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Pastor Joe and MaryHelen Martinez

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Thursday, September 28 2017

 When I was young, people with tattoos were a rarity. Today, it seems like they are in the majority. Speaking of tattoos, it is remarkable to me that so many folks choose to tattoo the names of their “significant” others on their bodies. Despite all the available technology, removing these marks even today is no easy thing and the day will surely come that many who made this mistake will wish they could make them disappear. Whether self inflicted or not, there are many marks in our bodies, however, that will remain with us until our dying day. There is one mark, although invisible to the naked eye, I am glad will be with us until Jesus comes for us. I am referring to the seal of the Holy Spirit. Regarding this seal, Paul wrote: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) Perhaps my theology may be off a bit, but I believe the angels of God will be looking for this seal when our day to leave this world arrives. I don’t know about you, but to this simple minded man, this is the way I see this divine process: On the day I gave my heart to Jesus, He told the Holy Spirit: “Put our seal on this one; he is one of ours.” There is this dear church member, perhaps some of you may know her, who upon hearing me say “I’m happy to see you”, always replies “I’m happy to be seen.” With her in mind, I gladly say “I’m so happy to be sealed.” The Apostle Paul wrote one day: “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17) Among his many “marks” some were surely the scars of the wounds he received in his physical body, whether by whippings, beatings, or stonings. Very few of us can make such a statement for we have no such visible marks in our bodies. Nevertheless, because we belong to Christ, just like Paul did, we have one of his marks, the seal of the holy Spirit. Aren’t you glad you are a “marked” man or woman?

God’s word for today: (Revelation 7:2-3) “Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 27 2017

If you’re a chess or checkers player, I bet you’ve noticed how much easier you spot a bad move when you are just watching a match, than when you yourself are playing. To me, it is very similar in life. Often, others notice when we do wrong faster than we do. The truth is that we all do wrong at one time or another, some of us more often than others. Romans 3:10 reads: “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” and Romans 3:23 adds: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” If that were not enough to convince us, John wrote the following in his first epistle, not his gospel, to the church: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10) Even after being told this truth is repeated often in the Bible, some will still say something silly like “Not my grandma, she was an angel of God!” A super-spiritual type once boasted to his friend: “There are two things I never do; I never sin and I never lie!” His friend replied: “That’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard!” All this leads me to bring up a wrongdoing many of us commit from time to time. I am referring to staying quiet or “letting it slide” when a friend or loved one does something wrong. It is exasperating when we see certain people defend the actions of someone they love, even when it is obvious to all that they have done wrong. Look, none of us likes to be corrected or is overjoyed when someone points out our wrongdoings. On top of that, some of us are not very good at accepting criticism or correction. Nevertheless, our true friends will quickly bring it to our attention, when we do something wrong. If we stay quiet or “let it slide” when our friends do wrong, we’re not as good a friend as we think we are. Instead of doing good by them, we are actually hurting them. I heard one of my favorite radio pastors say this last Sunday: “Some will point out your mistakes because they hate you; others will do it because they love you.” Do you really love your friends and loved ones? Bring it to their attention quickly when they err, and pray to God they will do the same for you when you “mess up.” God’s word for today:

(Proverbs 27:6) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 25 2017

God’s true ministers of the Word have been called to do just that, minister the Word. And since Christ is the incarnate Word of God, their main obligation is to teach and preach Christ. One verse a minister must always keep in mind is Paul’s declaration in his first letter to the Corinthian church when he wrote: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:3) It is so easy for pastors to get sidetracked and start focusing on matters, which although may be of some importance, stray from the basic message of the Bible, which is Christ. I shared this fact recently with our Wednesday Bible study group: When we were in high school we were taught subjects such as Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Physics, etc. Here was the question: Have we ever used at all what we learned from these courses in our actual life? The Word of God cannot be like that. I tell our members often, to the point of boring them, that if the Bible were not relevant or practical, it would be of no benefit whatsoever to us. About the Word of God, (Bible) Paul wrote this in his second letter to Timothy. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NLT/ New Living Translation) To me, this is like the concept of the old general stores: no matter what you needed they had it. I had this silly thought last week when I finished preparing my message for Sunday: “All my sermons have been sounding the same lately.” After the good response Sunday, I chose to believe it’s because I’ve been faithful in preaching Christ. An old preacher was confronted one day by some church leaders with this question: “When are you going to stop preaching about the love of Christ every Sunday?” He replied: “When you start loving one another.” If the pastor of your church seems to always center his sermons on Christ’s love and salvation, or if his messages always seems to eventually drift back to Jesus, look up to Heaven and thank God for it. God’s word for today: (Acts 8:35) “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 20 2017

