ears.
I trust you too will overcome Satan's evil schemes by taking your problems and trials in stride when they come. I am reminded here of a short little Spanish chorus we used to sing years ago that said: "The joy that I have, the world (you can substitute the devil) did not give it to me, and because it did not give it to me, neither can it take it from me." Be like the prophet Habbakuk who bravely declared that he would rejoice in the Lord even when the fig tree did not blossom and there was no fruit on the vines, and the fields were barren and some sheep from the flock and part of the herd was missing. (See Habakkuk 3:17-18) Keep the eternal truth in mind that Nehemiah uttered many centuries ago that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Remember that there are no losers among the Lord's children, only winners, and that God's people are a happy people.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 51:6 NLT) “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 21 2014
Misdirected Anger
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 
       Anger towards God is one situation I have dealt with often in my many years in the ministry. I bet many of you know one or more people in your lives who may be going through such a period even now as you are reading this blog. My guess is that all of us have gotten angry with God at one time or another. By His grace and mercy, however, most of us don’t remain in that state for too long. Those who continue in it, on the other hand, lose out on the joys of the abundant life Jesus offers all His followers. The reasons people are angry with God are many but the one I most often hear about concerns the death of a loved one. In such cases, many of those who do, carry their anger and bitterness with them to the grave.
       Regarding this topic, several biblical accounts come to my mind, the first being the story in Genesis 37 about Jacob mistakenly presuming that his son Joseph had been slain by some wild beast. When his children tried to comfort him, he refused declaring that he would mourn for his son until the day he died. In his case, the Bible doesn’t say he was angry with God for his son’s death, but if he refused to try to put it behind him and move on, he was no different than those who are. The prophet Jonah was another one. When God sent him to Nineveh to preach a message of repentance to the Babylonians, he first tried going in an opposite direction. You see, he did not want the Lord to forgive his people’s sworn enemies and when at last he obeyed and preached his message, he got angry with God for sparing them. Then there was King David. In an account in 2 Samuel, Chapter 6, he got angry with God because he slew a man by the name of Uzzah, who grabbed a hold of the Ark of God while it was being transported. David did not understand it on the day that it happened, but it is obvious he understood later because he did not stay angry with God.
       If you know anybody who is angry with the Lord, I urge you to pray constantly for them and try to reason with them for their own good. Tell them we cannot go against God’s perfect will, especially when it relates to the death of a loved one. Very few of us know the exact date of our own death but we must remember that God knew it even before we were born. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” If it was up to us, no one would ever get sick and die, but do we know better than God ? And if we don’t want a certain loved one to die, are we asking for them or for ourselves? Speaking for myself, I certainly wouldn’t want my loved ones praying to try to keep me from my appointment with Heaven. And if you still don’t understand and can’t come to grips with the death of a loved one, you will one day. I just pray it is on this side of Heaven.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 51:6 NLT) “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 20 2014
An Old, Old Game
Monday, October 20, 2014 
       A man I know once told me excitedly that the Lord had really blessed him the day before. When I asked him in what way, he said he had found a wallet in the street which had quite a bit of money in it. When I asked him if there was any form of ID on it, he said yes but that he discarded the wallet after he took the money. When I asked why he did not call or at least report it, he insisted that he had been asking the Lord for some financial help and that was God’s answer to him. When I asked how he would have liked it if he had lost his own wallet and the one who found it would have done the same thing he did, he replied: “Well, that’s what I would have deserved for being dumb and careless.” Can you see what game my friend was playing? It is called self-justification, a game that actually started in the Garden of Eden. When the Lord came looking for Adam after he and his wife partook of the forbidden fruit, his reply was, “It was the woman you gave me.” Basically, Adam was blaming God for his sin. That was exactly what my friend was doing, claiming that it was actually the fault of the man who lost the wallet. In his case, he just happened to be at the right place and the right time.
