Be Brave and Believe

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews 11:32-34).

To have faith, and remain faithful, takes courage. It takes faith to persevere. Cowardice caves at the first sign of resistance. Fear retreats, and looks to save its own skin.

For many years I have heard unbelievers say that faith in God is a cop out. This is only half right. It is a cop out to SAY you believe, and act like you don’t. Christ said if we would confess Him before men, He would confess us before the Father. But if we were ashamed of Him, He would be ashamed of us. And why would we be ashamed of the one who gave His life for us, who died and took our punishment for our sins?

Dare to declare your faith in Christ. You will catch a lot of grief from a fearful, unbelieving nation, that is afraid to live life because of its fear of a virus it cannot see, and a future they cannot be sure of. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

Donald Marsh ©2020

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Save the Wicked

“Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).

This warning is not only for God’s people, but for all people. “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” {1 Peter 4:17).

If people are separated from God, it isn’t his fault. He has gone to a great deal of trouble to secure our salvation, no matter how bad or how good we think we are. Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the whole world, because, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

As a believer in Jesus Christ, who has received the gift of salvation and has the promise of eternal life, I am acutely aware that this was not done for just me! This promise belongs to all who will believe, and turn to God. No one is out of reach. And if God Almighty is not willing for the wicked to perish, neither am I. But what if it is OK with me? The answer is terrifying.

“If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 3:18). This is why “Save the Wicked” is a warning to God’s people as well as to the wicked themselves. We are held responsible for the message of salvation. We must preach the Gospel.

Donald Marsh ©2020

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Don’t Go Blind

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9, NIV).

This is a serious warning to people who are religious, but seem to be unaware that their faith is supposed to form their character. If you say you have believed in Jesus, but do not have the qualities of a faithful follower, you have gone blind because you have forgotten what was bought for you on the cross when Christ died for you.

The Pharisees were the Bible scholars of their day, but Jesus warned His disciples to avoid them. “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12). And in Revelation 3:18, Jesus returns to warn one congregation, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

May God forgive us for choosing the things of this world over He who created it; choosing politics over holiness; choosing temporal causes over eternal life. And we did this because we forgot that Christ died for us, and for everyone we despise and envy. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV).

Donald Marsh ©2020

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Take the Narrow Road

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14, NIV.

Mankind is basically sinful. We are full of ourselves, angry, vengeful, selfish, proud, deceitful, violent, and possess other negative characteristics. It is no wonder that few are willing to yield their lives to the very God who made them. Social media has laid this fact bare, hasn’t it? But it gets worse. This same God came to earth in the form of a man, showed Himself to be the Son of God with many miraculous proofs, and then died a cruel death on a cross, taking the punishment for all of our sin. Then he was raised from the dead after three days to prove that the sacrifice was accepted, and offered eternal life to all who would put their trust in Him. And the vast majority of the people in the world flip Him off and say they can make it on their own.

That is the short account of Jesus of Nazareth, the central person of human history. Every time we write down what year it is, we are declaring how many years it was since He came to earth on His mission to save us. It takes a lot of determination to ignore God’s gift to mankind. Every one of us knows we are on the road to the end of our earthly existence and few even care that the bridge is out. But there is an exit before oblivion; or, as Jesus said, a door.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11, ESV.

Donald Marsh ©2020

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Seek A Better Country

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:13-1

I love America. I appreciate the opportunities and the relative peace and comfort of living in a land that us rich in resources. I appreciate the fact that this is such a wonderful country that the whole world longs to come here. I don’t have to travel the world to meet people from all over the world and experience their culture, because they eventually make their way here. Nevertheless, I am glad this will not be my eternal home, for: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

Heaven has this in common with America: people from all over the world will be there! Heaven is not a white thing, a black thing, an Asian thing, or Eskimo thing. It is God’s home, and it will be yours, too, if you will call on the name of Jesus and believe in who He is and what He did for you. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” Revelation 7:9-10.

I urge you to set aside all your rage, malice and ingratitude and look to Jesus, the Lamb of God, the one who took away your sins when He died on a cross in Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and He will add all things to you (Matthew 6:33). When people ask you how you think the election will come out, tell them, “I am making my own calling and election sure by putting my faith in Christ and what He did for me on the cross!”

Donald Marsh ©2020

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