       You who are avid book readers, let me ask you this question: Have you ever become so engrossed and excited with a book you have begun to read that you can’t wait to see the final outcome, so you sneak a peek at it’s ending?  Wanting to know the future has always fascinated many people. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m not one of them. I suspect I lost much of this fascination on the day I realized mine was settled when Jesus came into my life. In a nutshell, He is our future. As a stanza from one of my favorite Christian songs says: [“Many things about tomorrow / I don't seem to understand/ But I know who holds tomorrow/ And I know who holds my hand.”] 

       Unfortunately, people generally pay more heed to the past than to the future. In fact, many folks are living in the past and mope because things are not like they once were. Who cares? Because of Christ, our best days are up ahead. Although some folks weep at the loss and disappearance of the “good old days”, I believe reflecting on the past can do more harm than good. And because some people we know are haunted by it, I recently put up this message on our church marquee: “Don’t let your past condemn you. In Christ you have a future. Seek Him today.” I am reminded of an old Christian hymn which says: [“Long ago, long ago / Yes the Old Account was settled long ago / And my record's clear today 'cause He washed my sins away / And The Old Account was settled long ago.”] Because of Christ, the past has absolutely no power over us.

       If we keep our focus on the rear view mirror of our life, very likely we will have an accident. We need to keep our focus on whats up ahead. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul added: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2) In a graveside service yesterday, I had the opportunity to remind the crowd of Jesus’ words: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Apart from our eternal home waiting for us there, many of our treasures, our departed loved ones, are in Heaven now. Should we not, therefore, be dwelling more on our future than on our past?

God’s promise for today: (John 14:2-3) “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 04:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 19 2017

       Recently, a church member approached me to tell me she had a special word from the Lord for me personally. In a nutshell, here was my threefold message: Get closer to God, fast more, and prepare yourself to be attacked by Satan. I thanked her when she added that she would be praying for me. When I dwelt on my personal message afterwards, I came to this conclusion: (1) Do you know any Christians who can honestly say that they don’t need to get closer to God? (2) Can any Christian honestly say that he or she doesn’t need to fast more? (3) Is it a strange thing that any true servant of God will get tested and attacked by the devil? Did not Jesus say? : “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” (Luke 12:48) I suspect there are many well meaning people like her in most churches today and you may know of one or two who have been known to do and say things like that to other fellow believers and ministers.

       This experience relates indirectly with a feature of the bible study I am bringing presently in our Spanish Bible class. Perhaps the timing is not so ironic. The account keynotes the relationship between Elisha and the sons (school) of the prophets. The prophets at Bethel as well as those in Jericho each came up to let the prophet know in advance that God was going to take his mentor and fellow prophet, Elijah, from him. They did not realize that Elisha already knew that. In fact he knew what was going to happen more completely than they. You see, after Elijah was taken up to Heaven in a flaming chariot, all these prophets wanted Elisha’s permission to go seek the body of Elijah. Elisha knew this would be a useless attempt and they would not find him. They insisted so much that he gave them leave anyway and when they found nothing, Elisha was kind not to tell them “I told you so.”

       We can learn two things from this. First, be patient when someone brings you a personal message from the Lord. Consider the message and the source. Is it something you didn’t know already? And unless it was a confirmation of a message from God you were not yet convinced about, pay it no further mind. Secondly, next time you feel God wants you to bring someone a personal message from Him, make very sure it is from Him and not from you. In this regard, make sure you are being led by the Spirit of God and not by your own feelings.

 

God’s word for today (Ezekiel 13:3) “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, September 15 2017

       A minister’s sermons or bible studies need to be practical and relevant. If what we learn from them is something we can’t use and apply to our own lives, then we’ve wasted God’s time as well as that of our listeners. I try to always keep this in mind when I’m seeking the Lord concerning the studies or messages He wants me to bring to His people. I remember sitting in on one particular bible class where the teacher taught extensively about an ungodly worldly lifestyle, particularly focusing on the evils of the movies, dancing, and drinking. He was very thorough and informative in applying the appropriate bible verses and stories. The only problem was that his audience was fully comprised of nursing home residents. It would have been a stretch to expect any of them to be able to even stand up and go dancing and drinking somewhere. Most of them probably never leave the nursing home to begin with.