       Aaron, Moses’ brother did the same after he manufactured a calf-shaped idol of gold to appease the people at the time when Moses was up on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God. When pressed later by Moses about it, he blamed the people by saying it was their idea, not his. To make matters worse, he added,“Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Exodus32:24) How ridiculous was that? King Saul did it to on the day he took it upon himself to offer a sacrifice, a function that was only permitted of priests. When Samuel asked him why, he said it was because he took too long in coming. In other words, he placed the blame on Samuel. (See 1 Sam.13:7-12)
       When we justify ourselves for doing wrong, we generally shift the blame to someone or something else. The truth is that it is never right for anyone to do wrong, we don’t even have the right to retaliate in kind. Paul wrote in Romans 12:17, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”As I am writing this article, I just heard in the news of a car who plowed into a local cemetery destroying about 20 headstones. The driver, who is believed to have been racing with another car, was hurt in the crash and had to be transported to the hospital. His passenger? He ran off! Without a doubt, it is a human inclination to try to cover up our wrongs. However, God expects His children to be honest for their own good. Lets ask Him to help us to face up to our errors and be more accountable.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 51:6 NLT) “But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 17 2014
A Minister's Dilemma
Friday, October 17, 2014    
       Reading yesterday in the 28th and 29th chapter of Jeremiah about a distressing situation that prophet encountered, I was reminded that God’s true ministers of today face that same dilemma. Permit me to explain: A self-proclaimed prophet of God by the name of Hananiah affronted Jeremiah in the presence of the priests and the people by preaching an entirely different message than the Lord’s true prophet. At the time, the king of Babylon had taken the king of Judah, his officials, and many other Israelites back to his own country as exiles. This came about because God’s people, in general, had strayed from Him. Well, Hananiah was prophesying that within two years ,the exiles plus the temple articles that were taken to Babylon would be returned. Jeremiah knew this message was false but made it known that although he wished it were true, it was not. God’s prophet was well aware that his message was not as popular and as happily accepted as Hananiah’s, but he remained true to the message God gave him.
       Many centuries have passed since that incident and people are basically the same today; most prefer to hear only messages of hope and instant happiness. They are like the people described in Isaiah, Chapter 30 who would tell the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.” In fact, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul prophesied that in the last days many would turn away from the truth and find for themselves teachers who would tickle their ears. (See 2 Tim. 4:14)
       Those whom God has called to preach, teach, and proclaim His word today, would prefer not presenting any message that may trouble anyone. Nevertheless, we are called to present the whole 
counsel of God, not just the sweet sounding themes of the Bible which some of today’s preachers specialize in. The truth is that, in the end, all things will work together for good to those who love God, as Romans 8:28 tells us, even though we may have to travel through many valleys in our lives in the meantime. And Jeremiah’s word to his people was not all gloom and doom as many would have wanted others to believe. In the middle of his message and instructions from God to them, were these words: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) Doesn’t sound depressing at all, don’t you agree? The truth is that this particular bible verse has been a source of hope and comfort for God’s people for several centuries. I trust it has the same effect for you today because, after all, the promise is for you too. 
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 11:25) “At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 16 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014      
       True friends are among the greatest treasures God has given us. I bet as soon as some of you read this opening line, you immediately thought of a special friend in your life. Sometimes, a best friend can be a spouse, parent, child, or a family member, but whether they are or not, our lives without them would not be as meaningful. My heart really goes out to people who seem to go through life with no friends at all. One of you recently told me about going to a funeral once where you were the third person present. Even some close family members did not attend. Of course we do not know the specifics, but it makes you wonder anyway, right? Similar thoughts came to me one day when I was stopped in traffic for a funeral procession. Other than the hearse, there was only one car behind it. Could it be that the deceased in these funerals had no friends. Whatever the circumstances, it was a heartbreaking scene for me. 
       I heard this quote about true friends once and it made a deep impression on me: “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” “It is a human tendency to forget to be thankful or to take our blessings for granted, but the real friends in our lives are too valuable for us to ever forget them. I suppose that with the passing of time, most of us have learned who our true friends really are. King David wrote about that happening to him too in Psalm 41 where he said: “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Young people, and sometimes even adults, get the impression that everyone they hang around with on a regular basis are their true friends, especially because of the many laughs and good times they share together. Later, reality sinks when a crisis, financial bind, illness, emergency hospitalization, or a time of grief and sorrow arises, and their so-called friends are nowhere to be found. Who shows up at such times? It is the family members or loved ones they shunned when they were spending most of their time with their new “friends.” These were the true friends all along, as someone once said, “A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” Proverbs 17:17 says that “a friend loves at all times”, not only when the weather is fair.
       If you have real friends in your life, thank God for them for you are blessed indeed. Keep in mind, however, that there are people in your life that don’t have them and would really be happy if one or two came their way. To be honest, many who are friendless are in that state because they are not easy to love, but here’s where the love and grace of God comes in. If the Lord has laid it in your heart, reach out and be a friend to someone like that. Remember that we’re not always easy to love either, but God always loves us and we have real friends nonetheless. If you befriend someone who’s hard to love, you will soon find that your life became richer all of a sudden.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 11:25) “At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 14 2014
How Did This Happen?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014



       Before we left the house this past Sunday Morning, I had enough time to see an unusual but interesting story on the CBS program, “Sunday Morning” about coincidences. Many people believe that coincidences are just that and not divinely appointed events. A so-called expert on probability who was interviewed on that segment, describes a coincidence as “a striking occurrence of events that appear to be meaningfully related but, in fact, are related only by chance.” Another scientific expert said that you can attribute events that appear to be destiny or divinely appointed events merely to the law of very large numbers. He added its like flipping a coin, that if you keep doing it, eventually you will have ten “tails” in a row.
       It seems to me that anyone who thinks that events just happen by chance either do not believe in God or in the Bible, or both. The birth and resurrection of Christ came to be just as they had been previously prophesied. Nothing that has ever happened in the history of mankind has caught God by surprise, not the sin of Eve in the Garden of Eden, not the death of His Son on the cross, absolutely nothing. Jesus, upon sending out His Disciples to preach, teach, and minister in His name, told them not to be afraid of those who could harm them by reminding them that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the knowledge and permission of the Heavenly Father. (See Matthew 10:29-31) That truth, in itself, should not only comfort our hearts, it should reinforce the truth that nothing happens in life by mere chance or coincidence. We have a God whose eyes are ever upon us, One who guides our every step. Psalm 34:15 says that “the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.”
       I’ll repeat a declaration I made in a recent blog: Nothing that has ever happened or is happening right now in your life came about by chance or coincidence. You are exactly where God wants you right now even if you are not happy with your present situation. Remember that before you can reach the mountain top, you must pass through one or more valleys. But also remember the promise of Romans 8:28, that all things work together for the good of those who Love God. Treat life like you do the South Texas weather; if you don’t like it now, just hold on because its going to get better soon.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 11:25) “At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Note: A simple “yes” reply on your part ,and we will continue emailing you these thoughts and meditations after October 31. For those who have responded already, thank you.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 13 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014 
       Three weeks ago I wrote about the importance and significance of numbers when they appear in the Bible. Sometimes they are noteworthy in our lives also. Well, the two particular numbers that I chose for today’s title will forever be etched in my memory because they first remind me of two funny experiences in my life and secondly, they both point me to some sound advice concerning the presentation of the gospel. Here is the first: Years ago during my postal career, one of my fellow workers whose name is Juan, happened to be the gopher or right hand man of the supervisor in our unit. Juan was a mail handler and would basically load and supply the mail for the clerks on our work team for distribution. From a distance, the supervisor would call out Juan’s name several times in a day and always with these same words, “Ey, tú, Juan!” The workers in our team who didn’t know Spanish thought the boss was saying “Eight-Two-One.” Needless to say, from that point on we no longer called our friend by his real name. To everyone in our unit he became 8-2-1.
       The second number came about this way: One day, as we were buying some ice cream products from a local specialty store which supplies most of the ice cream for the street vendors in San Antonio, my wife asked the price of a certain box of ice cream treats. The manager of the store replied, “8.50.” She asked about a second and a third flavor, and again he replied for each, “8.50.” When she held up the box with the last flavor available, he replied, “8.50 too!” To that, my wife asked “Why is this one 8.52 while the others are 8.50?” I quickly interrupted and told her “I think he means 8.50 also.” When he heard me and realized his failure to communicate properly, the man burst out laughing. Guess what we call that store today?