       Sometimes, members of the audience will remember a funny story or illustration the preacher used more than the main message itself. Such was probably the case last Sunday in church when Pastor Mike shared a funny personal experience. He agreed to take his six and seven year old grandkids swimming recently. When he told them that they could not go into the deep water with the rest of the adults they started whining and complaining. Suddenly, a thought popped into his mind and he yelled out to them: “McDonalds!” That did the trick. Pastor Mike was wise in injecting that God deals that way often with His children. When He denies them something, He gives them something better. As did Bro. Mike’s grandkids, we sometimes want something that is not good for us, something which may even be dangerous. We may even do what James wrote about in his letter to the church. James 4:3 reads: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

       Does the point which Pastor Mike presented apply to you? Are you presently upset with God because He has not yet answered a special petition of yours? May I remind you that He always wants the best for His children? If He didn’t give you what you asked for it just may be that He has something so much better. Think about this: Do you know of any genuine child of God who can honestly say that the Lord let him or her down? The truth is that God has never let any of His children down and He’s certainly not going to start with you. I pray you will have the same confidence in God Paul exemplified when he wrote: “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

God’s promise for today: (Proverbs 4:12) “When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble.”

       

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 04:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, September 14 2017

       Don’t let today’s title throw you off. Today’s topic is not about wedding ceremonies but about other borrowed things. It is also the theme of the bible study I am currently presenting to our Spanish Bible class at church. Has this ever happened to you?: You borrow something, say a chain saw, lawn mower, trimmer, or something else, and then it breaks while you’re using it. It’s a distressing feeling, right? It happened to me once and I won’t soon forget it. In fact, I wound up buying my friend a brand new chain saw because of it. 

       In the 6th Chapter of 2 Kings, we find the story of a poor man who had borrowed an axe from a friend and while he was cutting down a tree, the axe head flew into the Jordan river and sank to the bottom. Those of you who are familiar with that story know that in the end, God used the prophet Elisha to help the man recover the axe head. Obviously, it was a miracle because iron does not float. However, I want to focus on the reaction of the man to whom this happened. Verse 5 reads: “As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!” I trust you can recognize that this poor man was mortified. You see, being a student in the school of the prophets he was obviously a poor man. He knew it would be no easy task to buy his friend a new axe. I’m sure you and I know some people who would have reacted very differently this had happened to them. They would have blamed their friend for lending them a cheap and worthless axe or else they would have found someone else to blame.

       How do you perceive borrowed things? Regarding this subject, the great bible Commentator, Matthew Henry, wrote: [“Note, we ought to be as careful of that which is borrowed as of that which is our own, that it receives no damage, because we must love our neighbor as ourselves and do as we would be done by.”] Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe that we should be more careful with borrowed things than with our own things. I believe this way because, when you stop to think about it, just about everything we have in life is borrowed. Our time, health, gifts, talents, abilities, spouse, children, etc. We have received all these precious things from God and He can and will call for them when He sees fit. With broken hearts and trembling lips, God loving and God fearing people everywhere will always thank Him for the time He let them have the loved ones He eventually calls back. One more thing: The way you use, treat, and handle something borrowed is a reflection of what you think of the one you borrowed it from.

God’s word for today (Job 1:21) “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 04:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 13 2017

       It is understandable that many people think that God’s ministers live on a higher plane than most people but the truth is they are basically no different than the average child of God. I was thinking about this recently after a dream I had about one of our church members. In the dream, she called me from her hospital bed to assure me that she was there but was doing alright. In reality, this dear lady has been in and out of the hospital for an unusually long period of time. In the dream, when I heard her voice my initial thought was “what can I possibly say to her that will actually help her?” Because I’m just as human as everyone else, my first thought, even in the dream, almost tempted me to apologize to her for the trial she has endured. I immediately thought “That’s a mistake. How can we apologize for Someone who never does anything wrong?” 