       This very same gaffe can occur when we are trying to share the gospel message, so it is important for us to always keep things as clear and as simple as we can when we relate it to others. In many cases, this confusion, whether it comes from a pastor or a certain church’s doctrine, is the product of someone who does not have a right understanding of the simple gospel message. Here is one example: When convinced that he was in the presence of two genuine servants of God, a Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas this question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your house will be saved.”(See Acts 16:30-31) If you were to  pose the same question to many pastors and churches today, their answer could be something like this: “Start living differently. Start coming to classes at this church. Read you bible every day. Become a member and start giving your tithes.” They may add more steps or rules than these, but I think you get the picture. The simple but correct answer continues being the same one. To be saved, all one has to do is to believe in Christ. The formula is so simple, even children can understand it.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 11:25) “At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Note: A simple “yes” reply on your part ,and we will continue emailing you these thoughts and meditations after  October 31. For those who have responded already, thank you. 
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 10 2014
Something To Think About
Friday, October 10, 2014  
       There is some very sound advice for all of us in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Just believing and putting into practice one verse alone (Ph. 4:8) would render us a great benefit. It reads:   “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”  Having negative thoughts constantly can trouble our hearts and rob us of the joy and peace of God. How many times have we tossed and turned at night simply because we can’t stop thinking about a certain occurrence or situation in our lives?
       The irony of receiving this beneficial advice is that it was prompted by a not so pleasant occurrence. Reading the beginning of that chapter we will notice that there had been a very notable squabble in the Philippian church involving two prominent women by the name of Euodia and Syntyche. Paul pleaded with them to settle their differences, even asking that church’s leader to help them do it. It is no wonder, then, that Paul advised it’s church members to think only about good things, for the congregation would have suffered greatly had they not removed this troubling disagreement from their minds.
       Still, this advice holds true for all of us today. I’ve lost count of the many times I’ve counseled with folks who deal with disturbing thoughts on a daily basis. One reason folks can’t easily shake off negative thoughts is that they dwell on them instead of focusing on good things. Just as all of us have things that can bother us if we focus on them, we also have good ones that can cheer us up. Another thing that doesn’t help is inactivity. I’ve heard this saying from time to time; perhaps you have too: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When we occupy our time doing things or working on a project or seeking who and where we can help others, we won’t have time to be thinking about dumb things. Finally, if you still have problems with this issue, why not take it to Jesus? They don’t call Him the Prince of Peace for nothing.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine. For those who have responded already, thank you very much.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 09 2014
An Ever Present Danger
Thursday, October 9, 2014   
       In last night’s bible class in church, we spoke of one more of the Apostle Paul’s encounters with false teachers, specifically those who troubled both him and the Colossian church. It is a human tendency to always want to add our own spin to the things we know and do, but when it involves the Word of God, we must refrain from the temptation due to the damage we can cause ourselves as well as others. When Joshua was given the honor of leading God’s people after the death of Moses, the Lord instructed him very clearly not to stray to the right or to the left from the law He had given the people through Moses. This is basically what the false teachers were doing in Paul’s time and even today. In adding their own spin or version, they are flirting with the possibility of deceiving and thoroughly confusing other believers. In some cases, the difference can be of no consequence because the one hearing it knows better.
       Such was the case with the boy who was sharing with his mother his version of the biblical story of the crossing of the Red Sea. Excitedly, he said that Moses, when he was backed up against the Red Sea by the Egyptians, called for his corp. of engineers to build a bridge across the sea so his people could cross over to the other side. Later he radioed his fighter jets to give them ground coverage while the people were crossing. Once they were safely on the other side, he radioed his bombers to blow up the bridge while the Egyptians were on it. His mom stopped him and said: “Junior, is that really the way it happened?” The boy thought about it for a moment and then said, “Well, not really but my story is more exciting.”
       In the case of the false teachers Paul contended with constantly, the damage they were causing was intentional and far from being harmless. They spread their lies in order to introduce their own agendas, for  financial gain, or for their own convenience. Just like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, these were trying to deceive God’s people. Paul wrote: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) I suppose there are some teachers today, just like the little boy in our illustration, that get so excited with God’s Word and it’s benefits, they tend to add their own twist. Sometimes they stray from the truth a bit because they simply don’t know or have not studied, researched, or prayed about it before they start teaching others. For the most part, however, today’s false teachers are no different than the ones in Paul’s time. Be on guard, and remember that the best way to expose the imitations is to know the genuine. Knowing Christ and His Word well, and praying to Him for wisdom and understanding, will always be our best protection.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine. For those who have responded already, thank you very much.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 08 2014
A Healing Balm
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
       My wife and I heard an old time hymn this past Sunday morning on our way to church we had almost forgotten. The title of this old time American spiritual is “There is a Balm in Gilead” and I don’t suppose too many people under fifty years old know it, but if you’re interested, I’m sure you can find it on You Tube. There are not too many things that are not on You Tube. Anyway, some people will call it coincidence but as I kept thinking of the hymn’s message that morning, it never entered my mind I would see it played out in a person’s life later that day. Permit me to explain.
       The hymn’s message is derived from then 8th Chapter of the book of Jeremiah where the prophet laments the destruction of his stiff-necked people. (Gilead was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River) They would not have suffered such things had they only obeyed and not strayed from their God. With a broken heart, the prophet ends the chapter by saying: “Is there no balm (medicine) in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered ?” The writer of this spiritual song, whoever he or she was, clearly points out that the balm (medicine, cure, or remedy) is Christ himself by these two lines, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.”
       This past Sunday, I spoke to someone I have tried to encourage before, one whose faith is obviously anemic. The minute I saw her approach, I remembered both the hymn and the biblical passage. There are Christians everywhere like her who would be just fine if they only believed in and took their medicine. (Christ) Even so, the Lord never gives up on His children and neither should we. If we know someone like that in our lives, let’s try to keep on encouraging and comforting them, never ceasing to pray for them in the process. Lets remember also that we have this promise from God: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9) And for us too, lets make sure we’re always close to our “medicine.”
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine. For those who have responded already, thank you very much.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 12:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 07 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014    
       On my last scheduled appointment with my primary doctor, I asked him if there is really anything that can be done about my unsightly age spots. He quickly replied “No.” Since I, like most of you, have instant access to the internet, I can see that many do not agree with my doctor. Neither would I be surprised if some of you know and apprise me of some effective proven formula you have discovered. That would be nice. Nevertheless, whether age spots can be treated or not, one thing is certain; these are just one more of the natural markings of a senior citizen. Said in another way, we have earned them. Another marking is the grey or white hair. For the most part, it is looked upon as a badge of honor. In fact, God made honoring old people a rule for living. Leviticus 19:32 says: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary (white or grey) head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.” Proverbs 16:31 calls white hair “a crown of glory.” Unfortunately there are some old geezers around who make it very hard for others to honor them. As far as black bags or circles under the eyes are concerned, however, that is another matter. Those, I choose to keep for I’ve had them since I was a boy and God gave them to me to set me apart from the others. Some of you who are reading this blog also have some visible feature that sets you apart from others. Wear your markings happily; they come from God and that’s what makes you special.
       When God’s children realize that their “markings” come from Him, they wear them proudly. Such was the case with the Apostle Paul. From the start of his ministry, he knew in advance that he would suffer many things for the name of Jesus. (See Acts 9:10-15) Many years later, in his letter to the Galatians and addressing the trouble false teachers had brought them and him too, he wrote: “Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”  He was referring in part to the physical scars he had earned for serving his Master.