       That’s all I remember about that specific dream but as I thought about what the Lord wanted to remind me of, I immediately remembered Paul’s initial thought in his second letter to the Corinthians. I was thinking primarily about these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the same comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

       And that’s my message to you today: I want to remind you that when confronted with loved ones or friends who are going through a difficult trial, the one thing they need the most is comfort, the same one God has sustained us with in our own times of affliction. The last thing these dear souls need at such times is a bible study, or the old worn-out cliché “I know what you’re going through.” Neither should we ask them “are you sure you have faith?” or say like Job’s friends, “Are you sure there’s not unconfessed sin in your life?” No, no, a thousand times, no! These folks need to be comforted, and if you just happen to be with them, just hold them tight. A good old fashioned loving hug at a time like this is better than a thousand words. Need a good hug today but there’s no one around? Imagine that the Lord is hugging you right now. After all, He is! As a beautiful line from a “Casting Crowns”  song says: [  So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away / You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held / Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place / I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held ]

 God’s promise for today: (Deuteronomy 33:27 a) “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms.”

       

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 04:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, September 08 2017

       Today’s blog is about Integrity. What is integrity? The dictionary says it is the “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” It can also be described by these adjectives: character, decency, goodness, righteousness, virtue, honesty, and morality. Although God’s children are far from being perfect and are capable of really messing things up from time to time, the truth is that they all should be known by these things. If others have used these nice words to describe you at one time or another, I congratulate you for being the kind of person God expects you to be.

       In the well known biblical story of  Job, it was obvious he was a man of integrity. Despite suffering calamities very few in this world will ever experience, he maintained his integrity. With a broken heart and trembling lips, he uttered: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) Because our old nature is still around, it is at times of hard trials and testing that our integrity can quickly go South. Such was the case with Job’s wife. In fact, she apparently was upset even with him. That is why she lashed out at him saying: “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Poor Job! The last thing he needed to hear at the lowest point in his life was this. I wonder what she felt like after God eventually gave them twice as much more than what they ever had. 

       I am of the opinion that, even if we don’t carry it through, our first thought when we go through such an ordeal is to think like Job’s wife. I have a question for you. You can raise your hand if you want, anyhow no one is watching. When God has not answered a special petition or else has done the opposite of what you prayed for, or when you feel that He has let you down, how often has this been your first thought?: “Ok, just for that, I’m really going to sin.” I know. This also is a sign of immaturity, acting like children, if you will. Sadly, many of God’s children have acted on that foolish thought. In fact, you may know of one or two who have done just that. Some, as of now, have not returned. Their lifestyle is very different then when they were close to God. I do believe, however, that if they are God’s true children, they will eventually come back, whether willingly or unwillingly. The phrase in Spanish that applies here is: “por las buenas o por las malas.” If they never come back, it just may be that they were never truly His in the first place. John wrote about folks like these saying: “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. “ (1 John 2:19) If there is one thing you never want to lose, its your integrity. Hold on to it. The Lord will help you.

God’s promise for today: (Psalm 34:19 NLT) “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 06:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 06 2017
       Yesterday, I wrote about devoted friends and how blessed we are to have them in our lives. Perhaps one, two, or more of you are not as blessed. Perhaps you, on the other hand, feel like your friends or even your church family has let you down. Well, here is one very real possibility: You just may be expecting more from them than you should. What we expect from others is oftentimes unreasonable. We may want them to be like us or else we may unknowingly play the comparison game on them. Parents make this mistake often. They will tell one of their children, “why can’t you be like your brother or sister?” In fact, children that hear those words are very likely to rebel. They will often try to be the opposite of their brother or sister just for spite.
       Jesus gave a parable in Matthew 18 of a master who called in one of his servants who was deeply indebted to him. The man’s debt was enormous. Bible scholars believe that in today’s economy it would be in the neighborhood of ten million dollars. When the servant couldn’t pay the debt, the master commanded that he, along with his wife and children be sold until the debt was paid. When the servant fell down before his master pleading for patience, and promising to pay, verse 27 reads: “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.”
       This parable is primarily intended to show God’s great mercy. When sinners come to Him in sincere repentance, He not only forgives them, He erases a debt they could never possibly repay, just as we saw in the parable. By the same token, many today whose sin debt has been completely erased, still haven’t forgiven someone who they feel “owes” them something, whether it is money, time, attention or something else. Such was the case in the parable. The servant whose enormous debt was forgiven did not forgive a fellow servant who owed him something equivalent to twenty dollars today. He forgot how much he had been forgiven. I tell our congregation often: “Live life as if nobody owes you anything.” If you can do that, you will never go around feeling cheated or neglected, and if somebody “pays” you something you will be overjoyed at the wonderful surprise. Perhaps you will not agree with my theology, that’s okay, but I believe that nobody owes us anything. On the other hand, I believe we owe many people many things. Of course, it is true that people, churches, or pastors can let people down. After all, churches are comprised of imperfect people. However, I also know this to be true: Loyalty is a two-way street. Many people who have left their church because they feel it let them down, fail to realize that they themselves were not as faithful as they could have been. This is the same as those who have no or very few friends. The best way to have friends is to go out and win them. Proverbs 18:24 says in part: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” If we don’t expect more from people than we should, we will all be just fine.
God’s word for today: (Romans 13:8) “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 06:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 05 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017             