       Though most of you know this already, the more we serve the Lord, the greater the chances that we too will receive scars. They may not be physical like Paul’s, and they may be well hidden, but many times emotional wounds can be just as devastating. These may come by way of rejections, slander, criticisms, or false accusations, and were it not for God’s grace they would destroy us. The world may not see them but to the Lord your battle scars are as clear as the noonday sun. Don’t let it go to your head more than it should, but wear them proudly.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 06 2014
Acquiring Wisdom
Monday, October 6, 2014 
       If you get frustrated when you read certain parts of the Bible you do not understand, let me remind you that you are not alone. That happens even when we understand the words. The truth is that there are things in it that even bible scholars and teachers do not understand. A bible teacher was asked this question once: “Do the things you don’t understand in the Bible trouble you?” He replied, “No, the ones I do understand are the ones that trouble me from time to time.” Some have made it a practice to consult with a more experienced bible reader in their life to explain certain passages they do not understand, and while there is nothing wrong with it, they are really underestimating themselves. Let me explain why: Jesus informed His Disciples that when the Holy Spirit would come, He would teach them all things and would remind them of all the things He had told them. (See John 14:26) Paul wrote this in his first letter to the Corinthians: “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2:11)
       If you are a child of God, you not only have access to the truth, you have a direct line. In fact, James 1:5 extends you this invitation: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” the “without finding fault” reference basically means that you can ask the Lord anything and know that He will not laugh at or criticize your question, as some people we know are prone to do. That reminds me of the college professor who was trying to encourage his class to ask any question that was on their mind. He proceeded to tell them that, in his long years in the teaching profession, he had never really heard any knuckleheaded questions, which encouraged one student to raise his question. Upon hearing it, the professor quickly replied “I stand corrected.” Seriously, between you and God, there are no silly questions.
       Have you ever wondered where King David acquired all the wisdom he needed to write his psalms? Well, he never went to bible college or seminary; he just took advantage of his direct line to God. You can do the same, and when you do, many are going to wonder how or when you got so smart all of a sudden.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting Novermber 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly ask for it. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 03 2014
Name Changers
Friday, October 3, 2014    
       The meaning of words seem to change from one generation to another. For example, I was listening earlier today to a well known TV sports analyst describe one of the best quarterbacks presently in the NFL as being a “bad boy.” It is obvious to everybody that he really meant that, in his opinion, said quarterback is an excellent football player. Some of you who are older may remember that a generation ago there were many popular songs where the word “gay” was used, today hardly ever. Then, there have always been words that can indicate opposite meanings; “tough” is one of them. Thinking about the “bad boy” reference reminded me of this notable bible verse: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20) In this case, these are they who deliberately call something evil as being a good thing. Folks like these make a mockery of God’s Word and in essence are shaking their fists at Him. The following verse to the one cited goes on to say that these are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
       Those of you who belong to the culture that invented the word “macho” will not be surprised to hear of the reaction I got from one of our own when I shared with him the news a few years back about our president’s strange affair with a female White House intern. His reaction was, “Oohuy, that’s my president!” Obviously, to his way of thinking, that is expected behavior from a “real man.” Culture or no culture, to say that something that God called evil is good, and vice versa, is to play a very dangerous game. I’m sure you all know people who are like that, who seem to relish playing that game. They may be enjoying themselves now but, in time, they will be getting a very rude surprise if they don’t change their way of thinking
       Then, of course, there are those who think that calling things by a different name will change everything. That practice is common today. Drunkards become alcoholics, adulterers become “unfaithful”, and sins become mistakes, just to name a few. It changes nothing. Its like the old saying, “Bologna is bologna no matter what you call it or how you slice it.” Lets make every effort to see things the way the Lord sees them. More importantly, lets not try to justify our actions when we do wrong. Confessing to God and asking His pardon is the surest and quickest way of making things right with Him. That really shouldn’t be a tall order for, after all, God’s true children are honest and accountable.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 9:9) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 03:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 02 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014   
       A survey was taken at the end of last year about the most annoying word people use nowadays, and the dubious winner was the word “whatever.” In fact, the word has topped the list for the last five years according to the same survey group. They add that the word can be very dismissive and rude. They also say that it is a put-down to some extent and that it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important. Do you agree? I’m not even going to ask you if the word is one you use often.
       I was thinking about this irritating word recently as I was going through a book about some old hymns of the faith. This particular book has stories about their authors and how and why they wrote them. Among my favorites is one entitled “Whosoever Meaneth Me.” It was written in 1910 by a young man by the name of James Edwin McConnell. If you pay close attention to it’s lyrics, you will quickly realize it is a happy tune. He later started a radio show entitled “Hymn Time” and was known by many as “Smiling Ed” McConnell. I find it odd that one of my favorite words is “whosoever’ while “whatever” is the opposite.
       In the hymn’s message, it is apparent that the idea was taken from Romans 10:13 in the King James Version which reads, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The person in the song is thrilled that “whosoever” surely means and includes him. I can totally relate because even forty plus years later, I am still happy and grateful that I too was a “whosoever” who called on His Name. That Christ will save anyone who calls on Him is something to really be happy about. I get so thrilled at the thought of that great bible truth, that every time I hear someone extend an invitation for people to accept Jesus as their Savior, I wish I could get saved all over again. Not only is that not possible, it is not necessary for when Christ took us in and saved us, it meant forever. Even so, I get happy just thinking about it. BTW, speaking of the word “saved” many Christians hesitate on using it too much for fear of being looked upon as someone like Mortimer Snerd going around telling folks, “Yup, ah been born’d again.” If Christ used the word “saved” often, how wrong can it be for us to use it? If the bible truth that Jesus will save anybody who calls upon His name doesn't thrill you, child of God, you may want to check your pulse. On the other hand, if you have never called on the name of the Lord, let me remind you of the word “whosoever.” That includes you; don’t miss out any longer.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 9:9) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
PS: If you are interested, check out the hymn “Whosoever Meaneth Me” at the following link:      Since you tube has just about everything, you can probably find Mortimer Snerd in there too.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 03:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 01 2014
Finding A Hidden Treasure
Wednesday, October 1, 2014  
       People who possess extensive vocabularies, that is, who know and use words ordinary folks like you and me have never heard of, fascinate me. I suppose a good number of them use them simply to impress others, but, whether they do or not, they still win my admiration. In fact, I love learning new words and when I hear someone use them, I mark them and look up their meaning later. There are many dictionary words which are self-explanatory and even when you hear them for the first time you have a pretty good idea of their meaning. Such is the case with the word “eyeservice” which appears twice in the King James Version of the Bible. Incidentally, the word does not appear in all modern dictionaries. The word was attributed twice to the Apostle Paul by the bible translators, once in his epistle to the Ephesians (6:6) and once to the Colossians. (3:22) Paul used it to admonish servants never to do work for their masters with “eyeservice” only. A more modern translation of the bible (NIV) says it this way: “Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.” (Eph. 6:6)
       All of that information may be gibberish to many of you so I hope I didn’t bore you with it. Nevertheless, I thought it was important just in case you may have come across the two bible verses where the word “eyeservice” was used. More importantly, I hope you will take this biblical counsel to heart. Of course, slaves and masters are a thing of the past in most parts of the world, but the truth is that many of us today work for somebody, and all of us have “Someone” to answer to on a daily basis. That being the case, this advice is for us too. Paul’s recommendation in these verses reminds us to always do our work sincerely and wholeheartedly, not only when human eyes are upon us. It is reasonable and very human to put forth our best effort when our family or friends come to watch us perform because we want to make them proud, but do we “perform” with the same enthusiasm when nobody is watching us?
       This saying was attributed to a man by the name of J.C. Watts: “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.” Someone else has said: “When you are all alone, that’s when the real “you” emerges.” One of my favorites is: “Your life may be the only “Bible” some people will ever read.” Many Christians take this advice to heart and, as a consequence, pattern their lives accordingly. These are they who do the “little things”, mostly in the background, that are generally unnoticed or just plain taken for granted by others. These are they who do the “little chores” others will not. These are they that believe that service to others is service to God. Are you like that? Do you do the little things that go unnoticed by others? Finally, these are they who have found one of life’s secret treasures, namely the joy of doing things for others. I trust you will be inspired to join them.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 9:9) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 03:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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