       This newspaper item caught my attention the day after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast. The constable in a town very near the center of the hurricane’s initial path decided to stay and ride out the storm. When asked why, he replied that he was only doing what he was hired to do. Assuming that his answer was honest and sincere and regardless of whether it was a foolish or wise choice, he was the right person for the job. In the eyes of God, the determining factor in every decision is the motive of the heart. To say it in simple terms, “Its not what you do but the reason you do it.” In fact, the main reason God chose David to be king was because of his heart. Samuel told Saul: "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart."(1 Samuel 13:14) The man Samuel was talking about was David. 

       Most bible readers can easily deduce that David was far from being a perfect man. He got himself into more ugly situations than most of us ever will. Yet, in spite of all his sins and errors, he continued to be a man after God’s own heart. He always wanted what God wanted. He would always be quick to stand up on His behalf. If there is a person in your life who is "after your own heart", you are blessed indeed. He or she is one who will truly be devoted to you, will stick with you no matter what, and never forsake you. If you have such folks in your life, you should thank God for them every day. At a friends funeral once, I heard a man say something to the effect of these words about him: “I would have gladly taken a bullet for him.” Think about this: If you could only chose one of these to be your friend, would you choose the wise one, the rich one, the popular one, the famous one, or the one devoted to you?  I thought so. Are you that kind of friend?     

 

God’s word for today: (Proverbs 17:17 NIRV/ New International Readers Version) “A friend loves at all times. They are there to help when trouble comes.”

    

 

Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 06:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 04 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017           
       Today’s blog is about Integrity. What is integrity? The dictionary says it is the “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” It can also be described by these adjectives: character, decency, goodness, righteousness, virtue, honesty, and morality. Although God’s children are far from being perfect and are capable of really messing things up from time to time, the truth is that they all should be known by these things. If others have used these nice words to describe you at one time or another, I congratulate you for being the kind of person God expects you to be.
       In the well known biblical story of  Job, it was obvious he was a man of integrity. Despite suffering calamities very few in this world will ever experience, he maintained his integrity. With a broken heart and trembling lips, he uttered: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) Because our old nature is still around, it is at times of hard trials and testing that our integrity can quickly go South. Such was the case with Job’s wife. In fact, she apparently was upset even with him. That is why she lashed out at him saying: “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Poor Job! The last thing he needed to hear at the lowest point in his life was this. I wonder what she felt like after God eventually gave them twice as much more than what they ever had. 
       I am of the opinion that, even if we don’t carry it through, our first thought when we go through such an ordeal is to think like Job’s wife. I have a question for you. You can raise your hand if you want, anyhow no one is watching. When God has not answered a special petition or else has done the opposite of what you prayed for, or when you feel that He has let you down, how often has this been your first thought?: “Ok, just for that, I’m really going to sin.” I know. This also is a sign of immaturity, acting like children, if you will. Sadly, many of God’s children have acted on that foolish thought. In fact, you may know of one or two who have done just that. Some, as of now, have not returned. Their lifestyle is very different then when they were close to God. I do believe, however, that if they are God’s true children, they will eventually come back, whether willingly or unwillingly. The phrase in Spanish that applies here is: “por las buenas o por las malas.” If they never come back, it just may be that they were never truly His in the first place. John wrote about folks like these saying: “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. “ (1 John 2:19) If there is one thing you never want to lose, its your integrity. Hold on to it. The Lord will help you.
 
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 34:19 NLT) “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”
Posted by: Joe Martinez AT 06:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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